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Readers Choice 2015 results 

Voters talk with food in mouths.

Foodies, rejoice: The Arkansas Times, for the 34th year, brings news of where to eat what when you want a great meal. Readers all over the state weigh in on remarkable restaurants (Big Orange is our Overall winner this year), delicious dishes (like the catfish at Flying Fish) and wonderful wait staff (the prize goes to Brad Knighten of Big Orange).

Speaking of Big Orange (and speaking and speaking), Amber Brewer, the creative director of the restaurant group Yellow Rocket Concepts that owns the Oranges west and midtown, ZAZA (Best Pizza) and Local Lime (Best Mexican), talks about the creative development of the group's forthcoming Heights Taco & Tamale Co. Also: You'll see how dumplings are made at downtown newcomer Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co., take a trip to the White River, where Dondie's serves up finned delights on the water; learn about Fayetteville's locavore and locaphile restaurant the Farmer's Table, and for dessert, read a poetic dissertation on the time-tested Arlington Hotel Brunch. Tuck your napkin under your chin and read on.

Overall

Little Rock: Big Orange

Finalists: Brave New Restaurant, The Pantry, The Root Cafe, South on Main

Around the state: The Hive (Bentonville)

Finalists: Arkansas Fresh Bakery Cafe (Bryant), James at the Mill (Johnson), Mike's Place (Conway), Postmasters Grill (Camden)

New

Little Rock: Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co.

Finalists: Baja Grill, Kemuri, Pantry Crest

Around the state: The Farmer's Table (Fayetteville)

Finalists: Arkansas Fresh Bakery Cafe (Bryant), Delta Q (Forrest City), Wood Stone Craft Pizza (Fayetteville)

Chef

Little Rock: Scott McGehee (Big Orange, Local Lime, Lost Forty, ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co.)

Finalists: Matthew Bell (South on Main), Peter Brave (Brave New Restaurant), Donnie Ferneau (Good Food By Ferneau), Alexis Jones (Natchez Restaurant)

Around the state: Matthew McClure (The Hive)

Finalists: Tyler Hensley (Postmasters Grill, Camden), Miles James (James at the Mill, Johnson), Patrick Lane (Arsaga's at the Depot, Fayetteville), Rob Nelson (Tusk & Trotter, Bentonville)

Server

Little Rock: Brad Knighten (Big Orange)

Finalists: Kelly Lambert (The Pantry), Scott Robertson (Boulevard Bistro & Bar), Joann Sims (Cache Restaurant), Sheri Smith (South on Main)

Around the state: None

Bakery

Little Rock: Community Bakery

Finalists: Boulevard Bread Co., Rosalia's Family Bakery, Silvek's European Bakery, Sweet Love

Around the state: Arkansas Fresh Bakery Cafe (Bryant)

Finalists: Ambrosia Bakery Co. (Hot Springs), Apple Blossom Brewing Co. (Fayetteville), Serenity Farm Bread (Leslie), Sugarbelles Cupcakes (Ward)

Barbecue

Little Rock: Whole Hog Cafe

Finalists: Chip's Barbecue, Corky's BBQ, HB's Bar-B-Q, Sims Bar-B-Que

Around the state: McClard's Bar-B-Q Restaurant (Hot Springs)

Finalists: Craig's Bar-B-Q (DeValls Bluff), Delta Q (Forrest City), Jones' Bar-B-Q Diner (Marianna), Whole Hog Cafe (Conway)

Breakfast

Little Rock: The Root Cafe

Finalists: Delicious Temptations, Mugs Cafe, Mylo Coffee Co., Red Door Restaurant

Around the state: Mud Street Cafe (Eureka Springs)

Finalists: Arkansas Fresh Bakery Cafe (Bryant), Arsaga's at the Depot (Fayetteville), The Hive (Bentonville), Stoby's Restaurant (Conway)

