Livin’ Like a Local: Good Eats Edition

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.


  1. 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


  1. 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.


  1. 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.

  1. 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


  1. Pesto Café: Like lots of local places, Pesto Café looks a little sketchy from the outside. It’s situated in the middle of an old motel, but don’t let the looks fool you! Pesto Café is the best Italian food in Fayetteville. They’re famous for their delicious sauces, and their menu boasts an array of traditional Italian dishes. We love the manicotti, but everything is delicious!

    PRO TIP: Some of the dishes can be a little pricey, so you might save this one for a perfect date night.

    WEB: Pesto Cafe


LOCATION: 1830 North College Avenue

  1. AQ Chicken House: If you’re hankerin’ for some good Southern cookin’, this is the place for you. AQ has been a staple of the Fayetteville restaurant scene since 1947—it’s even older than Sam Walton’s famous Five and Dime in Bentonville! Unlike other Southern restaurants, AQ pan-fries its chicken, which keeps the meat melt-in-your-mouth moist. They are also very generous with their sides, so you’ll definitely leave with leftovers.


PRO TIP: AQ is famous for its pan-fried chicken, but for our money, it has the best chicken fried steak in the state.

WEB: World Famous AQ Chicken House

LOCATION: 1925 College Avenue

Do you love a local restaurant that didn’t make the list? Tell us all about it in the comments.




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2 Responses to Livin’ Like a Local: Good Eats Edition

  1. Libby Harris September 2, 2011 at 3:01 am #

    Penguin Ed’s BBQ is by far the best especially the B&B located on 230 East Ave. If you want to go to a place with atmosphere this is it! Blues music in the background, old wooden booths, amazing fried appetizers, but let me not forget the local personalities who serve your meals. Speaking of meals, have you ever sat at a booth and ordered your dinner using a red telephone? Forget waiting in line or having a wait staff stand over you while you decide “whats for dinner.” Go try it!

    • Ashley Sufflé Robinson September 13, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

      You know, I don’t like BBQ as a personal rule, but I always make an exception for Penguin Eds. It’s been a while since I’ve been to one of their restaurants (since we always cater it instead), but I love the one on Wedington.

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