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The best restaurants in Arkansas 

New places and familiar faces mark our annual Readers Choice contest.

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The people have spoken.

We're happy again to announce the winners in the Arkansas Times' annual Readers Choice awards to the best restaurants in Arkansas. It's the state's longest-running restaurant contest.

We ran ballots on successive weeks in November. We spent weeks afterward tallying thousands of votes. Now we present the winners, accompanied by features on a variety of food-related topics from all over Arkansas. We have barbecue, curry, a historic Heights haunt, baseball park cuisine and a find in western Arkansas, among other gastronomic delights.

The winners follow. Runners-up are listed alphabetically.

OVERALL

LITTLE ROCK

Brave New Restaurant

RUNNERS-UP:

Ferneau, Starving Artist Cafe, Trio's.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Mike's Place of Conway

RUNNERS-UP:

Cafe 1217 of Hot Springs, James at the Mill of Johnson.

NEW

LITTLE ROCK

Bill Valentine's Ballpark Restaurant

RUNNERS-UP:

Arthur's, Bonefish Grill, Cregeen's.

ITALIAN

LITTLE ROCK

Capeo

RUNNERS-UP:

Bene Vita, Bruno's, Villa.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Ermilio's of Eureka Springs

RUNNERS-UP:

Belle Arti of Hot Springs, DeVito's of Eureka Springs, 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

El Porton

RUNNERS-UP:

Cotija, Hacienda, Senor Tequila.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Hacienda of Hot Springs

RUNNERS-UP:

Jose's of Fayetteville, Los Amigos of Conway.

FUN

LITTLE ROCK

Chuck E. Cheese

RUNNERS-UP:

Cajun's Wharf, Cheeburger Cheeburger, Murry's Dinner Theater.

OTHER ETHNIC

LITTLE ROCK

Star of India

RUNNERS-UP:

Bossa Nova, Leo's, Terrace on the Green.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Bavarian Inn of Eureka Springs

RUNNERS-UP:

Blackwood's Grill of Conway, Taste of Thai of Fayetteville.

BAKERY

LITTLE ROCK

Community Bakery

RUNNERS-UP:

Boulevard Bread Co., Old Mill, Silvek's.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Ed's of Conway

RUNNERS-UP:

Klappenbach's of Fordyce, Little Bread Co. of Eureka Springs, Rick's of Fayetteville.

BARBECUE

LITTLE ROCK

Whole Hog Cafe

RUNNERS-UP:

Corky's, Mr. Mason's, Sims.

AROUND ARKANSAS

McClard's of Hot Springs

RUNNERS-UP:

Bubba's of Eureka Springs, Craig's of DeValls Bluff, Penguin Ed's of Fayetteville.

BREAKFAST

LITTLE ROCK

Ozark Mountain Country Restaurant

RUNNERS-UP:

Delicious Temptations, Mimi's, Satellite Coffee Co.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Mud Street Cafe of Eureka Springs

RUNNERS-UP:

Common Grounds of Fayetteville, Cracker Barrel, multiple locations; Ed and Kay's of Benton.

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:

Catfish Hole of Fayetteville, Dondie's of Des Arc, Fish House of Conway.

DELI/GOURMET SHOP

LITTLE ROCK

Boulevard Bread Co.

RUNNERS-UP:

Diane's, Fresh Market, Jason's Deli.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Cafe 1217 of Hot Springs

RUNNERS-UP:

Cheese Corner of Hot Springs, Ozark Natural Foods Co-operative of Fayetteville.

HAMBURGER

LITTLE ROCK

Buffalo Grill

RUNNERS-UP:

Arkansas Burger Company, Cotham's, Sports Page.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Hugo's of Fayetteville

RUNNERS-UP:

Sparky's Roadhouse of Eureka Springs, Whatta-Burger of Russellville.

PIZZA

LITTLE ROCK

Damgoode Pies

RUNNERS-UP:

Iriana's, U.S. Pizza Co., Vino's.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Larry's of Bryant

RUNNERS-UP:

Chelsea's Corner Cafe and Bar of Eureka Springs, Rod's Pizza Cellar of Hot Springs, Sonny's of Eureka Springs.

SEAFOOD

LITTLE ROCK

Cajun's Wharf

RUNNERS-UP:

Bonefish Grill, Brave New Restaurant, Flying Fish.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Dondie's of Des Arc

RUNNERS-UP:

Cajun Boilers of Hot Springs, Denton's Trotline of Benton, Fisherman's Wharf of Hot Springs.

STEAK

LITTLE ROCK

Sonny Williams' Steak Room

RUNNERS-UP:

Butcher Shop, Doe's, Faded Rose.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Mike's Place of Conway

RUNNERS-UP:

Coy's of Hot Springs, Herman's of Fayetteville.

DESSERT

LITTLE ROCK

Trio's

RUNNERS-UP:

Capriccio Grill, Community Bakery, Gypsy's.

AROUND ARKANSAS

Charlotte's of Keo

RUNNERS-UP:

Ed and Kay's of Benton, Marketplace of Conway, Mud Street Cafe of Eureka Springs.

COFFEE

LITTLE ROCK

Starbucks

RUNNERS-UP:

Boulevard Bread Co., Satellite Coffee Co., Sufficient Grounds.

AROUND ARKANSAS

McDonald's, multiple locations

RUNNERS-UP:

Arsaga's Block Street Bakery of Fayetteville, Mud Street Cafe of Eureka Springs, 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

Ed and Kay's of Benton

RUNNERS-UP:

Holly's Country Cooking of Conway, Neal's Cafe of Springdale, Oasis of Eureka Springs.

PLACE FOR KIDS

LITTLE ROCK

Purple Cow

RUNNERS-UP:

Buffalo Grill, Cheeburger Cheeburger, Chuck E. Cheese.

ROMANTIC

LITTLE ROCK

1620

RUNNERS-UP:

Brave New Restaurant, Capeo, Ferneau.

WINE LIST

LITTLE ROCK

Crush

RUNNERS-UP:

Arthur's, Ferneau, Valentine's Ballpark Restaurant.

OTHER CITIES

We asked readers to vote for their favorite restaurant of any description in several cities around the state.

EUREKA SPRINGS

Ermilio's

RUNNERS-UP:

Cafe Soleil, Rogue's Manor, Sparky's Roadhouse.

HOT SPRINGS

McClard's

RUNNERS-UP:

Back Porch, Belle Arti, Cafe 1217.

FAYETTEVILLE AREA

James at the Mill of Johnson

RUNNERS-UP:

Bordino's of Fayetteville, Copeland's of Rogers, Penguin Ed's of Fayetteville.

CONWAY

Mike's Place

RUNNERS-UP:

Marketplace, Oak Street Bistro, Stoby's.

THE WINNER

Bill James won $100 in our ballot drawing.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Speaking of Grampa’s Catfish House, Grampa's Catfish House

  • 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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