Brunch

Little Rock: The Root Cafe

Finalists: Loca Luna, Red Door Restaurant, Trio's Restaurant, YaYa's Euro Bistro

Around the state: Arlington Hotel Venetian Dining Room (Hot Springs)

Finalists: Arsaga's at the Depot (Fayetteville), Emelia's Kitchen (Fayetteville), The Hive (Bentonville), Stoby's Restaurant (Conway)

Buffet

Little Rock: Larry's Pizza

Finalists: Franke's Cafeteria, Star of India Restaurant, Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine, Tokyo House

Around the state: Brown's Country Store & Restaurant (Benton)

Finalists: Dondie's White River Princess (Des Arc), India Orchard (Bentonville), Kelley's Restaurant (Wynne), The Skillet Restaurant (Mountain View)

Burger

Little Rock: Big Orange

Finalists: Buffalo Grill, David's Burgers, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, The Root Cafe

Around the state: David's Burgers (Conway)

Finalists: CJ's Butcher Boy Burgers (Russellville), Greenhouse Grille (Fayetteville), The Hive (Bentonville), Postmasters Grill (Camden)

Business lunch

Little Rock: Capital Bar & Grill

Finalists: Brave New Restaurant, Cache Restaurant, Copper Grill, One Eleven at the Capital

Around the state: Mike's Place (Conway)

Finalists: Arsaga's at the Depot (Fayetteville), Belle Arti Italian Ristorante (Hot Springs), The Hive (Bentonville), Fayrays (El Dorado)

Butcher

Little Rock: Hillcrest Artisan Meats

Finalists: Butcher & Public, Edwards Food Giant, Hogg's Meat Market

Catfish

Little Rock: Flying Fish

Finalists: Burge's, Cock of the Walk, Faded Rose, Lassis Inn

Around the state: Catfish Hole (Fayetteville)

Finalists: Dondie's White River Princess (Des Arc), Eat My Catfish (Benton), Flying Fish (Bentonville), Woods Place (Camden)

Chinese

Little Rock: Fantastic China

Finalists: Chi's Chinese Cuisine, Mr. Chen's Authentic Chinese Cooking, Fu Lin Chinese Restaurant, Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co.

Around the state: Hunan Manor (Fayetteville)

Finalists: Jade China Restaurant (Conway), Madame Wu's Hunan Restaurant (Russellville), Oriental Gardens Restaurant (El Dorado), Wok Express (Hot Springs)

Coffee

Little Rock: Mylo Coffee Co.

Finalists: Boulevard Bread Co., Community Bakery, Mugs Cafe, River City Coffee

Around the state: Arsaga's Cafe (Fayetteville)

Finalists: Blue Sail Coffee (Conway), Jitterbug Coffeehouse (Heber Springs), Onyx Coffee Lab (Fayetteville), Perfect Cup (Camden)

Deli/gourmet to go

Little Rock: Hillcrest Artisan Meats

Finalists: Boulevard Bread Co., Bray Gourmet, Good Food by Ferneau, Jason's Deli

Around the state: Cafe 1217 (Hot Springs)

Finalists: Arkansas Fresh Bakery Cafe (Bryant), Bentonville Butcher & Deli, Cabot Cafe and Cake Corner, The Green Submarine Espresso Cafe & Sub-Shop (Fayetteville)

Desserts

Little Rock: The Pie Hole

Finalists: Community Bakery, LePops Gourmet Ice Lollies, South on Main, Trio's Restaurant

Around the state: Charlotte's Eats & Sweets (Keo)

Finalists: The Bulldog Restaurant (Bald Knob), Cocoa Rouge (Bryant), Arsaga's at the Depot (Fayetteville), The Hive (Bentonville)

Food truck

Little Rock: Southern Gourmasian

Finalists: Katmandu MoMo, The Pie Hole, Southern Salt Food Co., Waffle Wagon

Around the state: Crepes Paulette (Bentonville)

