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The best restaurants in Arkansas 

Our readers pick them.

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For more than three decades now the drill has been more or less the same.

We distribute ballots in issues of the Arkansas Times.

Readers fill them out.

Editors laboriously tally the votes — taking care to set aside obvious efforts to stuff the ballot box.

Then we announce the winners of our annual restaurant contest, accompanied by a variety of feature articles on good food and places to get it (not all necessarily winners in this contest).

This year’s winners (and don’t forget that being a runner-up — they are listed alphabetically — is a whole lot better than kissing your sister):

OVERALL

LITTLE ROCK

Brave New Restaurant

RUNNERS-UP: Ferneau, Loca Luna, Trio’s.

AROUND ARKANSAS

James at the Mill of Johnson

RUNNERS-UP: Bordino’s of Fayetteville, Ella’s of Fayetteville, Mike’s Place of Conway.

NEW

LITTLE ROCK

SO Restaurant Bar

RUNNERS-UP:

Imagine, Starving Artist Cafe, Vieux Carre.

ITALIAN

LITTLE ROCK

Ristorante Capeo

RUNNERS-UP: Bene Vita, Bruno’s, Graffiti’s.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Ermilio’s of Eureka Springs

RUNNERS-UP: Belle Arti of Hot Springs, Bordino’s of Fayetteville, Pesto Cafe of Fayetteville.

ASIAN

LITTLE ROCK

Lilly’s Dim Sum Then Some

RUNNERS-UP: Fantastic China, Mount Fuji, P.F. Chang’s.

MEXICAN

LITTLE ROCK

Casa Manana

RUNNERS-UP: El Porton, La Hacienda, La Palapa.

AROUND ARKANSAS

La Hacienda of Hot Springs

RUNNERS-UP: Jose’s of Fayetteville, La Huerta of Fayetteville, Los Amigos of Conway.

FUN

LITTLE ROCK

Purple Cow

RUNNERS-UP: Gaucho’s, Loca Luna, Sticky Fingerz.

OTHER ETHNIC

LITTLE ROCK

Star of India

RUNNERS-UP: Bossa Nova, Terrace on the Green, Van Lang.

AROUND

ARKANSAS

Rolando’s of Hot Springs

RUNNERS-UP: Acropolis of Fayetteville, Bavarian Inn of Eureka Springs, Mollie’s of Hot Springs.

BAKERY

LITTLE ROCK

Community Bakery

RUNNERS-UP: Boulevard Bread Co., Old Mill, Silvek’s.

AROUND

ARKANSAS

Little Bread Co. of Eureka Springs

RUNNERS-UP: Ambrosia of Hot Springs, Ed’s of Conway, Rick’s of Fayetteville.

BARBECUE

LITTLE ROCK

Whole Hog Cafe

RUNNERS-UP: Chip’s, Corky’s, Dixie Pig.

AROUND ARKANSAS

McClard’s of Hot Springs

RUNNERS-UP: Bubba’s of Eureka Springs, Craig’s of DeValls Bluff, Rib Crib of Benton.

BREAKFAST

LITTLE ROCK

Ozark Mountain Smokehouse

RUNNERS-UP: IHOP, Mimi’s Cafe, Satellite Coffee Co.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Pancake Shop of Hot Springs

RUNNERS-UP: Cracker Barrel of Bryant, Mud Street Cafe of Eureka Springs, Uncle Gaylord’s of Fayetteville.

CATFISH

LITTLE ROCK

Flying Fish

RUNNERS-UP: Catfish City, Cock of the Walk of Maumelle, Grampa’s of North Little Rock.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Denton’s Trotline of Benton

RUNNERS-UP: Dondie’s of DeValls Bluff, Fish House of Conway, Jason’s Burgers and More of Hot Springs.

DELI/GOURMET SHOP

LITTLE ROCK

Boulevard Bread Co.

RUNNERS-UP: Diane’s, Jason’s, Wild Oats.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Cafe 1217 of Hot Springs

RUNNERS-UP: Breitweiser’s of Benton, Mollie’s of Hot Springs.

