PHO REAL: @southeats_asian visits the Asian Super Market.

Maybe you’re looking for some destination dining to get the kids outta the house on a summer Saturday, or maybe you’re just hoping to dodge gastrological peril on your way to float the Kings River. Either way, you’re gonna need to know where in Arkansas to look for good eats at home and afar, and we’d suggest these blogs as both inspiration and required homework. 

Eat Arkansas

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Whether it’s a peek into the new speakeasy in Hot Springs that serves pies on a windowsill or advice on when to visit Prestonrose Farms’ new bagel bakery in Clarksville, our very own food editor Rhett Brinkley’s dispatches at staging.arktimes.com deserve your attention. Come for the breaking food news, stay for deeper dives into the personalities behind some of the state’s greatest grub. 

The Mighty Rib

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Though Little Rock restaurants pine for the “Mighty Rib bump” — the uptick in traffic that can come when food blogger Kevin Shalin mentions your signature dish — this blog gets around the state with enthusiasm and regularity. When your readers wonder how you manage to cover so much culinary ground without succumbing to cardiac catastrophe, you know you’re doing it right. 

ARGENTA’S ACES: Jack Lin of @pharmtofoodie visits Brood & Barley.

@pharmtofoodie

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Jack Lin, pharmacist by trade and a food-obsessed instagrammer on the side, is an apt ambassador for a healthy eating ethos, and not one that’s an exercise in deprivation. With a grid full of bike rides, bagels, brisket, hot chicken and hand-pulled noodles, the only downside is that the occasional pics of his kids are adorable enough to make you forget all about the food.

Kat Robinson
Kat Robinson working on recipes for the “The Great Arkansas Pie Book” in 2023.

Tie Dye Travels with Kat Robinson (@tiedyekat)

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One of the most recognizable Arkansas food advocates in the game, Kat Robinson’s made a career of documenting the state’s signature food in books, videos and TV appearances for well over a decade. Amidst a growing fine-dining scene of fussy garnishes and fussier reservation platforms, Robinson’s catalog leans refreshingly toward the rural and working class. 

@savouringshaniya
@savouringshaniya 

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Shaniya Abrams, whom our readers voted Best Server in the 2024 Arkansas Times Readers Choice poll, manages to find time for this curated blog between waiting tables at Raduno Brick Oven & Barroom and studying to be a nurse. The Arkansas Times reported in February that “when she parlayed that expertise into her first ‘Savouring SoMa’ guided tapas tour in January, it sold out within 24 hours.” Find her on Insta to see why. 

@southeats_asian

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Scrolling through this account on all things pan-Asian in Central Arkansas, you’ll find it all: a whisper on where to score the best homemade kimchi at a flea market on the outskirts of town, a look at all the stuff on Kemuri’s menu you’ve ignored in favor of your regular order, and a comparison of the pho broth at Mike’s Cafe to that at the Asian Super Market on University Avenue. 

@SouthernAsh

With an eye for craft cocktails and a penchant for highlighting cigar pairings, Joel DiPippa collects delicious dishes on Southern Ash’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. DiPippa’s expert beer savvy was on display during a deep dive he did for the Times in March on the new Moody Brews taproom, and we were impressed earlier this year when he managed to make the burger at Midtown Billiards look as delectable as we know it to be, despite the pool hall lighting.

Brian Chilson
BUT MAKE IT VEGAN: Trisha and Tremell Billings serve up hearty vegan delights at The Utopia Deli.

@veganmydude 

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Chef Mel (Tremell Billings) of Utopia Deli, a vegan food truck he runs with his fiancée, Trisha, runs a sassy Instagram account on the side, where you’ll discover chronicles of the destination dining trips he and Trisha make with their two children. Dispatches include photos of the vegan queso at Nacho Daddy on the Las Vegas strip and a glowing review of Atlanta-based chain The Slutty Vegan: “This will be four times I ordered the same burger and I still want another one,” he posted. “I feel like the fat guy off of Popeye.”

I Cleaned This Plate

Regular readers of the Arkansas Times have perhaps come across Guy Choate’s year-end meal rankings, a roller coaster of stellar bites and supremely disappointing sandwiches that we’re always delighted to publish on Eat Arkansas. Though he decided in May to call it a wrap after eight years, the review archives (Long live Tumblr!) are some delicious reading, whether Choate’s lionizing El Sur’s Baleada con todo or lambasting the chicken tenders at Gus’s. 

THE SCOOP: Joseph Nguyen of @hangrypedalernwa visits Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream.

@hangrypedalernwa 

With more than 20K followers, Joseph Nguyen journals from the northwest corner of the state through the lens of his twin passions: biking and eating. We especially love that he includes not only photos of the food, but montage-style reels that clue you in to the details: whether ordering at the spot is seamless and swift, whether there’s live music or outdoor seating, and why you should absolutely sit down and eat Sabor Catracha’s signature Pollo con Tajada in-house instead of taking it to-go. 

@nwatransplants

“Ew, why would you move to Arkansas?” That’s a question for which Brittany and Amin, a self-described “dental couple who traded the hustle of Buffalo, Detroit, Long Island, and Toronto for the charm of Arkansas in 2020,” have a pretty good answer. Exhibit A: nature. Exhibit B-Z: the abundant eats in the state, including the banana ice cream at The Preacher’s Son, the masala dosa at Bentonville’s India Mart and the coffee at Airship’s “secret” trailside, open-air coffee shop.  

@daniel_eating_dallas

Honorable Mentions

@daniel_eating_dallas

Former Arkansas Times food writer Daniel Walker’s Daniel Eating Dallas Insta is full of solid advice for his followers, aka “DED-heads”: why your non-pork-eating friends will spark plate envy by ordering the fried chicken at Slow Bone BBQ, why Dallas-ites should stop sleeping on Au Troisieme Bistro and where to score the best oatmeal creme pies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

Rex Nelson’s Southern Fried

If you like a hefty dose of politics and history with your food news, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Rex Nelson’s been cooking up that chili for decades now. But you can certainly cherry-pick your reading; Nelson’s got some Arkansas essentials — barbecue, catfish, fried chicken — indexed at his website under the “more” tab. 

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