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Northwest Arkansas Dining: Your Guide to Restaurants, Cocktails, and More in Fayetteville and Beyond

Updated: Nov 25, 2023



 

Why This Guide?

A grilled octopus appetizer on a plate at Atlas restaurant in Fayetteville, one of the top recommendations for date night in this dining guide.

This guide is for anyone looking for a starting point to explore the culinary and beverage scenes in Northwest Arkansas. Visitors, newcomers (like me), longtime locals - think of this dining guide as simple suggestions for restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and more to explore in Fayetteville, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, and Johnson, Arkansas.


I also admit I'm creating this guide somewhat selfishly. Since I moved to NW Arkansas from Washington DC, I get frequent requests for dining recommendations. I'm happy to field them, but having a central place to send folks as a starting point does make it easier for me.


So in this, I hope we all benefit. I'll keep this updated as I explore as well :-)


OK, What's The Deal With This Northwest Arkansas Dining Guide?


Below are the restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and beyond that I've personally enjoyed in Northwest Arkansas. A few things to note before you dig in.


This is not a "best of" list.

"Best" is entirely subjective and in the food space, those rankings have historically favored sit-down restaurants with more capital for fancy build-outs and marketing, as well as fine dining restaurants. My tastes may not be your tastes. Rather, these are places I personally enjoy, as someone who dines out frequently for work and takes detailed notes on her dining experiences.


I rarely knock a restaurant for service issues or other minor friction points.

It's still a pandemic. Service workers are often underpaid and overworked. There are frequently supply chain disruptions, a labor shortage, and a whole host of other factors that can affect a dining experience. As a former server myself, I'm acutely aware of the fact that many service disruptions are outside of staff control and as human beings, service workers can always just have an off day. As long as my food comes, even if there are some delays or bumps, I shrug most other issues off and will happily return.


You can also get great dining recommendations on social media.

In fact, I get most of my restaurant and bar recommendations from Instagram or TikTok. I find social media accounts often feature establishments I'm not hearing about in traditional media and are very quick to respond to openings, closings, and changes on the ground. These NW Arkansas food blogger accounts are a great place to start to see what's new, what's happening, and what you might want to check out in the local food scene!



One final note.

I end up developing professional relationships with some businesses given the nature of my work. I may interview the owners or staff, highlight them on my platform, etc. All businesses from which I have received some material benefit (aka free food or drink, which happens though I'm not in the habit of asking for it) I have marked clearly with an *. There are no paid placements in this roundup. I enjoy and frequent every business listed below.


To get your Northwest Arkansas dining on and check out restaurants, cocktails, and more in Fayetteville and beyond, scroll down or click to jump ahead.




Coffee Shops & Cafes

With locations in Bentonville, Rogers, and Fayetteville, as well as an award-winning coffee program, Onyx is a great stop for coffee in NW Arkansas. I recommend visiting the flagship location in Rogers as the space is absolutely gorgeous with ample room to study or hang out, an outdoor patio area, plus a gift shop with a variety of coffees and Onyx products for gifts (or for yourself).

Bentonville, Fayetteville, and Rogers locations


I'm a big fan of Airship! We have their coffee delivered through Ozark Compost & Swap, which offers compost pickup as well as refills of cleaning supplies and coffees. I also really like the Fifth Street location in Bentonville. It's bright and airy, the coffee is excellent, there's plenty of outdoor seating, and I really like the brisket burrito. The location inside Coler Mountain Bike Preserve is also great, equipped with big swings and located right along the trails in the preserve.

Two Bentonville locations, Fifth Street & inside Coler Mountain Bike Preserve


The baked goods are the star at this downtown Fayetteville coffee shop and bakery. This is an excellent stop for a coffee and pastry. Patio seating is available.

116 N Block Avenue, Fayetteville, AR 72701 | 479-527-0622


Arsaga's has multiple locations in NW Arkansas, but offers coffee and simple bites at the small location on Church & Center in downtown Fayetteville. Their toast menu is incredible! All the toasts are served on Rockin' Baker sourdough. House-made gluten-free toast is available for an extra charge. The inside of this cafe is small but there is a patio area for seating.

200 W. Center St., Fayetteville, AR 72701 | 479-301-2975

 

Breakfast & Brunch

The Bentonville location of a local favorite, the family-owned Yeyo's, offers my favorite brunch in the region. Saturdays and Sundays starting at 10:00 am you can snag everything from chorizo biscuits & gravy to chilaquiles. Chef Rafael Rios was named a James Beard Award Semifinalist in 2020 and 2022. Patio seating is available.

