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Readers Choice 2016 results 

Voters talk with food in mouths.

click to enlarge AN OLD STANDBY: The Plato 1947 at Heights Taco and Tamale Co., including a cheese enchilada, tamale, chicken taco, guacamole tostada, refried beans and green chile rice (with an Arkansas flag mounted in the tamales). - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • AN OLD STANDBY: The Plato 1947 at Heights Taco and Tamale Co., including a cheese enchilada, tamale, chicken taco, guacamole tostada, refried beans and green chile rice (with an Arkansas flag mounted in the tamales).

Overall

Little Rock

Winner: The Pantry

Finalists: Big Orange, Brave New Restaurant, Boulevard Bistro, Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co.

Around the state:

Winner: The Hive (Bentonville)

Finalists: 28 Springs (Siloam Springs) Arkansas Fresh Bakery Cafe (Bryant), Mike's Place (Conway), Rolando's Restaurant (Hot Springs)

New

Little Rock

Winner: Heights Taco and Tamale Co.

Finalists: @ the Corner, Boulevard Bistro, La Terazza Rum & Lounge, Lulu's Latin Rotisserie and Grill

Around the state:

Winner: Oven & Tap (Bentonville)

Finalists: The Grotto (Eureka Springs), Pasta Grill (Russellville)

Chef

Little Rock

Winner: Scott McGehee (Big Orange, Heights Taco and Tamale Co., Local Lime, Lost Forty, ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co.)

Finalists: Matthew Bell (South on Main), Peter Brave (Brave New Restaurant), Ben Brainard (Heights Taco and Tamale Co., Local Lime), Chris McMillan (Boulevard Bistro), Jeffrey Owen (Ciao Baci)

Around the state:

Winner: Matthew McClure (The Hive)

Finalists: Diana Bratton (Cafe 1217), Tyler Hensley (Postmasters Grill, Camden), Rob Nelson (Tusk & Trotter, Bentonville), Luke Wetzel (Oven & Tap)

Bakery

Little Rock

Winner: Community Bakery

Finalists: Boulevard Bread Co., Brown Sugar Bake Shop, Rosalia's Family Bakery, Silvek's European Bakery

Around the state:

Winner: 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

Winner: Whole Hog Cafe

Finalists: Corky's BBQ, HB's Bar-B-Q, Lindsey's Hospitality House and Barbecue (North Little Rock), Sims Bar-B-Que

Around the state:

Winner: McClard's Bar-B-Q Restaurant (Hot Springs)

Finalists: Craig's Bar-B-Q (DeValls Bluff), Jones' Bar-B-Q Diner (Marianna), Mean Pig (Cabot), Penguin Ed's (Fayetteville)

Brunch

Little Rock

Winner: The Root Cafe

Finalists: Boulevard Bistro, The Fold: Botanas and Bar, Loca Luna, Trio's Restaurant

Around the state

Winner: The Venetian Dining Room, Arlington Hotel (Hot Springs)

Finalists: Arsaga's at the Depot (Fayetteville), The Hive (Bentonville), Mud Street Cafe (Eureka Springs), Oven & Tap (Bentonville)

Buffet

Little Rock

Winner: Star of India Restaurant

Finalists: Al Seraj Mediterranean Restaurant, Franke's Cafeteria, Larry's Pizza, Panda Garden Restaurant

Around the state

Winner: Dondie's White River Princess (Des Arc)

Finalists: Abe's Ole Feed House (Benton), Brown's Country Store & Restaurant (Benton), Kelley's Restaurant (Wynne), The Skillet Restaurant (Mountain View)

Burger

Little Rock

Winner: Big Orange

Finalists: Asher Dairy Bar, Buffalo Grill, David's Burgers, The Root Cafe

Around the state:

Winner: Hugo's (Fayetteville)

Finalists: David's Burgers (Conway), CJ's Butcher Boy Burgers (Russellville), Mike's Place (Conway), The Hive (Bentonville)

Business lunch

Little Rock

Winner: Capital Bar & Grill

Finalists: Brave New Restaurant, Cache Restaurant, Copper Grill, La Terraza Rum & Lounge

