12 Best Restaurants in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Last Updated on February 19, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Pine Bluff is the largest city in southeast Arkansas and home to a vibrant food scene. From down-home Southern cooking to international cuisines, Pine Bluff has something to satisfy every palate. The city’s rich history and culture have influenced many of its long-standing restaurants, several of which have been family-owned for generations. Barbecue joints, steakhouses, and soul food spots are among the most popular places to eat in Pine Bluff.

In compiling this list of the 12 best restaurants in Pine Bluff, factors like food quality, service, atmosphere, value, and local popularity were taken into consideration. The restaurants featured offer exceptional dining experiences highlighting the culinary diversity of this underrated Arkansas city. Whether visitors are seeking a refined meal or hearty comfort food, they’re sure to find something tempting at these top Pine Bluff eateries.

Lloyd’s Restaurant

Lloyd’s is a beloved Pine Bluff institution known for its hearty portions of Down South soul food made from scratch. Located on Pullen Street in a cozy, unassuming building, the family-owned restaurant has been dishing up delicious fried chicken, catfish, smothered pork chops, oxtails, and all the sides since 1947.

Daily specials like oven-baked jerk chicken and fried pork chops keep things interesting. Reasonable prices make Lloyd’s a popular local spot for lunch or dinner. Don’t skip dessert – the sweet potato pie, peach cobbler, and banana pudding are soul-satisfying.

Signature Dishes: Smothered pork chops, jerk chicken, fried catfish

What Locals Say: “The food is delicious. Big portions for fair prices. Staff provides great services with a personal touch.”

Insider Tip: Call ahead on Mondays and Tuesdays as Lloyd’s is closed those days

Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales

For some of the most delicious hot tamales outside the Mississippi Delta, head to Rhoda’s roadside tamale stand. This popular Pine Bluff spot, run by Arkansas native Rhoda Adams, serves hot tamales made from Miss Rhoda’s own recipe passed down from her delta family.

These spicy, peppery beef tamales cooked in corn husks have been described by locals as “sinfully good.” In addition to tamales, Rhoda’s menu includes hearty breakfast plates, burgers, ribs, catfish, and fried pies. There’s limited outdoor seating, so it’s best to take your food to go. But don’t let the humble surroundings fool you – Rhoda’s cooking makes this one of the can’t-miss places to eat in Pine Bluff.

Signature Dishes: Hot Tamales, Rib Tips, Burgers
Memorable Dessert: Sweet Potato Pie
What Locals Say: “Those tamales will light your world on fire. So good!”

Insider Tip: Go early – when they sell out of tamales for the day, they close up shop!

Saracen Landing Restaurant

For upscale dining with an elegant riverfront view, Saracen Landing Restaurant excels. Located inside Pine Bluff’s casino entertainment complex, this contemporary American restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Arkansas River. Start with an inspired appetizer like the mini crab cakes or fried alligator bites, then continue with a choice of aged steaks, fresh seafood, or signature pasta dishes.

Save room for a decadent dessert – their mile-high carrot cake and salted caramel cheesecake are sublime. While some menu items lean towards the pricier side, you’re paying for high-quality ingredients, skilled preparation, and exceptional service in a refined atmosphere. It’s undoubtedly one of the best fine dining experiences Pine Bluff offers.

Signature Dishes: Shrimp & Lobster Fettuccine, 8oz Filet Mignon, Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes

What Locals Say: “Elegant atmosphere and amazing food. The steak and seafood were phenomenal – worth a special occasion!”

Insider Tip: Make reservations to guarantee a good view of the river

Sim’s Bar-B-Que

No list of top Pine Bluff restaurants would be complete without some authentic smoked meats. For finger-lickin’ good barbecue cooked low-and-slow over hickory wood, locals line up at Sim’s Bar-B-Que. This Black-owned barbecue joint dates back over four decades and has remained in the Sims family using time-honored traditions and original recipes.

Tender, smoky beef brisket is their claim to fame, but you can’t go wrong with any meat including melt-in-your-mouth ribs, smoked sausages, ham, turkey, or pulled pork sandwiches topped with Sim’s zesty house-made sauce. Sides like baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, and vinegar slaw perfectly complement the smoky meats. Expect a wait during peak times, but rest assured – one bite is all you need to know it’s worth it.

Signature Dishes: Beef Brisket Platters, Ribs, Polish Sausage Sandwiches

What Locals Say: “The very best barbecue in SE Arkansas hands down. That brisket melts in your mouth!”

