How do you know if you are the best? Many people and businesses ask themselves that question. It is a way to see where you stand among the competition, and where you may need to improve. Fort Smith is known for having an abundance of restaurants, so it is a question that restaurant owners frequently ask. Some customers may tell you, but with a wide variety of pallets you will never get a concrete answer. One of the best ways is to see who is featured in area magazines.
Of all of the lifestyle magazines featured in Arkansas, only one is distributed throughout the state: About You Magazine (AY). AY is normally filled with in depth articles about events, restaurants and shopping around the state. Of course, those lists would not be complete without including the best that Fort Smith has to offer. Given that Fort Smith is known for having a large number of great restaurants, AY’s list is not going to be small. So here is a list of restaurants that have been recognized by the magazine that is About You.
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21 West End
21 West End
21 West End is Fort Smith’s premier restaurant, in fact it is the only restaurant that has a dress code. Customers have to wear a shirt with a collar, if not a jacket. 21 West End is reminiscent of many upscale eateries that you will find in New York City. They offer a wide variety of menu options that are normally found in those New York restaurants like Cognac Pork Loin, Blackened Mahi Mahi and Lobster Tail. 21 West End is cozy enough for a romantic dinner and upscale enough for a business lunch. So if you are looking to impress someone important in your life, take them to 21 West End.
21 West End is located at 21 N. 2nd Street Ste 102 Fort Smith, AR 479-434-4213.
Arkansas’ larger cities are known for unique attractions to bring in tourists. For Little Rock it is the state capitol, for Hot Springs it is Bathhouse Row and for Fort Smith it is Movie Lounge. So what makes this restaurant so special? Movie Lounge combines films and fine dining under one roof. Customers can come in and dine while watching a movie. While the films shown are not brand new releases, they are fairly recent movies, and the best part is there is a meal involved. The menu consists of appetizers, sandwiches and entrees that will fill the stomachs of movie buffs everywhere. Movie Lounge also features live music on weekends and coming in October, the Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight. If you are looking for a truly unique dining experience, then Movie Lounge is the place to go.
Movie Lounge is located at 7601 Rogers Avenue Fort Smith, AR 479-226-3595.
Here is a geography lesson: Arkansas is directly above Louisiana. With that in mind, it makes sense that the state should have a variety of Cajun-style dining. In Fort Smith, that is R. Landry’s. This downtown restaurant is an area favorite that has been in operation for over 20 years. So what is the secret to their success? Duh! Good food. R. Landry’s serves all of the great Cajun dishes like the King-Sized Blackened Steak, Crawfish Trio and of course GUMBO!!! On weekends, R. Landry’s also features great live music. Those who have appeared in the past include Carter Sampson, Some Guy Named Robb and Tom Ware. R. Landry’s is also one of the few restaurants to feature live entertainment all year round. If you are jonesing for Cajun cuisine, don’t drive all the way to Louisiana. Save your gas and come to R. Landry’s.
R. Landry’s is located at 613 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, AR 479-783-2505.
Rolando’s is a cozy Spanish restaurant and cantina located a few blocks away from the Garrison Avenue bridge. This restaurant is so tiny that you may drive past it at first. However don’t give up, good things really do come in small packages. What separates Rolando’s from other Mexican restaurants in Fort Smith is that Rolando’s is not a Mexican restaurant. Rolando’s incorporates dishes from many nations including Cuba and Spain. Their more notable dishes include the El Plato Cubano, Pescado de Mesias and the Pollo Chuchaqui. Rolando’s is also the only restaurant on this list to be considered a chain. Two other Rolando’s Restaurante locations exist in Fayetteville and Hot Springs. All three of these locations are housed in buildings that date back to the 19th and early 20th centuries. Rolando’s is more than a restaurant, it is a trip back in time. Come and experience the wonder that is Rolando’s.
Rolando’s Restaurante is located at 223 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, AR 479-573-0404
Varsity’s Sports Grill
Varsity’s Sports Grill.
So it’s game day, and you want to watch the Razorbacks play, where do you go? The answer is Varsity’s Sports Grill. Varsity’s is Fort Smith’s only local sports bar. With several televisions located throughout the restaurant and a menu that is perfect for game day, Varsity’s is the only place to go. Varsity’s serves all of the great sports dishes like nachos, wings and sandwiches. Oh did some one mention beer? Yes Virginia, Varsity’s offers a large variety of domestic and imported beers. Beer, food and the Razorbacks. What more could you ask for on a Saturday afternoon?
Varsity’s Sports Grill is located at 318 Garrison Avenue Fort Smith, AR 479-494-7173.