Having lived in other states I have become aware that those of us from Arkansas LOVE and are very loyal to our local restaurants. In this post we are going to share some of the best, most iconic, and most famous restaurants in Arkansas.
These are places that you simply must try!
What Do We Consider to Be Iconic
So, how are we defining “iconic and famous” restaurants in Arkansas?
We think that to be iconic and famous a restaurant must have 2 things: longevity and popularity.
ALL of these Arkansas restaurants have been in business for at least 20 years (and some much much longer.)
They are “famous” because they are well known and popular throughout the state and beyond.
Things to Know About These Amazing Arkansas Restaurants
These restaurants are located all over the state. Some are in larger cities, but many are in small towns. I would describe many of them as “destination” restaurants.
You may notice that BBQ and fried catfish are heavily represented. It is Arkansas after all! But you will also find steaks and pies and tamales and more.
The one thing that all these restaurants have in common is that they are beloved by the locals and have good food!
Let us know if you think that we have missed a dining establishment that might be considered an “iconic and famous restaurant in Arkansas.” However, be aware that we intentionally did NOT include Dairy Bars on this list as we think they belong in a category all their own!
Don’t worry, we are working on a list of the best dairy bars in Arkansas that will be coming soon.
List of the Iconic Restaurants in Arkansas
NOTE: Many of these Arkansas restaurants are located in smaller towns which means the hours may not be as regular as you might expect from a big city restaurant.
Several are only open on the weekends. Some are only open for lunch. Some only take cash.
NOTE: We are not going to include opening times and hours on this list as those are subject to change. However we have provided a link to either the website or Facebook page of each restaurant when one was available.
Be sure and check for the opening days and hours of these iconic restaurants in Arkansas for hours and prices before you go!
This list of famous Arkansas restaurants is in alphabetical order.
Abe’s Old Feed House (El Dorado, Arkansas)
Abe’s Old Feed House in El Dorado, Arkansas is a buffet style restaurant which opened in 1986. They have often been voted as the best buffet in Arkansas. This is old-style southern cooking at its best. They use all original recipes.
You will definitely want to save room for their FAMOUS cinnamon roll!
Abe’s Old Feed House Address:
2299 Lawson Rd El Dorado , AR 71730
Website: Abe’s Old Feed House Phone: 870-962-3337
Catfish Hole (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
The Catfish Hole began in Alma Arkansas in 1993 then opened another location in Fayetteville. It is currently only open in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
This restaurant has been a favorite for locals and for those from other parts of the state headed to a Razorback game since its inception.
They serve award winning catfish, hush puppies, and more. They have been featured in multiple publications as well as being seen on College Game Day.
Catfish Hole Address:
4127 W. Wedington Dr. Fayetteville, AR 72704
Website: The Catfish Hole Phone: 479-521-7008
Charlotte’s Eats and Sweets (Keo, Arkansas)
In the mood for some delicious homemade pie? Charlotte’s is your place! Charlotte’s Eats and Sweets was established in 1993 in the small town of Keo. It is located in an old building that was once the pharmacy in town.
Get in line early because when the pies are gone – they are gone. I love all the pies at Charlotte’s, but I have to admit, the coconut cream is my favorite.
Don’t worry, they have more than pie. You will also find burgers, sandwiches, and daily specials at Charlotte’s, all of which are good.
290 Main St Keo, AR 72046
Facebook Page: Charlotte’s Eats and Sweets Phone: 501-842-2123
Cliff House Inn (Jasper, Arkansas)
A stop at the Cliff House Inn is a must for anyone traveling from the southern part of Arkansas to the Ozark Mountains. The Inn has been around since the 1960’s and has had a restaurant since the 1970’s.
The site overlooks the “Arkansas Grand Canyon” near the small town of Jasper which means that this restaurant might just have the best views of any of the famous Arkansas restaurants on this list.
However, there are more than views!
The food is excellent here as well! They serve everything from chicken fried steak to various pasta dishes. For dessert you will definitely want to try their “Company’s Comin’ Pie.”
Cliff House Inn Address:
6 miles south of Jasper on Hwy, 7, Jasper, AR 72641
Website: Cliff House Inn Phone: 870-446-2292
Colonial Steakhouse (Pine Bluff, Arkansas)
The Colonial Steakhouse situated in an old fashioned Tudor Style building in Pine Bluff has been serving perfectly cooked steaks and amazing appetizers since the 1970’s. If you don’t like steak they also have salmon, lobster tails, chicken breast and more.
