Preview of Travel Guide The Arkansas Delta Byways Travel Guide

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner

Jones Bar-B-Q has been a part of the food culture in the Arkansas Delta for more than a century. The Southern Foodways Alliance, an organization “dedicated to the documentation and celebration of the diverse food cultures of the American South,” believes it to be the the oldest African American-owned restaurant in the South and possibly the nation. In 2012 the James Beard Foundation designated Jones Bar-B-Q Diner as an America’s Classic. The organization defines America’s Classics as “restaurants with timeless appeal and that are beloved for quality food that reflects the character of their community.” Since that time, Jones also has been inducted into the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame as an inaugural member, and his diner was declared a classic by Food and Wine magazine.  

You have to come early to eat lunch at Harold Jones' iconic diner.  He opens at 7 a.m. and stays open until he runs out -- could be around 2 p.m., could be much earlier if there's a rush.  And there is no menu.  Just his famous pork barbecue on two slices of white bread--with or without slaw.  You can also get a soft drink and a bag of chips to complete your meal, but that's it.  Anything more would be superfluous.  A trip through the Arkansas Delta is not complete until you experience Jones Bar-B-Q Diner.