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click to enlarge LINED UP: ZaZa Conway is the top new restaurant around Arkansas according to Times readers. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • LINED UP: ZaZa Conway is the top new restaurant around Arkansas according to Times readers.

Who's hungry?

How about a couple dozen suggestions of places to eat, throughout the state, as chosen by the readers of the Arkansas Times?

Our annual Readers Choice poll is the oldest and most respected restaurant survey in the state (we're celebrating our 30th anniversary this year! See our look back at Readers Choice on page 13).

This year, as we have in recent years, we published a ballot in a weekly paper and also took votes online. Below are this year's winners. As usual, we have winners in a number of categories, plus special votes for the top restaurants in four areas with vibrant restaurant scenes.

Browse through for your favorites and read on for our related features on good eats that follow.

OVERALL

Little Rock

Winner: Trio's

Runners-up: Ashley's, Brave New Restaurant, Faded Rose.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Mike's Place, Conway

Runners-up: Belle Arti Italian Ristorante, Hot Springs; Gaskin's Cabin Restaurant, Eureka Springs; James at the Mill, Johnson.


NEW

Little Rock

Winner: Dugan's Pub

Runners-up: Bravo! Cucina Italiana, Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro, Terry's the Restaurant.

Around Arkansas

Winner: ZaZa, Conway

Runners-up: Bleu Monkey, Hot Springs; Green Cart Deli, Conway; Hjem Restaurant, Fayetteville.


ITALIAN

Little Rock

Winner: Bruno's

Runners-up: Cafe Prego, Ristorante Capeo, Vesuvio Bistro.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Michelangelo's, Conway

Runners-up: Belle Arti Italian Ristorante, Hot Springs; Ermilio's, Eureka Springs; Pesto Cafe, Fayetteville.


CHINESE

Little Rock

Winner: Fantastic China

Runners-up: Chi's Dimsum and Bistro, Fu Lin, PF Chang's.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Jade China, Conway

Runners-up: Hunan Palace, Hot Springs; Lucky Dragon Cafe, Berryville; Oriental Kitchen, Conway.


JAPANESE

Little Rock

Winner: Sushi Cafe

Runners-up: Benihana, Igibon, Mt. Fuji

Around Arkansas

Winner: Domoyaki, Conway

Runners-up: Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, Fort Smith; Sakura, Sherwood; Shogun Steak House of Japan, Fayetteville.


MEXICAN

Little Rock

Winner: La Hacienda

Runners-up: Cantina Laredo, Casa Manana, Senor Tequila.

Around Arkansas

Winner: La Hacienda, Hot Springs

Runners-up: Casa Colina, Eureka Springs; El Acapulco, Conway; La Huerta, Conway.


OTHER ETHNIC

Little Rock

Winner: Star of India

Runners-up: Cafe Bossa Nova, Layla's, Lily's Dim Sum, Then Some.

Around Arkansas

Winner: New Dehli Cafe, Eureka Springs

Runners-up: Rolando's, Hot Springs; Taste of Thai, Fayetteville; Pho Hoang, Fort Smith.


FOOD TRUCK

Little Rock

Winner: Hot Dog Mike

Runners-up: The Food Truck, Luncheria Mexicana Alicia, Taqueria Jalisco San Juan.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Green Cart Deli, Conway

Runners-up: Rendi's Mudbugs, Hot Springs.


VEGETARIAN

Little Rock

Winner: ZaZa

Runners-up: 4Square Cafe and Gifts; Lily's Dim Sum, Then Some; Whole Foods.

Around Arkansas

Winner: ZaZa, Conway

Runners-up: Annodal's Vegetarian Cafe, Conway; Greenhouse Grille, Fayetteville; New Dehli Cafe, Eureka Springs.


BAKERY

Little Rock

Winner: Community Bakery

Runners-up: Boulevard Bread Co., Panera, Silvek's.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Ed's Custom Bakery, Conway

Runners-up: Klappenbach Bakery, Fordyce; Rick's Bakery, Fayetteville; Serenity Farm Bread, Leslie.


BARBECUE

Little Rock

Winner: Whole Hog

Runners-up: Corky's, Cross-Eyed Pig, Sims.

Around Arkansas

Winner: McClard's, Hot Springs

Runners-up: Craig's, DeValls Bluff; Mean Pig, Cabot; Penguin Ed's Bar-B-Que, Fayetteville.


BREAKFAST

Little Rock

Winner: B-Side

Runners-up: Ashley's, IHOP, Ozark Mountain Smokehouse.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Mud Street Cafe, Eureka Springs

Runners-up: Home Plate Diner, Bryant; The Old South, Russellville; New Dehli Cafe, Eureka Springs.


BRUNCH

Little Rock

Winner: B-Side

Runners-up: Ashley's, Capi's, Ya Ya's Euro Bistro.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Stoby's, Conway

Runners-up: The Arlington Lobby Cafe, Hot Springs; Michelangelo's, Conway.


CATFISH

Little Rock

Winner: Flying Fish

Runners-up: Adams Catfish Express, Catfish City, Grampa's Catfish House.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Catfish Hole, Fayetteville

Runners-up: Dondie's, Des Arc; Georgetown One Stop, Georgetown; The Fish House, Conway.


FRIED CHICKEN

Little Rock

Winner: Popeye's

Runners-up: Bobby's Country Cookin', Kitchen Express, Your Mama's Good Food.