This is a place where generations of Arkansans have come to celebrate special events. It has excellent food, friendly service, and a location in a historic building…what more could you want?!
Colonial Steakhouse Address:
111 W 8th Ave Pine Bluff, AR 71601
Website: Colonial Steakhouse Phone: 870-536-3488
The Dixie Pig BBQ (Blytheville, Arkansas)
The Dixie Pig BBQ is a must stop for anyone visiting Northeast Arkansas. It was opened by Ernest Halsell way back in 1923 in a log cabin called the Rustic Inn.
The Rustic Inn was sold, but Mr. Halsell then started the Dixie Pig and it is still owned and run by the Halsell family to this day!
They are known especially for their “pig sandwiches” which are finely chopped pork with coleslaw and a delicious vinegar based sauce.
This is old-fashioned southern pit barbecue!
The Dixie Pig BBQ Address:
701 N 6th Street Blytheville, AR 72315
Facebook: The Dixie Pig BBQ
Dondie’s White River Princess (Des Arc, Arkansas)
Dondie’s White River Princess sits on a hill above the White River in the small town of Des Arc. It is built to resemble a river boat.
We loved our recent visit to Dondie’s and enjoyed both the friendly service, the buffet, and the wonderful view of the river!
We did make reservations before we went and I would suggest that you do the same as they are only open 2 days a week. The parking lot will be full!
Dondie’s is known for its buffet that includes catfish, fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, hush puppies, corn fritters and so much more!
Dondie’s White River Princess Address:
200 E. Curran St. Des Arc, AR 72040
Facebook: Dondie’s White River Princess Phone: 870-638-7051
Ermilio’s (Eureka Springs, Arkansas)
I have been going to Ermilios since I was a teenager. This is an excellent Italian restaurant located in an old house in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. In fact, I don’t consider it a real trip to Eureka Springs until I have eaten at Ermilios.
They don’t take reservations so get there early or be prepared to have a bit of a wait. Don’t worry! The wait is worth it. They even have an upstairs room where you can play games while you wait.
Everything is good but I dream about the bread with roasted garlic!
26 White St. Eureka Springs, AR 72632
Website: Ermilio’s Phone: 479-253-8806
Ferguson’s Country Store & Restaurant (St. Joe, Arkansas)
Ferguson’s Country Store and Restaurant recently celebrated their 50th anniversary. This place is a landmark not just for locals, but also for those visiting the Ozark Mountains or headed to do some fishing on the White River.
They have a wide range of options on their menu from salads to steaks to salmon and we like it all.
However, Fergusons is definitely known for their HUGE and DELICIOUS cinnamon rolls.
Ferguson’s Country Store Address:
121 East Hwy 333 Saint Joe, AR 72675
Facebook: Ferguson’s Country Store and Restaurant Phone: 870-439-2234
Fisherman’s Wharf (Hot Springs)
There are several famous Arkansas restaurants on this list which are located in Hot Springs. However, Fisherman’s Wharf is one of my favorites because it is located right on the banks of Lake Hamilton and has a huge covered outdoor space to sit and enjoy delicious food with a view.
It is a little newer than some of the restaurants on this list as they opened in 2001. But they did make our 20 years in business criteria.
This is a super casual steak and seafood restaurant with great food and a fun ambiance.
Fisherman’s Wharf Address:
5101 Central Ave Hot Springs, AR 71913
Facebook: Fisherman’s Wharf Phone: 501-525-7437
You might also enjoy checking out some more of our favorite Hot Springs restaurants!
Hugo’s has been in business since 1977. It is a great place located in a basement just off of the historic Fayetteville town square.
They are known for their burgers and fries. I consider myself a burger and fry connoisseur and can highly recommend the ones at Hugo’s. However, they also have a great list of appetizers, cheese boards, salads, and so much more.
They also have a full bar with a rotating list of local and seasonal beers as well as a great whiskey collection. It is all around just a fun restaurant with a great ambiance!
25 1/2 N Block Ave Fayetteville, AR 72701
Website: Hugo’s Restaurant Phone: 479-521-7585
Jone’s Bar-B-Q Diner (Marianna, Arkansas)
I would bet that Jone’s Bar-B-Q Diner is the most famous restaurant in Arkansas. Not only is it the oldest black owned restaurant in the United States, but it was also the first James Beard award winning restaurant in Arkansas.
Despite those accolades as well as numerous mentions in national publications, Jone’s BBQ is still a humble and absolutely delicious restaurant located in the small town of Marianna, Arkansas.
