Some tourist towns fall short when it comes to restaurants, but not Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Nestled in the Ozark mountains, this charming city attracts everyone from hippies to families, bikers and foodies. The city is surrounded by tall pines and stunning nature. The downtown has a European feel, but Ozarks hospitality and charm. There are shops galore and fantastic fare and drinks. There are a plethora of options, but here are a few recommendations.
The self-proclaimed “Eureka’s Living Room,” Brews is a charming spot to score a cup of coffee or a craft beer from Arkansas. It’s located at the corner of Pine and Spring streets, across from the post office, and serves a variety of beers from around the state. The taps rotate frequently so you have many options.
The coffee beans are roasted in Arkansas, too, and the menu boasts everything from a simple cup of joe to gourmet drinks.
Grab a sandwich, cup of chili or breakfast pastry while you sip on whatever brew you choose. This place is popular with the locals as well as tourists.
Eureka Springs has a way of grabbing hold of your heart, and that’s where Gotahold Brewing comes in. The brewmaster has 30 years of experience and this husband-and-wife team decided to name the brewery after the concept of being pulled in by Eureka Springs.
They have a nice selection of brews, from Belgian style to pale ale and stout (beers rotate by season). Bring a lawn chair and hang in their beer forest, which is a wooded area on the property where you can sip beer, listen to live music (depending on the day) and snag a meal from a food truck. Gotahold Brewing won the Best of Northwest Arkansas in 2021 and 2022.
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The Stone House
If you prefer wine, don’t miss The Stone House, a cozy, intimate place with a lovely wine selection. There are a variety of cheese and charcuterie boards to pair with your wine and mood (even a chocolate-based board). The boards have excellent quality meats, cheeses, freshly baked bread and items like local honey, dried cherries from Michigan and Marcona almonds from Spain.
As the name indicates, this place is housed in a stone building and the inside has two levels. The upstairs is more intimate, with big cushy chairs and dim lighting; the downstairs is a good place to chat with the owners or locals. The wine list is unique, but the owners or waitstaff will explain anything if you have questions. It’s a wonderful place to unwind.
SkyBar Gourmet Pizza
If the weather is nice, then venture to SkyBar Gourmet Pizza on the fourth floor of the Crescent Hotel. The balcony boasts gorgeous views and is a wonderful spot for a cocktail or delicious pizza. There’s a variety of classic 16-inches pizzas to choose from, all with a nice chewy crust and plenty of gooey cheese. The calzone for two is another winner.
This is a particularly lovely spot in the fall when the leaves are changing. This hotel is supposedly haunted; its history is certainly spooky. Built in 1886, in its heyday this historic hotel was quite an attraction. At one point, though, it was transformed into the Baker Cancer Hospital. A scam artist pretending to be a doctor lured desperate cancer patients from around the country to the property for treatment. He claimed to have a cure for cancer, but many people suffered at his hands and died on the property.
Whether or not you stop in for a drink, the hotel is worthy of a visit or to stay in. They have ghost tours if you’re looking for a nighttime activity. Don’t worry, this dark history will be the last thing on your mind while you enjoy a beer flight or martini overlooking the beauty of the Ozarks.
Sparky’s Roadhouse Café
Expect the unexpected at Sparky’s Roadhouse Café, a quirky and delicious café. Established in 1994, Sparky’s is housed in what was once a Texaco station and car wash. They have an extensive and eclectic menu, although there are a lot of Mexican influences.
If you like salsa, there are seven homemade ones to choose from and you can even order 2-ounce portions to create a salsa flight. The burgers are award-winning and there are roughly 15 options. Try a Reuben, the Eiffel Tower chicken or, for something light, the Persian Platter appetizer with slabs of feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, tabouli and pita bread.
They have a great beer menu, including Arkansas brews and Springfield’s own Mother’s Brewing Company. The margaritas are good, too.
Ermilio’s Italian Home Cooking
Ermilio’s Italian Home Cooking is a quaint and romantic restaurant that delivers big Italian flavors. Think rich red sauces, wonderfully creamy alfredo sauce, mama’s meatball recipe, killer lasagna (the Saturday special) and build your own pasta from different homemade sauces and pastas.
The pesto rounds or stuffed mushrooms are good appetizers. They have tiramisu and Italian wedding cake to end your feast. It’s a lovely experience, but get there early or late because they don’t take reservations.
Hungry for something casual? Bubba’s Barbecue has been around since 1979 and is no frills, but has tasty barbecue and burgers. They make a roasted poblano queso sauce and love to smother things in it, like brisket sandwiches, pork sandwiches, tater tots and more.
This is the kind of place where you get big portions, plastic tablecloths, cold beer and friendly service. They have cold sandwiches, tacos made with smoked meats and traditional sandwiches.
Local Flavor Café
Local Flavor Café has long been a popular venue. They serve fresh, innovative fare. The quiche is delicious, and so are the salads and sandwiches. Try one of their signature dishes like the mahi mahi tacos.
This is a good lunch or dinner restaurant with a wildly popular brunch on Sunday; try to score a seat on the patio overlooking the downtown area. They serve Southern favorites for dessert like a flakey biscuit smothered in homemade chocolate sauce. The crème brûlée is fantastic.
Reservations are strongly recommended at Local Flavor Café because there’s often a line (call for reservations).
For breakfast or a light lunch, try Nibbles Eatery. They have smoothies, great quiche, lovely pastries, French toast and more. Breakfast is served all day. For lunch, there are sandwiches/paninis, a daily soup and salads. The restaurant is small, so it’s not always easy to get in.
Le Stick Nouveau
Le Stick Nouveau offers an exquisite dining experience. In 2021, TripAdvisor rated them in the top 1% of restaurants worldwide. They’ve also been rated in the top 10%.
Here’s a fun piece of trivia: The chef and owners ran the popular Candlestick Inn in Branson until the 2012 Leap Year tornado destroyed it. That is where the “stick” in the name comes from, translated into “The New Stick.”
They feature a new six-course menu each month and post it on Facebook. The food is spectacular. There’s one seating at 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Reservations are a must.