Insider Tip: Call ahead for quicker pickup or place catering orders for events

Glass Slipper Bistro

For an intimate French dining experience with small-town charm, make a reservation at Glass Slipper Bistro. Tucked away on a quiet downtown corner, this cozy bistro exudes Parisian flair with red leather banquettes, fresh flowers, and antique French posters. Talented Executive Chef Jeremy Ragas puts his Louisiana-French training to good use preparing Provençal classics like bouillabaisse, steak frites, and croque monsieur using fresh, quality ingredients.

Daily specials might include dishes like escargots in garlic-parsley butter or seared duck breast with fig demi-glace. The carefully curated wine list offers affordable French bottles to complement your meal. With refined yet welcoming service and charm to spare, the Glass Slipper Bistro transports guests straight to France without leaving Arkansas.

Signature Dishes: Bouillabaisse, Cassoulet, Steak au Poivre

What Locals Say: “Wonderful French cuisine! Knowledgeable staff provides excellent recommendations.”

Insider Tip: Save room for their outstanding Grand Marnier bread pudding.

The Ohio Club

As Pine Bluff’s longest continually operating restaurant, the Ohio Club oozes nostalgic charm. Located downtown, this stately, renovated Victorian mansion houses multiple dining areas each with distinct personalities – from the refined main dining room to the sporty Hunt Room. Updated new American and continental offerings include hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, pasta dishes, and specialty sandwiches.

No matter where you dine, expect exceptional service, quality ingredients, and classic preparation techniques. Make sure to explore the rest of this historic building – exterior porches overlook stunning gardens and sculptures while the Tap Room bar offers craft cocktails in a swanky lounge setting. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply treating yourself to a night out, the Ohio Club offers an indulgent, nostalgic dining experience.

Signature Dishes: Filet Mignon Au Poivre, Lobster Risotto, Crispy Fried Catfish

What Locals Say: “First class service and cuisine in a gorgeous historic setting. Fine dining at its best!”

Insider Tip: Sit on the veranda at sunset for a magical dining experience with pretty garden views

OneMo’ BBQ & Soul Food

For delicious barbecue, soul food classics, and live blues music, OneMo’ is a can’t-miss spot. Tucked away on the outskirts of town, this family-run eatery smokes up tender brisket, fall-off-the-bone ribs, smoky links, pulled pork, ham, turkey, chicken and all the fixings daily in their on-site smoker. Soul food favorites like smothered pork chops, oxtails, fried fish, and neck bones impress diners craving comfort food as well.

Daily specials might include dishes like smoked sausage pasta bake or peach ginger fried catfish. With its laid-back country setting filled with the sweet smell of smoking meat, OneMo’ feels more like an afternoon backyard cookout than a restaurant. Occasional live blues bands add to the good times. For lip-smacking barbecue and soul food served up the old-fashioned way, OneMo’ is a local legend for good reason.

Signature Dishes: Brisket Burnt Ends Platter, Mac & Cheese, Cucumber Salad

What Locals Say: “Some of the most tender, juicy smoked meat in Arkansas. That fried catfish is EVERYTHING!”

Insider Tip: The peach ginger catfish sells out fast so get there early if it’s on the specials board!

Ila’s Southern Eatery

For homestyle Southern cooking in a cozy, down-home setting, Ila’s is a go-to spot serving heaping portions of comfort food classics. Located in a restored early 1900s house, the family-owned eatery embraces its Southern roots with dishes handed down over generations.

You’ll find all the soul food favorites like smothered oxtails, crispy fried chicken, skillet fried catfish, collard greens, black-eyed peas, candied yams, red beans and rice, and cornbread. Daily meat-and-two specials offer even more options like slow-cooked pot roast, chicken & dumplings, and ham hocks with lima beans and rice. Reasonable prices, warm hospitality, and stick-to-your-ribs fare make Ila’s a cherished neighborhood eatery.

Signature Dishes: Sunday Dinner Chicken, Smothered Pork Chops, Oxtails & Rice

What Locals Say: “Comfort food just like Mom used to make – only better! True Southern soul food here.”

Insider Tip: Can’t decide what to order? Go family-style and get an assortment so you can try a few dishes!

Twin City Grill

Housed in a classic 1950s-style diner, Twin City Grill is a cherished spot for homestyle comfort fare, sweet treats, and a heaping side of nostalgia. This family-owned casual eatery with counter seating has been feeding locals since 1973 with stick-to-your-ribs daily blue plate specials.