Around the state

Winner: The Hive (Bentonville)

Finalists: Arsaga's at the Depot (Fayetteville), Cafe 1217 (Hot Springs), Local Flavor (Eureka Springs), Mike's Place (Conway)

Butcher

Little Rock

Winner: Hillcrest Artisan Meats

Finalists: Edwards Food Giant, Hogg's Meat Market, Kroger, Terry's Finer Foods

Catfish

Little Rock

Winner: Flying Fish

Finalists: Burge's, The Faded Rose, Lassis Inn, South on Main

Around the state

Winner: Dondie's White River Princess (Des Arc)

Finalists: The Catfish Hole (Fayetteville), Eat My Catfish (Benton), Flying Fish (Bentonville), Mr. Whiskers (Hot Springs)

click to enlarge GET SOME WINGS: From Slim Chickens, a runner-up in the best fried chicken category. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • GET SOME WINGS: From Slim Chickens, a runner-up in the best fried chicken category.

Chinese

Little Rock

Winner: 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

Winner: Hunan Manor Restaurant (Fayetteville)

Finalists: Jade China Restaurant (Conway), Madame Wu's Hunan Restaurant (Russellville), New China (Mena), Wok Express (Hot Springs)

Coffee

Little Rock

Winner: Mylo Coffee Co.

Finalists: Andina Cafe, Boulevard Bread Co., Community Bakery, Mugs Cafe (North Little Rock), River City Coffee

Around the state

Winner: Onyx Coffee Lab (Fayetteville)

Finalists: Arsaga's Fayetteville Coffee Roasters, Blue Sail Coffee (Conway), Jitterbug Coffeehouse (Heber Springs), Mud Street Cafe (Eureka Springs)

Deli/gourmet to go

Little Rock

Winner: Hillcrest Artisan Meats

Finalists: Boulevard Bread Co., Good Food by Ferneau, Market at Caper's, Jason's Deli

Around the state

Winner: Arkansas Fresh Bakery Cafe (Bryant)

Finalists: Breitweiser's Meat Market & Deli (Benton), Cafe 1217 (Hot Springs), Cabot Cafe and Cake Corner, The Gourmet Gallery (Fort Smith)

Desserts

Little Rock

Winner: Loblolly Creamery

Finalists: Brown Sugar Bake Shop, Le Terraza Rum and Lounge, The Pantry, Trio's Restaurant

Around the state

Winner: Charlotte's Eats & Sweets (Keo)

Finalists: Cocoa Rouge (Bryant), Arsaga's at the Depot (Fayetteville), The Hive (Bentonville), Rolando's Restaurant (Hot Springs)

Dog friendly

Little Rock

Winner: U.S. Pizza Hillcrest

Finalists: The Fold: Botanas and Bar, Leo's Greek Castle, Stone's Throw Brewery

Around the state:

Winner: Taco Mama (Hot Springs)

Finalists: Crepes Paulette (Bentonville), Rolando's Restaurant (Hot Springs)

Food truck

Little Rock

Winner: The Southern Gourmasian

Finalists: Beast, Katmandu MoMo, Southern Salt Food Co., Waffle Wagon

Around the state

Winner: Crepes Paulette (Bentonville)

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

French fries

Little Rock

Winner: Big Orange

Finalists: @ the Corner, Asher Dairy Bar, Boulevard Bistro, David's Burgers

Around the state

Winner: David's Burgers (Conway)

Finalists: The Hive (Bentonville), McClard's Bar-B-Q Restaurant (Hot Springs), Mike's Place (Conway)

Fried chicken

Little Rock

Winner: Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

Finalists: Bobby's Country Cooking, Popeyes, Slim Chickens, Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack

Around the state

Winner: A.Q. Chicken House (Fayetteville)

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

Fun

Little Rock

Winner: Cajun's Wharf

Finalists: Big Orange, The Fold: Botanas and Bar, La Terraza Rum and Lounge, Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack

Around the state

Winner: Silks Bar & Grill at Oaklawn (Hot Springs)

