Yes, you read that correctly, and we were as shocked as anyone. Have you visited Bentonville, Arkansas lately? Or ever visited at all? Have you even THOUGHT to visit? Honestly, we didn’t. We had no idea exactly what we would encounter in Bentonville, but we were determined to find out!

The blaring truth is, if this super cute and quaint city isn’t on your F&B radar, we hope this piece of enlightenment will convince you Bentonville is rapidly becoming a drinking and dining mecca, and if you’re not planning to visit, you’re seriously missing out!

After a week long visit in Arkansas, here are our top Bentonville, can’t miss, picks!

BREAKFAST

The Hive

Located in the highly regarded 21C Museum & Hotel, a visit to The Hive is HIGHLY recommend. You cant go wrong choosing this stellar restaurant as your destination for breakfast, dinner or simply after work craft cocktails. Recently featured in Garden & Gun Magazine, The Hive offers modern sophistication in a creative, cozy, inviting space.

The Hive Bentonville Arkansas The Hive Bentonville Arkansas

“Under the direction of executive chef and Arkansas native Matthew McClure, The Hive pays tribute to the High South while articulating McClure’s approach to refined country cuisine. During his tenure at The Hive, McClure has been named the winner of FOOD + WINE The People’s Best New Chef award in the midwest region and is also a six-time James Beard Foundation Best Chef Semifinalist Nominee. The bar + lounge is the perfect place to quench your thirst, entertain important clients or grab a casual bite with friends. The Hive, designed by Deborah Berke Partners, is a communal gathering place for diners to meet and connect with one another in Bentonville.” ~ The Hive

Executive chef Matthew McClure of The Hive at 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville has been named a semifinalist for the 2019 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards in the Best Chef: South category for the 6th year in a row.

“It is an honor to be affiliated with an organization that is working to create a more sustainable and diverse food culture for everyone. I am thrilled to be considered for this coveted award for the sixth year in a row and bring well-deserved recognition to the cuisine of my home state. It is a testament to the hard work and values of the team at The Hive,” said McClure.

DDD Recommendations

For Breakfast: Poached Eggs with Chorizo Grits, Buttermilk Pancakes, Egg Sandwich with Sorghum Sausage

For Late night: Pimento Cheese & Toast Points, Craft Cocktails

For more information, visit The Hive, Bentonville, here.
The Hive
200 NE A Street
Bentonville, AR 72712

Louise at Thaden Field

Chef driven by girl boss Abby Milam, Louise is the perfect choice for a casual breakfast, lunch or dinner in an incredibly unique venue. Unique venue meaning it is located ON a runway and you can watch planes and helicopters takeoff and land during your meal! Not to mention there are various aircraft that interchange frequently in the “museum-esque” entrance, as well as a flight school above!

Louise at Thaden Field Bentonville Arkansas Louise at Thaden Field Bentonville Arkansas Louise at Thaden Field Bentonville Arkansas

“LOUISE is a modern all-day cafe located in the Fieldhouse at Thaden Field that serves diner-style breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. LOUISE has both indoor and outdoor seating facing the runway, providing great views of planes taking off and landing as you enjoy great food!

The restaurant was named in honor of Iris Louise McPhetridge Thaden (1905-1979). Born and raised in Bentonville, she was a proud Arkansan and one of the greatest aviators of her time. Her pioneering and innovative spirit inspires all of our guests who dine with us.” ~ Louise

LOUISE was a mother, aviatrix, record setter, barnstormer, Bentonville Native.

Women’s Altitude Record:  20,260 FT

Women’s Endurance Record: 22 HRS, 3 MINS, 12 SECS

Women’s Speed Record: 156 MPH

East-to-West Record: 14 HRS, 54 MINS, 46 SECS”

DDD Recommendations

For Breakfast: The Quiche is TO DIE FOR! Also, Breakfast Tacos

For more information on Louise at Thaden Field, visit their website here.

