Arkansas July 22, 2017
9 Wildly Famous Restaurants In Arkansas That Are Totally Worth The Hullabaloo
First off, let’s take a moment of silence for
Cotham’s Mercantile, which sadly burned down not too long ago. We’re going to miss your burgers, old sport, and we won’t know where the elite meet to eat anymore.
Cotham’s was one eatery in Arkansas that definitely lived up to its own hype, and there aren’t very many wildly popular restaurants that can succeed in that way. Below, however, you’re going to find nine Arkansas eateries that do meet and even exceed the reputations they’ve made for themselves. These restaurants range from little country diners to high end establishments, and they’re listed in no particular order because, honestly, they’re all so exceptional an accurate ranking system didn’t seem possible.
1. The Pantry (Little Rock)
You might have heard the Pantry praised as the best restaurant in Arkansas, and it seems unlikely that any restaurant could live up to that kind of hype. You’d be wrong there, because the Pantry is pretty likely to exceed even your already high expectations. German and Czech recipes combine with American favorites to make for a dining experience that doesn’t disappoint.
The Pantry West is located at 11401 North Rodney Parham Road in Little Rock. The Pantry Crest can be found at 722 North Palm Street in Little Rock.
2. Oark General Store (Oark)
You may have heard of the Oark General Store while receiving a piece of advice to grab a burger while you’re passing through or perhaps someone encouraged you to take a special road trip for the best country diner burger experience you can have this side of the Mississippi. The Oark Cafe is housed in the oldest store in the Natural State, and folks aren’t wrong about your need for a trip up there. Their burgers especially are totally delicious.
The Oark General Store is located at 10360 County Road 5440 near Oark.
3. Feltner’s Whatta-Burger (Russellville)
Speaking of burgers, we’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss one of Arkansas’s favorite nostalgic family-run burger joint. Feltner’s Whatta-Burger has been in operation since 1967, serving up classic, delicious burgers in the college town of Russellville. What used to be a take out place now has a dining room that’s always full of customers. That’s because Feltner’s Whatta-Burger really does live up to its reputation.
Feltner’s Whatta-Burger is located at 1410 North Arkansas in Russellville.
4. Jones Bar-B-Q Diner (Marianna)
How can you tell that a restaurant is really, really good? Well, a James Beard award goes a long way to make the case for overall deliciousness. Jones Bar-B-Q Diner has that, and it has two other strong indications of quality eats: longevity and a restaurant that doesn’t look like much on the outside. Be careful when you decide to go here: its reputation is so intense that sometimes they sell out of barbecue in the morning.
Jones Bar-B-Q Diner is located at 219 West Louisiana Street in Marianna.
5. Bordinos (Fayetteville)
You can’t really talk about Fayetteville without mentioning Dickson Street, and if you’re talking about Dickson Street food you have to mention Bordinos. The restaurant has been serving up fine food made from the best and freshest ingredients for a little over two decades. From cocktails to lunch, brunch, and dinner offerings you don’t want to miss, Bordinos certainly lives up to the hype.
Bordinos is located at 310 West Dickson Street in Fayetteville.
6. The Hive (Bentonville)
The Hive is a relative newcomer to Arkansas’s foodie scene, but don’t let that fool you. They’ve made a huge splash in Bentonville by providing what they call "refined country cooking." The ingredients are local, the flavors are all Arkansas, and you’ll love their spin on fine Southern food.
The Hive is located at 200 NE A Street in Bentonville, in the 21c Museum Hotel.
7. McClard’s (Hot Springs)
We’d be remiss to leave McClard’s off this list. It’s a Hot Springs institution and continues to win reader’s choice awards again and again. The meat is slow-roasted daily, their original sauce is a drinkable kind of delicious, and you’ll love the tamales, too. This family-owned business is in its fourth generation, and that in itself is a testament to the flavor you’ll find there.
McClard’s Bar-B-Q is located at 505 Albert Pike in Hot Springs.
8. Weinkeller Restaurant (Altus)
Serving European food that will make your mouth happy in the heart of Arkansas’s wine country is what Weinkeller does best. This cozy eatery is popular for anniversaries and special occasions, partly because the atmosphere is almost as enticing as the food. For a decadent, intimate meal in a restaurant that isn’t quite like other Arkansas eateries, Weinkeller can be trusted to deliver.
Weinkeller Restaurant is located on the grounds of Wiederkehr Wine Cellars, at 3324 Swiss Family Drive in Wiederkehr Village.
9. One Eleven at the Capital (Little Rock)
On the higher end of the fine food spectrum, you can expect some glorious dining at One Eleven at the Capital. If you need some evidence of that, you can consult the Michelin star and James Beard award belonging to Chef Joel Antunes. One Eleven is highly rated because they serve highly delectable food in a nice setting.
One Eleven at the Capital is located at 111 West Markham Street in Little Rock.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you might want to check out
this list of delicious under-the-radar eateries in Arkansas. You’ll probably be interested in this list of top rated Arkansas restaurants and this list of beautiful restaurants as well.