12 Unique Restaurants in Arkansas: Train-Delivered Burgers + German Cellars

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Arkansas
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Eager to discover Arkansas’s most unique restaurants? I’m here to share spots where burgers come by train and African flavors dazzle. Join me as we dive into the coolest restaurants in AR.

Ever thought about diving into some of the most unique places to eat in Arkansas? Well, I’ve been there, and let me tell you, it’s an adventure you won’t want to miss. Arkansas, nestled in the heart of North America, is packed with spots that aren’t your typical dinner destinations.

Picture this: one minute you’re enjoying dinner in a German wine cellar, the next you’re sitting in a train car munching on gourmet burgers. It’s all about the unexpected here. From cliffside views that will take your breath away to a cozy spot that feels like a journey to Africa, every meal is an adventure.

I’m here to share the insider scoop on where to find the coolest restaurants in Arkansas. Whether it’s fine dining in a hidden gem or a quirky spot that makes you feel like a kid again, these eateries offer meals you’ll talk about for years.

The top restaurants to visit in Arkansas right now

Unusual places to eat in AR

Ready to discover what Arkansas has on its menu? We’ve got everything from cozy wine cellars to unique train-themed eateries. Join me as we explore the quirkiest places to eat in Arkansas.

Hungry for German dishes in a historic cellar? How about dining in a restored church or enjoying a meal with a view of the Ozarks? Arkansas’s dining scene is as varied as it is surprising. Let’s dive into Arkansas’s most unique dining experiences.

1. Steinhaus Keller

Heading over to Hot Springs, you’ll find Steinhaus Keller, a gem that brings a piece of Germany right to Arkansas. The vibe here is something else. There’s live music that brings the place to life and stunning paintings of Neuschwanstein Castle adding a royal touch to the walls. This spot is all about giving you a taste of Germany without the flight.

Booking a table 24 hours in advance is a smart move. This place is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, and it’s clear why once you dive into their menu. I kicked things off with the sauerkraut cakes, and let me tell you, they’re a game-changer. Served with a side of sour cream sauce, the mix of beef, pork, spices, and sauerkraut hits just the right note – flavorful but not too heavy.

The main event, the Sauerbraten, was an experience in itself. Imagine meat so tender, enveloped in a sauce that’s rich and full of depth. It’s the kind of dish that makes a meal memorable. And to cap it off, the Black Forest cake was the perfect finale. Rich, indulgent, and exactly what you need after a hearty meal.

Without a doubt, Steinhaus Keller is one of the most fun places to eat in Arkansas. When you’re done eating, I recommend taking a stroll around Hot Springs, one of the top places to live and visit in Arkansas. Check out the Hot Springs National Park for some beautiful trails and relaxing thermal baths. It’s the perfect way to unwind and enjoy nature after a fantastic meal.

Steinhaus Keller is one of the unique restaurants in Arkansas.
Dine at Steinhaus Keller, offering German vibes, live music, and Neuschwanstein paintings.

2. Eclectic Kitchen

Eclectic Kitchen in Fayetteville is a hidden gem in Arkansas that might just surprise you. I’ll be honest, the exterior and its location had me second-guessing, but wow, the inside tells a whole different story. It’s full of flavors and experiences that you wouldn’t expect from the outside.

The adventure began with mint tea, hummus, and squash fritters. That hummus? I practically licked the bowl clean – it’s magically delicious. But the real showstoppers were the main entrees: the duck and Iberico pork flank steak. Both dishes were magnificent, cooked to perfection and bursting with flavors that dance around in your mouth.

What I absolutely love about this place is the variety. The oysters are a must-try, and the constant change in the menu keeps every visit exciting. But, if I had to pick one favorite thing, it’s the Moroccan mint tea. It’s the perfect blend of refreshing and soothing.

Eclectic Kitchen truly stands out as a unique Arkansas restaurant, transforming each meal into an unforgettable experience. And hey, after you’ve treated yourself to their incredible dishes, you’re super close to the University of Arkansas. It’s the perfect next stop for soaking up some campus vibes or marveling at the cool architecture. Great for walking off that meal and catching some fun sights!

Eclectic Kitchen offers the hidden surprises of unexpected flavors within its unassuming exterior.
Eclectic Kitchen offers the hidden surprises of unexpected flavors within its unassuming exterior. | Image Source: https://topbrunchspots.com/

3. Cliff House Inn

Next up, let me tell you about one of the most scenic restaurants in Arkansas. Cliff House Inn, located just 6 miles south of Jasper in the Ozark Mountains and a hop away from the grandeur of the Arkansas Grand Canyon, is a spot you can’t miss.

