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Pie Trail

Every year January 23 is the country’s National Pie Day as so designated by the American Pie Council. Here in Arkansas, we're very lucky -- every day is "pie day." Don’t just take our word for it though. Jane and Michael Stern, authors of the Roadfood guides and website, declared in a November 2003 Gourmet Magazine article, that "Arkansas is known as one of America's foremost pie states…”  And in the January 22, 2010 edition of USA Today, SeriousEats.com creator Ed Levine highlighted his Top 10 pie spots in the nation.  One of his choices? The Family Pie Shop in DeVall's Bluff.  In the article Levin says, "A hand-painted sign on a cinder block shed marks the source of some of the best pies in the country." There are fried pies, fruit pies, cream pies, specialty pies, old-fashioned pies – so many choices. Here are a few locations (in no particular order) where you can honor the All-American dessert in style with some of The Natural State’s best pies.  This is, by no means, a comprehensive list.

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  1. Charlotte's Eats & Sweets

    Keo
    Historic pharmacy building, complete with old walnut soda fountain. Sandwiches, including the famous "Keo Klassic," salads, burgers, shakes, sundaes, malts; homemade pies, cakes; coconut pie selected as one of the top pies in the South by Southern Living Magazine readers.
  2. Ms. Lena's Pies

    DeValls Bluff
    Fried pies made from a secret family recipe. Open Saturdays only. Peach, Apple, Apricot, Chocolate and Coconut made fresh every Saturday. Additional flavors such as Cherry, Mounds and Pecan made on alternate Saturdays. Special orders can be made any day of the week -- just call. Featured in Southern Living magazine.
  3. Family Pie Shop

    DeValls Bluff
    Specializes in coconut, chocolate, sweet potato and egg custard pies as well as crescent-shaped fried pies filled with fruit, an Arkansas delicacy. The fried peach pie is popular and the chocolate and coconut pies, topped with beautiful ¾-inch layers of meringue are Southern classics according to USA Today (05-24-2007). Known to locals as "Mary's Place." Has also been featured in the New York Times and Roadfood by Jane & Michael Stern.
  4. Rhoda's Famous Hot Tamales

    Lake Village
    Different menu featured daily; homemade tamales, hot lunches, fried chicken, catfish, roast beef; homemade pies including the popular half-and-half
  5. Bobby's Country Cookin'

    Little Rock
    Home-style cooking; plate lunches include one entree, two vegetables; three vegetables, or four vegetables, all with roll or cornbread, homemade pie by the slice; homemade casseroles and pies available for purchase; casseroles include lasagna, chicken lasagna, chicken spaghetti, Mexican chicken, Mexican beef, beef stroganoff, spaghetti, enchilada, ranch, chili spaghetti, beef taco bake; pies include coconut, chocolate, cherry cheesecake, pecan, the McRae, lemon, lemon icebox, whipped strawberry, peanut butter
  6. Boardwalk Cafe

    Jasper
    Arkansas House/Boardwalk Café on the banks of the Little Buffalo River. Menu features locally produced organic fruits and vegetables, free-range-beef, pork, chicken, elk, buffalo, wild-caught razorback, local rainbow trout, artisan breads and pastries. Made from scratch desserts, including a pie made with locally organic black walnuts. Mobile App: arkansashouse.gomo.pro
  7. Franke's Cafeteria West

    Little Rock
    Home-style cooking; an Arkansas tradition since 1919; famous for its egg custard and eggplant casserole; roast beef, candied sweet potatoes, hand-breaded fried okra, Karo Nut pie and the unusual cinnamon cream pie are some of the popular menu standards; catering available
  8. Lindsey's Barbecue, Catering & Hospitality House

    North Little Rock
    Opened in 1956 serving home-cooking and barbecue for lunch; chopped barbecue beef, pork, ribs, smoked links and chicken; fried chicken, catfish; variety of side items including mixed greens, pinto and baked beans, potato salad, onion rings, cabbage; homemade pies including egg custard, sweet potato, fried pies. GROUPS: facility can handle up to 350 guests on-site; no size limit off-site
  9. Shangri-La Resort & Marina

