Have you ever been to a tourist destination and found all the food forgettable? Sometimes you get the feeling that restaurants in tourist destinations treat you like they'll never see you again.
It's not that way in Eureka Springs. You'll be dining at the same places the locals patronize, and you'll share their pleasure as you enjoy a wonderful variety of cuisines.
Look at the list below, and you're guaranteed to find something that appeals to you. Look around once you're seated at your table, and you'll spot some other tourists, of course. But you'll also see people who live and work here, and who are proud of their dining opportunities.
Each year, a statewide newspaper has a contest to name the best restaurants in various categories. Despite the small size of Eureka Springs, restaurants from this Ozarks town consistently earn honors, even when competing against larger communities like Hot Springs and Fayetteville.
So whatever your tastes, you'll remember every wonderful meal as part of your vacation experience.
* Angler's Grill -- All-you-can-eat catfish is the specialty at this completely remodeled restaurant. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Beer and wine. Open daily. Cold beer and big screen TV in Coop Dog's Monday through Saturday from 7:30 p.m. Happy hour Monday through Thursday 2 p.m. -- 5 p.m. Live entertainment Friday nights. (479) 253-4004. On Hwy. 62 W. at the former Crest location.
* Autumn Breeze -- A beautiful fine-dining steak and seafood house. The charbroiled steaks are what steak lovers are looking for and the extensive menu offers lots of other choices, including lobster tails, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Coquilles St. Jacques and rack of lamb. If excellent service, a lovely view and a world-class wine list appeal to you, then you've got to try Autumn Breeze. Chef Bloch's soufflés are the perfect ending to an outstanding dining experience. Open Monday through Saturday, 5 -- 9 p.m. (479) 253-7734. Hwy 23, 1/2 mi. S of Hwy 62.
* Balcony Bar and Restaurant -- Enjoy hearty appetizers during the week inside or on the covered deck of the Basin Park Hotel. Friday night fish fry is not to be missed. Battered cod or baked chicken complemented with War Eagle Mill's famous cornbread. Fish Fry Fridays are done in a magnificent way, featuring the freshly-milled organic grains of War Eagle Mill. Battered Cod and Catfish, corn bread, hush puppies and hot rolls, plus cole slaw and all the fixin's makes the the Balcony the place to be on Frydays. Full bar. Open for lunch and dinner. (479) 253-7837. 12 Spring St.
* Bavarian Inn -- Walk into an Alpine setting and enjoy authentic Czech-German cuisine, steaks and fish. One minute from downtown on US62W, open daily from 5--9 p.m. Full bar and fabulous homemade desserts. (479) 253-7741. 325 W. Van Buren.
* Café Santa Fe -- Southwestern food served in a fun, bright café on N. Main St. at Mill Hollow Rd. Southwestern specialties and daily lunch specials. Full bar and lots of free parking. Open daily at 11 a.m. (479) 253-9617. 179 N. Main.
* Café Soleil -- Delicious, healthy, beautiful and affordable menu choices, and beer and wine or herbal teas for your pleasure. Open 11 a.m. -- 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday 10 a.m. -- 9 p.m. Brunch 'til 2 p.m. Located on US62E. (479) 253-2345.
* Crystal Dining Room -- Superior dining for the discriminating traveler in the gorgeous 1886 Crescent Hotel ballroom, just off the lobby. Breakfast, lunch and dinner served daily, with Sunday brunch in the tradition of grand hotels. (479) 253-9652. 75 Prospect Ave.
* DeVito's -- Enjoy fine, authentic, Italian family recipes in an intimate setting in the heart of downtown. Fresh trout is the specialty of the house, but DeVito's has received accolades for its entire menu in an impressive number of state and national publications. Dinner served Thursday through Monday, 5-9 p.m. Full bar. New! Dine-in / take-out Deli. Thursday through Monday 11:30 a.m. -- 2 p.m. (479) 253-6807. 5 Center St.
* Dinner Bell Ranch -- Hop on a trusty steed and ride the wide, country trails to enjoy cowboy cooking around a campfire for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Reservations required. (479) 253-2900. 4.5 mi. S of Hwy 62 on Rockhouse Rd.
* Ermilio's -- Old-country Italian family recipes make Ermilio's like a trip to Tuscany. Choose your pasta, then choose your sauce, and try those meatballs! Full bar. Serving dinner daily 5 - 9 p.m. (479) 253-8806. 26 White St.
* Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway. Lunch and dinner served in the dining car, just like in the old days. Dine in style and enjoy a scenic excursion aboard the train. 299 N. Main. Dining reservations required. (479) 253-9623.
