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Visiting Fayetteville, Arkansas? Here's 5 of the best things to eat and drink

Southwest Times Record logo Southwest Times Record 7/28/2022 Todd A. Price, Fort Smith Times Record

Northwest Arkansas has been exploding in recent years. Bentonville, with Walmart's corporate headquarters and the Crystal Bridges art museum, and the increasingly hip Rogers might not be recognizable to someone who last visited a few years ago. But Fayetteville, home of the state's flagship university and the Arkansas Razorbacks, has kept its character despite the influx of newcomers. The rolling, forested landscape is cut through with bike trails. The long-term residents include plenty of artists and eccentrics. And beyond busy Dickson Street, undergrads are relatively scarce.

Smoky Cheddar Burger

Where: Hugo's

The dark basement joint a block off Fayetteville's main square always has a wait. But the wait is worth it. Opened in 1977, Hugo's specializes in massive burgers, like the smoky cheddar or the jalapeño cheeseburger, and baskets of fresh cut French fries that can feed two. Save room for a chocolate mousse or a peach and amaretto crêpe.

25 1/2 N. Block Ave., Fayetteville, (479) 521-7585

A plate of brisket, sausage, ribs and bacon burnt ends from Wright's Barbecue in Johnson, Arkansas just outside of Fayetteville. © Todd A. Price A plate of brisket, sausage, ribs and bacon burnt ends from Wright's Barbecue in Johnson, Arkansas just outside of Fayetteville.

Barbecue brisket

Where: Wright's Barbecue

Arkansas has a scattering of outstanding barbecue restaurants, like McClard's in Hot Springs or the legendary Jones Bar B-Q near the Tennessee border. But the state lacks a deep bench of pitmasters. While Wright's has little competition in Northwest Arkansas, its Texas-style 'cue would stand out anywhere in the South. Beyond the stellar brisket, other standouts on the hand-lettered menu include ribs and house-made sausage. Don't skip the sides.

2212 Main Dr., Johnson, (479) 313-8618

Crisis Brewing in Fayetteville, Arkansas has a comfortable, tree-lined patio. © Courtesy of Crisis Brewing Crisis Brewing in Fayetteville, Arkansas has a comfortable, tree-lined patio.

Existential DIPA

Where: Crisis Brewing

The founders turned their midlife crisis into a brewery. The beers at Crisis are some of the best in the area, and only a few can be found beyond the small brewery. While hop fiends will find the bitter brews they crave, Crisis also makes plenty of beers that appeal to drinkers who are anti-IPA. The barroom is cozy, but the best seats are outside on the tree-shaded patio.

210 S. Archibald Yell Boulevard, Fayetteville, (479) 582-2337

Maxine's Tap Room, a cocktail bar in Fayetteville, Arkansas, has been open since 1950. © Courtesy of Maxine's Maxine's Tap Room, a cocktail bar in Fayetteville, Arkansas, has been open since 1950.

Bees Knees cocktail

Where: Maxine's Tap Room

Founded in 1950, Maxine's began as a simple bar. Today, it specializes in classic cocktails, like the popular Bees Knees gin sour with honey, and well-considered originals. While the menu has changed, the place still has the low-key friendliness of a neighborhood bar. Although it fills up on the weekends, during the week you can almost always grab one of the intimate booths or get a turn at the dart board.

107 N. Block Ave., Fayetteville, (479) 442-9601

A cinnamon roll from Little Bread Co. in Fayetteville, Arkansas. © Todd A. Price A cinnamon roll from Little Bread Co. in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Cinnamon roll

Where: Little Bread Company

The soft, flaky cinnamon rolls at Little Bread Company are bigger than a softball. If you want one on the weekends, show up early (the pecan sticky buns are in even shorter supply). Everything at this bakery is stellar, from the chocolate croissants and fruit Danishes to the bagels. Little Bread also makes sandwiches for breakfast and lunch.

116 N. Block Ave., Fayetteville, (479) 527-0622

News tips? Story ideas? Questions? Call reporter Todd Price at 504-421-1542 or email him at taprice@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Fort Smith Times Record: Visiting Fayetteville, Arkansas? Here's 5 of the best things to eat and drink

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