This cozy little restaurant offers up something truly special with its breathtaking views. Imagine dining with the sprawling beauty of the Ozarks as your backdrop—pretty epic, right?

The view is marvelous, but let me tell you, the food gives the scenery a run for its money. I went for the chicken fried steak, and it was a decision I’d make again in a heartbeat. Perfectly crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and just the right amount of seasoning to make each bite memorable. And for dessert? The peach cobbler is a dream. Warm, comforting, and packed with sweet peachy goodness, it’s the perfect end to a meal here.

Cliff House Inn stands out for its combination of stunning natural beauty and comforting, delicious food. It’s a place that feels like a warm hug, with views that’ll have you reaching for your camera every few minutes.

After enjoying a meal, the surrounding area of the Ozark Mountains and the nearby Arkansas Grand Canyon offers plenty of exploring opportunities. In my opinion, this restaurant is situated in the middle of one of the most beautiful places in Arkansas.

Cliff House Inn offers delicious food with stunning views of the Arkansas Grand Canyon.
Cliff House Inn offers delicious food with stunning views of the Arkansas Grand Canyon.

4. All Aboard Restaurant & Grill

All Aboard Restaurant & Grill in Little Rock is a treat for the senses and a blast for train enthusiasts of all ages. Picture this: you’re seated, ready to order, and here comes your food delivered not by a person, but by a train cruising around the restaurant. It’s like being part of a charming, miniature railway system where your meal is the passenger.

The prices here are extremely reasonable. It’s a fantastic option for grabbing a quick bite without sacrificing fun or flavor. The fries? Perfect. Chicken sandwich? Also perfect. Honestly, everything I’ve tried here hits the mark for tasty.

This place is easily one of the most fun restaurants in Arkansas, especially if you’ve got a little one in tow who marvels at trains. It’s not every day you get to combine the joy of trains with eating out. All Aboard Restaurant & Grill makes both possible in the most delightful way. Next time you’re in Little Rock and looking for a unique dining experience that’s light on the wallet but heavy on the fun, you know where to go.

All Aboard Restaurant & Grill offers a unique dining experience with meals delivered by miniature trains.
All Aboard Restaurant & Grill offers a unique dining experience with meals delivered by miniature trains.

5. Wiederkehr Wine Cellar & Weinkeller Restaurant

Imagine finding a spot in Wiederkehr Village that’s like a hidden slice of Europe in Arkansas. That’s Weinkeller Restaurant for you. It’s tucked away in a wine cellar dating back to 1800, giving off those cozy, romantic vibes that you just can’t get enough of. Picture dining under soft lighting, surrounded by the rustic charm of stone walls – it feels like a little secret shared between friends.

Kicking things off with their fresh-baked bread is a no-brainer. It’s warm, inviting, and the perfect start to what’s about to be a memorable meal. If you’re into appetizers, the cheese fondue is like dipping into a pot of melted joy. My pick was the sausage platter, featuring three kinds of sausages, and it was a hit. For a bit of surf and turf action, the steak with shrimp didn’t disappoint either.

Dining outside offers you breathtaking views of vineyards and the Ozark Mountains. It’s one of the best places to eat in AR where the view adds a whole new layer to the experience.

This place is a beautiful, cozy, and delicious retreat that offers a slice of German/Swiss culinary excellence right next to their wine-tasting facility and store. Whether you’re here for a romantic dinner or a relaxing meal with scenic views, it’s a unique experience that you won’t find just anywhere.

Weinkeller Restaurant offers cozy, romantic dining in a historic wine cellar.
Weinkeller Restaurant offers cozy, romantic dining in a historic wine cellar.

6. Toad Suck Bucks

Toad Suck Bucks, tucked away in Houston, AR, right on the banks of the Arkansas River, is a place you’ll remember not just for the name. This spot is the definition of a hidden gem, offering up some of the best ribeye steaks you’ll find not just in Arkansas, but dare I say, the US.

The setting is picture-perfect and serene. It’s one of those unique places in Arkansas to eat where the view adds an extra layer of enjoyment to your meal. And when the live music starts up on the patio, you’re in for an experience that feels both down-to-earth and special.

Getting there is an adventure in itself, located way off the beaten track. The interior’s “hole in the wall” vibe might surprise you, but it adds to the charm. This place is all about good food, good views, and good vibes. It’s unpretentious, welcoming, and serves up a steak that’ll have you planning your next visit before you’ve even left.

