Of all the businesses that a person frequents in their lifetime, arguably none are as intimate or as deeply connected as a favorite restaurant. Restaurants play a special role in the lives of its patrons, as the setting for first dates and retirement farewells, wedding rehearsals and strived-for promotions, plus birthdays and graduations and anniversaries.

 

Chances are, when the average person thinks of the meaningful moments and relationships of life, a restaurant played a role, forever linking itself to a client’s story. Thus do the little burger joint around the corner from one’s dorm room or the café that served Mom’s favorite quiche or the white-linen steakhouse where she said yes become more than just words on a menu and a table with a view.

 

As the authority on all things joyful and good in Arkansas, especially food and the life moments that come with it, AY About You has always appreciated how important a favorite restaurant is in the lives of our readers. Our Readers’ Restaurant Poll reflects that, recognizing the best diners and eateries the state has to offer as voted on by the dining public. It is the ultimate seal of approval — and among the highest honors — for any restaurant to make this annual list.

 

According to restaurant.org, there are about 5,600 eating and drinking establishments in Arkansas and the following list represents the very best there is among them. We salute each and every establishment listed on the 2024 AY About You Readers’ Restaurant Poll for the way they make an ordinary weekday special and a special occasion unforgettable.

 

Best Ambiance

The Bugler

Hot Springs

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Best Appetizer

Red Moon Tavern

Little Rock

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Best Asian Fusion

Three Fold Noodles + Dumpling Co.

Little Rock

••••••

the-croissanterie

The Croissanterie

Best Bakery

The Croissanterie

Little Rock

••••••

Best Barbecue Ribs

Backyard Barbeque Co

Magnolia

••••••

Best Barbecue Sandwich

Wright’s Barbecue

Bentonville, Johnson, Little Rock, Rogers

••••••

Best Bartender

Rob Armstrong

Cypress Social

Maumelle

••••••

Superior Bathhouse Brewery

Best Beer Selection

Superior Bathhouse Brewery

Hot Springs

••••••

Best Biscuits & Gravy

The Croissanterie

Little Rock

••••••

Stoby’s

Best Breakfast

Stoby’s

Conway

••••••

Best Brunch

Mockingbird Bar & Tacos

Little Rock

••••••

Best Burger (non fast food)

Big Orange

Little Rock

••••••

Best Business Lunch

Taco Mama – Side Town

Hot Springs

••••••

Best Cajun/Creole

Copper Mule Table & Tap

Bryant, Little Rock

••••••

Best Caterer

DownHome Catering

Little Rock

••••••

Burge’s Hickory Smoked Turkeys and Hams

Best Catfish

Burge’s Hickory Smoked Turkeys and Hams

Little Rock

••••••

Best Chain Restaurant

Walk-On’s

Conway, Little Rock, Rogers

••••••

Heights Taco & Tamale Co.

Best Cheese Dip

Heights Taco & Tamale Co.

Little Rock

••••••

Best Chef

Chef Matias DeMatthaeis

Red Oak Steakhouse

Pine Bluff

••••••

Best Chicken & Dumplings

Homer’s Kitchen Table

Little Rock

••••••

Chicken Salad Chick

Chicken Salad Chick

Best Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad Chick

Conway, Little Rock, North Little Rock

••••••

Best Chicken Wings

MuleKick

Magnolia

••••••

Best Chinese

Fantastic China

Little Rock

••••••

Best Cinnamon Roll

Cinnamon Creme Bakery

Little Rock

••••••

Shotgun Dan’s Pizza

Best Classic Restaurant (20+ years)

Shotgun Dan’s Pizza

Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood

••••••

Best Cocktails

Cache Restaurant

Little Rock

••••••

Best Cocktails

Petit & Keet

Little Rock

••••••

Best Coffeehouse (non-chain)

Kollective Coffee & Tea

Hot Springs

••••••

Best Comfort Food

Holly’s Country Cookin’

