Ed Walker’s Drive In

Review by: Cliff Strutz

Open since 1943, Ed Walker’s just looks like a cool place to eat. It has a ruby red retro sign with an arching arrow pointing down to the small building and the drive-in car stalls. It certainly caught our eye as we drove down busy Towson Avenue in 2012. Unfortunately, it was early on a Sunday morning and our schedule didn’t allow us to stick around until they opened. Two years later, we found ourselves back in Fort Smith and made Ed Walker’s our first stop.

Despite the sign informing patrons to “flash headlights for service” and the fact that this is the only restaurant in Arkansas where you can legally enjoy curb service beer, we decided to eat inside. You can choose to sit at the long red counter up front or the comfy red-backed booths in the back. Doo Wop music fills the air and unlike so many wannabes, Ed Walker’s 1950’s charm is the real thing.

The menu lays claim to being “Home of the French Dip” and the version they serve is indeed the star of the menu. You get a generous portion of thinly sliced, tender, roasted beef served on a pillowy soft sourdough roll. And if you like, Swiss cheese that melts right into the meat. Dip the sandwich into the rich au jus sauce and you have something special. We also enjoyed the Razorback burger, which is a beauty of a 1/3 lb. bacon cheeseburger made with fresh ground meat, well dressed with lettuce, tomato and onion. The excellent onion rings provide minimum grease along with maximum crunch. To drink, you can get one of their thick milkshakes or perhaps a beer or root beer served in a frosty mug.

The desserts are also made in house and should not be ignored. The red velvet cake was wonderfully moist and topped with sweet, but not cloyingly so, cream cheese icing. The rest of the cakes, pies and cookies looked equally as good.

What To Eat

Milk Shake

French Dip

Bacon Cheeseburger

Red Velvet Cake


Ed Walker’s Drive In Recipes


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