Food brings people together. There’s no shortage of chefs working hard to do that at fantastic restaurants in Northwest Arkansas.

Local Favorites

A few of the region’s favorite places include Eleven at Crystal Bridges, Pressroom, The Hive at 21c Museum Hotel, Tusk and Trotter and Oven and Tap, all in Bentonville; The Farmer’s Table, Herman’s Ribhouse, Bordino’s, Doe’s Eat Place, Cafe Rue Orleans and Apple Blossom, all in Fayetteville; Foster’s Pint and Plate, Smokin’ Joe’s Ribhouse, Theo’s, Crabby’s Seafood Bar and Grill, all in Rogers; and Susan’s Restaurant and Neal’s Cafe, both in Springdale.

Special Diets and Markets

Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are becoming easier to find by the day. Veggie dishes are being served in food trucks and five-star dining spots, so it shouldn’t be hard to find your local “go-to.”

Northwest Arkansas has Indian MarketsKorean MarketsAsian Markets, and Supermercados. The local farmer’s markets provide fresh, locally grown vegetables, fruit, eggs, honeys, jams, meats, and flowers. All markets are open on Saturday, and many offer Sunday and weekday markets as well.

Beyond the Table

The 8th Street Market – formerly the Tyson Foods fry plant – in Bentonville’s Market District has become a mecca for foodies throughout the region and beyond. The market encompasses approximately 10 acres along 8th Street within the Bentonville Market District and houses “Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food” the culinary school operated by NorthWest Arkansas Community College Bike Rack Brewing Co.Markham & Fitz Chocolate, and Yeyo’s Mexican Grill. The 8th Street Market is just another layer to the region’s strategic effort to become a world-class culinary destination.

Local Brewery Scene

A new brewery opens in Northwest Arkansas every few weeks as what started out as just a couple has blossomed into more than a dozen. an. In fact, from 2011 – 2015 craft beer production is up 778%. Every community has pride in its own breweries, but they are also widely supported by the region. Beer festivals such as Foam Fest and brew tours with Hogshead make for a great weekend if craft beer is of interest. The Fayetteville Flyer writes a great regional column on beers for more information.

“By supporting our local producers, those who toil daily to provide our community food, we are creating a robust food system and a healthier community.”

ROB SHAUNFIELD