off topic-restaurant help

My oldest is a freshman at UA (man, I LOVE even typing that!), so we have our first football tickets in Fayetteville in a long, long time.

I really want to have dinner reservations after games, since that may be the only way I get him to spend more than 2 minutes with the family.

right now we have reservations after Portland state at Theo’s in Rogers, is that place ok?

Better ideas?

I’ve asked my wife if we can go to Catfish Hole, she says they don’t take reservations?

kind of open ended question, but I’d sure appreciate any game-day culinary advice you guys have


I like Foster’s Pint and Plate in Rogers. No reservations that I’m aware of.

JJ’s Beer Garden in Fayetteville.

I know there’s a trend here.

Catfish Hole doesn’t take reservations.

Are you staying in Rogers? If so, Theo’s is pretty good. I also recommend Mr. B’s Steakhouse on Walnut. There’s a Ruth’s Chris in Rogers as well.

In Bentonville, I like The Preacher’s Son and The Hive.

In Fayetteville, try Vetro 1925 or Bordino’s.

Those are all really good and would be on my list … there is a Theo’s in Fayetteville as well… excellent choices!

I’ve been to all of those, and just about every other restaurant in NWA. I’m in a one year break after having at least one up there the past 8 years, basically, most places in Fayetteville get slammed after a game, even those that take reservations. I always tried to have dinner Friday night and breakfast on Sunday with mine, it seemed the um uh parties had a tendency to interfere with Saturday night diner, of course, last year the 11AM starts didn’t cause that problem. As was mentioned here, where you are staying might have some influence on where you eat, Rogers/Bentonville has numerous good places, but my kids thought of that as being in a different world on a ballgame weekend.

Theo’s is very good. The one in Fayetteville is our go-to spot for our anniversary. Vetro and Bordino’s are also great choices. Noodles really isn’t on the same level with those, but I think it takes reservations and it’s typically where I eat on Saturday game days when we have family in town.

Most places in the Bentonville square area will take reservations and I haven’t found a bad restaurant there yet. Our favorites are Table Mesa and Tavola.

If you want something more laid back, I would suggest trying Wright’s Barbecue in Johnson (it will be packed on game days and might run out of some menu items), Sassy’s (two locations) C.J.'s Butcher Boy on Wedington, Sabor Guacamole on North St., Grubs Uptown, Mama Z’s in Tontitown and Stonemill Bread. I also like a number of pizza places in town including MJ’s Pizzeria in Springdale and Woodstone (two locations in Fayetteville).

I typically don’t go to restaurants on game days anymore because I’m working, but when I did I found that if you’ll wait a couple of hours after the game (if it’s possible) that things will die down pretty quickly, especially for the nonconference games. Eating at 7 p.m. following an 11 a.m. game won’t be hard at all.

The places that seem to get the most crowded are the Catfish Hole and anywhere with multiple TVs.

Like Rice, I have found that Friday night one of the more enjoyable times to eat out on game weekends.

Thanks for the names, everyone.

We are staying in Fayetteville, but bordino’s and theo’s In Fayetteville are booked. I’ve heard about wright ‘s being very good.


My wife and I live in Rogers and we really like Bocca (there’s one in Fayetteville too) and Mirabella’s Table. Theo’s is great, as is Foster’s. You can get reservations at Foster’s, and I’d recommend it on a football weekend.

It’s a chain, but I think Ruth’s Chris has the best steaks in town, followed closely by Mr. B’s and Theo’s.

The Hive-in the hotel by Crystal Bridges, if you want fancy dining.

I’ll second that (actually third as mentioned earlier by another poster) and also concur that “The Preacher’s Son” (also mentioned earlier) which is right down the street is also fabulous. I would recommend getting a reservation for either, and do be aware that both are “fancy dining” with a commensurate (though very reasonable) price tag. Being from Baton Rouge (La.) I can assure you that I have developed a taste for fine food, and both of these certainly fit in that category. Also, though I am not particularly into the arts, I think that you would be remiss in not taking the time to visit the Crystal Bridges art museum, an amazing (and very low cost) display.

I eat at the Catfish Hole 3-4 times a year - sometimes before, sometimes after, a game. In the last decade I’ve only had to wait more than 5 minutes one time. Once at the table the service is quick.

The 11am games are great for one thing - most folks don’t want to eat diner at 3:30! Our wait times at most restaurants is not bad.

Theo’s is my favorite steak place in NWA (only eaten at the one in Rogers). I’ve eaten at Ruth’s many times for business dinners and it is good, but not as good as Theo’s. Mr. B’s is a not too distant second. Tavola is a really great Italian place. i took my employees there last year for our office Christmas dinner and we had a blast…everything was good.

Someone mentioned Noodles. I love Noodles.

I have not been as impressed with Theo’s lately as in the past.

I HIGHLY recommend Tavola in Bentonville and Mirabella’s in Rogers. They are owned by the same guy (owns Table Mesa as well) and are outstanding
Mirabellas is especially good for Sunday brunch.

And Local Lime is a marvelous specialty taco place. Like Tacos for Life but many times better.

Venetian Inn In Tontitown. Been my “go to” since 1974. Nicest people, cleanest restaurant ever. Love the food. A northwest Arkansas classic. Spent many happy celebrations and sad loss wound lickings at this wonderful place. Love it!!

I haven’t been in several years, I may have to put it back on the list again. I remember being a freshman in 1976, bringing in our on cooler, lol.

And if they are lined up out the door, Mama Z’s is no-frills but good Italian food. Just across the highway a bit.

Another good place to eat (and it is not often mentioned) is Cafe Rue Orleans on College. It sits right in the middle of an old motel, across from UAMS medical center. Parking is a bit inconvenient, but the food is great. They have the best bread pudding that I’ve ever eaten.

Mockingbird café in the old Evelyn Hills shopping center is a very good place in Fayetteville. We always have nice experiences there.

I like Lucky Lukes. Good ribs, good sides. It’s a hole in the wall place, in parking lot across from Harps just north of campus. We have used them to cater our suites for baseball and football for a long time. Always good.

Wrights is also outstanding. Love their burnt ends. And, anything they do is good. It will be a wait.

We like Herman’s. My wife loves their garlic chicken, so there is something for those who aren’t going to eat steak. It’s going to be busy. Just come early or late.

I’ve done Mr. Bs a few times and it’s Herman’s on steroids. By that I mean, it’s a lot of the same menu (since they once ran Herman’s), but with a bigger menu. Get a reservation.

Then there are some others that are good, but just a little different and not the places we always go. Pesto’s is on College and Mama Geraldi’s is on Center near campus. Both are Italian. At Pesto’s, I get the seafood fettuccini. Mama Geraldi’s has prime rib on Friday or Saturday night, although don’t know if that’s during football season. But you can’t go wrong with just their basic Italian dishes. Not as pricey as some other places. I’ve never waited there, but it probably is crowded on football weekends. I don’t think either place takes reservations. Like Herman’s, go early or late.

To be honest, we don’t eat out on Saturday, or at least I don’t usually make any of the family meals because I’m working and finish late. Sometimes on the 11 a.m. games it works out. Jean Ann and Sarah will find a place and get a table and I’ll pop in if I get done. Sometimes I don’t.

Everyone knows I have a cool job. But I’m not done when the game is over. It’s usually about 3 hours after the final whistle. The good news there is that the traffic has cleared. Everyone is at a restaurant by then.