, 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.
South on Main
Restaurant, American, Vegan, $$$
South on Main
South on Main is a Southern cultural and food experience like no other. With a string of live music acts featured across a monthly calendar, South on Main is also the go to restaurant in Arkansas for great entertainment. The menu features innovative interpretations of classic Southern fare. Seared pork chop with sweet potato and green beans makes for a hearty dinner, while duck breast with jalapeno and cheddar corn pudding is a classic comfort dish. They also serve a number of original cocktails, making use of typical Southern spirits.
South on Main, 1304 Main St, Little Rock, AR, USA, +1 501 244 9660
Table Mesa is a Mexican styled bistro, decorated with open brickwork walls, a polished bar and modern furniture. The fiery orange paint work also adds to the Latin theme, conjuring images of Mexican desert, sunsets and sunrises (at least, the tequila kind). The menu is large and extensive, featuring dishes from across Latin and South America. The Oaxaca Salmon, served with chipotle shrimp and mashed potato, showcases some of the best uses of Latin American spices. Other options – classic dishes including fajitas, chimichangas and burritos – are stuffed with all manner of fillings, such as fish, chicken or Kobe beef.
Table Mesa, 108 East Central Avenue, Suite 10, Bentonville, AR, USA, +1 479 715 6706
Tusk & Trotter
Tusk & Trotter is an American Brasserie which uses seasonal ingredients to prepare innovative and stylish comfort food. Must try appetizers include deep fried risotto balls, and pork belly cheese sticks. For main dishes, guests can choose from either the brasserie or pub menu, with the former being a tad pricier – but more special – selection of food.
Tusk & Trotter, 110 SE A St, Bentonville, AR, USA, +1 479 268 4494
Restaurant, American, Contemporary, $$$
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 Hive, 200 NE A St, Bentonville, AR, USA, +1 479 286 6575
The Root Cafe
Restaurant, American, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
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.
The Root Café, 1500 Main St, Little Rock, AR, USA, +1 501 414 0423
Head chef and owner Justin Patterson has been working on his food truck for the last couple of years. Not your typical side-of-the-road burger van, Southern Gourmasian is a mobile food experience like no other. The idea to embark on the venture came after Patterson prepared pork buns at home for his friends; everyone told him to pursue a career in catering, and the rest is history. Serving an eclectic fusion of Asian and southern-state food, the menu includes steamed buns stuffed with pork hoisin and lime, and sandwiches filled with beef brisket and sweet plum barbecue sauce.
Southern Gourmasian, (mobile food truck); +1 501 954 0888
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.
ZaZa, In The Old Heights Theater Building, 5600 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, USA, +1 501 661 9292
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.
Rivertowne BBQ, 205 S 3rd St, Ozark, AR, USA, +1 479 667 1808
Brown’s Country Store and Restaurant
Brown’s Country Store and Restaurant is an all you can eat, 100 foot long buffet serving a whole range of American and Arkansas classics. As well as dishes including oven-baked chicken, fried shrimp and tender roast beef, Brown’s also features a gift shop, and a traditional sweet shop. Set in a traditional western-style storehouse, Brown’s is the perfect place to pick up a few mementos for friends and family back home.
Brown’s Country Store and Restaurant, 18718 I-30 Frontage Rd, Benton, AR, USA, +1 501 778 5033