Finalists: Arsaga's at the Depot (Fayetteville), Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse (Eureka Springs), The Hive (Bentonville), Mike's Place (Conway)

Gluten free

Little Rock

Winner: Dempsey Bakery

Finalists: Baja Grill, Big Orange, Cafe Bossa Nova, Izzy's, Rosalia's Family Bakery

Around the state

Winner: Greenhouse Grille (Fayetteville)

Finalists: Cafe 1217 (Hot Springs), Rolando's Restaurant (Hot Springs), Serenity Farms Bakery (Leslie), ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co. (Conway)

Healthy

Little Rock

Winner: The Root Cafe

Finalists: Good Food by Ferneau, Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co., Whole Foods, ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co.

Home cookin'

Little Rock

Winner: Homer's Restaurant

Finalists: Bobby's Country Cookin', Dixie Cafe, Franke's, K Hall and Sons

Around the state

Winner: Holly's Country Cooking (Conway)

Finalists: Calico County (Fort Smith), Main Street Cafe (Searcy), Monte Ne Inn (Rogers), The Wooden Spoon (Gentry)

Ice cream/cool treats

Little Rock

Winner: Loblolly Creamery

Finalists: Asher Dairy Bar, LePops Gourmet Ice Lollies, Red Mango, Rivershore Eatery

Indian

Little Rock

Winner: Star of India Restaurant

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

Around the state

Winner: Desi Den Indian Restaurant (Bryant)

Finalists: Flavors Indian Cuisine (Bentonville), India Orchard (Bentonville), The New Delhi Cafe (Eureka Springs), R&R's Curry Express (Fort Smith)

click to enlarge TOP NOTCH HOME COOKIN': From Homer's West, the readers' pick (along with its sister restaurant in East Little Rock). - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • TOP NOTCH HOME COOKIN': From Homer's West, the readers' pick (along with its sister restaurant in East Little Rock).

Italian

Little Rock

Winner: Bruno's Little Italy

Finalists: Graffiti's Italian Restaurant, Ristorante Capeo, Vesuvio Bistro, Zaffino's by Nori

Around the state

Winner: Ermilio's Italian Home Cooking (Eureka)

Finalists: DeLuca's Pizzeria (Hot Springs), DeVito's Restaurant (Eureka Springs), Pasta Grill (Conway), Pasta Grill (Russellville)

Japanese

Little Rock

Winner: Kemuri

Finalists: Igibon Japanese Food House, Mt. Fuji Japanese Restaurant, Oishi, Sushi Cafe

Around the state

Winner: Crazy Samurai (Hot Springs)

Finalists: Blue Fin Sushi Bar and Grill (Springdale), Meiji Japanese Cuisine (Fayetteville), Sushi House (Bentonville), Umami Sushi Lounge and Grill Fusion (Conway)

Mexican

Little Rock

Winner: La Hacienda

Finalists: The Fold: Botanas and Bar, Heights Taco & Tamale Co., Local Lime, Santo Coyote

Around the state

Winner: Taco Mama (Hot Springs)

Finalists: El Acapulco (Conway), La Hacienda (Hot Springs), Los Bobos Taqueria (Fayetteville), Table Mesa (Bentonville)

Other ethnic

Little Rock

Winner: Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe

Finalists: Cafe Bossa Nova, kBird, La Terraza Rum and Lounge, Lulu's Latin Rotisserie & Grill

Around the state

Winner: Rolando's Restaurant (Hot Springs)

Finalists: A Taste of Thai (Fayetteville), Sala Thai (Fayetteville), Wiederkehr's Weinkeller Restaurant (Altus), Via Roma (Hot Springs)

Outdoor dining

Little Rock

Winner: U.S. Pizza Hillcrest

Finalists: Brave New Restaurant, Cajun's Wharf, La Terraza Rum & Lounge, Pizza Cafe

Pizza

Little Rock

Winner: Damgoode Pies

Finalists: Raduno Brick Oven and Barroom, U.S. Pizza, Vino's, ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co.

