What to do in Fayetteville, home of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks

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Northwest Arkansas has exploded in recent years. Bentonville, with Walmart headquarters and the Crystal Bridges art museum, and increasingly hip Rogers might not be recognizable to someone who last visited there a few years ago. . But Fayetteville, home of the state’s flagship university and the Arkansas Razorbacks, has retained its character despite the influx of newcomers. The hilly and wooded landscape is crossed by cycle paths. Long-term residents include many artists and eccentrics. And beyond bustling Dickson Street, undergraduates are relatively rare.

Smoked Cheddar Burger

Where: Hugo’s

The dark basement one block from Fayetteville’s main plaza still awaits. But the wait is worth it. Opened in 1977, Hugo’s specializes in massive burgers, like smoked cheddar or jalapeño cheeseburger, and baskets of fresh-cut fries that can feed two. Save room for a chocolate mousse or a peach and amaretto crepe.

25 1/2 N. Block Ave., Fayetteville, (479) 521-7585

A plate of brisket, sausage, ribs and burnt bacon ends at Wright's Barbecue in Johnson, Arkansas, just outside Fayetteville.

BBQ breast

Where: Wright’s BBQ

Arkansas is full of exceptional barbecue restaurants, like McClard’s in Hot Springs or the legendary Jones Bar BQ near the Tennessee border. But the state lacks a deep bench of pitmasters. While Wright has little competition in northwest Arkansas, his Texas-style tail would stand out anywhere down south. Beyond the stellar brisket, other standouts on the handwritten menu include ribs and house-made sausages. Don’t skip the sides.

2212 Main Drive, Johnson, (479) 313-8618

Crisis Brewing in Fayetteville, Arkansas has a cozy tree-lined patio.

Existential DIPA

Where: Crisis brewing

The founders turned their midlife crisis into a brewery. Crisis’ beers are some of the best in the region, and only a few can be found beyond the small brewery. While hop lovers will find the bitter beers they crave, Crisis also makes plenty of beers that appeal to anti-IPA drinkers. The bar is cozy, but the best seats are outside on the shaded terrace.

210 S. Archibald Yell Blvd., Fayetteville, (479) 582-2337

Maxine's Tap Room, a cocktail bar in Fayetteville, Arkansas, has been around since 1950.

bee knee cocktail

Where: Maxine’s tap room

Founded in 1950, Maxine’s began as a simple bar. Today, he specializes in classic cocktails, like the popular Bees Knees Honey Sour Gin, and thoughtful originals. Although the menu has changed, the place has retained the discreet friendliness of a neighborhood bar. Although it fills up on weekends, during the week you can almost always grab one of the intimate stalls or play a game of darts.

107 N. Block Ave., Fayetteville, (479) 442-9601

A cinnamon bun from Little Bread Co. in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Cinnamon bun

Where: small bread company

Little Bread Company’s Chewy and Flaky Cinnamon Rolls are bigger than a softball. If you want one on the weekend, show up early (sticky pecan buns are even rarer). Everything about this bakery is stellar, from chocolate croissants and fruit danishes to bagels. Little Bread also makes sandwiches for breakfast and lunch.

116 N. Block Ave., Fayetteville, (479) 527-0622

Current advice? Story ideas? Questions? Call reporter Todd Price at 504-421-1542 or email him at [email protected].

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