NWA Foodie Scene Hotter Than Ever
Attracting die-hard foodies can be tricky, but it’s no conundrum for the cities of Northwest Arkansas. The culinary scene here is booming – with no signs of slowing down anytime soon!
Northwest Arkansas offers a new age of award-winning chefs, unbeatable hospitality and everything from locally-owned, farm-to-table eateries, to fine dining, regional High South cuisine, authentic international fare and more. Our hip eateries are routinely recognized as national dining destinations, and our food truck scene is an ever-evolving feast for the senses. Whether you’re grabbing a casual bite with friends or entertaining guest or clients, our fine cities have what you’re hungry for!
BENTONVILLE: When visiting this “New American Town” home to Walmart and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the downtown area and its new breed of locally owned restaurants are not to be missed! Top chefs from across the country have made their way to downtown Bentonville, pleasing the palates of many and racking up culinary awards left and right.
Don’t miss The Hive at 21c Museum Hotel, where Executive Chef Matthew McClure has been a James Beard Foundation “Best Chef in the South” semifinalist for four years in a row. The Hive serves refined country cooking that pays homage to the High South using local and regional ingredients like black walnuts, freshly milled corn meal, hickory smoked hams, peaches, melons and sweet onions.
Along with The Hive, Eleven at Crystal Bridges, Tusk and Trotter, Pressroom, Oven and Tap, Crepes Paulette, Table Mesa Bistro, Tavola Trattoria and Mod are a few of the exquisite restaurants fueling the success downtown, where the new Brightwater culinary school is also training some of the nation’s up-and-coming top chefs. And, don’t forget an ice cream sundae at the Spark Cafe inside The Walmart Museum! Learn more at visitbentonville.com.
New on the scene: The Preacher’s Son, where Executive Chef Matthew Cooper’s rustic style keeps true to both his Southern roots and his Pacific Northwest influences.
ROGERS: With the finest in business amenities and world-class shopping, Rogers is “where possible lives.” And, with dining choices galore along the I-49 corridor and in the town’s historic downtown, it’s also “where delicious lives.” The Pinnacle Promenade, Village on the Creeks and Pinnacle Hills areas flanking I-540 offer dozens of dining choices, including favorites like P.F. Chang’s and Fish City Grill, as well as fine dining at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Crabby’s Seafood, Bonefish Grill, and more. And new to the scene, Italian eatery Mirabella’s Table.
Head downtown for a collection of more locally owned offerings, including slathered ribs at food truck Pop’s Hog Wild BBQ, pizza at The Rail, great burgers at Parkside Public, a craft beer or wine flight at Brick Street Brews, dessert at Kirby’s Kupcakes and more. Also worth mentioning, Saiwok Vietnamese Street Food and the unique creations at The Social Taco, both located on W. Walnut St. Whether you’re prepared to polish off a three-course meal, or just looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, Rogers has the variety to supply your fix. Learn more at visitrogersarkansas.com.
A downtown favorite: Levi’s Gastrolounge, serving unique American pub fare with a side of live music.
FAYETTEVILLE: With its vibrant nightlife, live music and performing arts scene, Fayetteville offers all kinds of restaurants, and is much-loved for its numerous locally sourced, farm-to-table options, as well as a variety of lovely fine dining options. Head downtown or to Dickson Street for favorites including Bordinos, Theo’s, Hugo’s, Arsaga’s at the Depot, Emelia’s Kitchen, Rolando’s, Vetro 1925, Greenhouse Grille and The Farmer’s Table, among others. Midtown favorites include Cajun fare at Cafe Rue Orleans, new American cuisine at Mockingbird Kitchen, casual Italian at Pesto Cafe and Bocca, and Herman’s Ribhouse.
But perhaps no other food genre has Fayetteville living up to its reputation as “funky college town” more than the gourmet food-truck phenomenon. Food truck fanatics flock to Fayetteville!
Individual food trucks and food truck “courts” — like the Yacht Club on North College Avenue and the Dickson Street Food Court — are peppered throughout the downtown area, serving delicious plates from all corners of the world. With options like The Green Goat for Cuban aficionados, Nomad’s Natural Plate for Mediterranean, Blazin’ Asian Munchies, CatHead Biscuits, gourmet finds at Big Sexy Food and towering sandwiches at Natural State, plus many more, the food truck phenomenon doesn’t seem to be dwindling anytime soon! Learn more at experiencefayetteville.com.
Fan favorite: Chunky Dunk, the “milk and cookies” truck located on North Street behind Fayetteville’s Funky Yardsale, is a must.
SPRINGDALE: Whether you’re visiting Springdale, or a local looking for some of the best authentic Mexican food the city has to offer, we have two words: Taco Tour. Springdale has organized a self-guided tour through some of the tastiest taquerias in town.
The concept is simple. Eat your way through the tour, and upload your photos to social media with the hashtag #SpringdaleTacoTour for a chance to win prizes too! With stops at spots like Taqueria Mexico for authentic tacos, burritos and flan, or Charly’s Taqueria where the pork and pineapple and guacamole are recommended, and Taqueria El Cunado serving a praiseworthy huevos Mexicanos and waffle combo, you’ll be hooked! Learn more at teamspringdale.com/tacotour.
Work week favorite: Taquería Don Güero, for its delicious tacos, especially carne asada!
SILOAM SPRINGS: With everything from fine wine and specialty cuisine to good ole’ home-style cooking, Siloam Springs has the cure to your craving!
A quaint town with history in every nook and cranny, come here to satisfy your appetite with Italian brick oven pizza and gelato, signature Ozark Plateau fine cuisine and fresh locally baked pastries.
Destinations like The Café on Broadway and Pour Johns Coffee & Vinyl bring the color of street life to the city, along with fresh lunches and outdoor dining, while a relaxing ambiance can be found at classics like the Inn at the Springs featuring weekly chef specials in a classically restored venue. Looking for some homemade ice cream? Head downtown to Pure Joy! Whatever you’re hungry for, Siloam Springs has got it! Learn more at mainstreetsiloam.com.
Local Favorite: 28 Springs Restaurant, for fabulous seasonal gourmet fare and unique cocktails.
EUREKA SPRINGS: Whether you’re on a break from shopping in historic downtown or hanging with friends at one of the city’s fine pubs and bars, you’ll find some of Arkansas’ best restaurants in Eureka Springs.
It’s no surprise this artsy hamlet known for its open-mindedness has a diverse culinary scene, too. Dive into the melting pot with authentic Italian at Ermilio’s or Devito’s of Eureka Springs, creative fare at Local Flavor Cafe, aged steak and fresh oysters at Rogue’s Manor or Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse, wood fired goodness at Grotto Grill & Wine Cave, gourmet burgers and beer at Sparky’s Roadhouse Café, or casual fine dining with Mediterranean flair at the Cottage Inn.
Find local and organic at its best at Farm to Table Fresh, or experience the tradition of Sunday Brunch at the Crystal Dining Room inside the 1886 Crescent Hotel (also home to award-winning Skybar Gourmet Pizza). Delight in the grand American fare of the Grand Taverne Restaurant inside the Grand Central Hotel, or enjoy casual eats and drinks at the 1905 Basin Park Hotel. Whether you’re with that special someone or surrounded by lively locals, you’re guaranteed to find delicious food paired with a great time in Eureka Springs! Learn more at eurekasprings.org.
Cutting edge gourmet: Le Stick Nouveau, an immersive fine dining experience in the heart of downtown.
CRAFT BREWS: If you’re hankering for an ice-cold craft beer or cider, head here for the lowdown on all things foamy…
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