801 SE 8th St Suite 41, Bentonville, AR 72712 | 479-657-6954


From the team behind Onyx, Well Met Cafe in Johnson offers weekend brunch from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm, in addition to an all-day cafe and a curated market selling natural wines, snacks, and more. The menu changes regularly and for brunch, you should arrive early or expect a wait. In the warmer months there's an outdoor patio for seating as well.

5519 W Hackett Rd Suite 101, Springdale, AR 72762 | 479-332-4283


The Mill District location of Arsaga's is a popular brunch spot with a full menu, coffee bar, and freshly baked goods! There's often a wait on weekends but it's well worth it. Don't miss the cast iron pancake, which has a crispy outside and moist, uber flavorful center. Weekend brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. From Tuesday through Saturday there is also breakfast starting at 7:00 am, with a slightly different menu. Note that Arsaga's Mill District location is closed Mondays.

481 S School Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72701 | 479-287-6749


This breakfast-only spot in Fayetteville doesn't take reservations, so get there early or expect a wait. If you're a fan of pancakes, get the flight so you can try three different pancake variations at once!

509 W Spring St #210, Fayetteville, AR 72701 | 479-435-6435

 

Casual Dining

This was the very first restaurant I tried when I visited Northwest Arkansas for the first time. We hopped out of the car in Fayetteville, hungry from a very long drive, and tired Khana. What a find! This family-owned Indian restaurant remains one of our local favorites. They have outdoor seating and a drive-through. Khana has paused indoor dining due to the pandemic.

2101 N College Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72703 | 479-287-4736


This Fayetteville spot serves "modern Ozark cuisine" and you'll find options ranging from stir-fried farro to shrimp cakes on the lunch/dinner menu. I've also heard great things about the weekend brunch, though I've yet to try it out..

1466 N College Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72703 | 479-435-6333


The Rogers location of Yeyo's serves well-balanced cocktails and a menu of primarily tacos, as well as appetizers and a few other items. Everything I've tried here has been excellent and they also have an extensive mezcal menu. Patio seating is available.

101 E Walnut St, Rogers, AR 72756 | 479-372-4700


This casual Indian restaurant in Rogers is one of our favorites for a family meal where we know we'll have leftovers that will help get us through the week! Don't skip the Sheekh E Laziz, a lamb kebab grilled to perfection.

5212 Village Pkwy, Rogers, AR 72758 | 479-935-3009


This Rogers spot is great for a quick meal. You order at the counter, pick your table, and in just a few minutes your food will be brought to you. They offer various bowls, buns, and more and have lots of vegetarian options.

2882 W Walnut St. ste #5 Rogers, Arkansas 72756 | 479-202-5961


This Springdale bar and grill has reopened! Mothership offers burgers and sandwiches (with veggie options), beer, and art in a space downtown. Don't miss the fried chicken sandwich!

327 E Emma Ave, Springdale, AR 72764 | 479-365-7350


The Bentonville location of this Austin bike shop and cafe is a great spot for a quick meal. The coffee and drinks are solid, they have an extensive wine selection, and I'm a fan of their pizzas. Patio seating is available.

401 SE D St, Bentonville, AR 72712 | 479-268-4747


Located in Johnson, Pizzeria Ruby is my favorite pizza spot in the region thus far. It gets crowded so go early or be prepared to wait, especially on the weekend. Beyond pizza, I'm a big fan of their handmade pasta with a cocktail for dinner, and they also offer a great lunch special ($10 for a slice, salad, and soda or tea). They also have a 3% service fee which goes towards raising wages for back of house staff (tip pooling between front & back of house staff here is illegal I believe).

5519 Hackett St Suite 100, Springdale, AR 72762 | 479-435-9494

 

Date Night & Special Occasion


This Fayetteville restaurant has a small but mighty menu. Everything we've ever had there has been excellent. There are a couple of solid vegan options on the menu, they have nonalcoholic drinks available, and have patio seating!

737 N Leverett Ave #1, Fayetteville, AR 72701 | 479-249-6570


This gluten-free restaurant in downtown Bentonville serves seasonal cuisine that changes frequently. Definitely make a reservation in advance for dinner. Conifer also serves happy hour on the patio from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Tuesday through Thursday and offers a walk-ins only Sunday Supper during the summer from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm with a family-style menu.

321 Southeast 2nd St, Bentonville, AR 72712 | 479-203-5999


Located in downtown Fayetteville in a historic building, Atlas offers an eclectic menu, wine, and craft cocktails in a setting great for a date or special occasion.

