In order to help you figure out Fayetteville a little faster, we’re putting up a list of the best local activities, eateries, and mercantiles in town. If you missed the first edition, you can find it here.
- Momma Dean’s Soul Food: Mama Dean’s doesn’t look like much from the outside. As a matter of fact, when you pull up in the lot, you might not even think you’ve found a restaurant! Once you walk in, however, you’ll find the best soul food in the region, if not the state. One flat rate gets you heaping helpings, and for every meal you buy the restaurant donates another to the homeless. You can’t beat that.
PRO TIP: Order the ribs. The restaurant smokes its own meat out back, and the meat just falls off the bone.
WEB: Momma Dean’s
LOCATION: 1701 S School Ave
- The Petra Café: Eating at The Petra Café is all about timing. The restaurant is only open for lunch and seating is limited, but you won’t mind the strange hours once you taste their hummus. The restaurant obviously takes great pride in its Greek and Middle Eastern offerings, and there’s not another eatery in Fayetteville that offers the same quality or selection.
PRO TIP: The grape leaves are divine, but don’t leave without getting the baklavah.
WEB: The Petra Café
LOCATION: 31 East Center St., directly off the square
- The BHK Kafé: BHK’s mission statement sums everything up perfectly: “above all else, the food that we eat should taste good.” Amen to that. BHK offers premium roast coffee and exotic tea blends, but where they really shine is in their artisan eats. With a commitment to local and sustainable food, BHK offers some of the most interesting and delectable pastries in town. One of the best parts about the Kafe is its location. Attached to Nightbird Books, one of the only independent booksellers in the region, you are more than welcome to take your coffee into the aisles and peruse the selections.
PRO TIP: Go for breakfast and you’ll get your day started off right.
WEB: The BHK Kafé
LOCATION: 205 West Dickson Ave.
- Mojitos: If you’re a poor college student, you really can’t go wrong with Mexico Viejo. But if you’re looking for an upscale Mexican restaurant with better food, you definitely need to visit Mojitos. Though the prices are a little steeper than other restaurants in town (they’re similarly priced to Applebees), the food is delicious. The service is fast, the food is hot, and the specials are amazing. Definitely the best “fine Mexican dining” experience in town.
PRO TIP: The taquitos mexicanos are authentically mouth-watering.
LOCATION: 100 East Joyce Blvd.
- Taste of Thai: Located right next door to The Petra Café, Taste of Thai boasts a huge menu at reasonable prices. Certainly the most authentic Thai food in the city, Taste of Thai lets you customize many of your plates so that you get just what you want. It’s also vegetarian and vegan friendly, so it’s a great restaurant for large groups or picky eaters. Just be careful—when the menu says “spicy,” it’s not lying.
PRO TIP: Order the spring rolls. Seriously.
WEB: Taste of Thai
LOCATION: 31 East Center St.
- Burger Life: This is one of the newest restaurants on the local scene, but it’s made a huge splash. Burger Life has the most unique menu of any restaurant we’ve ever been to; you grab a dry erase marker, a laminated menu, and go to town! The premium black angus patties are wonderful, but we hear the fish and poultry offerings are equally delicious (we don’t know firsthand, because we love cow). Assembling your own burger is definitely the way to go, but the restaurant offers pre-fab sandwiches as well. Couple your order with a milkshake, and your made-to-order plate will be unforgettable.
PRO TIP: Spend the $.99 for the shoestring fries, and don’t forget the side of garlic aioli.
WEB: Burger Life
LOCATION: 95 East Joyce Blvd
- Penguin Eds: By and large, this is the most famous BBQ in Fayetteville. The staff smokes all the meat in-house and serves it with a variety of memorable sauces. Unlike many traditional BBQ joints, the sauce is added after the meat is cooked, not during; this leaves the pork, chicken, and beef with a fresh-out-of-the-smoker taste. Penguin Eds has three locations all across Fayetteville, so you can get your BBQ on whenever the mood strikes you.
PRO TIP: The sides are as finger-lickin’ good as the meat.
WEB: Penguin Ed’s
LOCATION: 230 S East Ave, 2773 E Mission Blvd, 6347 W Wedington Dr
Do you love a local restaurant that didn’t make the list? Tell us all about it in the comments.