Arkansas: Beyond Barbecue for Dairy-Free Restaurant Customers

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Last Update in July 2021! The wonder state is a wild place that’s just waiting to be explored. Their abundant parks include mountains, caves, rivers and hot springs. After all, it’s home to the rugged Ozarks. But you’ll need some good food to fuel your adventures. That’s why we’ve created this ever-growing guide to restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and ice cream shops in Arkansas that are friendly to dairy-free diners.

This post is based on research and reader recommendations (send yours!), that’s divided into local restaurants (first) and chains (second).

Arkansas Dairy-Free Restaurant Options - cafes, ice cream shops, full service restaurants, bakeries, and more!

Local Arkansas Restaurants Recommended for Dairy-Free Eats

Barbecue is big in Arkansas, so you won’t have too much trouble finding BBQ and smoked meats that are naturally dairy-free. It’s often served with a side of beans and watermelon. Arkansas is also the unofficial home of soybeans in the U.S., so don’t be surprised to see edamame on the menu.

But we’ve been on the hunt for a bigger taste of Arkansas without dairy. So far, we’ve discovered the following, which go above and beyond for unique dairy-free options and/or allergy-friendly service. We’ve listed these recommendations alphabetically by city, and then by the restaurant or shop name.

⭐️ = Restaurant is either dairy-free, has a dairy-free menu, has dairy-free labels on their menu(s), or lists top allergens with menu items. (At the time of our last review.)

Bentonville

  • Snack Lab – They offer a healthy menu of grab and go meals, snacks, and grocery items with ample options for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, paleo, and other special diet diners. Their food includes breakfast and lunch dishes, with a heavy focus on bowls, and a variety of hot and cold drinks and smoothies.
  • The Buttered Biscuit – Despite their dairy-rich name, this breakfast and lunch restaurant does their best to accommodate dairy-free diner requests. “We make sure any dairy allergy is noted and separate pans and utensils are used to prepare that meal. We do have some substitutes for select items like daiya cheese, almond and oat milk. We don’t use any filler for our eggs, so they are dairy free.” Their batch-made items, like biscuits and waffles, do contain dairy, so they aren’t able to offer those as options, but that still leaves some good homestyle choices. They have two locations in Bentonville.
  • The Pedaler’s Pub – They have a traditional menu, packed with pub fare, but also offer a vegan menu that includes pizzas, burgers, loaded fries, and more. Consequently, they can make many additional items off their main menu without dairy on request.

Fayetteville

  • Mamaka Bowls ⭐️ – If you’re concerned about shared pitchers, then head to this dairy-free smoothie and coffee shop. The blend and top and big assortment of smoothie bowls, smoothies, and coffee drinks, but have no dairy and no added sugar on the menu.
  • Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese – This might not be the “safest” place if you have cross-contamination concerns – cheese is in their name! But they offer vegan cheese, sourdough bread, and can even grill your sandwich in hemp oil. They also have a big range of veggies, from grilled zucchini to poblano peppers to artichokes, to complement your dairy-free grilled cheese. Sides include edamame hummus dip and salads that can be made dairy free.
  • Natural State Smoothies – They offer an array of dairy-free smoothies and acai bowls, but also have a savory menu of bowls and salads with dairy-free options.
  • Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe ⭐️ – They are very friendly toward special diet guests. They offer vegan lentil chili, and all of their sandwiches and salads can be ordered dairy-free with the exclusion of cheese, ranch-based sauces, and Caesar dressing (other dressings are available). They even offer a whole selection of vegan vinaigrettes.
  • Snack Lab – They offer a healthy menu of grab and go meals, snacks, and grocery items with ample options for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, paleo, and other special diet diners. Their food includes breakfast and lunch dishes, with a heavy focus on bowls, and a variety of hot and cold drinks and smoothies. This is their second location.
  • The Farmer’s Table Cafe ⭐️ – Dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan items are boldly labeled right on the menu at this homey establishment. They serve seasonal, locally-sourced breakfast & lunch dishes, with everything from pancakes and French toast to tacos, burritos, and build-your-own “cheese” burgers for dairy-free diners.

Fort Smith

  • CherryBerry Frozen Yogurt Bar – The flavors rotate at this Midwestern chain, but at any given time, you can usually find at least a few dairy-free flavors. They offer creamy vegan Silk almondmilk frozen yogurt in Chocolate and Vanilla. And they swirl numerous dairy-free sorbets, including Chocolate Fudge and a variety of fruity flavors. The staff has ingredient information, and can open new topping bags if cross-contamination is a concern.

Jonesboro

  • Uncle Maddio’s – This build-your-own pizza or salad chain offers Daiya dairy-free cheese alternative and has two crust options to choose from (including gluten-free). They also offer a plethora of toppings and a good handful of dairy-free sauce and dressing options.