So if you’re up for a bit of an adventure and in the mood for a steak that’ll knock your socks off, Toad Suck Bucks is the spot. It’s a fun, laid-back place that proves some of the best dining experiences are the ones you least expect.

Toad Suck Bucks is one of the unique restaurants in Arkansas.
Toad Suck Bucks serves top-notch ribeye steaks, a true hidden gem.

7. Kontiki African Restaurant

Heading over to Kontiki African Restaurant in Little Rock, just a hop from the University of Arkansas campus, is like opening a door to a whole new world of flavors. This spot is all about bringing authentic African cuisine right to our backyard, and let me tell you, they nail it.

The menu? A fantastic array of dishes that’ll take your taste buds on a trip. I dove into the jerk chicken and the peanut butter soup, both served with this incredibly rich jollof rice. Each bite was a revelation. It’s the kind of place where you get to explore dishes you’ve heard of but maybe never tried, and each one is a hit.

Kontiki stands out as one of the coolest places to eat in Arkansas for a bunch of reasons. It’s not every day you find such a vibrant celebration of African foods and drinks in Little Rock. Whether you’re already a lover of African cuisine or curious to try something new, Kontiki is where you want to be.

Next time you’re near the university and craving something genuinely different and delicious, swing by Kontiki African Restaurant. It’s a fun and flavorful way to shake up your dining routine and indulge in some truly unique dishes.

Kontiki African Restaurant brings authentic African flavors to your doorstep.
Kontiki African Restaurant brings authentic African flavors to your doorstep. | Image Source: https://www.littlerock.com/

8. The Preacher’s Son

The Preacher’s Son in Bentonville is one of those places that instantly grabs your attention, not just for the food but for the setting too. Imagine dining inside a beautifully restored church – it’s as cool as it sounds.

Since seating can be a bit tight, making a reservation is a wise move. Trust me, you’ll want to secure your spot. Now, if you do end up having to wait for a table, there’s a silver lining: a cool speakeasy tucked away downstairs. It’s the perfect spot to kick back and soak in the vibes while you wait.

Dinner here is always a hit. I went for the lamb, the trout, and the caesar salad, and let me give everything a big thumbs up. The flavors, the presentation, and the whole experience was top-notch.

Here’s a pro tip for you: when you can’t decide what to order, let the waiter or chef make the call. Pick three entrees and leave the rest up to them. It’s a fun way to sample the menu, and you won’t be disappointed.

The Preacher’s Son stands out as one of the best Arkansas restaurants, offering a unique dining experience that goes beyond just eating. It’s about enjoying great food in a setting that’s nothing short of memorable. So, when you’re in Bentonville, make sure this place is on your list. It’s a dining adventure you won’t want to miss!

The Preacher's Son captivates with its unique dining experience in a beautifully restored church setting.
The Preacher’s Son captivates with its unique dining experience in a beautifully restored church setting.

9. The Purple Cow Restaurant

The Purple Cow Restaurant in Hot Springs is a blast from the past with a twist that’s all its own. It’s an old-school diner with purple highlights everywhere you look. It’s like the 50s met a paintbrush dedicated to purple, and the result is this really fun, vibrant spot.

Let’s talk about the food because, wow, the Chili Cheese Fries? Amazing. And you haven’t lived until you’ve tried the Purple Vanilla Shake. It’s awesome in every sense of the word and adds that perfect diner-style indulgence to your meal.

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you’re in luck. The Purple Cow Restaurant has a variety of options that cater to you, including milkshakes, which is pretty cool. I went for the Philly cheese steak, and it was nothing short of amazing.

Looking for unique restaurants in AR? Check out The Purple Cow Restaurant. After you’ve had your fill of those incredible Chili Cheese Fries and sipped on the iconic Purple Vanilla Shake, why not take a stroll down to Bathhouse Row? It’s just a short drive away and the perfect place to walk off those diner delights while soaking in the historical beauty of Hot Springs.

The Purple Cow Restaurant is a vibrant blast from the past, infusing old-school diner charm with a unique purple twist.
The Purple Cow Restaurant is a vibrant blast from the past, infusing old-school diner charm with a unique purple twist.

10. The Grill at Whispering Woods

One of my favorite restaurants in Arkansas is the Grill at Whispering Woods in Jordan. It’s a gem that’s all about location, flavor, and a unique twist on dining. Nestled right by Lake Norfolk, it offers stunning views of the lake. You can enjoy these vistas right from your table, especially nice if you choose to dine outside.

