We Arkansans are passionate about our supper time. From home-style cookin’ to contemporary eateries, these restaurants are well worth the out-of-the-way drives. Each place takes its southern hospitality seriously and will keep you coming back to these small towns with big flavors. Here are eight scrumptious restaurants in Arkansas you (probably) never even knew existed:
1. Dairyette (Mt. Ida)
Mount Ida prides itself in its worst kept secret – Dairyette. This little diner lives up to its motto, "The best burgers and shakes since ‘58." Nibble on crushed cherries in one of their cherry shakes or stick with a classic chocolate. They also offer catfish, chilidogs, and chicken baskets. (Pictured: 1/3lb Double Cheeseburger with Onion Rings.) Dairyette is on Highway 270, Mt. Ida, AR 71957.
2. Crepes Paulette (Bentonville)
If the burger scene is weighing you down, try an authentic French crepe instead. Crepes Paulette serves an array of sweet or savory crepes alongside house-made soups. (Pictured: The KUAF with chicken, feta, spinach and pesto on buckwheat.) Practice your French accent at their storefront location on 100 Southwest 8th St., Bentonville, AR, 72712 or catch their food truck at 213 NE A St., Bentonville, AR 72712.
3. Rivertowne BBQ (Ozark)
A must-stop for barbecue enthusiasts across the nation, Rivertowne BBQ is top-ranked for its smoked meats. Nestled in the small town of Ozark, this place is well worth the drive to savor generous portions of ribs or shredded chicken sandwiches. (Pictured: Loaded Baked Potato served with Baked Beans and Coleslaw.) Their location is 205 South 3rd St., Ozark, AR 72949.
4. Ed Walker’s Drive In
Home of the famous "French Dip" since 1943, this 50s style diner recently received the Times Record Best of the Best award for Best Sandwich Shop. If you’re up for the challenge, then the diner offers a 5lb "hubcap" burger. We suppose you could share but what’s the fun in that? Ed Walker’s is also the last drive-in in the nation to offer car hop service for beer. (Pictured: French Dip Sandwich.) Drive by for a savory sandwich at 1500 Towson Ave., Fort Smith, AR 72901.
5. Skinny J’s (Jonesboro)
Dishing up quite possibly the best steak in the state, Skinny J’s popularity has stayed strong since opening in 2009. Now serving three locations, you can enjoy steak or seafood in Jonesboro, Paragould or Argenta. (Pictured: Sesame Crusted Tuna.) Delight your taste buds at 205 South Main St., Jonesboro, AR 72401.
6. Rowdy Beaver (Eureka Springs)
Get rowdy at the Rowdy Beaver Restaurant & Tavern where it’s perfectly acceptable to top baked potatoes with shredded brisket, slather on barbecue sauce and call it an appetizer. If that didn’t fill you completely up, there’s a mouthwatering selection of barbecue, wings, and burgers too. Pair your choice(s) with a local craft brew. Why not? It’s a great place to eat out while touring Eureka Springs. (Pictured: Ribs.) Rowdy Beaver is located at 417 West Van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR 72632.
7. Catfish Hole #2 (Alma)
Serving meals family style with endless fixins’, Catfish Hole’s popularity has expanded to Fayetteville as well as Alma. It’s easy to find yourself gorging on hushpuppies, but try to save space for the famously crispy catfish fillets. (Pictured: Catfish Fillets with all the fixins’.) Don’t forget your Blow Pop as you walk out. Just off of US-71, Catfish Hole #2 is at 24 West Collum Ln., Alma, AR 72921.
8. Oark Café (Oark)
Originally Arkansas’ oldest general store, Oark Café is a town favorite. Keep your milkshake close by as you bite into The Angry Hornet, a mouth (and eye) watering burger loaded with jalapenos, Pepperjack cheese, and Chipotle mayo. (Pictured: the happier Mushroom Swiss Burger with Curly Fries.) Enjoy the view as you head to 117 County Road 5241, Oark, AR 72852.
Is there an even more obscure Arkansas restaurant that didn’t make the list? Let us in on the secret in the comments below! If these menus sounded a little calorie heavy, try these