Bentonville is the new foodie hotspot of the South. These eateries prove it! There is no shortage of delicious dives to fuel visitors of the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) during their film-watching fun. Check out these recommendations of restaurants and food trucks to try in the area, and plan out your food tour in advance. Bon Appétit, Bentonville style!
108 E Central Ave., Ste. 10
It’s almost impossible to go wrong selecting from the tantalizing Table Mesa menu, their Curry Chicken Burrito and Fish Tacos are the talk of the town. Match either of those with the Mesa Rita craft cocktail, and you’re in dining heaven.
The Curry Chicken burrito comes covered in yellow sweet curry sauce and smokey red guajillo sauce, plated with Cuban black beans and Latin rice. The fusion of flavors with each bite plays tango with your taste buds. Top off the party in your mouth with a slice of Tres Leches cake. As if the three-sweet-milk-soaked dessert isn’t decadent enough, their version comes with whipped key lime icing drizzled with raspberry and mango puree. It’s lick-your-lips delicious. Wash it all down with the mango-infused house lemonade, and you’re left with one satisfied stomach!
Drew Barrymore, Emilio Estevez, Mario Lopez are happy Table Mesa diners, and during BFF, more celebrities will add to the A-list.
Specialty drinks and dinner specials are available each day of festival week. They won’t take reservations, but you can call 479-715-6706 or go to tablemesabistro.com to get priority seating.
- Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Saturday Brunch 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
200 NE A St.
The Hive is another celebrity hotspot. BFF co-founder Geena Davis, Harrison Ford, and a slew of other famous folks frequent the restaurant located inside 21c Museum Hotel. Award-winning chef Matthew McClure locally sources his ingredients, so the menu changes seasonally.
The grilled chicken with seasonal veggies, I assure you, is not your typical chicken breast. Sugared pecans, flavorful seasonings and artfully displayed vegetables make for a mouth-watering meal.
During the festival, movie-themed signature drinks are available, but if you want an old faithful cocktail with a kick, try The Wild Coast with 5-year rum, orange, Mexican chili and vanilla.
TIP: Book a table online for BFF week now at thehivebentonville.com or by phone 479-286-6575. Seats will be snatched up quickly.
- Breakfast: Monday-Sunday 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- Lunch: Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Dinner: Monday-Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. or slow of business.
- Bar: Sunday-Thursday open until 12 a.m., Friday & Saturday until 1 a.m.
217 S Main St.
Europeans feel at home in the classy yet rustic setting of Ramo d’Olivo. Reminiscent of a cozy location in California or the Mediterranean, the small eatery is one-of-its-kind for Bentonville.
Sample a flight of locally brewed beers or international wines, and soak up the delicious liquids. Small plates (think tapas) like the large meat and cheese plate with Italian meats and hand cut cheeses match perfectly with wine.
TIP: Owner Laura Brown encourages guests to order the wine flights, saying, “Our goal is to help people learn to like wine, so you have to try it.”
Ramo d’Olivo shares the room with a storefront of fresh, private label olive oils and vinegars. There are dozens of flavors to sample and purchase. Take home a taste of your time with three ounce bottles perfect for airline size requirements. Local restaurants incorporate their oils and balsamic vinegars in their recipes, and Ramo d’Olivo will soon boast its own deli with fresh sandwiches. Check out ramodolivo.biz for updates on the upcoming deli opening and to learn more about their products.
No reservation needed – just show up and meet new friends!
- Monday through Friday 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m
- Saturdays 10:00 a.m. 10 p.m.
- Sunday CLOSED
100 NW 2nd St., Ste 100
You won’t know where in the world you are when wining and dining at the Pressroom. The modern ambiance, high-quality menu and mixology offered at the posh spot send guests to bright lights and big cities far away.
Like other local hubs, the menu changes seasonally ensuring fresh to perfection food. Look for the Hamachi Crudo or Salt & Pepper Squid, and you won’t believe you’re in the small land-locked city of Bentonville. The Bratwurst is also amazing, and I dare say gives Germany a run for its sausage money.
While the food is artistic, tasty masterpieces, the beverages are what we write home about. The latte art is museum worthy and the mixology makes a mark. The Smoking Bullet and Classic Daiquiri are two popular craft cocktails among clientele. The Smoking Bullet glass is smoked with cherry wood before Bulleit Rye, Fernet Branca and simple syrup are added. An Absinthe rinse gives the Classic Daiquiri a nice nose for the mix of plantation rum, lime, honey and gin. On Hollywood authority, the Cosmopolitan is the best in town.
