Small business owners are a category of humans that are near and dear to my heart. I started my own small business doing freelance graphic design when I was 19 and have had some kind of self-owned side hustle ever since, even as I held full-time design positions in my early 20s. My feelings about our responsibility to support local small businesses are strong for so many reasons!
People say it all the time: it takes a certain, special type of person to start a small business. And it’s true! It takes so much courage to put yourself out there, and so much grit to stick with it. And I don’t know about any of y’all, but I think restaurant owners have the most courage and grit out of all of us!
I also think that through the pandemic, restaurants have had it the toughest out of all of us. I can’t think of any other category of small businesses that had to pivot so incredibly much, so incredibly quickly. Restaurants who may have never even planned to offer delivery were suddenly facing the task of figuring out a whole ordering system on their own (or be taken advantage of by one of the big food delivery apps…but that’s a topic for another day). They had to reimagine their entire business structure at the drop of a hat, or risk going under.
And sadly, a lot of them have gone under, though not from lack of effort.
But what about the ones that are left? How can we support the locally owned restaurants, who are so important to our economy (and our taste buds)?
Northwest Arkansas is such a foodie place, and there are so many great local restaurants that I’d love to shout from the rooftops. But here are several of my tip-top favorites!
Thai Cuisine in Bentonville, AR – try the coconut soup & yellow curry! When I still ate meat, I added chicken and it was the bomb.com.
Trickdilly Tacos in Bentonville, AR – try the porkdilly tacos and queso fries! I haven’t been since I cut meat from my diet, but I’m excited to try the trickpea & cauliflower and the mushroom tacos when I go back. Maybe I’ll go today!
IDK Cafe + Catering in Rogers, AR – everything I’ve had from IDK has been delicious, but in particular, the IDKeto meals they offer are absolutely divine. If you’re on a Keto diet, the prices are good and the food is even better!
FLAVORS Indian Cuisine in Bentonville, AR – try the butter chicken! It’s so good! Flavors has catered a couple of my weddings, and I’ve wished I could just sit and eat and eat. Ha!
KOMODO Modern Asian Cuisine in Rogers, AR – the best potstickers I’ve ever had, and their beef & broccoli is to die for. It’s made with filet mignon!
Meme’s Caribbean Flavour in Rogers, AR – I’m dying to try her signature hand pies! If you try them, let me know how amazing they are!
I know there are tons of other wonderful local restaurants in NWA (I didn’t even touch on Springdale and Fayetteville), but these are the ones I have good experiences with and want to share. It would be almost impossible for me to list ALL of the restaurants here, but if you know of a great one that I should add to the list and would help support local small businesses, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corrie Childers is a sought-after Northwest Arkansas wedding photographer, Arkansas engagement photographer, Arkansas bridal photographer and Arkansas proposal photographer. Corrie has a natural passion for classic, timeless wedding photography in an elegant and relaxed style. Corrie is currently booking Arkansas weddings in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Eureka Springs and all of Northwest Arkansas, as well as Little Rock, El Dorado, Dallas, St. Louis, Kansas City and beyond!