Iconic Dining

Iconic Dining - Unique Restaurants in Arkansas

Child eating at Feltner’s Whatta Burger

Feltner's Whatta Burger, Russellville

Lots of people enjoy finding the local hang-outs and unusual restaurants when they're traveling. Being friendly southerners, we're happy to tell you the best Arkansas restaurants if you stop and ask us. Every town has a well-known restaurant, but some are also known throughout the entire state. Here are a few unique restaurants in Arkansas with a wide-ranging reputation for good eats. But you don't have to take our word for it, just look at all the cars in the parking lot.

Central Arkansas

Doe's Eat Place in Little Rock
This Little Rock landmark is known for huge steaks and homemade tamales. It gained national renown during the 1992 presidential election campaign. Clinton staffers made it their hangout and it was the setting for then-candidate Clinton's interview by Rolling Stone magazine.

Northwest & North Central Arkansas

Feltner's Whatta Burger in Russellville
Not part of the big chain of the same name, this is the place to go for custom-made hamburgers, French fries, malts, milkshakes, and cones.

Venesian Inn in Tontitown
Tontitown is probably best known for its grapes and the Tontitown Grape Festival, which includes a made-from-scratch spaghetti dinner. But Tontitown also has a venerable locale for soaking up the food heritage of this place that was founded by Italian immigrants at the end of the 19th century. The Venesian Inn is an Arkansas tradition featuring authentic Italian cuisine, handmade pasta and rolls and excellent fried chicken.

AQ Chicken House in Springdale
AQ Chicken House has been an Arkansas tradition for more than 50 years. It's known for its secret-recipe chicken and casual family dining. The pan fried chicken is the house specialty.

Weinkeller Restaurant in Wiederkehr Village
The Weinkeller Restaurant at Wiederkehr Wine Cellars serves Swiss and other European specialties in charming, candlelit surroundings. The original wine cellar, hand-dug by Johann Andreas Wiederkehr in 1880, was converted to house the Weinkeller in 1967. The restaurant is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and for years has been voted "Most Romantic" and "Best Ethnic" by the readers of Arkansas Times magazine. The Weinkeller's menu offers delicacies from the German, French, and Italian regions of Switzerland, as well as specialties from central Europe and America.

Serenity Farm Bread in Leslie
Located in the old Farmer’s Bank Building in scenic downtown Leslie, Serenity Farm Bread bakers use ancient techniques perfected in Europe over the centuries to make naturally leavened bread. Watch as artisan bakers load the massive wood-fired brick oven with hand-shaped loaves. Has been featured in Southern Living Magazine; products shipped throughout continental U.S.

Big Springs Trading Company in St. Joe
Serving lunch and dinner featuring old-fashioned cooking - including sandwiches, barbecue, steaks, ribs, lots of side orders, homemade desserts including pies, smoked hams, turkey, bacon, cheeses and more to take with you. Jams, jellies, and pickles are available seasonally; located close to the Buffalo National River.

Daisy Queen in Marshall
Remodeled old-fashioned dairy bar (opened in 1966) features burgers, shakes, a variety of sandwiches, hot dogs, sundaes, malts, floats and more.

Arkansas Delta

Jones Bar-B-Q in Marianna
Believed to be the oldest black-owned restaurant in continuous operation in the South by the Southern Food Alliance; a neighborhood barbecue joint that has been in business for over 100 years; meats are smoked on-site; served on plain white bread with thin, vinegar-based sauce and cole slaw. Featured in Saveur Magazine and on CBS This Morning. Named by the James Beard Foundation as an American Classic in 2012.  Come early….Mr. Jones is open until he runs out of meat. After that, you’re out-of-luck.

Southwest Arkansas

McClard's Bar-B-Q in Hot Springs
This legendary Arkansas barbecue restaurant offers meats pit smoked daily on the premises. They're also known for their sauce, cole slaw, beans and hot tamales, all made from scratch from old family recipes. They have been family owned and operated for over 75 years. Famous for the "hot tamale spread," the restaurant has been featured in Southern Living and Gourmet Magazines and on "The Best of..." television show on Food Network. It's also an old hang out of former President Bill Clinton.

In addition to these legendary restaurants, Arkansas has some unusual restaurants as well. You can eat inside of an old railroad car, a plane, river boats, old mills or historic soda fountains. Click here to see them all: http://www.uniquelyarkansas.com/dining/

You can also enjoy some old-fashioned refreshments at a soda fountain.

Arkansas Soda Fountains

The history of soda fountains in Arkansas runs deep. Young and old alike enjoy sitting down at an old-fashioned soda fountain for a taste of ice cream and soda. A few soda fountains can still be found in The Natural State.

Fort Smith Museum of History in Fort Smith
Enjoy a refreshment from the old-time soda fountain, and then explore artifacts that depict the history and culture of the Fort Smith area from Native Americans to the present.

Prince Drug Store in Fort Smith
Local favorite which has been in business since 1932 complete with original old-fashioned soda fountain with marble counters and restored fountains.

Ozark Café in Jasper
The history of this soda fountain in Arkansas goes back 100 years. The century-old café features burgers, steaks and seafood in addition to its soda fountain offerings.

Charlotte's Eats & Sweets in Keo
Located in a historic pharmacy building, it has an old walnut soda fountain no longer in service. Charlotte's serves  ice cream concoctions such as shakes, sundaes, malts, along with sandwiches, salads, burgers, homemade pies and cakes.

Green Corner Store in Little Rock
Eco Lifestyle Store features turn-of-the-century hand-tooled, old-fashioned wooden pharmacy fixtures including white oak shelving, glass displays and marble counter, all made by A.H. Lippenott in Philadephia over 100 years ago.

Jones Drug Store in Lepanto
Features an original soda fountain from days of the past.

Purple Cow in Little Rock
Two locations serve up premium, hand-dipped shakes from the soda fountain; also offers gourmet burgers and diner specialties

Palace Drug Store& Soda Fountain in Mammoth Spring
Along with the soda fountain, this lunch counter serves soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts, and has a selection of gifts.

Kelley's Drug and Selections in McGehee
A home-owned drug store with an old-fashioned soda fountain and deli sandwiches.

Charlyn's Restaurant & Old-Fashioned Soda Fountain in Mountain View
Soda fountain menu includes sandwiches, salads; ice cream sodas, cones, phosphates, shakes, malts, sundaes, banana splits and more.

Futrell Pharmacy in Pocahontas
One of the oldest pharmacies in Arkansas to remain in the same location; features an old-fashioned soda fountain.