Where to eat in Eureka Springs
We are a NYC family with a son who is graduating from Hendrix College in May. Although we have visited many times, our son is a theater major, we have always been in the Conway/Little Rock area. My husband and I thought that before we stop travelling to Arkansas we should go to Eureka Springs. Would love suggestions on where to dine or any places we should be stopping between Conway and Eureka Springs.
I was just in Eureka Springs earlier this week, and did some digging about where to eat while there. Three restaurant suggestions came up over and over, both on Chowhound and from locals:
1. The Rocking Pig. http://www.rockinpigsaloon.com/ We actually ended up eating at this restaurant. We were told by 2 locals "They make everything from scratch, and the BBQ's great." We were a group of 6 adults and one toddler, and we liked that the place is loud and rocking. It's definitely a biker place, with lots of Harleys out front. The ribs were smoky and decent, though a bit tough, and they came with their bbq sauce on the side. We got sides of baked beans, roasted vegetables, and onion rings. The beer was Leines Sunset Wheat, also decent. I was impressed that they had a wood fire oven for making pizza and that they try to be ingredient conscious.
2. Sparky's http://sparkysroadhouse.com/ We read about the great burgers on Chowhound, and this was a runner up for us. We took the trolley around town instead of driving (it was raining and parking was a bit tight due to a VW car parade happening at the same time, which was actually super fun). If I were going back, I would go to Sparky's to give it a try.
3. Basin Park Hotel Cafe: http://www.basinpark.com/balconybarre... This was mentioned by the locals we talked to as well as on the Chowhound boards, and we likely would have gone if there hadn't been so many crowds due to the VW parade...we feared it would be too crowded.
I wish I had more to offer, but we were only there for one meal! I really appreciated the info I found on Chowhound and that's why I wanted to share my thoughts here too. Where did you end up going in May?
if you get back to Eureka Springs, do try Caribe, Cafe Amore, DeVito's, Local Flavor, Cottage Inn, Grand Taverne, Gaskins Cabin, Bubba's, Anglers' Grill, and as mikie stated below, Ermilio's. the Rocking Pig has a great shrimp po boy with in-house remoulade sauce and a killer sirloin burger if you get back there. the Balcony Bar at the Basin is great for a drink, but there are better food choices around town.
We go to Eureka Springs a fair amount as they have great roads in the area for driving sporting cars. Without a doubt the best restaurant in town is Ermilio's Italian Home Cooking. It's on the loop near the Cresent Hotel and it's been packed every time I've been there. It's at 26 White St. 479-253-8806, it's just an older Eureka Springs home that's been converted to dining area. It reminds me a bit of Ercalina's in PA. There are a number of great B&Bs in the area if you are so inclined or the famous Cresent Hotel (it's supposidly haunted) take the ghost tour. I think you will find Eureka Springs a bit touristy, but a neat place to visit and quite a departure from NYC. Enjoy!
Oh, if you want an experience outside of Eureka Springs, that's between there and Conway, try stoping in Altus, AR. There is the Wienderkehr Wine Cellars just north of Hwy 64, with the Weinkeller Restaurant. It's a Swiss theam with German, French, and Italian food. They suggest you call for reservations 479-468-3551. I've only eaten there once, but it was very good.
There is or was the last time I was there, an Irish Pub in Altus, just a block south of hwy 64. I can't remember the name, but it was a happening place we went to as a small group, about 8-10 of us and they had exceptionally good food and a hard pear cider that was a big hit. You never know where you will find a diamond.
Anyway, just a couple of other ideas depending on how adventurous you may be.