Now, let me tell you about their Burger of the Month Club, which is a total game-changer. Every month, they feature a different burger. If you’re up for the challenge of trying each one, your 12th burger is on the house.

This month’s Reuben burger was an absolute masterpiece. Imagine a 1/2 lb burger, loaded with corned beef, sauerkraut, homemade pickles, all cooked to juicy perfection. The fries that come with it are a work of art, both in taste and presentation.

If you’re coming from Little Rock, gear up for a scenic drive that’s about 3 hours. It’s the perfect excuse for a road trip, with the promise of an amazing meal and gorgeous lake views waiting for you at the end. If you’re up for a bit of unique adventure in Arkansas and a burger that’ll have you coming back month after month, this spot is worth the trip.

The Grill at Whispering Woods offers stunning lakeside views, adding a unique twist to your dining experience.
The Grill at Whispering Woods offers stunning lakeside views, adding a unique twist to your dining experience.

11. Slader’s Alaskan Dumpling Co.

Slader’s Alaskan Dumpling Co., tucked away in Searcy, is where the dumpling magic happens. Here’s the deal: it’s all about dumplings, and honestly, they’ve got this dumpling game down to an art.

You get to pick from potato, beef, or chicken, served up in ways that will absolutely hit the spot. I went for the Alaskan dumplings and dumpling soup, and let me tell you, both were a delight – filling, tasty, and they even throw in a can drink to wash it all down.

But there’s more to Slader’s than just great food. The place is decked out with Alaskan-themed decorations, giving it a vibe that’s both unique and inviting. Add to that a selection of games to play and vinyl records to set the mood, and you’ve got yourself a spot that’s perfect for hanging out and having a good time.

If you’re ever in Searcy and find yourself craving some dumpling goodness, Slader’s Alaskan Dumpling Co. is the place to be. It’s not every day you find a spot that combines awesome eats with a fun atmosphere. Trust me, it’s a must-visit for anyone looking for cool restaurants in Arkansas.

Slader's Alaskan Dumpling Co. is the ultimate dumpling destination, mastering the art of dumplings.
Slader’s Alaskan Dumpling Co. is the ultimate dumpling destination, mastering the art of dumplings.

12. Pea Farm Bistro

Ever wondered where to find the ultimate club sandwich? Look no further than Pea Farm Bistro in Cabot, AR. Seriously, if you think you’ve had a good club sandwich before, this place will reset your benchmarks. it’s clear they focus on freshness and quality,

If sandwiches aren’t your only love, their salads and soups are nothing to scoff at either. With a wide selection, everyone at your table can find something to rave about.

What really sets Pea Farm Bistro apart as one of Arkansas’ best restaurants is its commitment to simple, delicious food in a welcoming atmosphere. It’s a place where the food shines and the mood is always right for digging into something tasty.

When you’re cruising through Cabot and the hunger pangs hit, remember Pea Farm Bistro. It’s a sandwich experience that could very well spoil you for all others.

Pea Farm Bistro is one of the unique restaurants in Arkansas.
Pea Farm Bistro sets the standard for the ultimate club sandwich, prioritizing freshness and quality.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the quirkiest restaurants in Arkansas

Are you searching for more information about where to eat in Arkansas? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about Arkansas’s most unique restaurants.

What food is Arkansas famous for?

Arkansas is famous for its incredible comfort food, especially its barbecue and fried catfish. You’ll find mouth-watering barbecue joints and catfish houses scattered throughout the state.

What is the state food of Arkansas?

The state food of Arkansas is actually rice! Arkansas is one of the leading rice producers in the country, so it’s no surprise that this grain has earned the honor of state food. You’ll find it served up in all sorts of delicious ways across the state.

Rice pilaf: Flavorful rice blend with herbs and veggies.
Rice pilaf: Flavorful rice blend with herbs and veggies.

What is one cool fact about Arkansas?

One cool fact about Arkansas is that it’s home to the only diamond mine in the world where the public can search for diamonds and keep what they find. The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro is a one-of-a-kind adventure that has made many visitors happily richer during their stay in Arkansas!

What is the official state drink of Arkansas?

The official state drink of Arkansas is milk. This choice highlights the state’s rich agricultural heritage and the importance of dairy farming to the local economy. Plus, it’s a nod to the wholesome, down-to-earth character of Arkansas and its people.

The top restaurants in Arkansas for all types of travelers
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