Dining Out

8 Noteworthy Arkansas Restaurants | Listen

By: The Local Palate

Our top 8 Arkansas restaurants from tried-and-true classics to new hotspots

Whether you’re craving delicious Italian staples or classic Bar-B-Q pork, Arkansas has a unique display of restaurants to choose from. In the Local Palate’s 2024 Restaurants Issue, Arkansas writer Erica Sweeney offers a guide to new and tried-and-true local spots with these 8 Arkansas restaurants. 

4 New Arkansas Restaurants

George’s Little Rock | Little Rock, Arkansas

George’s has been the talk of Little Rock’s Heights neighborhood, mainly because reservations are hard to come by. Those who have gotten in rave about executive chef and culinary director Wes Mickel’s classic Italian menu. Another draw is the speakeasy, nicknamed Barnaby, with its vast cocktail menu—you don’t need a reservation to enter, but you do need a password.

Rigatoni and Spicy Vodka Sauce
Image courtesy of Mark Jackson

DONS Southern Social | Hot Springs, Arkansas

Located in historic downtown Hot Springs, DONS pays homage to the city’s speakeasy history. Each of its entrances is hidden—to enter, diners need a secret password, which is provided when they make a reservation. Once inside, enjoy a rotating menu of upscale Southern comfort foods.

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of …

Revival Restaurant + Beer Garden | Benton, Arkansas

Created by Craig Roe and Heather Baber-Roe, the team behind the popular Baja Grill locations in central Arkansas, this campground-themed eatery is known for its vast beer list, live music, and cornhole and other games in the beer garden. The menu boasts wings, loaded fries, “sausage dogs,” brick-oven pizzas, burgers, and more.

The Botanical | Bentonville, Arkansas

Calling itself an “international bar,” this northwest Arkansas spot is a big draw for sports fans from around the world, from college football and MLB games to European soccer leagues, rugby, and cricket. Sip on a Guinness or imported German beer on tap, or order a hard-to-find bottle or can from the global beer list to go along with hearty Mediterranean dishes from the on-site food truck.

Botanical courtesy of
Image courtesy of…

4 Tried & True Arkansas Restaurants

ThePantry LittleRock WJN
Image courtesy of Will Newton
ThePantry LittleRock WJN
Image courtesy of Will Newton

The Pantry | Little Rock, Arkansas

Opened in 2009, this cozy restaurant is a West Little Rock staple serving Czech and German cuisine like schnitzel, goulash, and bread dumplings. Its bar menu is packed with imported beers, unique wines, and inventive cocktails. A second location, The Pantry Crest, opened in the Hillcrest neighborhood in 2014.

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner | Marianna, Arkansas

Every day, owner James Jones smokes about a dozen pork shoulders and serves chopped pork on white bread or by the pound until he runs out. The iconic spot, which dates back to the 1910s and was the first Arkansas restaurant to win a James Beard Award in 2012, might be the oldest Black-owned eatery in the country.

DeVito’s Restaurant | Harrison, Arkansas

Known for its homemade Italian cuisine and trout prepared in a variety of ways, this family-owned restaurant opened in 1986 in the Ozark Mountains. The family also owns the Bear Creek Springs Trout Farm nearby, and you can catch your own fish and have it prepared in the restaurant.

Feltner’s Whatta-Burger | Russellville, Arkansas

Opened in 1967, this family eatery remains an Arkansas staple. It started as a takeout-only spot. These days, visitors can dine in and still enjoy its classic drive-in menu of big burgers, fries, chili dogs, onion rings, and thick milkshakes. Definitely don’t miss out on a fried pie.


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