Finalists: Hammontree's Grillenium Falcon (Fayetteville), Natural State Sandwiches (Fayetteville), Nomad's Natural Plate (Fayetteville)

Fried chicken

Little Rock: Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

Finalists: Popeyes, Slim Chickens, South on Main, Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack

Around the state: A.Q. Chicken House (Fayetteville)

Finalists: The Hive (Bentonville), Holly's Country Cookin' (Conway), Monte Ne Inn (Rogers)

Fun

Little Rock: Big Orange

Finalists: The Fold, Local Lime, South on Main, Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack

Around the state: Mike's Place (Conway)

Finalists: Arsaga's at the Depot (Fayetteville), Central Park Fusion Cuisine (Hot Springs), Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse (Eureka Springs), The Hive (Bentonville)

Gluten-free

Little Rock: Dempsey Bakery

Finalists: Baja Grill, Big Orange, Izzy's, Local Lime

Around the state: ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co. (Conway)

Finalists: Arsaga's at the Depot (Fayetteville), Greenhouse Grille (Fayetteville), Rolando's Restaurant (Hot Springs), Serenity Farms Bakery (Leslie)

Home cookin'

Little Rock: Homer's Restaurant

Finalists: Bobby's Country Cookin', David Family Kitchen, Kitchen Express, Sweet Soul

Around the state: Holly's Country Cooking (Conway)

Finalists: Anne's Country Cafe (Pine Bluff), Calico County (Fort Smith), Mama Max's Diner (Prescott), Monte Ne Inn (Rogers)

Ice cream/cool treats

Little Rock: Loblolly Creamery

Finalists: LePops Gourmet Ice Lollies, Red Mango, Yogurt Mountain

Indian

Little Rock: Star of India Restaurant

Finalists: 4square Cafe and Gifts, Banana Leaf, Taj Mahal

Around the state: The New Delhi Cafe (Eureka Springs)

Finalists: Desi Den Indian Restaurant (Bryant), India Orchard (Bentonville), R&R's Curry Express (Fort Smith)

Italian

Little Rock: Bruno's Little Italy

Finalists: Ciao, Graffiti's, Ristorante Capeo, Vesuvio Bistro

Around the state: Pasta Grill (Conway)

Finalists: Bordinos (Fayetteville), DeVito's Restaurant (Eureka Springs), Ermilio's Italian Home Cooking (Eureka), Pesto Cafe (Fayetteville)

Japanese

Little Rock: Sushi Cafe

Finalists: Hanaroo Sushi Bar, Igibon Japanese Food House, Kemuri, Mt. Fuji Japanese Restaurant

Around the state: Meiji Japanese Cuisine (Fayetteville)

Finalists: Crazy Samurai (Hot Springs), Fuji Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar (Searcy), Kimono Japanese Steak House (Paragould), Umami Sushi Lounge and Grill Fusion (Conway)

Mexican

Little Rock: Local Lime

Finalists: Baja Grill, Cantina Laredo, Casa Manana, La Hacienda

Around the state: Taco Mama (Hot Springs)

Finalists: Burrito Loco (Fayetteville), El Acapulco (Conway), Table Mesa (Bentonville), Vina Morita Restaurant and Wine Bar (Hot Springs)

Other ethnic

Little Rock: Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe

Finalists: Cafe Bossa Nova, kBird, Layla's Gyros and Pizzeria, The Pantry

Around the state: Rolando's (Hot Springs)

Finalists: A Taste of Thai (Fayetteville), Layla's Gyros and Pizzeria (Conway), Salathai (Fayetteville), Wiederkehr Weinkeller Restaurant (Altus)

Pizza

Little Rock: ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co.

