A love letter to the dairy bar | Eat Arkansas

A love letter to the dairy bar

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No matter if we live to be 100, walking up to the window of a dairy bar is going to make us feel about six years old. There's just something about the slam of a serving window, the drippy soft-serve ice cream, and the mammoth greasy burgers that stokes the fires of nostalgia. And when it comes to dairy bars, there aren't many better than the King Kone in Hot Springs and Saline County's Salem Dairy Bar.

King Kone is just a short walk for the locals, and a convenient spot for anyone driving by. Now, if you love a good old fashioned dairy bar burger, this is the place for you. They even have a great veggie burger for those who desire something different than the beef offering. From top to bottom, the menu is filled with delicious options to please even the pickiest eaters. From burgers and fries, to catfish and chicken strip baskets, King Kone has you covered.

What about the ice cream? Well, head on over and satisfy your cravings for frozen treats. Get it by the waffle cone, pint or by the quart. King Kone is serving up all kinds of frozen goodies, such as banana splits, and shakes. And what would an old fashioned dairy bar be without a chocolate malt? Yes, they have that too.

A huge testament to the service and quality of King Kone, is that a Sonic moved in next door, and it had no effect on the loyal customers, and new customers of King Kone. 

Further north, locals flock to the Salem Dairy Bar — and there's many times we've driven past Benton's own Sonic to head down to the quaint pick-up window for an order of catfish, a thick burger or some onion rings. Weather too cold for ice cream? We hear you, and so do the folks in Salem — they're currently offering hot chocolate with whipped cream on top. Of course, burgers are fine and dandy, but the chili-topped options are also worth trying — or as a recent Facebook post put it "chili dogs, nachos with chili or burritos with chili." Hard to feel the chill with all that chili.

There are other great dairy bars in Central Arkansas — the Asher Dairy Bar is fantastic, and the Cream Castle has been a favorite for decades. The weather is cold now — but your local dairy bar has something to warm you up. Where's your favorite?


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