Enjoy greasy-spoon essentials like patty melts, chicken fried steak, meatloaf, pot roast, and country-fried anything paired with sides like mashed potatoes, green beans, black-eyed peas or mac and cheese. Don’t miss out on their legendary meringue-topped pies and old-fashioned ice cream parfaits. With its vintage neon signage and jukebox playing hits from bygone eras, Twin City Grill is sure to delight visitors craving a heavy dose of nostalgia with their comfort food.

Signature Dishes: Country Fried Steak, Chicken Fried Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole

What Locals Say: “Step back in time and enjoy classic diner food done right. Those homemade pies though!”

Insider Tip: Save room for pie – they bake only a few of each daily so go early for the best selection!

Terri-Lynn’s BBQ Express

For quick and delicious barbecue on the go, Terri-Lynn’s roadside stand can’t be beat. This popular drive-thru BBQ joint located on the outskirts of town serves up mouthwatering ribs, chopped pork sandwiches, Polish sausages, bologna sandwiches, and sides like baked beans, slaw, potato wedges and onion rings. Daily specials might include fried catfish or smoked wings.

Everything is smoked fresh daily on-site and most menu items cost well under $10. With its no-frills setup and budget-friendly prices, Terri-Lynn’s is perfect for a fast barbecue meal that doesn’t skimp on smoky flavor. Don’t let the humble appearance fool you – one bite of the melt-in-your-mouth ribs or juicy pork sandwiches confirms why locals line up here on their lunch breaks. This Pine Bluff staple proves that incredible barbecue doesn’t need fancy trimmings.

Signature Dishes: BBQ Pork Sandwiches, Smoked Bologna Sandwiches, Rib Platters

What Locals Say: “Some of the most flavorful ‘cue in Arkansas – never disappoints! Love the spicy vinegar sauce.”

Insider Tip: Bring cash to ensure quick service. They accept cards but cash keeps the line moving!

Juanita’s Fresh Mexican Kitchen

For homemade Mexican cuisine bursting with bright, authentic flavor, Juanita’s hits the spot. This vibrant downtown restaurant crafts traditional favorites like enchiladas, fajitas, tacos, burritos, chimichangas, and quesadillas using time-honored recipes. You’ll also find regional specialties like Oaxacan mole sauce, Yucatan cochinita pibil, signature salsas, and complex moles like tinga and ranchera.

Balance the rich, complex flavors with fresh appetizers like lime-cilantro shrimp ceviche, pineapple salsa, or classic guacamole. Wash it all down with a margarita, sangria or Mexican beer. The festive decor and upbeat atmosphere make Juanita’s a lively gathering spot. But one bite of the complex, scratch-made cuisine confirms the heart and soul put into every dish.

Signature Dishes: Enchiladas Rancheras, Carne Asada Tacos, Mole Poblano

What Locals Say: “Juanita cooks regional Mexican specialties you won’t find anywhere else in town. So full of flavor!”

Insider Tip: Chicken mole enchiladas are the house specialty and sell out daily so arrive before the lunch rush!

Brick Oven Pizza Company

For artisanal brick oven pizza and craft beers in a trendy industrial setting, Brick Oven Pizza Company fires up delicious thin-crust pies nightly. Located downtown in a re-purposed warehouse, this gathering spot pairs nicely with beer. Nosh on starters like baked goat cheese or fried ravioli while you wait for the pies which take about seven minutes in the blazing 600-degree oven.

Create your own pie or opt for a signature specialty like the Carnivore with pepperoni, sausage, ham and bacon or the BLT with creamy mozzarella, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo. The crispy sourdough crust with just the right amount of chew ensures you devour every bite. Live music nights add to the lively ambiance perfect for grabbing good food and drinks with friends.

Signature Pie: The BLT, The Works, Carnivore

What Locals Say: “Fantastic pizza – love the thin, crispy crust! Good beers and fun music nights too.”

Insider Tip: Happy hour specials run from 4-6pm. Grab a craft beer and appetizer special while you wait on your pie!

Conclusion


From barbecue joints to bistros, Pine Bluff offers hungry diners diverse, delicious fare showcasing local flavors. Lloyd’s, Rhoda’s, and Sim’s impart the city’s Down South soul food and barbecue traditions while newer additions like Saracen Landing Restaurant and Glass Slipper Bistro bring elevated offerings to town. Neighborhood favorites like Twin City Grill and OneMo’ serve comfort classics in laid-back settings with plenty of small-town charm. Whatever you crave, Pine Bluff’s impressive restaurant scene sets the table for fantastic meals and memorable dining experiences worth savoring.

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