They do one thing and one thing only…pork barbecue. There is NO menu. They sell pork by the pound and pork sandwiches on white bread with coleslaw and sauce…the Arkansas way!
Be aware that the BBQ does sell out and when it’s gone, it’s gone. So, show up early, especially on Saturdays.
Jone’s Bar-B-Q address:
219 W Louisiana St Marianna, AR 72360
Facebook: Jone’s Bar-B-Q Diner Phone: 870-295-3807
Lassis Inn (Little Rock, Arkansas)
Lassis Inn, located alongside I-30 near Broadway in Little Rock is the other James Beard award winning restaurants on this list. This is also one of the oldest restaurants not just in Little Rock, but in Arkansas!
Lassis Inn is also an important landmark in Little Rock. It was a meeting place for the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in the capital city, particularly around the time of the integration of Central High School.
Current owners Marie and Elihue Washington still serve the same delicious catfish steaks, catfish filets, and Buffalo fish ribs in this little old blue building that dates from the 1940’s.
Lassis Inn is a must visit when you are in Little Rock.
Lassis Inn Address:
518 E 27th St, Little Rock, AR 72206
Facebook (this is an unofficial page but all I can find): Lassis Inn Phone: 501-372-8714
McClard’s (Hot Springs)
McClard’s has been feeding both locals and visitors to Hot Springs since 1928!
It originally started as a tourist court which served up barbecue goat. The story goes that a patron who didn’t have enough money to pay his bill offered to give the owners a recipe for the best hot sauce in the world in exchange for his food.
They agreed to take the recipe, tinkered with it, put it on the menu and the rest, as they say, is history.
The barbecue is great of course, but I would suggest trying “the spread.” The whole spread is two tamales topped with Fritos, beans, chopped beef, cheese & onions. It looks crazy and tastes divine.
Address of McClard’s Bar-B-Q
505 Albert Pike Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901
Website: McClard’s Bar-B-Q Phone: 501-623-9665
Monte Ne Inn
The Monte Ne Inn is unique because it serves the same thing to every customer. You pay one price and receive an all you can eat meal that includes fried chicken and all the fixin’s.
Everything is served family style. They place it on the table and you pass it around. If you run out…you simply ask for more.
Besides the famous fried chicken the meal includes homemade bean soup, green beans, corn, mashed potatoes with gravy, coleslaw, and biscuits with butter and apple butter.
The only things that are “extra” are your drinks and dessert.
Monte Ne Inn Address:
13843 E. Highway 94 Rogers, AR 72758
Website: Monte Ne Inn Phone: 479-636-5511
Nick’s Bar-B-Q and Catfish (Carlisle, Arkansas)
Nick’s Bar-B-Q and Catfish has been one of the famous restaurants in Arkansas since 1972. One reason that it is so well known is that it has a location right off of I-40 between Little Rock and Memphis.
They specialize in barbecued pork, beef brisket, chicken, sausage, and ribs, but also serve fried catfish. You will see their billboards on the highway, but this is not a tourist trap! They have great food and service.
Nick’s Bar-B-Q Address:
1104 Bobby L Glover Highway Carlisle, AR 72024
Website: Nick’s Bar-B-Q Phone: 870-552-3887
Oark General Store and Cafe (Oark, Arkansas)
Oark General Store began as a grocery store in the 1890’s making it the oldest continually operating store in Arkansas! These days it is primarily a restaurant that specializes in terrific burgers and fabulous pie and super friendly southern service!
Oark is in a rural area and surrounded by the Ozark National Forest. Which makes this cafe a special drive-in destination for many who are exploring the region.
It is truly a one of a kind place that should not be missed.
oark general store address:
117 County Road 5241 Oark, AR 72852
Facebook: Oark General Store Phone: 479-292-3351
Ozark Cafe (Jasper, Arkansas)
The Ozark Cafe is located on the town square in the small Ozark Mountain town of Jasper, Arkansas.
It has been serving delicious food to locals and visitors to the region since the early 1900’s. They have steaks, seafood, various specials, hamburgers, and great ice cream from an old-fashioned soda fountain.
This restaurant has been named by a New York publication as a “top 50 foodie destination” in the United States. Not only that, but their chocolate gravy has been named a “must-try food from the 50 states!”
The Ozark Cafe Address:
107 E Court St Jasper, AR 72641
Facebook: The Ozark Cafe Phone: 870-446-2976
The Ohio Club (Hot Springs, Arkansas)
The Ohio Club is the oldest continuously operating bar in Arkansas. It even stayed open during prohibition acting as a speakeasy that had drinking and gambling. You can still see remnants of its gambling past in some of the decor today!