    Mount Ida
    One or two-bedroom housekeeping cottages with furnished kitchens; motel rooms; cable television; tennis court, swimming pool; restaurant features down-home cooking, daily lunch specials, homemade desserts; legendary pies including blueberry, apple, cherry, peach and cream-filled; full-service marina, tackle shop, fully rigged fishing boat and party barge rental
  10. Cliff House Inn & Restaurant

    Jasper
    Five-unit inn, three cabins and restaurant all which overlook the Grand Canyon of the Ozarks on Scenic 7 Byway. Good home-cooking featuring the restaurant's signature "Company's Coming" pie; perfect stop for photographing the Grand Canyon of the Ozarks.
  11. Nick's Bar-B-Q & Catfish

    Carlisle
    Barbecue chicken, pork and beef; seafood; catfish with all the trimmings; homemade fried green tomatoes, onion rings; cheese dip and salsa, salads; homemade fried pies (including coconut) and cobblers for dessert.
  12. Pickens Restaurant & Commissary

    Dumas
    Traditional Southern fare; daily plate lunches; signature dishes include skillet fried potatoes and onions, squash dressing; fresh vegetables, chicken salad, fried catfish; homemade desserts include coconut cream, chocolate, strawberry and pecan pies; hamburgers
  13. Godsey's Downtown Grill

    Jonesboro
    Large variety of burgers, sandwiches, wood-fired oven pizzas, several dips including Ro-tel, steaks, seafood, huge array of appetizers, salads, pasta, side orders, home cooking such as country fried steak, turnip greens; homemade desserts; catering available
  14. Holly's Country Kitchen

    Conway
    Serves up such favorites as fried chicken, hash brown casserole, turnip greens, mashed potatoes, mac ‘n cheese; banana cream and peanut butter pies; open for lunch only; has been in business since 1999
  15. Wagon Wheel Restaurant

    Greenbrier
    Menu is Southern-style cooking; featured in Michael and Jane Stern's Roadfood. The review states: "At the Wagon Wheel, freshly-baked, high-domed rolls envelop breakfast sandwiches of eggs and Petit Jean bacon; bread baskets come piled with white toast that is rich as cake; and tall meringue pies are Arkansas-excellent. Chocolate gravy with your morning biscuits!! Normal gravy is available, too, and it is excellent. This is a cozy sort of place where locals hang out and discuss things over coffee every morning. The tall (pie) meringues were Arkansas-excellent, and that is saying a lot, for Arkansas is one of this nation's premier pie places."
  16. Backyard Barbeque Company

    Magnolia
    Beef, pork barbecue, potato salad, slaw, barbecue baked potatoes; homemade coconut cream, pecan, cream cheese, Oreo, and banana pudding pies
  17. Chip's Barbecue

    Little Rock
    A Little Rock tradition since 1961; various barbecue sauces to choose from, hickory-smoked meats; chili, hamburgers, sandwiches, salads, soups. In addition to barbecue, Chips is known for the homemade pies and spicy cheese. GROUPS: off-premises catering available
  18. Ozark Folk Center State Park

    Mountain View
    Activities for young and old, this state park is dedicated to perpetuating the crafts, herbal wisdom and music of the Ozark Mountains. Learn how to throw a bowl, forge iron, stitch a quilt or any of more than 20 crafts demonstrated.Handcrafted goods for sale; daytime acoustic music on the craft village outdoor stage, evening shows in the auditorium featuring pre-1941 music along with special celebrity concerts scheduled throughout the year. Sixty cabins, conference center, restaurant serving home-style cooking; the park's popular fried pies are at the barbecue stand; general store/visitor center, gift shop and large herb garden. Loco Ropes offers 30-plus challenges on a high wire zip line course.
  19. Big John's Shake Shack

    Marion
    Retro dining; featured in Off the Eaten Path in Southern Living; best known for homemade and fried pies made fresh daily; fried broccoli and cheese bites; fried green beans, fried pickles, Texas Toothpicks (fried onions and jalapenos), and Munchers (fried tater tots with cheese and jalapenos); huge variety of shakes
  20. Red Rooster Bistro

