In May I packed my car, left Dixie at home with her dad, and moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas (a place I had only been once before) to intern at Riffraff for the upcoming three months. I didn’t know many people. I didn’t know how to get around or where anything was. I didn’t know anything about the area. Instead of being afraid, I looked at that as an opportunity. I explored every weekend, tried new restaurants, and shopped at local stores. Here are just a few of my many favorite places I went (and began to frequent a lot):
The Arsaga’s obsession began on the first day of work at Riffraff HQ when we walked across the street for a coffee and toast for lunch. After that, the other interns and I would frequent Arsaga’s at least twice a week whether it was a quick stop on the way into work or a slice of toast for lunch. If you have never been to Arsaga’s you may be wondering, “why is she talking about toast?” Well, it is not just bread and butter (although, you can have it that way if you’d like). Apparently, their toast with avocado is delicious, but I wouldn’t know because I don’t like avocado – I know, am I even a millennial? However, I absolutely love the Very Nice Toast which is cream cheese, berry compote, thyme, and lemon zest on a thick slice of toasted sourdough bread. If you go, you must try the Arsagaccino (a classic blended/frozen drink in either chocolate or seasonal caramel) or the seasonal Sidekick (a vanilla bean or chocolate malted milk iced latte). If you want something even more delicious, you could go by the Depot location for a more extensive menu. However, I suggest stopping by the Church & Center location before or after your trip to the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market on Saturday.
The Fayetteville Farmer’s Market became a place I would go nearly every weekend. It takes place at the Historic Square (also where Riffraff is located) and has vendors on both sides of the street around the entire square! There are plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, but what I came to love so much was all of the flowers! Nearly every vendor had $10 bouquets of beautiful, colorful flowers. Going to the Farmer’s Market was always a good reason to grab a coffee from Arsaga’s and stop by Riffraff to shop.
Another good place to visit on a beautiful Saturday or Sunday in NWA is The Grounds at Garden Living. This is a quaint little coffee shop that is only a year old and is nestled in the back of a garden inspired gift store where you can enjoy your coffee and a slice of their weekly special cake in the courtyard among all of the greenery. It’s the perfect spot to have your coffee talks with the girls.
If anyone has a sweet tooth, it is me. I was told by so many people to visit Burton’s when I needed my ice cream fix, and I did many times. Burton’s is located on Dickson Street in a little nook with a few other food trucks. You can order any of the soft serve cones from the menu or create your own. My personal favorite: the Michael Jackson cone (twist ice cream, vanilla side rolled in crushed Oreos, chocolate side rolled in crushed Nilla Wafers).
Another place to satisfy your sweet craving is Hurts Donuts. This place opened while I was in Fayetteville and created a huge buzz. There is no question why. They have so many donut options to choose from and they are all so delicious. I have taste tested many but my favorite had to be the red velvet with cream cheese frosting or the cosmic brownie. However, I highly recommend these donuts for dessert, not breakfast.
I only visited Fayetteville’s Funky Yardsale once during my summer stay, but I spent a solid hour and a half browsing through all of the interesting things they had set up. This place is two stories of vintage, funky things and, for an added bonus, there are cats roaming around. Definitely make this a stop of your Fayetteville to-do list.
Another place to shop – the best place to shop – in Fayetteville is Riffraff. (Yes, I may be a little biased.) Riffraff has new arrivals each day during the week, and the storefront offers so many goodies from candles, to cards, and home decor.
If you have never been to Fayetteville, I highly recommend it. I also recommend JJ’s Grill On Dickson, Loafin’ Joe’s or Damgoode Pies for a good pizza, Kream for delicious ice cream, and Hill City Popcorn for, well, popcorn.