10 Must-Try Local Restaurants In Fayetteville, Arkansas

Photo of Chloe Hay
9 February 2017

A university town, Fayetteville in Arkansas has a wide array of restaurants featuring fine dining, community bakeries and fast-food joints. To help narrow down the choice of where to go, here are 10 of Fayetteville’s top restaurants.

© Fayetteville Town Square South Side

James at the Mill

Restaurant, Hotel Restaurant, French
Serving haute cuisine of the highest calibre, the James at the Mill restaurant blends traditional and contemporary American flavors with a touch of fine French cuisine to create tasty and innovative dishes. To sample a bit of everything, diners can opt for the tasting menu. This is made up of dishes such as seared diver scallops with spring asparagus risotto, pesto crusted halibut with olives and haricot vert, braised beef cheek agnolotii with red wine mirepoix sauce, and hickory-grilled quail on pork and roast garlic sausage with chive gnocchi. Designed by architect James Lambeth, the restaurant has tall ceilings, water features, and tree-like beams, which create a calming atmosphere for a relaxing dinner out.

Penguin Ed’s BBQ

Bar, Restaurant, BBQ, American, Vegetarian, $$$
An award-winning family-run restaurant, Penguin Ed’s BBQ has been feeding Fayetteville’s masses for the past 16 years and is still going strong. Using a slow hickory-enhanced method for smoking meats, Penguin Ed’s serves up a variety of barbecued meats. These include pulled pork, beef brisket, ham, Polish sausage and pulled chicken. Guests can choose to have their choice of meat in a sandwich, with a salad or as part of a dinner menu option served with a choice of sides and Texas toast. The restaurant also has takeaway options as well as bulk buy joints, perfect for making up your own picnic sandwiches.

Greenhouse Grille

Restaurant, American, Fast Food, Vegetarian
Greenhouse Grille, South School Avenue
Greenhouse Grille, South School Avenue | Courtesy of Greenhouse Grille
An environment-conscious restaurant, the Greenhouse Grille prides itself on practicing sustainable business techniques and serving up dishes created using local and organically sourced ingredients whenever possible. Each day there are new specials available with an extra large menu every weekend. Sample the kale and carrot summer rolls starter, cage free chicken, and apricot masala main and Bourbon chocolate chunk pecan pie dessert. Meals can be paired with an organic beer or glass of wine, a natural soda or a locally roasted coffee. Many of the salad ingredients are even grown on site for absolute freshness.

The Common Grounds

Bar, Restaurant, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, American, Fast Food
A gourmet espresso bar as well as a restaurant, The Common Grounds is the perfect stop off for a daily caffeine fix or a bite to eat. The restaurant also exhibits local artwork and hosts music events, details of which can be found on their website. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and after-work drinks, The Common Grounds offers a huge variety of coffees, pastries, sandwiches, salads and cocktails. A casual atmosphere during the day and a livelier one in the evenings, stop by on a Thursday to try the Beer of the Week and get a free pint glass to take home.

Bordino’s Restaurant

Restaurant, Italian, Dessert, Pastries, Gluten-free, $$$
For affordable fine food and an extensive wine list, Bordino’s Restaurant is one of Fayetteville’s most appealing restaurants. Dine here on a Monday to enjoy a three-course meal complete with wine in a special deal, or stop by on a Friday for signature cocktails during the night-long happy hour. A great choice for a celebration, the restaurant itself remains quiet while the bar is lively, especially during weekends. Choose the crab cake or charcuterie and cheese platter to start. Follow with the pork tenderloin medallions or the beef tenderloin and finish with lemon souffle cheesecake or chocolate martini for an extremely satisfying meal.

Hugo’s Restaurant

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, Mexican, $$$
Hugo's, Fayetteville
Hugo's, Fayetteville | Courtesy of Hugo's Restaurant
Primarily a burger joint, the menu at Hugo’s Restaurant hasn’t changed much in the 37 years it’s been open. There is no need for change, as the chefs have attained perfection at what they do. Located in a basement just off of the Historic Fayetteville Square, the restaurant is slightly dark, but that simply adds to the charm. All burgers are made from 100% black Angus beef and served with Hugo’s famous French fries. Keep with tradition and order a Swiss cheese and bacon burger or go off-piste with a Mexican burrito crepe.


Bar, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, Fast Food, Cocktails, Wine, Beer
Serving succulent steak and seasoned potato wedges on a thick wooden chopping board until late, and fruity cocktails until even later, Theo’s is as well known for its bar as it is its dining room. Stop by during happy hour and enjoy a couple of the share plates while sipping a drink. Options include filet tip sliders, duck confit quesadilla, mussels and chorizo, slow-roasted pork shoulder and Thai shrimp, but that’s not the end of the list. For those looking for a heartier meal, opt for 20oz rib-eye steak or a healthier filet of ahi tuna. The lounge and patio stay up until 2 a.m. with late night snacks available until midnight.

Little Bread Company

Bakery, Pastry Shop, American, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Vegan, Pastries, Dessert
Little Bread Company, Fayetteville
Little Bread Company, Fayetteville | Courtesy of Little Bread Company
Baking fresh bread every day, the Little Bread Company is a community bakery where everyone seems to know each other. Using seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers, all the baked goods are fresh, made from scratch on-site each morning. Stop by for a ham, egg, and cheese breakfast bagel or come for lunch and choose a hot sandwich served with a pickle and kettle chips. They also make great pastries and desserts perfect for an afternoon break.

Petra Café

Cafe, Mediterranean, Turkish, Fast Food, Coffee
Serving simple but delicious Mediterranean food, Petra Café is a relaxed place to enjoy a light lunch while exploring Fayetteville. Each day there is a different special platter, giving visitors an excuse to stop by for lunch several times a week. Enjoy a falafel or chicken pitta, stuffed grape leaves or a Greek salad and leave feeling completely satisfied after a healthy, nutritious meal. Bulk pots of homemade hummus are available for purchase too.

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