It’s that time again! Get out the four inch binder containing your comprehensive Arkansas bucket list and make space for eleven more places you need to go. Below you’ll find eleven restaurants that serve some of the best, most iconic sandwiches in the Natural State. From fish to chicken to something called spinach pate, we offer you these culinary adventures in no particular order:
1. The Garden from Jimmy’s Serious Sandwiches in Little Rock
The Garden is the most popular menu item at this serious thirty year old sandwich spot. The ingredients include three kinds of cheese, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, spinach pate, and pumpernickel bread. You can get this sandwich at 5116 West Markham Street in Little Rock.
2. Cheebacca from Hammontree’s in Fayetteville
A restaurant dedicated almost entirely to gourmet grilled cheese? Jackpot! It’s hard to pick a favorite cleverly named sandwich there, but the Cheebacca is as good as any of them. On it you’ll find Hammontree’s house cheese, sharp white cheddar, bacon, pulled pork, grilled onions and garlic cilantro sauce all piled on sourdough bread. Hammontree’s is located at 326 North West Avenue Suite 8 in Fayetteville.
3. Fried Bologna Sandwich from Johnny B’s Grill in El Dorado
People love the fried bologna sandwiches, and other than your grandmama’s cast iron skillet there’s no better place to get one than at Johnny B’s. With its hometown feel and friendly service, this diner will make you feel right at home. You can get their fantastically simple old school Arkansas fried bologna sandwich at 211 South West Avenue in El Dorado.
4. Pulled Pork Sandwich from the Dixie Pig in Blytheville
Any list of iconic Arkansas dishes wouldn’t be complete without at least one barbecued item. You’re especially going to love the pulled pork sandwiches at the Dixie Pig in Blytheville. They’ve had ninety years to work on their recipe, and they’ve very nearly perfected it. The Dixie Pig is located at 701 North 6th Street in Blytheville.
5. Pimento Cheese from Bistro on the Ridge in Jonesboro
The pimento cheese sandwich is certainly an iconic Arkansas sandwich, and if you want to find a place that’s doing it justice, you need to go to Bistro on the Ridge. They’re serving pimento cheese sandwiches with a twist that you’re going to love. Bistro on the Ridge is located at 914 Southwest Drive in Jonesboro.
6. Fried Fish Sandwich from the Cotton Boll in Malvern
Fried fish sandwich? Yes, that sounds very Arkansas to me. After all, some of our favorite pastimes are fishing and frying things. You’re going to love the fried fish sandwich at the Cotton Boll in Malvern at 1606 East Page Avenue in Malvern.
7. French Dip from Ed Walker’s in Fort Smith
Ed Walker’s is famous for their French dip sandwiches, and that fame is well earned. Served in a diner that will transport you back in time with its old school drive in procedures and mid-century decor, these French dips are every bit as cool as the atmosphere. Ed Walker’s is located at 1500 Towson Avenue in Fort Smith.
8. Reuben Panini at Cross Creek Sandwich Shop in Conway
Despite our distance from New York, Reuben sandwiches populate a lot of Arkansas menus. There’s a fantastic Reuben on the menu at Cross Creek Sandwich Shop in Conway, an absolutely scrumptious panini. Cross Creek Sandwich Shop is located at 1003 Oak Street in Conway.
9. Literally Any Po’ Boy from Lazy Pete’s in Little Rock
Seriously, any po’ boy from one of Little Rock’s best Cajun restaurants will do. Their menu has po’ boys in several varieties: catfish, oyster, shrimp, crawfish, chicken, and sausage. Just pick one and dig in. Lazy Pete’s is located at 200 N Bowman Rd #9 in Little Rock.
10. The Caveman Club at TJ’s Sandwich Shop in Fayetteville
Club sandwiches appear on menus almost everywhere, of course, but the caveman club has a little something extra. By which I mean it has everything extra and is therefore extra awesome. The caveman club isn’t just a sizable, it’s huge, and it’s waiting for you at both locations of TJ’s Sandwich Shop in Fayetteville, at 908 East Rolling Hills Drive and 1218 North Garland Avenue.
11. The Deluxe Turkey and Cheese at Kopper Kettle Smokehouse in Van Buren
Kopper Kettle, known to its regulars as “the smokehouse,” is renowned for its sandwiches and its pies. I’ll add in here that I am a regular of "the smokehouse" and I’ve never had a better sandwich than their plain old deluxe turkey and cheese on their homemade bread. I will also vouch for both their buttermilk coconut pie and their coconut cream pie. Their pecan cream cheese pie is also absolutely fantastic. In fact, you should probably take home a few extra slices of pie after you eat that glorious sandwich. The Kopper Kettle Smokehouse is located at 6310 Alma Highway in Van Buren.