CAMP 2017: Where to eat in Hot Springs

One of the joys of traveling to different destinations every year for Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) is the chance to try a variety of cuisines. There is quite a bit of variety in notable Arkansas foods, from country classics like cheese dip, fried pickles and possum pie (don’t let the name alarm you — this dessert is made from chocolate custard, whipped cream and a delicious crust) to rice, edamame and purple hulled peas.

In addition to breakfasts, lunches and dinners at The Arlington Hotel Resort & Spa, Hot Springs offers plenty of dining spots to enjoy. We’ve included some inspiration below, but check out the Hot Springs section of the Diamond Lakes Dining guide for more options.

Fat Jack’s Oyster & Sports Bar

If you’re in the mood for seafood, Fat Jack’s has some of the best oysters in Arkansas. The atmosphere is friendly and casual — and sometimes includes live music.

101 Central Ave
Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

The Purple Cow

This upbeat diner-style restaurant offers a selection of gourmet burgers and sandwiches (including some vegetarian options) paired with hand-dipped shakes.

490 Higdon Ferry Road
Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 pm; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

J&S Italian Villa Ristorante

A longtime favorite area, this restaurant features classic Italian dishes. J & S has been voted best Italian food in Hot Springs every year since 2002.

4332 Central Avenue
Dinner Monday- Saturday 5 p.m. to close

Cafe 1217

This bistro, with a focus on locally grown products, vendors with seasonal ingredients and menus that change monthly, would make an ideal lunch spot. Favorite items include hand-rolled tamales, gourmet desserts and creative gluten-free options.

1217 Malvern Avenue #B
Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Don Juan Grill & Cantina

Feast on traditional Mexican cuisine at this locally owned and operated grill and cantina. The menu is known for some of the best cheese dip in town.

4501 Central Avenue
Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.