Louise at Thayden Field
2205 SW I Street 100
Bentonville, AR 72712

LUNCH

Oven & Tap

Southern meets Italian in beautiful harmony at Oven & Tap. Led by Chef Luke Wetzel, Oven & Tap handcrafts each dish on the menu highlighting fresh and local ingredients. Their tap wall features over 16 craft beers complimented by a wide array of handmade cocktails and drinks including Onyx Cold Brew on Nitro! Don’t forget to ask about their bottle program for you and your friends. Also, don’t miss the OUTSTANDING artwork on the walls created by a local artist featuring employees of Oven & Tap! It is INCREDIBLE and we completely fell in love. You’ll thank us later 🙂

Oven & Tap Bentonville Arkansas Oven & Tap Bentonville ArkansasOven & Tap Bentonville Arkansas Oven & Tap Bentonville Arkansas Oven & Tap Bentonville Arkansas

“Oven & Tap, named for its custom built wood fired oven & tap wall, is located just off the downtown Bentonville square. Oven & Tap is the  first outpost of the Township Provisions, a band of food &  beverage hounds who have a strong commitment to providing you with a quality dining experience.” ~ Oven & Tap

DDD Recommendations

For Anytime: Doughnuts with Coffee Dipping sauce, Edamame with Rosemary & Lemon, Fried Mozzarella

For Lunch: Shiitake or Prosciutto & Fig Pizzas, Salt & Vinegar Potatoes, Meatballs, SERIOUSLY anything on the menu!

For more information on Oven & Tap, visit their website here.

Oven & Tap
215 S. Main Street, Suite 3
Bentonville, AR 72712

Table Mesa

Seamlessly blending Southern charm with modern Latin flare, Table Mesa is an exotic  dining experience not to be missed! Featuring the freshest seasonal ingredients, diners can enjoy delicious food in a lively, warm atmosphere featuring vibrant colors and exposed brick with Latin Fusion style and decor.

Table Mesa Bentonville Arkansas Table Mesa Bentonville Arkansas Table Mesa Bentonville ArkansasTable Mesa Bentonville Arkansas

“Located in the heart of Bentonville historic district, Table-Mesa is positioned directly across from the park and fountain adding to a delightful dining experience.” ~ Table Mesa

DDD Recommendations

For Lunch: Ceviche De Atun Y Salmon, Firebread with Shrimp, Chicken tortilla Soup or any of the fresh, creative taco combinations!

For more information, visit Table Mesa on the web here.

Table Mesa
108 E. Central Ave #10
Bentonville, AR 72712

DINNER

Tusk & Trotter

If for NO other reason, you MUST visit this restaurant for the super cool artwork of all things pig and Anthony Bourdain! We LOVED IT! Self-proclaimed “America’s Fork Art”, Tusk & Trotter American Brasserie is located a block off “The Square” in Downtown Bentonville.

I would be remiss not to give a very special nod of palate approval to the Pommes Frites. What? Fries? YES. But these aren’t just any fries. They are coated with an Herbs de Provence glaze that you won’t find (or we haven’t) ANYWHERE other than Tusk & Trotter. It was the most original, unique, exquisitely delicious thing ever!

Tusk & Trotter Bentonville ArkansasTusk & Trotter Bentonville Arkansas Tusk & Trotter Bentonville ArkansasTusk & Trotter Bentonville Arkansas

“Featuring an atmosphere casual enough to invite families with a menu sophisticated enough to wow the most traveled gourmet. Our menu features local produce when possible and shifts seasonally to accentuate available ingredients. Our Owner and Executive Chef, Rob Nelson has been recognized repeatedly as one of our region’s best.

Tusk & Trotter’s floor plan was designed to invite families seeking to enjoy a delicious dinner, professionals wanting to meet for lunch or unwind after work, or a group of friends who just need a place to catch up. Our space, which was once Sam Walton’s general office and warehouse, is divided structurally in a way that naturally separates the quiet dining area to the South from the casual lounge area to the North. Interesting architectural elements of our space include exposed trusses overhead, acid-stained concrete floors, Sam’s original warehouse door and an arched doorway connecting our lounge and dining areas.” ~ Tusk & Trotter

DDD Recommendations

For Dinner: Housemade Pork Rinds, Pomme Frites (DO NOT SKIP THESE! They are one of the BEST things in Arkansas!), Pig Ear Nachos, Arkansas Fritters, Bear Hollow Ranch Bison, Sweet Tea Brined Catfish, chicken & waffles, DESSERTS! …the BURGER! Again, everything we enjoyed on the menu was a WINNER!