Obviously this means that the Ohio Club is a great place to have a drink, but it also is a fun restaurant!
Try some of the appetizers. We recommend the seasoned fried green beans. They also have an outstanding Reuben sandwich.
The Ohio Club Address:
336 Central Ave, Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901
Website: The Ohio Club Phone: 501-627-0702
You might also enjoy reading our Amazing Guide to Hot Springs.
Rhoda’s Hot Tamales and Pies (Lake Village, Arkansas)
Rhoda’s Hot Tamales and Pies is a MUST stop if you live in or are traveling through this lower delta region of Arkansas.
Mississippi may get all the credit for Delta tamales, but in our opinion Rhoda’s is one of the best. Not only do they have tamales but also home-cooked food and delicious pies.
Of course, if you stop you have to have some tamales, but also try one of the pies. I recommend the sweet potato pie…or the pecan. You don’t even have to choose as Rhoda makes a pie that has both!
So many times we have stopped in on our way to the beach and enjoyed the food at this iconic Arkansas restaurant. We especially loved listening to Ms Rhoda tell stories of how she got started in this business.
UPDATE: Sadly, Ms Rhoda passed away in August of 2023, but from what I hear her daughter is planning to continue to run the restaurant.
The atmosphere is warm and welcoming and the food is delicious.
Rhoda’s Famous Tamales and pies address:
714 Saint Mary St, Lake Village, AR 71653
On Trip Advisor: Rhoda’s Famous Tamales Phone: 870-265-3108
Tamale Factory (Gregory, Arkansas)
The Tamale Factory is located on a beautiful family farm in Augusta, Arkansas which is not too far from the small town of Searcy, Arkansas.
Yes, this is destination dining at its finest and it is completely worth the drive.
What you will find at this restaurant is incredibly friendly service, great steaks, and amazing Delta tamales.
If it reminds you a little of Doe’s Eat Place that is for good reason. The owner originally owned Doe’s in Little Rock.
When his source of tamales closed down he decided he could make his own! We are so glad that he did! This is one of our favorite restaurants!
Tamale Factory address:
19751 Highway 33 South Augusta, Arkansas
Facebook: The Tamale Factory Phone: 870-347-1350
Taylor’s Steakhouse (Dumas, Arkansas)
There is a good chance that Taylor’s Steakhouse in Dumas is the priciest restaurant on this list. But, y’all, it is worth every penny. You want to taste the best steak…ever? Taylor’s is the place. I absolutely love it.
This is not a dressy restaurant, just come ready to eat.
It is located just outside of Dumas in a nondescript building. They serve amazing dry and wet aged steaks. If you aren’t a steak lover there are also other items on the menu such as fish, blackened duck breast, chicken, and pork chops.
But, the steak…
By the way, you will definitely want to make reservations for this one!
Taylor’s Steakhouse Address:
14201 AR-54, Dumas, AR 71639
Website: Taylor’s Steakhouse Phone: 870-382-5349
Venesian Inn (Tontitown, Arkansas)
The Venesian Inn has been providing a touch of Italy in the Ozarks since 1947! Tontitown was originally settled by Italians. Of course, they combined the food from their heritage with the food from their new home.
In fact, the signature dish of The Venesian Inn is spaghetti and fried chicken.
Believe me, it is SO good. Everything here is made from scratch including the delectable rolls.
The venesian Inn Address:
582 W Henri de Tonti Blvd Tontitown, AR 72762
Website: The Vensian Inn Phone: 479-361-2562
Weinkellar Restaurant (Altus, Arkansas)
When the Weiderkehr family immigrated from Switzerland to the Altus, Arkansas area they immediately built a wine cellar by digging into the side of a hill on their farm. After that they built their home.
Mr. Weiderkehr began making wines using fruits and berries that were naturally found in the region and now this is one of the most renowned wineries in the region.
The family established the Weinkeller Restaurant in the 1960’s. It is located in the original cellar. Not only that but it is on the register of historic places in Arkansas.
They serve Swiss and German specialties as well as steaks and pasta dishes.
Weinkeller Restaurant Address:
3324 Swiss Family Dr Wiederkehr Village, AR 72821
Website: Weinkeller Restaurant Phone: 479-468-9463
I hope that you have enjoyed this list of iconic and famous restaurants in Arkansas.! Let us know if there are some we have forgotten to include.
These restaurants are just a few examples of some of the great dining in Arkansas that you might want to check out!