Note: The 10th annual cheese dip competition is scheduled for October 10th! This year it will be held at the River Market Pavilions and Amphitheater. You can buy your tickets here.

There’s a world cheese dip competition?

Why yes, yes there certainly is! It is an annual event held in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Crowds at the Cheese dip festival

Arkansans take their cheese dip seriously, y’all. You can read all about the best cheese dips in Little Rock here. If you are going to be in town you will definitely want to try a few of these!

We proudly proclaim that cheese dip was invented here back in 1935 and that the inventor also owned the first restaurant to ever serve the creamy, melty, spicy goodness. Now almost every restaurant in Little Rock and the surrounding area serves it. It isn’t just Mexican restaurants that offer cheese dip…I’m telling you…the stuff is everywhere! We also have a restaurant that claims to have been the first to serve the now-popular white cheese dip.

It was even mentioned in the Wall Street Journal that Arkansas is the king of cheese dip. Apparently this was confusing to Texans, but, hey, we aren’t talking queso here. Nope. It’s not the same thing. We also aren’t talking about that Velveeta and Ro-tel concotion. (Although there’s nothing wrong with that!)

We are talking cheese dip. It’s a whole different thing. And you had better believe it has been elevated and refined in Central Arkansas to the point of fine dining. It is not only a staple of the dining scene, it is also an important part of the culture.

Therefore, it just makes sense that the The World Championship Cheese Dip Competition is an annual event right here in Little Rock.

In recent years the championship has been held in a parking lot near the Clinton Library. This has been working out well and it is wonderful when the weather is good, which it often is in October. There you are on a sunny fall day surrounded by a chatting, laughing crowd with a cheese dip covered chip in one hand and a beverage in the other. Perfection!

Lines at the Cheese Dip Festival in Little Rock

The competition has both professional and amateur divisions. You are given two voting tokens with your admission and can vote however you want.

PRO TIP: Bring along a muffin tin to hold your cups of cheese dip so that you can compare and contrast before you vote.

Bags of tortilla chips are handed out as you enter. You can buy your tickets online ahead of time or at the gate. There is typically a slightly reduced rate offered if you buy your tickets early.

Our two favorites cheese dips this year were both amateurs. In fact, the amateurs had it over the professionals this year all the way around!

Although our favorite professional, Dizzy’s Restaurant, was not in attendance so that might have changed things for us.

I highly recommend attending the World Cheese Dip Competition. It is a fun and unique and delicious event!

Hey, I know it’s not barbecue but I do believe that if the rest of the world gave cheese dip a try that they would be as smitten as the Arkansans are.

For another food-centric festival in Little Rock check out the Main Street Food Truck Festival. 

Thanks for stopping by!

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