For Cocktails: Peach Whiskey or Black Walnut Manhattans – DIVINE!!

For more information, visit their website here.

Tusk & Trotter
110 SE A Street
Bentonville, AR 72712

The Preacher’s Son

Led by Executive Chef Matt Cooper, Preacher’s Son is not only dining at it’s absolute finest, but also holds an intriguing secret below! Can you guess? Hidden behind a door that simply says, “Coatroom” is a deliciously fun speakeasy offering Arkansas’s best craft cocktails! But shhh! Don’t tell them we shared their secret!

THE STORY

In 1849, John Ruskin wrote The Seven Lamps of Architecture which spread Gothic Revivalism across the western world.  In 1904, that same style is used for the First Christian Church in downtown Bentonville.  In 2015: Chef Matt Cooper, son of a Methodist preacher, becomes the executive chef of this restaurant. In 2017, We proudly connect these moments to open The Preacher’s Son.

THE SPACE

The first Christian Church of Bentonville was structurally restored by architect Chip Chambers and contractor Brian Soulé, who led the construction through completion. FÖDA was selected in 2015 to develop the concept for this restaurant. Using Ruskin’s Seven Lamps as a design manifesto, FÖDA created the concept around the Chef’s personal story, the soaring new art glass by George Dombek, and the unique structural features of the building itself.The sanctuary was fully re-conceived, custom banquettes designed by FÖDA and SAR in Denver, apse re-designed as the bar with champagne gold brick. The finishing touch is a grid of 288, 5” gold bells in the tower to give the church back its ring.

The Preacher's Son Bentonville ArkansasThe Preacher's Son Bentonville ArkansasThe Preacher's Son Bentonville Arkansas The Preacher's Son Bentonville Arkansas The Preacher's Son Bentonville Arkansas

“This is truly an exceptional space to connect with your friends, family and co-workers over a delicious meal.” ~ The Preacher’s Son

DDD Recommendations

For Dinner: Burrata with Shaved Beets, Crab Fritters, Mushrooms with House Ricotta & Grilled Bread, Pork Shank, Scallops (SO delicious!), Roasted Apple Risotto, DESSERTS!

For Cocktails: Pearfect Evening, Gypsy Tramps & Thieves, an INSANELY decadent wine list!

For more information, visit their website here.

The Preacher’s Son
201 NW A Street
Bentonville, AR 72712

SPECIALTY SHOPS, CAFES & BAKERIES

Walmart SPARK Cafe

It’s virtually impossible to visit Bentonville without hanging out at the Walmart Museum. You truly shouldn’t miss it. Sam Walton and family have such an astounding, impactful positive presence in both the history and growth of Bentonville. The coolest thing about the museum is the old fashioned ice cream cafe!

Walmart Spark Cafe Bentonville Arkansas Walmart Spark Cafe Bentonville Arkansas Walmart Spark Cafe Bentonville Arkansas

The Spark Cafe at The Walmart Museum boasts an array of refreshing food and beverage choices like freshly ground and locally roasted coffee, bakery-fresh treats and cool drinks.

For more information, visit their website here.

Walmart Spark Cafe
105 N Main St
Bentonville, AR 72712

Onyx Coffee Lab

Every town MUST have a great coffee shop and Bentonville totally has that in Onyx Coffee Shop! Featuring all types of coffees from pour over to French press and everything in between, Onyx Coffee Lab showcases innovation and excitement in “Not yo mama’s cup o’ Joe!” If you really love them, they also offer public and professional coffee classes.

Onyx Coffee Lab Bentonville Arkansas Onyx Coffee Lab Bentonville Arkansas Onyx Coffee Lab Bentonville Arkansas

“It was some years ago that we, Jon and Andrea, began to dream of serving a sweet, black cup of coffee to our customers in Arkansas. This coffee, the mythical bridge between the blended chocolate drink and a strong black cup, needed to combine the delicate flavors only present when coffee is grown and processed with love and care. Roasted to enhance but not mask flavor, and brewed to highlight those flavors, with the kind of customer service that meets people where they are – a solid, kind approach built on a desire to please them not only in the exchange at the counter, but with the drink they sip over meetings, laptops, and books.