HAMBURGER

LITTLE ROCK

Buffalo Grill

RUNNERS-UP: Arkansas Burger Company, Cotham’s in the City, Purple Cow.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Jason’s Burgers and More of Hot Springs

RUNNERS-UP: Cotham’s of Scott, Sparky’s Roadhouse of Eureka Springs, Feltner’s Whatta-Burger of Russellville.

PIZZA

LITTLE ROCK

Damgoode Pies

RUNNERS-UP: Pizza Cafe, U.S. Pizza, Vino’s.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Geraldi’s of Eureka Springs

RUNNERS-UP: Rocky’s Corner of Hot Springs, Rod’s Pizza Cellar of Hot Springs, Tim’s of Fayetteville.

SEAFOOD

LITTLE ROCK

Cajun’s Wharf

RUNNERS-UP: Brave New Restaurant, Red Lobster, Vermillion Water Grille.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Cajun Boilers of Hot Springs

RUNNERS-UP: Denton’s Trotline of Benton, Joey’s Seafood of Conway, Powerhouse Seafood of Fayetteville.

STEAK

LITTLE ROCK

Sonny Williams’ Steak Room

RUNNERS-UP: Butcher Shop, Doe’s, Faded Rose.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Herman’s of Fayetteville

RUNNERS-UP: Coy’s of Hot Springs, Mike’s Place of Conway.

DESSERT

LITTLE ROCK

Trio’s

RUNNERS-UP: Acadia, Capriccio Grill, Chip’s Barbecue.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Charlotte’s of Keo

RUNNERS-UP: Cafe 1217 of Hot Springs, MarketPlace Grill of Conway, Mud Street Cafe of Eureka Springs.

COFFEE

LITTLE ROCK

Sufficient Grounds

RUNNERS-UP: Argenta Coffee, Boulevard Bread Co., Starbucks.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Mud Street Cafe of Eureka Springs

RUNNERS-UP: Something’s Brewing of Conway.

HOME COOKING

LITTLE ROCK

Dixie Cafe

RUNNERS-UP: Franke’s Cafeteria, Homer’s, Your Mama’s Good Food.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Cracker Barrel

RUNNERS-UP: Bryce’s Cafeteria of Texarkana, Holly’s Country Cooking of Conway, Oasis of Eureka Springs.

FAMILY

LITTLE ROCK

Purple Cow

RUNNERS-UP: Dixie Café, Franke’s Cafeteria, Shorty Small’s.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Cracker Barrel

RUNNERS-UP: Bryce’s Cafeteria of Texarkana, Ed and Kay’s of Benton, Myrtie Mae’s of Eureka Springs.

ROMANTIC

LITTLE ROCK

1620

RUNNERS-UP: Aydelotte’s of North Little Rock, Brave New Restaurant, Ferneau.

AROUND ARKANSAS

James at the Mill of Johnson

RUNNERS-UP: Brauhaus of Hot Springs, Mike’s Place of Conway, Rogue’s Manor of Eureka Springs.

WINE LIST

LITTLE ROCK

Ferneau

RUNNERS-UP: Acadia, Capers, 1620.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Autumn Breeze of Eureka Springs

RUNNERS-UP: Bordino’s of Fayetteville, James at the Mill of Johnson, Mike’s Place of Conway.

OTHER CITIES

We also asked our readers to choose the best restaurants in each of the following cities.

EUREKA SPRINGS

Ermilio’s

RUNNERS-UP: Cottage Inn, Oasis, Rogue’s Manor.

HOT SPRINGS

Belle Arti

RUNNERS-UP: Cafe 1217, J’s Italian Villa, McClard’s.

FAYETTEVILLE AREA

James at the Mill of Johnson

RUNNERS-UP: Bordino’s, Powerhouse Seafood, 36 Club, all of Fayetteville.

FORT SMITH

Rolando’s

RUNNERS-UP: Bella Italia, Calico County, Taliano’s.

THE WINNER

Linda Brown of Little Rock wins $100 in our ballot drawing.

Favorite

Speaking of Cock Of The Walk

  • The best restaurants in Arkansas

    February 15, 2012
    That rumbling sound? That'd be your stomach. Even if you've just eaten. After 31 years of running this poll, we can attest: It is impossible to read the list of restaurants Arkansas Times readers have selected as the best in the state and look at pictures of food at those restaurants and not feel hungry. /more/
  • More »

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