* Eureka Swiss Café -- Dine in, take out or take in the view at Eureka Swiss Café. Enjoy their made-to-order sandwiches on homemade wheat rolls. Warm up to a bowl of our vegetable soup. Custom build your own potato at the potato bar. Wet your whistle with an espresso, cappuccino latte, hot chocolate or home brewed iced tea. Finish it all off with homemade carrot cake or perhaps a razorback ear. Open every day 9 a.m. -- 5 p.m. except Monday. (479) 235-8004. Conveniently located downtown at 12 ½ S. Main.
* Forest Hill -- Always a favorite, year 'round dining. Serving great steaks and seafood, wood fire oven pizza and full menu. Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet are family favorites. Don't miss Traditional Sunday Brunch with dessert extravaganza -- locals' favorite. Private parties and weddings. Open 7 a.m. -- 9 p.m. (479) 253-2422. Located on Hwy. 62 East, next to Holiday Inn, you can't miss it.
* Horizon -- Enjoy delicious char-grilled steaks, fish, 18-layer lasagna and the most beautiful view of Beaver Lake imaginable. Beer and wine. Open Monday through Saturday, serving dinner 5 - 8:30 p.m. (479) 253-5525. Drive west on US62 to Hwy. 187, then left on Mundell Rd. -- it's only 15 minutes from downtown.
* Local Flavor -- Great breakfast, lunch and dinner specials. Taste why this is a local favorite. Brand new menu and decor. Breakfast Monday thru Saturday 8 .m. -- 10:30ish; lunch and dinner Monday thru Saturday 'til 9 p.m. Sunday brunch 9 a.m. -- 2 p.m. (479) 253-9522. Located across from the trolley depot on S. Main St.
* Marquee's -- A new name, new menu, new look, new staff and new attitude. Adult Game room with pool, darts, video golf and other games. In the bar - big screen TV and a state of the art juke box. Open Mon-Thurs. 4 p.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat., 11a.m. - 11 p.m., Sun. 12 noon - 10 p.m. Closed Tues. On Hwy 62 West, at the former Caribe location (309 W. Van Buren). (479) 253-8102.
* Mud St. Café -- Experience Eureka's local legend! Relax into the cozy atmosphere and enjoy award winning coffees and espresso. Start your day off with sour cream pancakes or a specialty omelet. They offer the freshest salads and wraps, great burgers and Reubens or simply indulge in one of their unforgettable desserts. Full bar and local art. Open 8 a.m. - 3 p.m., except Wednesday. (479) 253-6732. Located at the confluence of Spring and Main Sts.
* Myrtie Mae's -- Bountiful and scrumptious comes to mind. Sunday brunch buffet is a sight to behold. Open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cocktails available. (479) 253-9768. Located in the Inn of the Ozarks.
* The Paper Rose Tea Room -- Discover a unique dining experience sit in or dine out overlooking Eureka Historic District. Only the freshest ingredients are used and prepared to order. For the Adults Beer and wine are available. For the kids check out the revised children menu. Downtown delivery is available (479) 253-2212. Centrally located at 481/2 Spring Street. Open Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
* Roadhouse Restaurant -- "Many have eaten here....Few have died." Bring your appetite! The Roadhouse is known for good food and lots of it. Big breakfasts and hearty lunches and dinners are served indoors and on the covered deck. Daily specials. Beer and wine. Open 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday. One mile east of Passion Play Road on Hwy. 62E. (479) 363-0001.
* Rowdy Beaver Restaurant & Tavern -- Join Rowdy at the Rowdy Beaver Restaurant and Tavern in a fun family atmosphere. They serve lip-smacking good steaks, seafood and chicken, along with a full bar for the thirsty folks. Sweets lovers -- you won't be able to resist their desserts! Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Late night menu also. 253-8544. Hwy 62 W.
* Sparky's -- Do not leave town without getting your Sparky's fix. It's fun, the food ranges from burgers to enchiladas to grilled steaks and fish. Full bar and 99, that's 99, brands of beer, and good wine, too. Daily except Sunday. (479) 253-6001. On US 62. You can't miss it.
* War Eagle Mill Outpost -- Don't miss one of the most picturesque cafes in Eureka Springs, located inside a cave in the lobby of Basin Park Hotel. Open for breakfast and lunch, they offer a full line of coffee drinks and everything to eat from War Eagle biscuits and gravy to cinammon rolls to Panini breakfast sandwiches on homemade bread. Open 7 days a week 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (479) 253-7411.