famous restauants in arkansas

[Iconic] 10 Famous Restaurants in Arkansas That Are Incredible

Here in the South, we love food. Being in the kitchen and creating something delicious is in our blood. That’s why there are 10 famous restaurants in Arkansas that are incredible and you won’t want to miss them. And when I say “incredible,” I mean…INCREDIBLE.

Julia Child once said, “People who love to eat are always the best people.”

Well, Arkansas is full of the best people because we love to eat and cook!

Famous Restaurants in Arkansas that you don’t want to miss

Visiting all of these restaurants is also one of our favorite Arkansas road trip ideas!

Oark General Store

Let’s just say you’re on a long camping vacation in Arkansas. You have fished and relaxed and eaten fish and relaxed until you just can’t do it anymore. You suddenly realize that you’re as hungry as a bear.

You look around and proclaim, “I need the best burger in Arkansas!”

That’s exactly when your fellow campers point you in the direction of the Oark General Store. You ditch your fishing pole and put on your hiking boots. You suddenly realize that it will take you two days to hike from where you are to the Oark General Store but you don’t care. The best burger in Arkansas is worth sacrificing for.

The rest of us will jump in our vehicles and just meet you there. 😉

The Oark General Store, listed in the Arkansas Register of Historic Places, was opened in 1890 in the isolated community of Oark, when times were a bit different.  The store has served the area ever since.  It has the distinct recognition of being the oldest continually-operating store in Arkansas. In the last 20 years, the store has transitioned from mainly groceries to a full-service restaurant, while keeping convenience items and gasoline.  Its a one-of-a-kind drive-to-eat experience, with home-style cooking seven days a week, from sun-up to sun-down.

RoadTrippers

You will find it here:
117 County Road 5241
Oark, AR 72852 ·
(479) 292-3351
Official Website

P.S. Legend has it that the Mushroom Swiss burgers are out of this world. Oh, and don’t skip dessert.

Cliff House Inn overlooking the Arkansas Grand Canyon in Jasper

If you’re looking for a restaurant with a view, look no further. The Cliff House Inn in Jasper is famous for it’s view of the Arkansas Grand Canyon. After you enjoy their amazing food, grab a piece of their Company’s Comin’ pie. They’re famous for that, you know.

Mike and Becky would like to welcome you to their home, the Cliff House Inn.

Our airy dining room is framed by windows overlooking the Arkansas Grand Canyon, the deepest valley in Arkansas. Our menu features the best in home cooking. We have homemade pies and cobblers baked fresh every day.

We are famous for Company’s Comin’ pie, the state pie of Arkansas. Our kitchen also serves wonderful homemade biscuits with a hearty Ozark breakfast. A daily lunch special is featured along with a variety of entrees and Arkansas fried catfish, steaks, burgers, salads, and pastas.

Cliff House Inn

So, how do you get there?

Take Highway 7 south out of Jasper, Arkansas. The Cliff House Inn will be on the east side of Highway 7.  If you are traveling from the south through Russellville you would take Highway 7 North. They are located 60 miles north of Russellville, AR on Highway 7.

Cliff House GPS Coordinates:
35.94536, -93.16241
870-446-2292

famous restaurants in Arkansas - cliff house inn
Arkansas Grand Canyon. Photo credit goes to my talented friends at TROVE1

Feltner’s Whatta-Burger (Russellville)

O, Russellville. How I love thee. Let me count the ways. I spent many years in Russellville while I attended Arkansas Tech University. There are countless fun things to do in Russellville, Arkansas and Feltner’s Whatta-Burger should not be missed.

Let me repeat: SHOULD NOT BE MISSED.

I need one of those burgers right now!

Feltner’s Whatta-Burger was first formed back in 1967, when Mr. Bob Feltner saw the potential to thrive in the Russellville area. The story goes that he sat in a chair on the side of the road counting cars, until he was satisfied with the decision that had to be made.

With a new idea, a new building, and a Whatta-sized portion of passion, Mr. Feltner set out to make the best burgers the River Valley had ever seen! 

Whatta-Burger

You’ll find Feltner’s Whatta-Burger here:
1410 N. Arkansas
Russellville, AR 72801
Phone: 479-968-1410

famous restaurant in Arkansas - whattaburger
photo credit: Rick O’Kelley

After you get your fill of delicious burgers, head on over to one of the best state parks in Arkansas for camping! Yep, Russellville has that too.

Plus, plenty of kid-friendly things to do to keep those babies busy!

Famous Restaurants in Little Rock Arkansas

Flying Fish

The Flying Fish is a “fast-casual” format – come as you are!!! Parents, grandparents, kids — ALL are welcome!

We offer more than just a wide selection of fish. We have great hamburgers, chicken tenders and fresh salads galore. If you want us to top your salad with a piece of grilled fish, we have that too.

Flying Fish

Besides the great food, Flying Fish likes to keep things funny.

We are the Home of the world’s first Billy Bass Adoption Wall. Any customer who donates a Billy Bass receives a FREE BASKET OF CATFISH, along with his or her name on a wall plaque and we promise to house, shelter, love and protect each ADOPTED Billy Bass. –Flying Fish

In fact, you’ll find my husband’s beloved Billy Bass on that wall too. Just look for “Findiana Bones.”

Location:
511 President Clinton Ave.
In the River Market
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 375-FISH (3474)

Cotham’s in the City

Fried pickles, Hubcap burgers, amazing chicken & dumplings, catfish, and Mississippi Mud…just to name a few.

If you’re hungry, Cotham’s can make your tummy happy!

