Fayetteville is a great place to live for several different reasons. It has beautiful hiking trails, friendly residents, fun events, but most importantly: Amazing food!

I am a huge foodie and trying new restaurants has recently became one of my favorite hobbies. I will be a senior this year at the University of Arkansas, so I have had three years now to try out the best of the best.

I’m also a huge believer in supporting your local businesses, so I have compiled a list of my top seven favorite local restaurants in Fayetteville that you have to give a try.

Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese

326 N West Ave #8, Fayetteville, AR 72701


This spot is in a great location for students because it’s just steps outside of campus. The atmosphere is very welcoming and youthful with tons of chatter going on inside. They also offer outside seating which is perfect for a beautiful Fayetteville day. My personal favorites include the sweet potato fries (with avocado ranch – yum!) and the Cheebacca which comes with the best garlic cilantro sauce I’ve ever tasted. This spot is a must!

Arsaga’s at the Depot

548 W Dickson St, Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 443-9900

Right across the street from Hammontree’s is Arsaga’s and wow, this place is dreamy. Arsaga’s is quirky in the best way possible. They have unique drinks that are always fun to try including a sparkling lavender lemonade and a spicy iced mocha. The food is one-of-a-kind and always delicious. I try my best to order something different every time I go here because there are so many great options. However, if I had to choose a few favorites, it would be the vegan cheese fries and the Nutella crepe!

Dirty Apron Bakehouse

245 N Church Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 313-4410

This location is also a very short walk from campus, making it a perfect lunch spot for in-between classes. This spot is known for their sandwiches, specifically their bread, but they also offer soup and salad as well. They make their bread in-house and it’s honestly making my mouth water just thinking about it. Dirty Apron also offers specialty loaves that can be pre-ordered up to two days in advance because yes, it’s that good. Some of their specialty loaves include jalapeño cheddar, cranberry pecan and cinnamon walnut raisin. My go-to sandwich here is the Wild Turkey, but everything is worth trying here!

Prelude Breakfast Bar

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

Prelude is a restaurant that I didn’t try until recently and I’m pretty upset with myself for not going here sooner. This is THE spot that will satisfy all of your breakfast and brunch needs. Trust me on this one. Prelude is a smaller venue that has a very special charm to it. They have the friendliest staff with the best service here. I’m 100 percent positive that everything on the menu there is to die for, but my signature dish is the Huevos Rancheros which is basically a southwestern-style breakfast sent from heaven. You have to check this place out for yourself!

Mamaka Bowls

495 W Prairie St, Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 935-3411

I cannot stop raving about this place to my friends and family! As soon as you walk into Mamaka Bowls, you can feel instant beach vibes. Their decor is bright and colorful and has pictures of the ocean everywhere on the wall. They also have these amazing swings where you can sit and relax. It’s just as amazing as it sounds. This place takes açaí bowls to another level. If you love fruit, you are going to freak out over this place. They always use the freshest fruit and their bowls are always made to perfection. They also offer smoothies if that’s what you’re into. My favorite thing on the menu is the Mamaka Bowl – such a classic! I seriously can’t recommend Mamaka Bowls enough!

The Farmer’s Table Cafe

1079 S School Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 966-4125

This is another great gem of Fayetteville! This is a great breakfast or lunch spot for any occasion. My favorite thing about The Farmer’s Table is their emphasis on supporting local farmers. They purchase almost all of their food from small, local family farms which speaks volumes to me! Their food is always so fresh and yummy, which is probably why they are almost always packed on the weekends. I recommend trying this gem on the weekday to avoid any kind of wait (even though it’s totally worth the wait). As far as the menu goes, you can never go wrong with ordering the Arkansawyer, which is their classic breakfast meal that lets you sample a little bit of everything. I mean, how can you go wrong with that?

Penguin Ed’s Bar-B-Que 

230 S E Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 521-3663

A list of amazing local restaurants near an SEC school would not be complete without a barbecue joint! It’s no secret that the South is known for its barbecue and I’ll be the first to say that Penguin Ed’s is one of the best in the area. I’ve been going to this restaurant since I was probably seven years old and I never get tired of it! This spot has a very southern and homey feel that feels so comforting as soon as you walk in. You just can’t go wrong with the classic BBQ pulled pork on a bun here with the BBQ baked beans for the side of course. It’s guaranteed that everyone will find something they like on the menu here!