Around Arkansas

Winner: AQ Chicken, Fayetteville

Runners-up: Holly's Country Cooking, Conway; Chick-a-Dilly, Magnolia; The Venesian Inn, Tonitown.


DELI/GOURMET TO GO

Little Rock

Winner: Jason's Deli

Runners-up: Argenta Grocery, Boulevard Bread Co., Dianne's Gourmet.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Green Cart Deli, Conway

Runners-up: Cafe 1217, Hot Springs; Coursey's, St. Joe; The Gourmet Gallery, Fort Smith.


HAMBURGER

Little Rock

Winner: Buffalo Grill

Runners-up: Arkansas Burger Company, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, The House.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Feltner's Whatta-Burger, Russellville

Runners-up: CJ's Butcher Boy Burgers, Russellville; Cotham's, Scott; Hugo's, Fayetteville.


PIZZA

Little Rock

Winner: Damgoode Pies

Runners-up: American Pie Pizza, U.S. Pizza, ZaZa.

Around Arkansas

Winner: ZaZa, Conway

Runners-up: Larry's Pizza, Bryant; Rod's Pizza Cellar, Hot Springs; U.S. Pizza, Fayetteville.


SEAFOOD

Little Rock

Winner: Cajun's Wharf

Runners-up: Bonefish, Brave New Restaurant, Flying Fish.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Mike's Place, Conway

Runners-up: Cajun Boilers, Hot Springs; Dondie's, Des Arc; Michelangelo's, Conway.


BUFFET

Little Rock

Winner: Franke's Cafeteria

Runners-up: Golden Corral, Panda Garden, Star of India.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Dondie's, Des Arc

Runners-up: Buffet City, Benton; Furr's Fresh Buffet, Fort Smith; Ozark Cafe, Jasper.


STEAK

Little Rock

Winner: Sonny Williams' Steak Room

Runners-up: The Butcher Shop, Doe's, The Faded Rose.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Gaskin's Cabin Restaurant, Eureka Springs

Runners-up: Doe's, Fayetteville, Mike's Place, Conway, Ruth's Chris, Rogers.


DESSERTS

Little Rock

Winner: Trio's

Runners-up: Community Bakery, Copeland's, Silvek's.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Gaskin's Cabin Restaurant, Eureka Springs

Runners-up: Ed and Kay's, Benton; Family Pie Shop, DeValls Bluff; Mike's Place, Conway.


COFFEE

Little Rock

Winner: Guillermo's Gourmet Grounds

Runners-up: Boulevard Bread Co., River City Coffee Co., Starbucks.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Common Grounds, Fayetteville

Runners-up: Mud Street Cafe, Eureka Springs; Something Brewing, Conway; Sweet Bay Coffee Co., Fort Smith.


HOME COOKING

Little Rock

Winner: Your Mama's Good Food

Runners-up: Bobby's Country Cookin', Dixie Cafe, Homer's.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Holly's Country Cooking, Conway

Runners-up: Bryce's Cafeteria, Texarkana; Calico County, Fort Smith; Ed and Kay's, Benton.


FUN

Little Rock

Winner: Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro

Runners-up: American Pie Pizza, Cheeburger Cheeburger, Purple Cow.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Green Cart Deli, Conway

Runners-up: Fat Jack's, Texarkana; Mike's Place, Conway; Rolando's, Hot Springs.


PLACE FOR KIDS

Little Rock

Winner: Purple Cow

Runners-up: American Pie Pizza, Playtime Pizza, ZaZa.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Purple Cow, Hot Springs

Runners-up: MarketPlace Grill, Conway; Nickel & Dime Diner, Fort Smith; Playworld Pizza, Conway.


ROMANTIC

Little Rock

Winner: Ashley's

Runners-up: 1620, Brave New Restaurant, Ferneau.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Gaskin's Cabin Restaurant, Eureka Springs

Runners-up: Belle Arti, Hot Springs; Michelangelo's, Conway; Mike's Place, Conway.


WINE LIST

Little Rock

Winner: Trio's

Runners-up: Ashley's, Ciao Baci, Ferneau.

Around Arkansas

Winner: Michelangelo's, Conway

Runners-up: Bordinos, Fayetteville; Gaskin's Cabin Restaurant, Eureka Springs; James at the Mill, Johnson.


SERVER

Little Rock

Winner: Justin Horton, Capi's and Trio's

Runners-up: Aimee Stockton, Dizzy's; Brent Orlicek, The Faded Rose; Penne McKinnie, American Pie Pizza.


CHEF

Little Rock

Winner: Peter Brave, Brave New Restaurant

Runners-up: Capi Peck, Capi's and Trio's; Donnie Ferneau, Ferneau; Lee Richardson, Ashley's and Capital Bar and Grill.


OTHER CITY BESTS

BENTON/BRYANT

Winner: La Hacienda

Runners-up: Brown's Country Store and Restaurant, Ed and Kay's, Luigi's.

CONWAY

Winner: Mike's Place

Runners-up: Michelangelo's, Stoby's, ZaZa.

EUREKA SPRINGS

Winner: Gaskin's Cabin Restaurant

Runners-up: DeVito's, Ermilo's, New Delhi Cafe.

FAYETTEVILLE AREA

Winner: Theo's

Runners-up: Bordinos, Hugo's, James at the Mill.

HOT SPRINGS AREA

Winner: Rolando's

Runners-up: Belle Arti Italian Ristorante, Fisherman's Wharf, McClard's.

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