Feltner’s Whatta-Burger first opened its doors in 1967 and is one of Russellville’s oldest restaurants. Family-owned and -operated, it serves the best-loved burgers in town from its homey, retro space filled with local memorabilia just across from Arkansas Tech University. Sandwiches and hot dogs are served, too, but the joint’s real must-try items are its legendary, custom-made burgers, available with double and triple patties for super hungry diners. Combine with sides like bacon, chips, fries, and onion rings and wash down with one of Feltner’s thick, creamy milkshakes.
Venezia’s Pizza & Pasta
For authentic Italian eats in Russellville, look no further than Venezia’s Pizza & Pasta. Choose from hearty plates of homemade pasta, hand-tossed pizzas and subs, or opt for an entrée like salmon piccata or veal parmigiana. Of course, a meal at Venezia’s wouldn’t be complete without a traditional Italian dessert, the cannoli or lemoncello mascarpone should hit the spot.
Specializing in southern-style, Cajun-inspired seafood, Brown’s Catfish has been serving its award-winning buffet and attracting guests from far and wide for over 25 years. Open for lunch and dinner, guests can load their plates with a smorgasbord of Southern seafood staples, from the Arkansas-grown catfish and homemade hushpuppies (both voted the best in the area many years running) to the fried, Gulf-caught shrimp and seafood gumbo; or opt for BBQ ribs and hand-breaded chicken strips. Sides include pinto beans, corn on the cob, and fried onion straws, and fruit cobbler and cinnamon rolls feature on the dessert menu.
Brown’s Catfish, 1804 E Main Street, Russellville, AR, USA +1 479 968 3360
Fat Daddy’s Bar-B-Que
Named Best Barbeque Restaurant in local paper The Courier, Fat Daddy’s Bar-B-Que is the city’s go-to for smoked-to-perfection, Arkansas-style BBQ, and today it boasts two handy locations, one in the heart of downtown Russellville and one in neighboring London. Diners will find all the usual suspects, from pulled pork and smoked links to chopped brisket and smoked turkey alongside appetizers, BBQ chili, and sandwiches. But if you try one thing make sure it’s Fat Daddy’s loin back ribs, coated with a brown sugar glaze and slow-smoked, they’ve become something of a local legend since they were introduced to the menu.
Popular with both locals and Russellville’s college crowd, Stoby’s is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves some of the best desserts in town. Guests are guaranteed a hearty kick-start to their day with Stoby’s breakfast fare; alongside plenty of pancakes and omelets, there’s also classics like biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos, and eggs Benedict to choose from; while lunch and dinner offerings include handcrafted burgers, sandwiches and quesadillas, and entrées like country fried steak and beer-battered Atlantic cod. Stay for one of the award-winning desserts, the possum pie (layers of sweetened cream cheese, pecans and homemade chocolate and vanilla cream topped with whipped cream) is very popular.
Stoby’s, 405 W Parkway Drive, Russellville, AR, USA +1 479 968 3816
A sushi lounge and grill specializing in authentic Japanese cuisine and creative Asian fusion eats, Umami is the place to go in Russellville for something a little out of the ordinary. An extensive sushi and hibachi menu is served alongside plenty of salads, soups, noodles, and fried rice dishes, or guests can opt for one of Umami’s signature creations, like the bayou bites appetizer (fried Louisiana crawfish with pepper seasoning and served with a side of homemade chili and lime sauce) or the Baja tacos, soft taco shells stuffed with fried shrimp and topped with lettuce, tomato, avocado, yum yum sauce and spicy sauce.
Umami, 304 N Elmira Avenue, Russellville, AR, USA +1 479 967 8889
Local diners in the know head on down to La Huerta, a cute and cozy restaurant boasting a brightly-colored, south-of-the-border-style dining room; for authentic and affordable Mexican fare. Nibble on nachos with a side of its much raved about cheese dip to get your taste buds tantalized, followed by fare from its extensive specials menu, dishes like shrimp chimichanga, Hawaiian fajitas (with beef, chicken, shrimp, and pineapple), and steak tampiqueño included and finish up with an authentic Mexican dessert of sopapilla.
La Huerta, 1510 E Main Street, Russellville, AR, USA +1 479 967 5611
Opal Mae’s Café
Quaint, cozy, and conveniently located in downtown Russellville, Opal Mae’s Café is a popular restaurant serving delicious, Southern-style cuisine. Lunch is a casual affair where guests can opt for a buffet of traditional down-home favorites like meatloaf, pot roast, and chicken and dumplings or choose from sandwiches, burgers, and homemade soups from the à la carte menu, while Opal Mae’s Friday and Saturday night dinners take a fine dining turn with dishes like pork tenderloin, tilapia filets, and the popular prime rib (reportedly the best in the River Valley). Diners with a sweet tooth won’t be disappointed either; Opal Mae’s dessert menu features plenty of homemade pies and cakes.
Opal Mae’s Café, 321 W B Street, Russellville, AR, USA +1 479 967 6725
Front Street Grill
Located across the Arkansas River in neighboring Dardanelle, Front Street Grill may not technically be a Russellville joint, but its standing as one of the best local spots for casual American eats and live music makes it a worthy mention. A number of pizzas, pasta dishes, and juicy burgers (including its signature Front Street Burger, topped with sautéed mushrooms, onions, jalapenos, and pepper jack cheese) are served alongside a few steaks, seafood, and Cajun-inspired eats, while live music (from the likes of homegrown Arkansas talents the Willie Stradlin Band) features almost nightly.
Front Street Grill, 115 S Front Street, Dardanelle, AR, USA +1 479 229 4458
Sumo Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar
Boasting both professional hibachi chefs and a world-renowned sushi team, Sumo Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar is the place to go for some of Russellville’s most artfully crafted, authentic Eastern Asian eats. The finest seafood forms the basis of Sumo’s extensive sushi list (think traditional nigiri mixed with creative, locally themed rolls like the Russellville Roll, packed with crawfish, avocado, cream cheese, and crabmeat and topped with seared filet mignon and special sauce) while Sumo’s teppanyaki-grilled, hibachi-style fare has something to suit every diner. Choose from hibachi lobster, filet mignon, vegetables, or chicken.