Little Rock

  • Blue Sage Vegan Bistro ⭐️ – As the name implies this is a 100% dairy-free and vegan establishment. They serve a short menu of comfort food, including burgers, grilled “cheese,” and fries.
  • Dempsey Bakery – Several readers have written in to profess their love for this gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free bakery. They are not completely dairy-free, but they bake many items without milk. This includes cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, breads, and more. They also have a good selection of egg-free and vegan items. And yes, they do bake custom cakes, including wedding cakes.
  • Guillermo’s Gourmet Coffee – Thanks to Olivia for recommending this local coffeehouse. This shop offers oat milk, almond milk, or coconut milk for your coffee drinks. Their lattes, mochas, hot chocolate, and smoothies can all be made dairy-free, but skip the chai (it’s made with milk powder). They use Pink House Alchemy for house syrups but also have Torani syrups and sauces. For food, they have vegan and gluten-free muffins, and offer toasts with a variety of vegan toppings, including dairy-free cream cheese! Their staff is helpful with customizing, too.
  • Izzy’s – This health-oriented diner offers a vegan menu with an impressive selection of salads, tamales, and other entrees. They can also make several more omnivorous dishes without dairy.
  • Loblolly Creamery ⭐️ – This ice cream shop was recommended by reader Cynthia. It’s located in a unique stretch of town, and the staff churns out delicious artisan ice cream with many vegan options. They also offer gluten-free, vegan waffle cones, vegan shakes, and several dairy-free toppings, which are labeled right on the menu. In fact, they note top allergens next to each ice cream flavor.
  • Meme’s Twisted Potato ⭐️ – This all-vegan burger joint has a short but comforting menu. It includes sandwiches, cauli-wings, salads, juices, and of course, their famous twisted potatoes on a stick.
  • Saladworks – Pretty much their entire menu contains dairy, but they offer an interactive allergen menu that tells you how to custom order most items without dairy (or other special diet needs). You can choose between salads, warm grain bowls, wraps, and a few other items. They offer a good handful of dairy-free dressings, and do have gluten-free and vegan options.
  • The Root Cafe – Burgers, brats, sandwiches, and salads are all housemade with locally-sourced ingredients at this farm fresh restaurant. They offer ample vegan options, source Dempsey gluten-free buns as an option, and cater to dairy-free diners with even more options on request. They also offer farm fresh groceries for pick up or delivery.

Lowell

  • Eat to Evolve – They offer meal plans and meal delivery, but also have some brick and mortar locations where you can pick up. Everything they make is gluten-free, and they focus on paleo and primal diets. Most of their meals are dairy-free, but not all. You can pick a dairy-free meal plan or order by the entrée.

Rogers

  • MidiCi Pizza – Their signature Neapolitan dough is light, thin, soft, and chewy, with a high crust, and it’s dairy-free. It’s made purely with a special Neapolitan flour, water, sea salt, and yeast. They also offer dairy-free cheese alternative and vegan sausage, and have several custom order salad options.
  • Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe ⭐️ – They are very friendly toward special diet guests. They offer vegan lentil chili, and all of their sandwiches and salads can be ordered dairy-free with the exclusion of cheese, ranch-based sauces, and Caesar dressing (other dressings are available). They even offer a whole selection of vegan vinaigrettes.

Springdale

  • The Buttered Biscuit – Despite their dairy-rich name, this breakfast and lunch restaurant does their best to accommodate dairy-free diner requests. “We make sure any dairy allergy is noted and separate pans and utensils are used to prepare that meal. We do have some substitutes for select items like daiya cheese, almond and oat milk. We don’t use any filler for our eggs, so they are dairy free.” Their batch-made items, like biscuits and waffles, do contain dairy, so they aren’t able to offer those as options, but that still leaves some good homestyle choices. They have two locations in Bentonville.

Most Popular Chains in Arkansas for Dairy-Free Diners

There are many more chains in this state, but these are the ones we recommend most for dairy-free options.

Arkansas-Only Chains

  • Purple Cow – Their diner-style menu isn’t littered with dairy-free options, but they do offer soy ice cream and soy milkshakes. They also have vegan burgers, and can grill up a range of dairy-free burgers and sandwiches on request.

Favorite National Chains in Arkansas

This Guide is Continuously Updated with Recommendations

We welcome you to recommend other dairy-free friendly restaurants. Leave a comment or contact us and tell us why you like a certain restaurant. Restaurant owners and employees are also invited to reach out and let us know how you welcome dairy-free customers.

Please kindly let us know in the comments if any of these restaurants close. We want to keep this list current for you, but aren’t always notified when a restaurant closes. Let us know and we will quickly update!

This Guide is for Informational Purposes Only

Menus, ingredients, kitchen procedures, management, and restaurants are subject to change at any time. Always read the menu and discuss your dietary needs with the staff before ordering. Make sure that they can accommodate your situation.

There is always a risk for potential cross-contamination of allergens in any commercial kitchen. If cross-contamination is an issue for you, always speak with the manager to ensure that your meal can be safely prepared. Listings here do not guarantee that a restaurant is safe enough for your individual needs. Only you can make that decision.

For More Dairy-Free Guidance, Get Go Dairy Free!

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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