Out of this dream is how Onyx Coffee Lab was born in October of 2012. Back then, we were struggling to get access to the kind of green coffee samples we were interested in. When no one knows who you are, no one wants to take a chance on you. We came out blazing with siphons, Kyoto cold brew towers, and weekly cuppings and classes, anything we could do to get customers asking why. Today we consist of a roasting facility, three stores with another on the way, 59 baristas, two roasters, a delivery guy, a warehouse grandpa, and a toddler…”

For more information on Onyx Coffee, visit their website here.

Onyx Coffee Lab
100 NW 2nd Street #106
Bentonville, AR 72712

8th Street Market

Talk about a fun and happening place AND home to The Holler and Brightwater, A Center for the Study of Food. 8th Street Market fits the bill as a place where you can find almost anything. Chocolates? They got ’em. Fresh baked pastries? Sure thing. A brewery? A textile studio? Farmer’s Market? MEXICAN GRILL! Yes, yes, yes and YES! All clever, tasty (except the textiles), innovative, and a destination in their own rights.

8th Street Market Markham & Fitz Bentonville Arkansas 8th Street Market Bentonville Arkansas

“8th Street Market is a community-focused food hub, where a spirit of creativity meets entrepreneurship, growing a group of tenants that serve one another as well as the community.  By supporting small and midsize local farmers, 8th Street Market gives back in more ways than one, pairing culinary excellence and experiences to feed a cycle of growth for the area’s agricultural producers and food entrepreneurs.

8th Street Market is a key component of the ever-expanding downtown Bentonville experience, located in heart of the Market District. Here, gatherings are grounded in a commitment to community, a shared love of food and drink, and the belief that together, we can all become better.” ~ 8th Street Market Mission Statement

For more information, visit their website here.

8th Street Market
801 SE 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72712

CASUAL DRINKS

The Holler

Billing themselves as Bentonville’s local hangout, The Holler offers a business casual atmosphere must like a modern day coffee shop, but with greenery, an indoor shuffleboard arena and FROZEN COCKTAILS! Let me repeat. FROZEN. COCKTAILS. And they are quite the special treat!

The Holler Bentonville ArkansasThe Holler Bentonville Arkansas

“WHAT IS THE HOLLER?

“It begins with Bentonville, because we love our city. Because we love the abundant wilderness that surrounds it. We love its diverse community, unique culture and way of life. Because Bentonville is always making itself better, marching forward to the beat of its own drum. We wanted to create one place that could capture all of this energy, optimism, potential. A place where our people can gather, no matter the occasion or time of day. A home-away-from-home. The Holler is that place.” ~ The Holler

DDD Recommendations

FROZEN COCKTAILS Y’ALL! ANY of them!

For more information on The Holler, visit their website here.

The Holler @ 8th Street Market
801 SE 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72712

Drink.Dine.Do. CONCLUSION:

Arkansas? When we were asked to visit Arkansas, we admit, we had no idea what to expect and quite frankly we weren’t expecting much we haven’t seen or done. I mean come on, we’re from a BIG city! What could possibly be out there that we haven’t tasted, ever experienced, or don’t already have? The truth? PLENTY! It was SO much more than we bargained for or imagined!

So what DID we really discover in Bentonville? We tasted pommes frites with an Herb de Provence glaze that makes your mouth water even thinking about it! We discovered expertly paired world class dishes, unique craft beers, incredibly amazing venues, a love and lust for freshness and sustainability, a blend of history and new world creations, stellar execution, and most of all? We found the most WONDERFUL friendly people that we wanted to pack in our suitcases and bring home with us. When you realize you want to bring everything you’ve found home with you, you know unequivocally, without a doubt, you have found a true gem. Shine on Bentonville!

If you’re not already planning your trip and booking your flight, YOU are SERIOUSLY missing out!

YES, THIS is Arkansas.

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