Craving authentic, traditional South Indian flavors and cuisine? Searching for somewhere new to go for lunch or dinner? Look no further than Chola Cafe. The welcoming, low-key environment and friendly staff is met with a menu filled with a variety of tasty dishes, diverse enough for both vegetarians and meat eaters to enjoy themselves. (And trust me, you will.)

Chola Cafe

Image: Exterior of Chola Cafe in Bentonville, Arkansas. Courtesy of Emily Neuman

OK, let’s dive straight into the best part of Chola Cafe–the food. From soups, breads, and starters to main courses and rice dishes, there really isn’t a bad choice on the menu. One of their star dishes is Chicken Tandoori, a succulent chicken marinated in a blend of yogurt and aromatic spices, then cooked in a tandoor (a cylindrical clay oven) for a smoky charred flavor and tender texture. It’s outrageously delicious. Garlic Naan is also cooked in a tandoor oven and pairs nicely with any dish you get. It’s a favored Indian bread topped with minced garlic. 

Chola Cafe Meal 2

Image left to right: Chicken Tandoori; Chicken Tandoori, Masala Dosa, and Garlic Naan.
Courtesy of Emily Neuman

If you’re in search of something more saucy, try their Chicken Tikka Masala featuring grilled chicken pieces simmered in a creamy tomato-based sauce, richly spiced with a harmonious blend of Indian flavors. This is a popular curried dish and my go-to when I’m unsure of what to order. It also makes for killer leftovers (if there’s any left of course).

Chicken Tikka Masala Chola Cafe

Image: Chicken Tikka Masala. Courtesy of Emily Neuman

Finding yourself intimidated by the menu? That’s okay! The staff is happy to answer any question to help navigate your choices. If you’re ordering online for takeout or delivery, their online menu (found here) has great descriptions and some pictures so you know what to expect. Chola makes it so easy to explore new dishes at a very reasonable price. I try to throw in a new dish in the rotation every now and again, cause you never know, you may find a new favorite dish. And I often do at Chola.

Chola Cafe 3

Image: Interior of Chola Cafe in Bentonville, Arkansas. Courtesy of Emily Neuman


Before your next visit to Chola Cafe, here are some important details to keep in mind:

  • Location: Located in west Bentonville along 14th Street in a shopping center (see map here). 

  • Parking: It’s free and located onsite out front. Biking? Unfortunately, there are no bike racks onsite. 

  • Reservations: No reservations are needed. Walk-ins only. They also do take-out and delivery through services like Uber eats. 

  • Hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday 11:30 am-2 pm for lunch, and Tuesday-Thursday 5:30-9 pm, Friday-Saturday 5:30-9:30 pm, and Sunday 5:30-8:30 pm for dinner. Closed on Mondays.

Dining Area: Includes a variety of seating options of tables and booth seating indoors.