Although the Pressroom is spacious and airy, book your table sooner vs. later at eatpressroom.com or (479) 657-2905. The seats fill quickly.
- Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Sunday CLOSED
Blu Fresh Fish Marketplace
607 SE 5th St.
Blu Fesh Fish Marketplace serves up the freshest seafood in Northwest Arkansas. The $10 lunch menu feeds the hungry midday masses with offerings like seafood pasta and the salmon or tuna burger with hand-cut fries. Dinner with the family has widespread options to keep all the wee seafood lovers happy.
- Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Sunday CLOSED
Oven and Tap
215 S Main St.
Farm to table at its finest, Oven and Tap offers some of the best and freshest food around. Featured in publications like the New York Times, it’s no secret that their main courses like the Bansley Farms Pork Meatballs and appetizers like the wood fired edamame with rosemary, lemon and sea salt are utterly heavenly.
For happy hour fun, try the Garden Mule cocktail made with vodka, fresh grapefruit and lime, rosemary and topped off with kombucha. It’s super refreshing and will make the weary traveler’s worries disappear. There’s also a large selection of local brews on tap, as well as four selections of wine.
The small, seasonally varying menu ensures everything is well executed and always fresh as the morning mist.
BFF founders and celebrities helped inaugurate the place last May as the soft opening of the restaurant coincided with the event. Boasting a year of expertise on their belt, Oven and Tap is sure to please the stars once again this spring.
TIP: Reservations highly recommended ovenandtap.com
- Monday CLOSED
- Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Thursday, May 5th closed to the public for lunch
The Station Cafe
111 N Main St.
If you forgot you’re in a city with a meager 35k population, The Station Cafe will bring you back to small town. A local kid favorite, the cafe is casual dining at its yummiest. You’ll flashback to Sam Walton stepping through the door any minute while downing family-friendly comfort foods.
For some serious bang for your buck, try their giant hamburger and fries and stay full for what feels like days. Hearty breakfasts keep families fueled for daily festivities as well.
TIP: Visit thestationcafeinc.com to see the weekly specials.
- Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Sunday CLOSED
208 NE 3rd St.
Opening on April 28, just in time for BFF, 1926 restaurant will provide comfort foods with a twist. Start your day with freshly baked brioche, french toast with bananas foster and fruit-infused maple syrup. Munch on lunches like sandwiches and stuffed burgers, then wine and dine on bottles from Post winery and brisket or pulled pork sandwiches with hand-cut fries. Don’t forget the special, delicious mac-and-cheese too.
TIP: During the festival, Airship Coffee will provide a coffee cart out front the cute building and Post Winery will offer their fine selections out on the patio too.
Check out 1926bentonville.com for coming soon details.
- Breakfast & Lunch: Monday-Saturday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Dinner: Thursday-Saturday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Sundays May 1 & 8 only 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tusk & Trotter
110 SE A St.
Truffle fries lovers alert: Tusk & Trutter totally has the best in town. Match this delish appetizer (known on the menu as Pommes Frites) with any of their eclectic options like There’s a Hare in My Food!, Ozark Meat Pie or Crispy Pig Ear Salad. Finish off those fancy country feasts with Fried Apple Pie or Trot on Over Here for dessert, then down some divine drinks.
TIP: Happy Hours are Tuesday-Thursday 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Online reservations are available for parties of 14 or less, so go to their website www.tuskandtrotter.com to plan ahead for the busy festival week. You can also call 479.268.4494 for larger parties, and the staff will happily help you.
- Monday 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Friday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Sunday 10 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (kitchen closed 2 to 2:30)
108 SE A St.
Table Mesa sister restaurant Tavola Trattoria takes guests to the Mediterranean. Tasty Italian-American cuisine teases with a touch of Greece too.
Visiting stars Tom Cruise, Steve Harvey, John Voight, Judge Reinhold and Shaquille O’Neal sneak away from the crowds and sit at the table tucked behind the wine wall.
Delicious dishes like the Ratatouille or Arancini Trio leave guests with smiles on their faces. You won’t be able to stay away long, especially since they spice up the menu with the change of temps. Check out tavolatrattoria.com or call (479) 715-4738 to keep up with the current changes and schedule priority seating.
- Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.
- Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Catch brunch between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.)