208 N Block Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72701 | 479-332-4601


This tasting menu concept hides in an intimate dining area in the same building as Onyx and Yeyo's in Rogers. The multi course fixed price menu is only available a few times a week. It can be extremely difficult to snag a reservation, which are typically booked within seconds of becoming available. Pro tip: Use the waitlist feature on the reservation system to get a notification when a cancellation happens and a spot becomes available!

101 East Walnut Street, Rogers, AR 72756

 

Wine & Cocktails

I prefer cocktails or wine over beer on most occasions, which is why breweries are not listed in this guide. When having drinks out, I prefer places that list tasting notes on the menu and/or where staff can provide clear direction and suggestions based on my stated preferences (sweet, sour, fruity, spirit-forward, dry, etc). Those are my preferences that inform the drink recommendations in this guide.


Fox Trail in Rogers distills, ages, and bottles spirits on site. They have ample indoor and outdoor seating, a creative drink menu, and tours are available to reserve in advance. They also offer nonalcoholic cocktails. While they do not serve food, there is usually a food truck there to complement the drink offerings.

2121 S Bellview Rd, Rogers, AR 72758 | 479-372-6136


This minimal intervention wine bar and bottle shop in Rogers is not only a great place to shop for wine to take home, they also offer a tasting menu and snacks. In addition, they often host live music and other events.

718 N 2nd St Ste 101, Rogers, AR 72756 | 479-278-7430


Nestled in downtown Fayetteville, Vault has an extensive bourbon selection, excellent craft cocktails, and fun zero-proof drinks.

112 W Center St, Suite B001, Fayetteville, AR 72701 | 479-313-7758


**Conifer, Atlas, and Leverett lounge, all in the date night category above, also have great cocktails and wine options as well.


 

Food Trucks

This food truck serves ample portions of really tasty Mexican food. Their quesabirria tacos, the red-colored, cheesy, braised meat tacos (usually beef but it varies by restaurant) served with the juices from the braising process (consommé), are delicious!

Usually found at Fox Trail Distillery in Rogers


This Venezuelan truck is located in the new Boardwalk food truck court in Springdale! It's messy but don't skip the Patacón Venezolano, a sandwich made of fried green plantains, coleslaw, cheese, meat, chicken or pork, sauces, and avocado.

3445 S Old Missouri Rd, Springdale, AR 72764 | 479-249-3665


Typically parked in Bentonville, this biscuit truck has comfort food galore! From fried chicken biscuits to a delectable veggie hash you can enjoy massive biscuits along with a few other crowd-pleasers at this food truck.

1004 SE 5th St, Bentonville, AR 72712 | 501-551-2177

 

Sweets & Desserts

This Bentonville shop serves ice cream with a plethora of combinations of mix-ins and toppings.

401 SW A St Suite 101, Bentonville, AR 72712 | 479-367-2412

After growing homesick for New Orleans, the owner of this food truck founded his beignet business and the rest is history. This business is Black-owned.

Usually found at Bentonville Brewing


 

Map

 

Still On My "To Try" List

Waiting for the right time in my schedule or budget to try out the below!


Eclectic Kitchen - We have yet to make it to this Fayetteville spot, though it's been recommended to us multiple times.


Zanzibar Kitchen - To be fair, I have had an excellent samosa from this Tanzanian and Kenyan food business. I can't wait to try their vegan Wednesdays, where you can order for pickup in Fayetteville.


Isabella's Fayetteville - I love love Italian food so am very hopeful about this spot in Fayetteville.


Superfine Sweetshoppe - This Bentonville ice cream and sweets shop looks like a perfect summer outing.



9 Comments


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Guest
Jul 19, 2022

I don’t have a trip planned here yet, but after reading this I just might make one!! This is everything I would ask for in a guide—thoughtfully curated with beautiful imagery included. I’m hungry!!!

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feedthemalik
Jul 20, 2022
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There is so much to explore here! I hope you get to visit one day :-)

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Guest
Jul 19, 2022

I recently took my partner to visit NWA and while I went to college in the area it’s been a decade since I visited. We used this list exclusively for choosing where to eat and did not have a bad meal! Thanks so much for sharing 💚

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feedthemalik
Jul 20, 2022
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I'm so glad you had a great experience!

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Guest
Jul 19, 2022

I live in Little Rock, but visit NWA often and this guide is still so helpful! There almost seem like too many options and this helps me know where to go!

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feedthemalik
Jul 20, 2022
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I'm so glad it's helpful!

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Guest
Apr 07, 2022

We tried Leverett Lounge, Onyx, and Arsaga’s - all were even better than expected! We really appreciate you highlighting NWA, we love visiting.

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feedthemalik
Apr 20, 2022
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So glad you enjoyed! Such great spots!

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