In 1984, a small eating area was opened to serve lunch to the community’s farmers. Soon discovered by prominent politicians, notably Bill Clinton and David Pryor, the restaurant suddenly became THE place to eat and greet for distinguished Arkansans from all walks of life.

A new location, Cotham’s in the City, opened in October of 1999 on the corner of 3rd and Victory. Cotham’s has now become an institution in Arkansas, whose reputation for outstanding food has gained national recognition. Sadly, the original location in Scott burned down in May of 2017.​

Cotham’s

Address:
1401 West 3rd Street 
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-370-9177

If you manage to get that Hubcap burger down, check it off your EPIC Arkansas Bucket List!

Famous BBQ Restaurants in Arkansas

McClard’s -Hot Springs

If you want great BBQ, then you need to head to McClard’s in Hot Springs!

McClard’s BAR-B-Q in Hot Springs, Arkansas began in 1928 and has remained a family business ever since. Scott McClard, the 4th generation of the family to work at the restaurant, said they take pride in following the same principles begun by his great-grandfather. “Use the best ingredients you can get, buy the best quality cuts you can get, and don’t skimp on any portions.” They make their side dishes on the premises every day, using the same recipes his great-grandfather used.

McClard’s

Address:
505 Albert Pike
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901
501-624-9586

McClard's famous bbq restaurant in Hot Springs Arkansas
Photo credit Robby Virus

While you’re in town, check out our Hot Springs Arkansas Family Vacation Ideas!

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner -Marianna

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner is known for making some of the best BBQ in Arkansas. This diner opened back in 1964 and has been putting out the finest BBQ around since then.

I love what they have to say about it: “Hours are 7 AM until the food runs out. There is NO MENU. All Jones BBQ Diner serves is a pork BBQ sandwich on Wonder Bread.”

Jones Bar-B-Q is a true classic that shouldn’t be missed. They have even been known to sell-out at 10 a.m. Get there early y’all.

Jones Barbecue has been a part of the food culture in the Arkansas Delta for more than a century. The Southern Foodways Alliance, an organization “dedicated to the documentation and celebration of the diverse food cultures of the American South,” believes Jones Barbecue to be the oldest African-American owned restaurant in the South and possibly the nation.

On March 13, 2012, the James Beard Foundation designated Jones Bar-B-Q Diner as an America’s Classic. The organization defines America’s Classics as “restaurants with timeless appeal and that are beloved for quality food that reflects the character of their community.”

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner

If you want to experience an Arkansas classic, head on over to Jones Bar-B-Q. You’re going to love it!

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner famous restaurant in Arkansas
Photo credit: BruceBeenThere

In late February [2021], about 70 percent of the building was destroyed after a fire started in the barbecue pit and nearly entered the kitchen. However, through a GoFundMe page, Jones said thousands of dollars were raised from people across the world.source

The community was heartbroken over the fire at Jones BBQ. It’s difficult to watch an Arkansas icon go down like that.

But, what was so amazing was to see the outpouring of love and support for Jones BBQ. They have now reopened and are stronger than ever!

“Apparently, it means a whole lot more to folks than we thought because of that fact of what they did,” Jones said.source

You’ll find them here:
219 W Louisiana St.
Marianna, AR 72360

Famous Chicken Restaurant in Springdale, Arkansas

AQ Chicken House

Folks from all over have enjoyed AQ Chicken House since 1947. That’s why when you search for “famous chicken restaurant in Springdale, Arkansas,” you will get the AQ Chicken House!

They are known for the best chicken in Arkansas and their true Southern hospitality. If you want to know just how friendly us Southerners can be, just head on over there. Grab some famous chicken and leave with extra pep in your step.

As a family friendly restaurant conveniently located on Hwy 71 Business, AQ Chicken House has been Springdale’s go-to place for fried chicken since 1947. With great dishes likes our famous boneless pan-fried chicken, southern style catfish, homemade spaghetti, and award winning hickory smoked ribs, we have something for the whole family. The award-winning AQ Chicken House is famous for southern style cooking and southern hospitality.

AQ Chicken House

You’ll find them at:
1207 N. Thompson St.
Springdale, AR 72764.
Phone: 479-751-4633

Famous Restaurants in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Fisherman’s Wharf

There’s a reason why people head on over to Hot Springs for a mini vacation and dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s because the food there is insanely good and the view is amazing!

If you’re in the mood for bacon wrapped shrimp, crab legs, crispy fried catfish sandwiches, or steak with a sunny lake view, you should be at Fisherman’s Wharf. What are you waiting for?

You’ll find Fisherman’s Wharf here:
5101 Central Ave
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71913

Don’t miss the Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs too. It’s unforgettable!

The Ohio Club

Since 1905, The Ohio Club has been serving up one-of-a-kind experiences for folks from all over. Even outlaws in Arkansas loved this place!

For over 100 years the Ohio Club has been the place to be. It all started in 1905 as a Bar and Casino. The Ohio Club has been a stop off place for many a celebrity. Al Capone, Bugsy Segel, Bugs Moran, Lucky Luciano, just to name a few of the gangsters, and it was also visited by many Major League ball players since they had spring training in Hot Springs in the early 1900’s. Babe Ruth was the most famous to visit.

The Ohio Club

From foods like Breaded Spicy Green Beans, Smoked BLT, Black Angus Sliders, and The Ohio Burger to one-of-a-kind drinks, The Ohio Club is serving up a side of history with everything.

You won’t want to miss this!

famous restaurants in hot springs arkansas - the ohio club
The Ohio Club

You will find The Ohio Club here:
336 Central Ave., Hot Springs,
Arkansas 71901 
T  /  501-627-0702

Hot Springs, Arkansas is also home to cool places to stay and unique Arkansas made gifts!

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