Conway

••••••

dons-southern-social

DONS Southern Social

Best Date Night

DONS Southern Social

Hot Springs

••••••

Best Deli

Hogg’s Meat Market

North Little Rock

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Best Dessert

Trio’s Restaurant

Little Rock

••••••

Best Distillery

Rock Town Distillery

Little Rock

••••••

Best Dive Bar

Town Pump

Little Rock

••••••

Best Donuts

Mark’s Do-Nut Shop

North Little Rock

••••••

Best Entertainment

MuleKick

Magnolia

••••••

Best Farm to Table

The Root Cafe

Little Rock

••••••

Best Food Truck

Ouachita Bar & Grill

Hot Springs

••••••

Best French Fries

Franks Hot Dogs

North Little Rock

••••••

Best Fried Chicken

Homer’s Kitchen Table

Little Rock

••••••

Best Girl’s Night Out

Camp Taco at

Lost Forty Brewing

Little Rock

••••••

Best Guy’s Night Out

Revival ::restaurant + beer garden

Benton

••••••

Best Gyro

Layla’s Gyro

Little Rock

••••••

Best Happy Hour

Sauced Bar and Oven

Little Rock

••••••

Best Historical Restaurant

Ohio Club

Hot Springs

••••••

Arthur’s Prime Steakhouse

Best Hospitality

Arthur’s Prime Steakhouse

Little Rock

••••••

Best Ice Cream

Loblolly Creamery

Benton, Little Rock, Roland

••••••

Best Italian

George’s Little Rock

Little Rock

••••••

Best Japanese

Mt Fuji Japanese Restaurant

Little Rock

••••••

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant

Purple Cow

Conway, Hot Springs, Little Rock,

North Little Rock

••••••

Best Late-Night Dining (after 10 pm)

Legends Sports Bar at Saracen Casino Resort

Pine Bluff

••••••

Best Liquor Store

Colonial Wines & Spirits

Little Rock

••••••

Best Local Brewery

Lost Forty Brewing

Little Rock

••••••

Best Mediterranean

Taziki’s Mediterranean Café

Bentonville, Conway, Fayetteville,

Little Rock, North Little Rock

••••••

Best Mexican

La Hacienda

Various Locations

••••••

Best New Restaurant

Lefty’s on the Square

Magnolia

••••••

Red Oak Steakhouse

Best Overall Restaurant

Red Oak Steakhouse

Pine Bluff

••••••

Best Pancakes

Big Bad Breakfast

Little Rock

••••••

Best Patio Dining

Hill Station

Little Rock

••••••

Best People Watching

Superior Bathhouse Brewery

Hot Springs

••••••

Best Piano Bar

Willy D’s

Rock & Roll Piano Bar

Little Rock

••••••

charlottes keo

Charlotte’s Eats & Sweets

Best Pie

Charlotte’s Eats & Sweets

Keo

••••••

Best Pimento Cheese

Chicken Salad Chick

Conway, Little Rock, North Little Rock

••••••

Best Pizza (non fast food)

Deluca’s Pizza

Hot Springs

••••••

Best Place to Watch the Game

Boudreaux’s Grill and Bar

Maumelle

••••••

Best Restaurant for Holiday Gatherings

The Grumpy Rabbit

Lonoke

••••••

Best Restaurant for Vegan Options

City Silo

Little Rock

••••••

Best Restaurant for Vegetarian Options

The Fold: Botanas & Bar

Little Rock

••••••

Best Restaurant to Impress Out-of-Towners

ROBER :: Cocktails + Culinary

Benton

••••••

Best Restaurant Worth the Drive

Taylor’s Steakhouse

Dumas

••••••

Best Rooftop

The Avenue Restaurant At The Waters Hotel

Hot Springs

••••••

ZAZA

Zaza’s

Best Salad

Zaza’s

Little Rock

••••••

Best Sandwich

Cross Creek Sandwich Shop

Conway

Best Seafood (non fast food)

The Oyster Bar

Little Rock

••••••

Best Server

David Timberlake

Pantry West

Little Rock

••••••

Best Special Occasion

The Oak Room

Hot Springs

••••••

Best Sports Bar

Brewski’s Pub & Grub

Little Rock

••••••

Best Steak

The Butcher Shop

Little Rock

••••••

Best Sushi

Kemuri

Little Rock

••••••

restaurant winners

Baja Grill

Best Taco

Baja Grill

Benton, Little Rock

••••••

Best Vietnamese

PHO AND MORE

Jacksonville

••••••

Best Wine List

Allsopp & Chapple Restaurant + Bar

Little Rock

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