Finalists: Damgoode Pies, Pizza Cafe, U.S. Pizza, Vino's

Around the state: ZAZA'S Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co. (Conway)

Finalists: Deluca's Pizzeria Napoletana (Hot Springs), Rocky's (Hot Springs), Tommy's Famous (Mountain View), Wood Stone Craft Pizza and Bar (Fayetteville)

Place for kids

Little Rock: Purple Cow Restaurant

Finalists: All Aboard Restaurant and Grill, Big Orange, Larry's Pizza, Playtime Pizza

Around the state: Purple Cow Restaurant (Hot Springs)

Finalists: Bulldog Restaurant (Bald Knob), Calico County (Fort Smith), Stoby's (Conway), ZAZA'S Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co. (Conway)

Romantic

Little Rock: Brave New Restaurant

Finalists: Cache Restaurant, One Eleven at the Capital, South on Main

Around the state: Gaskin's Cabin (Eureka Springs)

Finalists: Arsaga's at the Depot (Fayetteville), The Hive (Bentonville), James at the Mill (Johnson), Luna Bella (Hot Springs)

Sandwich

Little Rock: Boulevard Bread

Finalists: Hillcrest Artisan Meats, The Root Cafe, Whole Hog Cafe

Around the state: Arkansas Fresh Cafe (Bryant)

Finalists: Craig's Bar-B-Q (DeValls Bluff), Green Submarine Espresso Cafe & Sub-Shop (Fayetteville), Hammontree's Grillenium Falcon (Fayetteville)

Seafood

Little Rock: Flying Fish

Finalists: Bonefish Grill, Brave New Restaurant, Oceans at Arthur's, The Oyster Bar

Around the state: Fisherman's Wharf (Hot Springs)

Finalists: Central Park Fusion (Hot Springs), Dondie's White River Princess (Des Arc), Eat My Catfish (Bryant), Mike's Place (Conway)

Steak

Little Rock: Doe's Eat Place

Finalists: Arthur's Prime Steakhouse, Sonny Williams' Steak Room, The Butcher Shop, The Faded Rose

Around the state: Doe's Eat Place (Fayetteville)

Around the state: Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse (Eureka Springs), Herman's Ribhouse (Fayetteville), Mike's Place (Conway), Tamale Factory (Gregory)

Vegetarian/vegan

Little Rock: The Root Cafe

Finalists: Cafe Bossa Nova, Izzy's, Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co., The Veg

Around the state: ZAZA'S Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co. (Conway)

Finalists: Arsaga's at the Depot (Fayetteville), Farmer's Table (Fayetteville), Greenhouse Grille (Fayetteville), Local Flavor Cafe (Eureka Springs)

Wine list

Little Rock: By the Glass

Finalists: Cache Restaurant, One Eleven at the Capital, SO Restaurant-Bar

Around the state: Bordinos (Fayetteville)

Finalists: Central Park Fusion Cuisine (Hot Springs), Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse (Eureka Springs), The Hive (Bentonville), Tavola Trattoria (Bentonville)

Best restaurants in areas Around the state:

Benton/Bryant: Arkansas Fresh Bakery Cafe

Finalists: Desi Den Indian Restaurant, Eat My Catfish, La Hacienda

Conway: Mike's Place

Finalists: Blackwood's Gyros and Grill, Hot Rod Wieners, Umami Sushi Lounge and Grill Fusion, ZAZA'S Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co.

Eureka Springs: Ermilio's Italian Home Cooking

Finalists: Bavarian Inn, DeVito's Restaurant, Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse, Local Flavor Cafe

Fayetteville/Springdale/Johnson: Hugo's (Fayetteville)

Finalists: Arsaga's at the Depot (Fayetteville), Bordinos (Fayetteville), James at the Mill (Johnson)

Hot Springs: Rolando's

Finalists: Deluca's Pizzeria Napoletana, Don Juan Authentic Mexican Restaurant, Osaka Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, Taco Mama

Rogers/Bentonville: The Hive (Bentonville)

Finalists: Carrabba's Italian Grill (Rogers), Havana Tropical Grill (Rogers), Eleven (Bentonville), Tusk & Trotter (Bentonville)

Favorite

Speaking of The Southern Gourmasian

Related Locations

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