Three Arkansas Original Dishes

Cheese Dip and chips at Stoby's
Cheese Dip and chips at Stoby's

Arkansas is firmly ingrained in American food culture thanks to a broad spectrum of food influences that have created some unique dishes. Whether you enjoy these authentic foods in an Arkansas restaurant or make them at home, you’ll taste the flavors of The Natural State.

Cheese dip – Yep, cheese dip is an Arkansas invention. The consensus seems to be that cheese dip first appeared on a menu in the 1930s at a North Little Rock establishment called Mexico Chiquito. Owner “Blackie” Donnelly is credited with the recipe. It was originally served with chips, but it goes well with just about anything that could use a creamy, savory kick—French fries, pretzels, chicken tenders or your favorite vegetables.

Fried pickles – They may sound peculiar, but fried pickles are a Southern delicacy with a crispy sweet flavor profile that everyone should experience at least once. The now-closed Duchess Drive-In in Atkins lays claim to the original recipe. Today, many restaurants around Arkansas offer fried pickles as appetizers, so you’ll find endless varieties to savor as you travel through the state.

Chocolate gravy – Often attributed to the Arkansas Ozarks, this thick, sweet sauce is traditionally made with fat, flour and cocoa powder. And believe it or not, it pairs just as well with biscuits as the sausage gravy you’re used to. Give it a try next time you sit down for breakfast in one of the select Arkansas restaurants that serve it (try the Ozark Café in Jasper, for one)—or make it for yourself at home.

So there you have it: three great ways to get an authentic taste of Arkansas. We invite you to come and dine with us anytime. Start planning an Arkansas foodie getaway today!