Our state's contribution to the culinary world is diversely represented in Greater Little Rock. Here are some of our favorite cheese dips, presented in alphabetical order and according to type: white, yellow, or non-traditional.
American Pie. Non-traditional white. Can you get any more savory than Kyle's Spicy Chicken Cheese Dip on a chip? Juicy spiced chicken chunks immersed in a white queso makes for a meal in itself. Three locations: 9709 Maumelle Blvd., 758-8800. 4830 North Hills in NLR, 753-0081. 10902 Colonel Glenn, 225-1900. americanpiepizza.net. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu., Sat.; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.
Arkansas Burger Company. White. This green pepper-infused creamy queso provides a lovely counterpoint to deep and thick yellow tortilla chips. It's mild with just a little heat and a decent amount of salt under the surface. Goes great with the burgers. 7410 Cantrell Road, 663-0600. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tue.-Sat.
Buffalo Grill. Yellow. Mild and cheesy, this Rebsamen Park Road standard is the best sort of typical bar yellow dip. Chips are round tortilla. Great, but we prefer real cheese on our Tortilla Flats. We will take some on our quesadillas, though. Two locations: 1611 Rebsamen Park Road, 296-9535. 400 N. Bowman Road, 224-0012. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
Casa Manana. White. Rich, thick and creamy with a nice strong flavor of queso anejo and queso Chihuahua, served up with medium-thick, fresh-fried-daily yellow tortilla chips and a red bell pepper and cumin rich salsa. Try it for breakfast. Three locations: 6820 Cantrell Road, 280-9888. 18321 Cantrell Road, 868-8822. Oppenheimer Market Hall at the River Market, 372-6637. casamananamexicanfood.com. Times vary.
Chip's Barbecue. Yellow. Medium-thick, heavily spiced, deep yellow dip with strong flavors of cheddar, cumin and paprika, served up with light yellow tortillas and a side of cumin-heavy fresh made tomato salsa. Also served on the house nachos and taco salads, both of which are real winners. 9801 W. Markham, 225-4346. chips-barbecue.com. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat.
Dizzy's. Yellow. Dizzy's won the World Cheese Dip Championship last year with a brand new dip; they decided to replace their old dip with the winner. It's a yellow chunky dip heavy on onions and pepper bits. It's a bowl for two or more — a large portion best combined with a side of cool spinach dip. 200 River Market Ave., 375-3500. dizzysgypsybistro.net. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tue.-Thu.
Izzy's. White. Fresh and flavorful, this dip is packed with white cheddar and fresh tomatoes and spices and somehow both heavily creamy and light thanks to the vegetation. Goes great with the Big Tamale and some chunky salsa. 5601 Ranch Road, 868-4311. izzyslittlerock.com. 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
Juanita's. Yellow and white. Remember that great white cheese dip from the Blue Mesa Grill? Here's where to go get it these days. The place has been known for years for its yellow chili con queso; we far prefer the queso blanco and its delicious sharp tones. Add spinach for 20 cents more. 614 President Clinton Ave., 372-1228. juanitas.com. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
Loca Luna. White. The Roasted Green Chile Con Queso is highly prized by local cheese dip aficionados, who say there's nothing else like it in Little Rock. Sharp, spicy, fresh, it's served up with tricolor chips that somehow aren't as colorful as that great queso flavor. 3519 Old Cantrell Road, 663-4666. loca-luna.com. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Sat., 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Sun.
Mexico Chiquito. Yellow. The standard by which all other cheese dips are judged, the first and still the most elusive to pin down. Created after a visit to Mexico and based on real American cheese, the deep spice mix marks the uniqueness of its flavor with lots of paprika, cumin and heaven knows what else. Still as addictive as always. Multiple locations. mexicochiquito.net. Various hours.
Santo Coyote. White. Thin but packed with a lot of flavor, Santo Coyote's light cheese dip matches its light house-made tortilla chips. Choices such as the El Santo Dip include shrimp, chicken and beef chunks, but the thin chips mean you'll be eating your dip with a soft tortilla instead. 2513 McCain Blvd., 753-9800. Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Senor Tequila. White. This almost sticky queso likes to grab your chip. With excellent cling, it's the perfect pungent dip for mixing with the restaurant's lightly spicy cilantro-heavy salsa. Also good on the enchiladas. Multiple locations. Various hours.
Stoby's. Yellow and white. The restaurant's yellow cheese dip is a smooth, creamy blend of cheeses that's almost sissy mild but also heavily addictive. The newer white dip is spicier, with a long-growing heat from jalapenos under its smooth deceptive surface. Served on big round yellow tortilla chips. 805 Donaghey, Conway, 501-327-5447. 405 W. Parkway, Russellville, 479-968-3816. stobys.com. 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Sat. (9 p.m. in Russellville).
U.S. Pizza Co. White. Judy's White Cheese Dip isn't just great on the thick tortilla chips that regularly accompany the bowl. The creamy, mild dip is also popular with some customers served over salad instead of dressing. Multiple locations. uspizzaco.net. Various hours.
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