    Alma
    Variety of sandwiches on homemade bread, which is a cross between sourdough and King's Hawaiian Bread, including a Dagwood made of corned beef, roast beef, Swiss and American cheeses, and an Airedale (named for the local mascot) featuring corned beef, pastrami and Swiss cheese; huge selection of homemade pies including Butterfinger, pecan cream cheese pie, German chocolate, Tollhouse, banana nut, strawberry, sundae pie
  21. Cotham's Country Store & Restaurant

    Scott
    "Where the Elite Meet to Eat." An old general store and museum known for its famous "17-oz. Hubcap Burger;" If you’re really brave you can try the “Double Hubcap” burger. Southern fried catfish, onion rings, fried green tomatoes; apple, apricot, cherry, peach, chocolate fried pies, and Mississippi mud dessert; daily plate lunch specials
  22. Bob & Wanda's Cafe

    Barling
    Offering catfish, hushpuppies, chicken, shrimp, spaghetti, barbecue, chicken and dumplings, burgers, ham and cheese, brisket, catfish and chicken fried steak sandwiches, side items including potato salad, baked beans, corn, mashed potatoes, fries, onion rings; and homemade pies for over 20 years.
  23. Cafe 1217

    Hot Springs
    Award-winning restaurant features gourmet food "on the go." The menu changes every month and can include salads, entrees, soups, sandwiches, gluten free sandwiches upon request, vegetables, homemade pies and cakes; children's menu. Specialties include gourmet American foods and marrying of international cuisines. Uses locally grown products and local vendors. Herbs used are all homegrown.
  24. Mama Max's Diner

    Prescott
    Handmade chocolate turtle candy; fresh corn cut from the cob, creamed then fried, candied yams; homemade vegetable soup; down-home cooking, soul food. "A home-cooking hot spot in Prescott for over 15 years," Arkansas Times. The caramel apple pie was chosen as one of Cowboys & Indians magazine's "11 pies worth the guilt." June 2011
  25. Dew-Baby's

    Stuttgart
    Soul food and Southern cooking; pan-fried chicken, vegetables, egg custard, sweet potato pies, fried catfish, side orders, homemade cakes, buffet
  26. Mud Street Cafe

    Eureka Springs
    Serves breakfast and lunch; open Friday and Saturday evenings for desserts, coffees and spirits; sandwiches, salads; freshly baked goods such as the blueberry cream homemade pie; gourmet coffees; featured in Southern Living magazine. Located in Underground Eureka; the building was built at street level in 1888; the spring that runs underneath the town in the late 1800s kept flooding the street, thus the name Mud Street. The street has since been built up, putting the cafe level down a flight of stairs; interior features old limestone walls, large wooden beams, and stained glass lighting. The original street is viewable from the underground windows.
  27. Catalpa Cafe

    Ozone
    Down-home cooking; daily specials; featuring the Catalpa Burger, catfish, shrimp, frog legs, steak, salads; known for the the homemade lemon, coconut cream, chocolate cream, apple, cherry, peach and pecan pies.
  28. Papa Joe's Country Store & Cafe

    England
    Homemade salsa, cheese dip and chips made from family recipes handed down through generations; appetizers, salads, soups, award-winning chili; steaks, seafood, chicken, burgers; array of homemade desserts may include chocolate, coconut or caramel pies, fried pies, Reeses Peanut Butter Cake, white chocolate strawberry cake, Italian creme cake, strawberry creme torte, Oreo cake; breakfast served during duck hunting season; primary dining room seats up to 160; private party rooms seats up to 40
  29. Big Springs Trading Company Restaurant and Smoked Meats

    St. Joe
    Serving lunch and dinner featuring old-fashioned cooking, including sandwiches, barbecue, steaks, ribs, lots of side orders; homemade desserts including pies; smoked hams, turkey, bacon, cheeses and more to take with you. Jams, jellies, and pickles are available seasonally; located close to the Buffalo National River.
  30. Three Sam's Barbecue

    Mabelvale
    Family-owned; pork and beef barbecue, burgers, chili dogs, onion rings, fries, chili; homemade desserts including peanut butter, strawberry and lemon ice box pies