Around the state

Winner: Oven & Tap (Bentonville)

Finalists: DeLuca's Pizzeria (Hot Springs), Tommy's Famous (Mountain View), Rod's Pizza Cellar (Hot Springs), ZAZA'S Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co. (Conway)

Place for kids

Little Rock

Winner: Purple Cow Restaurant

Finalists: All Aboard Restaurant and Grill, Chuck E. Cheese, Larry's Pizza, Playtime Pizza

Around the state

Winner: Purple Cow Restaurant (Hot Springs)

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

Romantic

Little Rock

Winner: One Eleven at the Capital

Finalists: Brave New Restaurant, Cache Restaurant, SO Restaurant-Bar

Around the state

Winner: Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse (Eureka Springs)

Finalists: 28 Springs (Siloam Springs), Arsaga's at the Depot (Fayetteville), The Hive (Bentonville), Rolando's (Hot Springs)

click to enlarge BEST BRUNCH: The Root Cafe once again took top honors. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • BEST BRUNCH: The Root Cafe once again took top honors.

Sandwich

Little Rock

Winner: Hillcrest Artisan Meats

Finalists: Boulevard Bread, Lost Forty, The Root Cafe, Whole Hog Cafe

Around the state

Winner: Arkansas Fresh Cafe (Bryant)

Finalists: Breitweiser's Meat Market (Benton), Craig's Bar-B-Q (DeValls Bluff), Green Submarine (Fayetteville), Stoby's Restaurant (Conway)

Seafood

Little Rock

Winner: Flying Fish

Finalists: Bonefish Grill, Brave New Restaurant, Cajun's Wharf, Oceans at Arthur's

Around the state

Winner: Eat My Catfish (Bryant)

Finalists: Dondie's White River Princess (Des Arc), Fisherman's Wharf (Hot Springs), Mike's Place (Conway), Powerhouse Seafood and Grill (Fayetteville)

Steak

Little Rock

Winner: Doe's Eat Place

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

Around the state

Winner: Doe's Eat Place (Fayetteville)

Finalists: The Hive (Bentonville), Mike's Place (Conway), Postmasters Grill (Camden), Tamale Factory (Gregory)

Vegetarian/vegan

Little Rock

Winner: The Root Cafe

Finalists: Cafe Bossa Nova, kBird, I Love Juice Bar, Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co.

Around the state

Winner: Greenhouse Grille (Fayetteville)

Finalists: Cafe 1217 (Hot Springs), Farmer's Table (Fayetteville), Local Flavor Cafe (Eureka Springs), ZAZA'S Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co. (Conway)

Wine list

Little Rock

Winner: One Eleven at the Capital

Finalists: Arthur's, By the Glass, Copper Grill, SO Restaurant-Bar

Around the state

Winner: Bordinos (Fayetteville)

Finalists: 28 Springs (Siloam Springs), Central Park Fusion Cuisine (Hot Springs), The Hive (Bentonville), Tavola Trattoria (Bentonville)

Yogurt/smoothies

Little Rock

Winner: Tropical Smoothie

Finalists: I Love Juice Bar, Red Mango, Rivershore Eatery, Yogurt Mountain

Best restaurants in areas around the state:

Benton/Bryant:

Winner: Arkansas Fresh Bakery Cafe and Eat My Catfish (tie)

Finalists: Desi Den Indian Restaurant, La Hacienda

Conway:

Winner: Mike's Place

Finalists: Eat My Catfish, Pasta Grill, Stoby's Restaurant, ZAZA'S Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co.

Eureka Springs:

Winner: Ermilio's Italian Home Cooking

Finalists: DeVito's Restaurant, The Grotto, Local Flavor Cafe, Mud Street Cafe

Fayetteville/Springdale/Johnson:

Winner: Hugo's (Fayetteville)

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

Hot Springs:

Winner: Rolando's Restaurant

Finalists: Cafe 1217, DeLuca's Pizzeria, Silks Bar & Grill at Oaklawn, Taco Mama

Rogers/Bentonville:

Winner: Oven & Tap (Bentonville)

Finalists: Foster's Pint and Plate (Rogers), The Hive (Bentonville), Eleven (Bentonville), Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe (Bentonville), Tusk & Trotter (Bentonville)


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