If there’s one food in Arkansas that is almost universally devoured on a regular basis and with joy, that food is probably perfectly fried, deliciously flaky, crispy catfish. Below you’ll find a list of eateries that serve just that kind of catfish, at reasonable prices and with hometown charm. Consider these restaurants your Arkansas catfish bucket list, because you’re not going to find better catfish than at these 11 places.
1. Eat My Catfish (Benton, Conway, Little Rock)
Eat My Catfish has three locations in the Natural State, and there’s good reason for that. Eat My Catfish is so good that they’ve gone from a single food truck in 2008 to having three brick-and-mortar locations, and it’s the delicious catfish that catapulted them into that kind of success. You can learn more about them and find the addresses of all three locations
at this link.
2. Soul Fish Café (Little Rock)
Soul Fish Café is actually a small chain with four locations across the South. They’re relatively new to the Natural State, but they’ve already made quite a splash. With local beer on tap and the kind of southern-fried, flaky catfish you’d expect from a place named "Soul Fish," they deliver on the promise of succulent catfish. They’re located at 306 Main Street in Little Rock.
3. Mr. Whiskers (Hot Springs)
Mr. Whiskers specializes in two things: having just the cutest catfish restaurant name ever and making catfish so good it keeps folks coming back again and again. They’re succeeding at that, mostly because they have such succulent, fresh catfish. You can become a new regular customer at 4195 Malvern Avenue in Hot Springs.
4. The Hook (Jacksonville)
The Hook is another cleverly named catfish joint, and Jacksonville locals just love this little seafood joint. It’s become a favorite because of the delicious food served there, but it sure helps that this restaurant has a friendly hometown atmosphere. You can visit the Hook at 1802 AR-161 in Jacksonville.
5. Catfish Hole (Alma & Fayetteville)
I’m going to do something odd here. I’m going to tell you that the sides served with the catfish are just about as important as the catfish itself. At Catfish Hole those sides are served family style, and those sides are every bit as good as the delicious pile of catfish they’ll serve you on your own personal plate. Catfish Hole’s Alma location can be found at 24 Collum Lane West. The Fayetteville location can be found at 4127 West Wedington Drive.
6. Lucy’s Diner (Rogers)
Lucy’s Diner really is everything you’d want from a diner. It’s got that lovely throwback feel to it, a menu full of all the diner fare you love, and the kind of friendly service you’d expect. You definitely shouldn’t discount Lucy’s Diner’s ability to make some of the best catfish you’ve ever had just because they aren’t specifically a seafood joint. You need to go there and check out that flaky deliciousness right away. They’re located at 511 West Walnut Street in Rogers.
7. Flying Fish (Little Rock)
Flying Fish is a well known Little Rock fish spot, and it’s got an incredible amount of charm, which is mostly owed to its quirky habit of adopting abandoned novelty singing fish. Don’t let all those Billy Bass deceive you, though. Flying Fish doesn’t need a gimmick to make you love their fried catfish, because it’s so good it stands on its own. Flying Fish is located at 511 President Clinton Avenue in Little Rock.
8. Dondie’s White River Princess (Des Arc)
Yes, Dondie’s White River Princess is built to look like
an old steamboat and set on the shores of a gorgeous river,
but that’s not the only reason you should visit. They also have a seafood buffet that will make catfish lovers swoon. You can check out their delicious seafood at 101 E Curran Street in Des Arc.
9. Murry’s Restaurant (DeValls Bluff)
Murry’s Restaurant fries fish in the grand old Delta tradition. This small restaurant is the heir apparent to the old Murry’s Diner in DeValls Bluff, which may not mean much to you if you don’t remember the loads of awesome happening there every single day before it closed down. But on the off chance you do remember Murry’s Cafe, let me just tell you this: Murry’s Restaurant uses the same recipe as Murry’s Cafe did. Murry’s Restaurant is located on East US-70 in Hazen.
10. Arkansas Best Seafood Garden (Forrest City)
Arkansas Best Seafood Garden. Say that three times fast. They’ve taken a literal approach to their name, and they take a Cajun approach to their catfish. There simply isn’t anything on the menu that you won’t love, but that especially applies to the freshly-fried, awesome catfish you’ll find there. Arkansas Best Seafood Garden (that name is so great) is located at 2305 North Washington in Forrest City.
11. Catfish Island (Caldwell)
Catfish Island makes me think about an island with walking, talking, catfish, but what you’ll find at Catfish Island is even better. Can you guess what it is? Yes, that’s right. Catfish Island serves beautifully battered, absolutely scrumptiously fried, flaky and fresh catfish. They serve that catfish at a reasonable price and with a hometown smile at 5319 Highway 1 North in Caldwell.
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