This eatery's been open less than a year, but it's already stolen my heart. My favorite dish: chicken & waffles. Those boneless chicken legs are Southern fried and delicious and served up with housemade waffle wedges made from scratch. Pair them with the smoked Gouda grits for the best wintertime stick-to-your-ribs breakfast you can get for the price. Other menu items include bacon-wrapped French toast on a stick and beignets with lemon curd.
11121 N Rodney Parham Rd # 34B, Little Rock AR 72212 (map); 501-716-2700; Wed. - Sun., 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
2. Ashley's at the Capital
Opulent in the evening, Ashley's turns to traditional favorites for breakfast and serves them up with housemade jellies and jams, fresh squeezed juices, locally grown produce, bacon made on-site, and War Eagle Mill organic grains. My favorite dish: the Delta Sunrise. The corned beef hash comes from beef corned and cured on-site and fresh vegetables, carefully balanced and sautéed before being served up with poached eggs, a hot flaky biscuit (with dairy butter and housemade jam), and a roasted tomato half. Serve it up with the fabulous house coffee and some orange juice that's actually orange, and you have heaven.
3. Mud Street Café
The custom roasted coffee will get you to Mud Street; the produce-heavy menu will keep you there and make you feel smart and healthy. The vegetable hash browns contain no less than 11 different types of vegetables and the pancakes are made with sour cream. My favorite dish: the Mud Muffin, a Wolferman's fresh baked English muffin with a folded scrambled egg, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onion, black olives, and bean sprouts. Good for the body and soul.
4. Pancake Shop
Traditions haven't changed at this Hot Springs mainstay since the '60s. The coffee is house-blend, the sausage is house-spiced, the apple-butter is house-pounded, and the waitresses still call you "honey." The prices are ridiculously low on the menu at this breakfast-only stop on the way to Oaklawn Racing Park. My favorite dish: banana pancakes with chunks of real banana in the batter, preferably just one, but if you're buying me breakfast I'll take two, dripping over the sides of a 12-inch plate and served up with hot syrup and butter.
5. Calico County
The best breakfast in Fort Smith starts with those famous complimentary icing-free cinnamon rolls that go down perfectly with a cup of coffee. My favorite dish: the Hearty Favorite chosen with spicy potatoes, biscuits, a couple of eggs, and the country fried steak—the most tender, tastily battered piece of country fried steak you'll ever eat at breakfast.
Lulav has served great dinners for years, but just entered the breakfast market this summer. Menu items range between the frugal with reasonably priced yogurt parfaits and pastries to luxurious dishes like pork medallions and fancy crepes. My favorite dish: the Mediterranean Eggs Benedict made with a chef's suggestion of substituting shrimp for crab. The rosemary-laden shredded potatoes are phenomenal.
7. Local Flavor Café
Want crème brulée for breakfast? This is the only place in Arkansas that carries the creamy burnt sugar delight for the morning meal. My favorite dish: the Mexican Scram, a Poblano pepper stuffed with cheese, eggs and onions, topped with avocado slices, tomato, and sour cream served up with black beans and two very different salsas. A spicy and tasty breakfast.
8. English Muffin
The muffins referenced in the name are those famed Wolferman's muffins brought in fresh each day in a dozen or so different flavors. Breakfast is served any time. My favorite dish: the Seafood Omelet, an extraordinarily fluffy omelet full of tender shrimp and crabmeat under a decadent seafood cream sauce. Like silk on the tongue.
4832 Central Ave., Hot Springs AR 71913 (map); 501-525-2710; Mon. to Fri., 6 a.m. - 2 p.m., Sat. & Sun, 6 a.m. - 2 p.m.
9. Front Page Café
This popular Jonesboro eatery saves the thrown rolls for dinner, but serves up traditional breakfast favorites for not a lot of dough. My favorite dish: the Manager's Special with a couple of eggs, some breakfast meat, and pancakes. Get yours with the chocolate chips—they're milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet. It's like having a chocolate chip cookie with maple syrup.
2117 E Parker Rd., Jonesboro AR 72404 (map); 870-932-6343; Mon. to Thurs., 6:30 a.m. - 8 p.m., Fri. & Sat., 6:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m., Sun., 6:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. (breakfast served until 10:30 a.m.)
The home of the famed Stoby's cheese dip. Breakfast is its own awesome star on the menu, with colossal cinnamon rolls from pattiCakes Bakery (the Stoby's run pastry place), housemade strawberry jam, and Petit Jean meats. My favorite dish: the Ole Omelet, a three egg fold-over packed with Stoby's own chili served up with shredded cheese, grits, and biscuits. Guaranteed to warm you to your core.
805 Donaghey Ave., Conway AR 72034 (map); 501-327-5447; stobys.com; Mon. to Sat., 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
405 W Parkway Dr., Russellville AR 72801 (map); 479-968-3816; Mon. to Thu. & Sat., 6 a.m. - 9 p.m., Fri., 6 a.m. - 10 p.m.; breakfast served until 11 a.m. weekdays, and until 12 p.m. on Saturdays