Bentonville has some excellent dining options from casual coffee shops to fine dining restaurants. My recommendations include:
The Hive Restaurant: At the 21c Hotel, this restaurant serves three meals a day. Under the direction of executive chef and Arkansas native Matthew McClure, The Hive features refined country cuisine. It has a great decor featuring contemporary art. Watch out for neon green penguins!! Who knows where you might see one.
Flying Fish: At 109A Northwest 2nd St., a block off the main square, is a fun cafe and fish shack offering catfish, shrimp, oysters, crab, gumbo, po’ boys and grilled fish. Don’t miss the grilled catfish with rice and beans. The atmosphere is casual and fun.
Crepes Paulette: Known for both sweet and savory crepes in the French tradition, the owner is from Brittany in Northwest France. Their food truck is closed but they have a new cafe downtown at 100 SW 8th St..
Tavola Trattoria and Table Mesa Bistro: Owned by the same company, these are two downtown restaurants that locals love. Tavola, featuring modern Italian cuisine, is located at 108 S.E. A St. and Table Mesa, at 108 E. Central, features modern Latin cuisine.
Tusk & Trotter American Brasserie: At 110 S.E. A St., this is an attractive restaurant featuring southern cuisine using local seasonal produce and ingredients. It has a fun, warm and casual atmosphere. They have good wines also!
Eleven: Located at Crystal Bridges, this is an attractive, all-glass restaurant with curved wood ceiling that overlooks the water. There is a coffee bar open during the day. Table service is available on Wednesday and Friday nights. They have special wine events, so check the calendar on the website. We chose our dates around the restaurant being opened on Wednesday night.
Pressroom: At 121 W. Central, this is a great spot to stop for a latte or a glass of wine. They also have a full breakfast menu plus lunch and dinner menus serving small plates, soups and sandwiches. The interior is contemporary and casual.
Also getting good press is Oven & Tap at 215 S. Main featuring food cooked on a wood burning oven and Bentonville Brewing Company, a microbrewery at 1000 SE 5th St.
New since I was there, is ONYX Coffee Lab, a sleek coffee shop, at 100 Second St. #106. Also new is the 8th Street Market, a community focused food-hub with local restaurants, a brewery, food trucks and more.
Make sure to visit The Preacher’s Son, a new modern, Southern restaurant at 201 NW A St. Open for lunch and dinner, it is located in the former First Christian Church building from 1904. They also have a clubby cocktail lounge in the basement called the Undercroft. With great design, it was a James Beard Foundation Nominee for Best Restaurant Design 2018.