The Best Restaurants In Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas, USA skyline on the river at twilight.
Little Rock, Arkansas, USA skyline on the river at twilight. | © Sean Pavone / Alamy
Oliver Griffin

Arkansas, a small state in the southern region of the USA, calls itself ‘the natural state’. Not only does this tell you a lot about Arkansas’ scenery – expect rolling national parks and large forest areas – but it also serves as a reminder of the type of food you will find here. These 10 restaurants are proud of using only the most natural ingredients and serving some of the most delicious food in the state.

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South on Main

South on Main interior

South on Main is a Southern cultural and food experience like no other. With a string of live music acts featured across a monthly calendar, South on Main is also the go to restaurant in Arkansas for great entertainment. The menu features innovative interpretations of classic Southern fare. Seared pork chop with sweet potato and green beans makes for a hearty dinner, while duck breast with jalapeno and cheddar corn pudding is a classic comfort dish. They also serve a number of original cocktails, making use of typical Southern spirits.

Table Mesa

Table Mesa is a Mexican styled bistro, decorated with open brickwork walls, a polished bar and modern furniture. The fiery orange paint work also adds to the Latin theme, conjuring images of Mexican desert, sunsets and sunrises (at least, the tequila kind). The menu is large and extensive, featuring dishes from across Latin and South America. The Oaxaca Salmon, served with chipotle shrimp and mashed potato, showcases some of the best uses of Latin American spices. Other options – classic dishes including fajitas, chimichangas and burritos – are stuffed with all manner of fillings, such as fish, chicken or Kobe beef.

Tusk & Trotter

Tusk & Trotter is an American Brasserie which uses seasonal ingredients to prepare innovative and stylish comfort food. Must try appetizers include deep fried risotto balls, and pork belly cheese sticks. For main dishes, guests can choose from either the brasserie or pub menu, with the former being a tad pricier – but more special – selection of food.

The Hive

The Hive is suitably fancy, with prices reflecting this. Starters of duck cassolette and cured pork kick proceedings off, while main dishes including pan roasted swordfish with pearl barley, or hog chop with blistered cabbage and marinated vegetables. Desserts – namely the indulgent pecan pie with buttermilk ice cream – round the evening off nicely.

The Root Cafe

Aiming to build a sense of family through the medium of local food, The Root Cafe celebrates the best in community cooking. Firm believers in sourcing all of their ingredients locally, the team at The Root Cafe even provides information on the farms it enlists to supply its kitchen. The food produced is both very simple and of a very high quality. Lunch options allow guests to choose between burgers, bratwursts, salads and sandwiches.


ZaZa is a pizzeria that is making a serious difference to sustainable eating in Arkansas. As well as using locally and organically sourced ingredients, the team at ZaZa works hard to harvest food in the most ecologically sound way possible, having the least impact on the environment. Of course when cooking, you get out what you put in, which is probably why the pizzas here are just so good. Topped with all manner of cheeses, meats and fresh vegetables, these thin and crispy pizzas are as nutritious as they are delicious.

Rivertowne BBQ

Beef brisket

Rivertowne BBQ is an award-winning barbecue venue. The menu exhibits all of the best barbecue items, including slow smoked meats such as chicken, pulled pork, and beef brisket. These can be served in sandwiches, jacket potatoes, or as they come – whichever you prefer.

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