Dining in Independence County – Something for Everyone from AM through PM Appetites!

No thriving city can be complete without the central key that holds communities together—exceptional food and great experiences around the table! Here, in Independence County, hungry patrons are served a wide variety of options for enjoying meals. An array of locally-owned restaurants, both long-standing and new favorites, have become well-loved components of the community. With multiple eateries opening each year, those choices keep growing. From Southern staples and family-friendly burger joints to specialty cuisine, fine dining, and coffeehouse hangouts, the warmth and hospitality of the Batesville area restaurant scene continues to draw out more locals and visitors each year.

To begin the day, numerous breakfast restaurants and donut shops can be found in the area. For specialty coffee, Batesville offers two cafes downtown. Since 2004, Morningside Coffee House has provided a relaxing spot to sip and enjoy incredible sweets. In 2016, The Pinto Coffee and Comida opened, bringing new life to the corner of Central and Main and to the city itself. Visitors can stop in for a Mexican-inspired breakfast or lunch along with a specialty drink, which can be enjoyed indoors or on a large covered patio.

Just across the street, nearly every kind of sandwich imaginable can be found at Big’s of Batesville. Set in a historic building complete with a checkered floor, the classic feel of this diner welcomes guests of all ages who are sure to be satisfied with the creative and delicious menu offerings. From abundant fast food choices to upscale versions, a great burger is not hard to come by in Independence County. Locals adore Moore’s Dairy Creme in Newark, Arkansas. Serving burgers, catfish, pork BBQ, and other Southern standard fare, Moore’s also features a food truck in downtown Batesville as part of the brand new Food Lot. Visitors must not miss this dedicated gathering spot for grabbing lunch or dinner. Area food trucks include street taco vendors, The Mobile Dog, and T’s Boxed Lunches, which is also well-known for its catering.

For those craving dinner and drinks, restaurants ranging from casual to fine dining are available. Just over the White River, U.S. Pizza features unique pizzas, satisfying salads, bar options, and a laid back vibe. Josie’s Steakhouse offers upscale food suitable for a variety of customers. The open concept and expansive bar is perfect for a group of friends or family dinner, while tables directly overlooking the river are great for date nights or other intimate gatherings. For the swankiest spot in town, head to 109 Main, a bar and lounge serving fine fare, cocktails, and other drink options, as well as brunch on Sundays. The decadent shrimp and grits are a local favorite. These restaurants, along with many others in town, regularly host events and provide live music for the public.

To top things off, Independence County has seen a surge in dessert shops in recent years. Opened in 2015, Unique Nosh is a self-serve frozen yogurt bar with a large selection of toppings—fun for kids and adults. Other dessert options can be found in town, such as the always popular Tropical Sno truck or the newly opened bakery, Sweetie Cakes, offering sweet treats and an equally sweet setting to enjoy them.

Batesville houses a number of beloved establishments that have served happy customers for decades, such as Elizabeth’s on Main, Italian Grill, and Fred’s Fish House, among others. The growing community also includes increasingly diverse options in cuisine with multiple Mexican, Chinese, and Japanese restaurants to be found. Natalie’s Café and Catering serves a unique mix of New Orleans-based dishes and traditional Southern food. Additionally, more restaurants are set to open this year and further add to the culture of the region. Coming soon, Real Goods Market and Eatery, a health food store and café, will be opening up on Harrison Street right in the city’s center.

With all of this, there are plenty of options to please the palate. Come hungry and don’t miss out on what Independence County has to offer!

For more info you may go to the site  www.experienceindependence.com

Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.