The Broadway Bridge closure has certainly wreaked havoc on downtown traffic, especially anyone needing to cross the river. However there are some really great spots worth visiting, that one little bridge problem (ok big bridge problem) shouldn’t stop.
Here are some of our favorite places to eat in North Little Rock and when to get over with minimum effort.
Flyway Brewing – Best Times: Weekends and After 7
Flyway sits right on the edge of Argenta, which naturally means it is impacted heavily from the bridge closure. Thankfully things really start picking up at the brewery later in the day and the weekends are always filled with great things. Beyond having good beer, they also have some great food. Keep an eye out for brunch specials such as the one next weekend with Amanda Ivy.
Ristorante Capeo – Best Times: Weekend Dinner
Capeo has become a favorite of many in Argenta over the years. The Italian spot has produced solid food along with a number of great chefs, and is a perfect spot for a nice Friday night or Saturday dinner.
Mugs Cafe – Best Times: Weekday Morning
Mugs is one of the best coffee shops around to grab a solid drink and food. In fact their food line up may be the strongest out of all the area coffee shops, offering a full menu lineup instead of just specialty pastries. Even better, crossing the Main Street Bridge in the morning is a breeze, just take your time before coming back over.
The Joint – Best Times: Late Night
Yes, technically the Joint is a coffee shop, but where the place really shines is some of their nightly programing. It ranges from comedy shows to concerts, open mic night to plays. It really is one of the most underrated night time entertainment spots in the region. Full disclosure, the food here is lacking (if even available at the time), but the entertainment more than makes up for it. Head over to Reno’s after for a beer and a sandwich.
Skinny J’s – Best Times: Sunday Brunch
During the main service hours Skinny J’s is a fairly standard fare southern grill with an extremely wide lineup of steaks, seafood, chicken, and about anything else you can imagine. Come Sunday brunch the place really starts to shine however, and is a popular spot. They have a wide variety of Bloody Marys (the most important part of brunch) along with omelets, traditional breakfast items, and a variety of benedicts.
Arkansas Ale House/Diamond Bear -Best Times: Afternoon drinks
Diamond Bear made the move north of the river a few years ago, and quietly settled in on Broadway. Naturally this causes some problems when the main way in is closed. Use it as an opportunity to slip over the river for some afternoon drinks. Call it a work meeting, you have our permission. We do it all the time. Stick around for a quick bite to eat before you head back across the river just in time for the rest of Little Rock to get off work.
Four Quarter -Best Times: Late Night
Four Quarter is around a year old at this point and feels like it has been in Argenta our whole life. It quickly became the popular late night hang out spot, it was started by the people who own Midtown Billiards afterall, so this is no big shock. The food is outstanding, the music is exceptional, and 2am will come quicker than you realize.
Ira’s Park Hill Grill – Best Times: Soon for Dinner
If you want to enjoy Ira’s while it is still north of the river you better get in soon. The Park Hill Grill will close on January 21st and start a move to downtown Little Rock. Ira’s does a solid dinner that will likely be missed from people who desperately want to see Park Hill develop as a food community.
Mark’s Do-Nut Shop – Best Times: Saturday Morning
When it comes to donuts, Mark’s is king in this state. There is a reason Mark’s is listed as our #1 donut place, and I assure you the vote was not even close. Saturday mornings are busy, get in early, come back often. However you do it be sure to bring cash, no credit cards here.
Reno’s Argenta Cafe – Best Times: Late Night
While a good portion of the late night crowd in Argenta now splits time with Four Quarter, Reno’s is the quintessential late night spot north of the river. It is in many ways the North version of Midtown Billiards in terms of crowd and patronage. It is one of those places that you have to go after 10pm to get a good sense of the spot. They have good beer, decent food, and more good beer. Bonus is that you can find half the chefs in the city around here after hours.
Rosalinda Restaurante Hondureño – Best Times: Lunch (except Wednesday)
One of the most underrated spots in North Little Rock, Rosalinda’s is something not to be missed. The Honduran food has a loyal following, and is a favorite of many. There are enough good food items on the menu to easily make several trips, and a deep enough diversity to never get bored with it.
Taqueria Guadalajara – Best Times: Breakfast, Lunch, or a Late Dinner
Speaking of underrated spots, Taqueria Guadalajara is right up there with Rosalinda. Some of the most authentic mexican food in the city. Grab some Bistek a la Mexicana or just dive straight into some tacos. It is one of the best Mexican spots in the state outside of Springdale.
Whole Hog NLR – Best Times: Lunch
Full disclosure, I think the Whole Hog franchises are awful. Thankfully the North Little Rock version is absolutely nothing like the other locations. Instead their meat quality is better and fresher, sauces are actually the originals, and service is top notch. This location would benefit greatly from a name change and breaking away from the local franchise, it is one of the best BBQ offerings in North Little Rock.
BJ’s Market Cafe -Best Times: Breakfast
If you are into a traditional southern breakfast, nothing compares to BJ’s. It is a little hard to find, and even when you do you question if you are in the right spot. Walk on in and find some great southern food. BJ’s came recommended to me by a number of chef friends, and it is one of the best off the radar finds I have stumbled across. They also do lunch along with blue plate specials, and a Friday dinner service.
Scoop Dog -Best Times: Late Night
Maybe it is nostalgia, but “The Original” Scoop Dog has always been a late night pick for me, which works great considering making your way across the bridge before 6 is nearly impossible. Scoop Dog was always our spot to go grab a quick frozen custard or amazing hot dog as a 4th meal while home from college in the summer. It still just taste better around 9-10 as an adult. I don’t think it is only me, the place is usually packed at that time. It is a real Arkansas gem, and another one of our previous underrated picks.
Whenever you go, be sure to get out to North Little Rock this month to enjoy their restaurant month. There are great prizes, and specials going on for the entire month.