Good Homestyle Food in the Heart of the Delta
Make catfish great again!
whole pies and cakes are available with minimum 24 hours notice.
Joe Cartwright and Shari’ Haley opened the Wilson Cafe in December 2013, formerly Wilson Tavern.
Joe, an Arkansas native, has worked in the restaurant business for more than 16 years and has held positions at multiple Memphis restaurants like The Farmer, Interim Restaurant & Bar, McEwens on Monroe, and Spindini.
Joe and Shari’ met at Interim in 2007 where they both worked. Since taking over the Wilson Café, Joe and Shari’ have incorporated local foods into their southern menu. Many of the restaurant’s veggies come from the beautifully manicured acres of Wilson Gardens, cultivated by Leslie Wolverton and her team. There is nothing like getting your vegetables for the day across the street from the cafe.
Joe and Shari’ hope to provide good food to their community and get people excited about trying new foods. If you want a great meal in a historic small town then Wilson Cafe is the perfect place. Make sure to say hey to Joe and Shari’ on your next visit to the Cafe.
Lunch: Mon - Sun, 11am - 2pm
Dinner: Wed - Sat, 5pm - 8:30pm
2 N Jefferson St., Wilson, AR
Wilson Cafe is the sweetheart of the square, located on one end of town center. … The veggie plate and an array of fresh salad selections also show up on the menu, all featuring ingredients sourced from Wilson Gardens, which is located no more than 100 yards from the cafe. The sleek interior is unexpected, boasting a rustic-industrial vibe, complete with shiny white subway tile work, industrial piping and rich, wooden tables and accents.
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With a listed population of 903, Wilson can lay claim to having the best restaurant of any Arkansas community with fewer than 1,000 people. A recent dinner at Wilson Cafe included flavorful shrimp and grits, a tender 14-ounce rib-eye steak that looked even larger, and a bottle of sibilant Riesling from Germany's Mosel vineyards.
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If you’re looking for more homestyle options, Wilson Cafe serves grilled shrimp salads, sandwiches and mac ‘n’ cheese, plus the sort of American pie (think coconut or buttermilk) that would convert even the most dedicated lover of the meat variety.
The American road trip you need to take
The cafe pulls in customers from Memphis, Jonesboro, Paragould and as far as Cape Girardeau for updated Southern cooking like catfish croquettes, mac and cheese, roasted okra with Sriracha creme fraiche and a rotating selection of pies. Ingredients come from local farms.
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You're not going to believe this, but these days the tiny cafe that seats a couple hundred people for lunch and dinner every week, tops, rivals any restaurant in Arkansas when it comes to decor and the quality of its fare. Inside, the place looks like something out of Architectural Digest, with every inch refurbished and every tile, cup, spoon, sink, light fixture and bit of trim carefully chosen to suggest an upscale take on a classic Delta diner of yore. The menu, meanwhile, reflects Cartwright's 15 years working in some of Memphis' best restaurants.
24 Hours In Wilson
He's passionate about his food, sourcing premium ingredients like certified Angus beef, organic produce and choice domestic seafood. The kitchen makes everything, from the hush puppies to the whipped cream on the bread pudding, from scratch. We can attest, the food is delicious, consisting mostly of upscale takes on classic diner fare. The fried catfish and fries, in particular, were perfect and delectable.
The Wizard of Wilson
From the Kitchen of JOE CARTWRIGHT & SHARI HALEY | Chefs/Proprietors