Though Arkansas is often overlooked as a food destination in the United States, the landlocked Southern state is hiding some epic eats. Bordered by the cultural and culinary hub of Louisiana and the Deep South languor of Mississippi — not to mention Oklahoma and Texas to the west, Tennessee to the east (with Memphis directly across the river), and Missouri to the north — Arkansas is a crossroads, and it boasts many of the delicious flavors that might more typically be associated with its neighbors. We’ve rounded up the best of the state’s eats as part of our first annual guide to the best food and drink in every state.
The most populous city is the state capital, Little Rock, a city that has been attracting diversity since its economy bloomed after World War II. It is now considered a hub for transportation, business, culture, and of course government. Many of our favorite food items hail from this city, since it has attracted both growth and tourism more than the rest of the state’s cities.
If you venture to travel to Arkansas, we recommend visiting its forests and hiking among the Arkansas Timberlands to enjoy the beautiful weather. After your hike and perhaps a visit to the meandering Mississippi River, you will be starving and ready to chow down at one of the state’s best places to eat.
Over the course of the past year we’ve honored everything from its best hot dogs and farmers markets to its best dive bar and craft brewery in our comprehensive and wide-ranging lists and rankings, compiled through extensive research and with input from a wide network of site contributors, bloggers, journalists, and chefs. We’ve compiled these into individual slideshows celebrating the best food and drink in every state, and you can find our Arkansas slideshow here.