The Cliff House Inn in Jasper, Arkansas is a shoe-in for any list of restaurants in Arkansas with great views. In fact, in my opinion, the Cliff House Inn has the BEST view of any restaurant in the Natural State.
First of all, the Cliff House Inn is situated right in the heart of the Ozark Mountains in northwest Arkansas.
It also sits alongside one of the most beautiful roads in Arkansas which is Scenic Hwy 7.
It is near the quaint mountain town of Jasper, Arkansas. Jasper happens to be in Newton County which many people consider to be the most beautiful and rugged county in the state.
But that’s not all! The restaurant is perched on the side of the mountain and stretches out and over a valley that is called the Arkansas Grand Canyon. The panoramic views of the surrounding Ozark Mountains are nothing short of stunning.
Cliff House Inn and Restaurant in Jasper, Arkansas
History of the Cliff House Inn
This establishment has a rich past dating back to the early 1960s. It is definitely one of the most iconic restaurants in Arkansas.
It was originally a motel built by Kenneth and Fern Carter. According to their website the Carters had to use dynamite to blast away part of the mountain in order to build the motel.
Of course, they couldn’t allow traffic to pass by on highway 7 during the blasting so they came up with an ingenious solution.
Here is a quote that explains the process:
His mother, known as Granny, stopped traffic by waving a red flag and yelling “Fire in the hole!”Cliff House Inn website about page
The Cliff House Inn originally opened on May 27, 1967.
Eventually the place was sold to Bob and Francis McDaniel who were the first ones to open a restaurant on the site in the mid-1970’s. Smart idea in my opinion!
Francis was also the creator of the Company’s Comin’ Pie which is still a specialty of the restaurant today.
The Cliff House Inn had several more owners over the years, but in 2006 it was purchased by current owners Mike and Becky McLaurin. They were the ones who added pasta, seafood and steaks to the menu as well as made many improvements to the rooms.
the view and the ambiance
First of all…the view. It is gorgeous, relaxing, perfection. Dinner with a view is one of the best things in life.
You enter the restaurant though a cute little gift shop with many Arkansas items including various geodes, walking sticks, and even beautiful knives.
Be prepared to wait a minute for a table if you are visiting during a busy season in the Ozarks.
We were there for lunch in late October when the leaves were turning. Our wait was about 45 minutes and even longer for those who came after us.
The good news is that you can sit on the covered deck on the back of the restaurant and enjoy the views while you wait.
The dining room has a bank of large windows all along one side.
This means that even once you are seated you are very likely to have a view of the “grand canyon” of Arkansas. The ambiance is casual and small town friendly.
Then the food
The food might surprise you!
Although they do have some southern-style dishes such as chicken fried steak or fried catfish po-boy, you will discover that the Cliff House Inn has a focus on quality steaks and other dishes that aren’t traditionally southern.
There are hamburgers as well as items like basil pesto chicken pasta, and blackened sea bass filet with crawfish cream sauce. In other words the menu is eclectic.
It is also good!
Last but not least: Dessert
The desserts were especially wonderful.
Of course we HAD to try the Company’s Comin’ Pie. I was so surprised by this dessert. Honestly it was so different than anything that I’ve ever had that I was taken aback at first.
It wasn’t love at first bite.
It was, however, love at second bite. The crust is different from anything I’ve ever tasted. It is a baked crust that is crumbly and a teeny bit salty. Then the filling is basically a whipped cream and pineapple mix.
The whole pie has that sweet/salty thing that southerners love so much going on. (think Coke and peanuts) Don’t worry, not too much salt, the dessert is still very sweet.
Anyway, it is divine. A MUST try dessert if you are in the area.
I came home and decided to try to find a recipe for the pie. Kat Robinson from Tie-Dye Travels has one. I haven’t tried to cook it myself yet, but I’ll let y’all know if I do.
We also had the absolutely delicious Brown Butter Cake. Oh. My. Word. This is a more traditional dessert. Very rich and very delectable.
The pecan pie was also highly recommended, but we didn’t try it ourselves.
You may also be interested in learning about more of the famous restaurants in Arkansas.
What about the Inn?
I’ll be honest, I haven’t actually stayed here so I’m not going to try to share much about the Inn. However, there are 5 units below the restaurant all of which face the Arkansas Grand Canyon and would have sunrise views.
There is also a shared observation deck for the rooms and gliders that guests can use.
In addition there are cabins about a mile south of the Cliff House Inn and Restaurant. The cabins have a western view.
The Cliff House Inn in Jasper, Arkansas, is a beloved Arkansas destination. It’s a place where the past meets the present, and the beauty of the Ozarks is showcased in all its glory.
If you are visiting this area of the state you really must make a stop at this wonderful restaurant.
Thanks so much for stopping by!