Where to Eat Along the Arkansas Great River Road Scenic Byway
Cuisine is a staple in Arkansas culture, especially in the Delta. This region of the state thrives off agriculture and it reflects in its traditional country food offerings. If you’re headed out on a road trip along the Arkansas Great River Road National Scenic Byway, these are a few must-stop eateries along the route.
Hog Pen BBQ – Osceola, Arkansas
Situated just 26 miles from the start of Arkansas Great River Road National Scenic Byway, you’ll find Hog Pen BBQ. Whether you find it from the glorious smell of BBQ as you make your way down the highway, or because you already have it saved on your map, this little BBQ joint is always packed with locals and serves up traditional “delta style” BBQ in a homey setting.
Wilson Cafe – Wilson, Arkansas
A destination eatery in the Delta, the Wilson Cafe & Tavern serves up some of the best eats for miles around. The Wilson Cafe focuses on quality, locally sourced ingredients prepared by an executive chef. Spoiler Alert: there isn’t a single thing on their menu that isn’t worth trying at least once.
Jones BBQ – Marianna, Arkansas
No trip to the Delta is complete without a stop at Jones BBQ. Considered the country’s oldest black-owned restaurant, the Jones family has been serving up pork-based BBQ since 1910. In fact, they’re the first business in the state of Arkansas to ever receive a James Beard Award. People have come from all over the world to try their pork sandwiches. Today, James Jones runs the pit and restaurant, operating from 7 am til they run out, daily.
Hoots BBQ – McGehee, Arkansas
If you enjoy Texas-style BBQ, Hoots is your best bet while traveling in the Delta. What was once a cattle barn off highway 65 has turned into Hoots, a thriving BBQ joint in McGehee. It’s definitely one of the busiest eateries in town, with a menu that takes up an entire wall in the building.
Rhodas Tamales – Lake Village, Arkansas
Rhoda’s is probably one of the most well-known eateries in the Delta, and serves up home-cooked, delta-style tamales, filled with chicken fat, beef, and spices. Save room for a mini pecan pie! And most importantly, bring cash. This is a cash-only establishment.
Honorary mention: Delta Dirt Distillery – Helena, Arkansas
Technically, alcohol isn’t food. But you can’t come to the Delta without visiting Delta Dirt. This black-owned distillery is one of only four distilleries in the country making vodka from sweet potatoes. They also offer gin and bourbon products. Stop into their tasting room to enjoy their cocktail menu, or to buy a bottle of their (absolutely delicious) sweet potato vodka to take home.