It’s hotter than hell outside and the only way to beat the heat, besides jumping into the nearest pool, is to find your favorite cool treat around Little Rock. They come in all shapes and sizes and aren’t just found at Loblolly Creamery (although they will get a mention later in this piece).
So let’s get to it!
Longtime Little Rockers know one of the best, most underrated cool treats is found at the beloved Burge’s in the Heights. While a pint of the smoked turkey salad is a must during anytime of year, summer months are perfect for a cherry limeade. The key to any great limeade is the soft, pebble-like ice, which Burge’s loads up a plenty. And while the drink goes fast, ice lovers, like me, enjoy the ten minutes of crunching almost just as much as the limeade itself.
Speaking of ice, there may not be a more popular place in town this time of year than Le Pops–the gourmet popsicle maker also located in the Heights. From the Chocolate Marvel to the strawberry cream, you really can’t go wrong with any popsicle at Le Pops, but for my money, it doesn’t get better than one of their hand-shaved ices.
As stated, a cool treats article just wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Loblolly Creamery. A trip to The Green Corner Store in SoMa for a scoop of double vanilla or one of the seasonal flavors is about as Little Rock as it gets, but if you’re up for a change, walk over to the freezer cabinet and grab yourself one of their ice cream cookie sandwiches.
Walk across the street to The Root Café for a cool glass of ginger lemonade, which pairs well with just about anything coming out of their kitchen, especially a basket of sweet potato fries.
In search of a little caffeine fix from your cool treat? Instead of going to Starbucks, keep it local and head down to either Mugs Café or Mylo Coffee Co. for a delicious iced coffee. Also, downtowners can also get a quick jolt of caffeine at Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co., which now sells soy milk boba (or bubble) teas with the tapioca balls.
You know the folks from Yellow Rocket Concepts have your sweet tooth covered. Stop in to Local Lime for one of their now famous margaritas or grab a frozen mojito at the new-ish Heights Taco & Tamale Co. There’s always gelato in the case at ZAZA, and what better place to grab a shake than at Big Orange. And yes, even a cold beer is considered a treat, so let’s not forget about the Honey Bock at Lost Forty Brewing.
Since we’re on alcohol, we must mention one of Little Rock’s most iconic drinks … CBG’s signature Southern Comfortable. This refreshing drink comes with Hangar One Spiced Pear Vodka, Yellow Chartreuse, fresh lemon juice, house-made pecan soda and is served over crushed iced with a spiced pecan.
Two more iconic Little Rock cool treats are the Key lime pie at Trio’s and the chocolate sack at SO. The former is such a refreshing way to end any meal at Trio’s, while the latter is a behemoth of a dessert comprised of an actual chocolate-shaped bag filled with ice cream, compote, and various other insanely awesome ingredients.
These were my picks for best cool treats in town, but we also posed the question to readers on Facebook. Here was some of the feedback:
Tom A.: “Anything from Scoop Dog in NLR.”
Charles H.: “I’m a bit hooked on Le Pops’ Cold Brewed Coffee and Vanilla Cream shaved ice, topped with a sprinkle of cocoa powder. Hard to beat.”
Connie R.: “The Pineapple Whip truck on 107 in Sherwood across from the golf course. So good!”
John K.: “Hobo Joe’s in NLR. Best soft serve ice cream & snoballs in town.”
As you can see, we have no shortage here in Little Rock.