Food keeps us alive, but when you're traveling, food should do more than that. Enjoyable meals are an important part of your vacation experience, and this is a great time to try something you might not encounter every day.
You've come to the right place for culinary adventures. For a small town, Eureka Springs has a wonderful variety of dining establishments, and their quality is unmatched. You've seen tourist areas where the restaurants don't care if they ever see you again, but when you dine around Eureka Springs, the people at the next table may well be locals.
Yes, the people who live here are justifiably proud of their restaurants, whether they offer fancy fare or simple sustenance. Every year, a statewide newspaper presents awards to restaurants around the state, and this little corner of the world is always well represented among the winners.
Look over your choices, and expand your horizons a little. You can find steaks or vegetarian, Italian or East Indian, elegant or everyday. Whatever your choice, however, make sure you allow some time for a meal. With food this good, you don't want to have to hurry. And you definitely want to have time to enjoy a nice dessert!
* 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 Friday 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, daily lunch specials, and Wed. night Margarita special, with meal. 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. Lunch and dinner specials. 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 Tuesday, 5-9 p.m. Full bar. New! Dine-in / take-out Deli. Thursday through Tuesday 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 Quality Inn, you can't miss it.
*Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse -- Meander north along the old railroad bed on Hwy. 23 for three miles to an original bear hunter's cabin to enjoy Angus steaks. Prime rib is the house specialty. Private club license. Opens at 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. (479) 253-5466.
* 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 - 9 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 and Wednesday thru Saturday 8 .m. -- 10:30ish; lunch and dinner Monday and Wednesday 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 -- Full service restaurant and cocktail lounge. All menu items under $10. Grilled Ribeye, Cashew Chicken Stir Fry. 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-Fri. 4 p.m. - 9 p.m., Sat., 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.
* New Delhi Cafe -- Breakfast, lunch and dinner all served all day. Enjoy Belgian waffles with a cup of espresso, or delve into an East Indian samosa. Authentic East Indian dishes. Salads and sandwiches are delicious. (479) 253-2525. Located at 2 N. Main St., just a hop, skip and jump from Main and Spring Sts.
* 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.
* Port Orleans -- "Take a trip to New Orleans without leaving Carroll County." This special restaurant features great Cajun cooking and a relaxed New Orleans atmosphere. Smoked steaks, Cajun prime rib and seafood-stuffed catfish are just the beginning. They serve organic rice and vegetables, as well as homemade bread and desserts. Member, Slow Foods U.S.A. Open Friday and Saturday only, 5 - 9 p.m. Located 15 minutes west of Eureka Springs off Hwy. 62W on Hwy. 187. See Eureka Springs West map in this issue for location. (479) 253-5258.
* 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. Weekend Champagne Brunch. Lunch buffet Monday - Friday. 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.
* 302 On the Square -- Dine in the casual elegance of the Grand View Ball Room or take out from Royal Sundaes. Diverse menu selections ranging from authentic Red Beans & Rice with Andouille Sausage, Louisiana Chicken and Gravy to Beef Stroganoff - slow cooked for 24 hours. 302 On the Square has home cooking with an eclectic flare at family friendly prices. Located on the Berryville Square open Monday & Tuesday 11am - 3 pm Wednesday thru Saturday 11am - 8pm Call 870-654-3952 or visit us at www.ozarts.org.