Little Rock is filled with wonderfully unique eating experiences that are sure to please any palette. If you’ve lived here for 25 years, 10 months, or are just visiting, there are certain eating experiences that should definitely go on your Little Rock Food Bucket List.
Beer and Bones at Lassis Inn
Sit at the smallest booth in the world while downing a freezer-cold, 40-ounce beer and some fried Buffalo ribs and catfish. Lassis Inn is small, old, and humble, but offers a setting filled with such warmth and character.
Do Doe’s Eat Place
How can you not check out the place Bill Clinton made famous? History aside, Doe’s still makes great steaks, Delta-style tamales, fried shrimp and soaked salad. The 3-pound Porterhouse is not to be missed.
KA and Coffee at Mylo Coffee Co.
It’s best to arrive early in the morning to order what has become Little Rock’s signature pastry, the kouign amann at Mylo. Pair it with a cup of coffee, park yourself at one of the tables, and gaze out onto Kavanaugh Blvd in the beautiful Hillcrest neighborhood.
A Night at South on Main
Check out the restaurant on Wednesday nights for its Local Live series, a free concert featuring local musicians. If you’re flying solo, park it at the bar and order an Old Fashioned and some bar menu items like the fried duck wings or skillet bread. This winning combination of music, cocktails, and food separates South on Main from the pack.
The Most Expensive Bite
Arthur’s Prime Steakhouse offers a certified Japanese Kobe, the most extravagant and luxurious steaks in all the land. At $45 an ounce, it better be good. And guess what? It is. This steak literally melts in your mouth.
Coconut Cream Pie at Charlotte’s
It’s not in Little Rock, but a 45-minute drive to Keo is well worth it for the best coconut cream pie of your life. The mile-high light and air meringue vaults this pie above the competition.
Chocolate Sack at SO
This jaw-dropping dessert at one of Little Rock’s most expensive restaurants is best split between 2-4 people. It’s literally a giant chocolate mold (formed from a sack) filled with layers of ice cream, berry compote, toasted almonds, peanut butter mousse, cinnamon, and sugar.
Wine Dinner at Natchez
One of Little Rock’s top chefs, Alexis Jones, routinely offers 4-5-course wine pairing dinners at an insanely affordable cost of $50-60. Her food is unpretentious, yet it perfectly articulates that elevated southern flair that is quickly becoming the hallmark of our culinary scene.
Walk into One Eleven at The Capital’s Wine Cellar Room
This room not only houses some of this town’s top bottles of wine, but also plays host to opulent dinners. If you’re not eating, just a simple walk-though is a memorable enough experience.
Sandwich shops, quite frankly, are a dime a dozen … but walk into Artisan Meats, and you quickly realize this quant and cozy spot screams Little Rock. The friendly and attentive service is only trumped by the delicious offerings of sandwiches and sides. Order any sandwich. They’re all great.
The Southern Gourmasian on the Bricks
Even though Little Rock’s most popular food truck, The Southern Gourmasian, now has a brick-and-mortar location, it still has the truck. And there’s no better place to eat some shrimp and grits than the church steps in the middle of the Hillcrest Farmers Market on a Saturday morning.
Loblolly at The Green Corner Store
It doesn’t get much more Little Rock than eating local, artisan Loblolly Ice Cream at the soda counter inside The Green Corner Store. If this place doesn’t get you nostalgic, nothing will.
Pizza Time at Terry’s
The absolute best pizza in town is currently found at The Pizzeria at Terry’s Finer Foods. The restaurant is very small, but if you’re lucky enough to get a table or a seat at the bar, the food and drink will certainly not disappoint …and neither will the atmosphere. The potato and kale Neo-style pizza is tops.
The Faded Rose Has Mudbugs
Starting in March, The Faded Rose offers up boiled crawfish to a loyal and adoring fan base. The mudbugs are spicy, but not unbearably spicy, and are served with the traditional sides of potatoes and corn. Spring is awesome in Little Rock, and it’s hard to top sitting out on TFR’s patio while eating crawfish and drinking an Abita Strawberry.
Are You Comfortable?
Capital Bar & Grill, located inside the Capital Hotel, is one of the most iconic bar/restaurant settings in all of Little Rock. It’s best known for the pimento cheese, fried chicken and, of course, those wonderful cocktails. Hit the bar and try out the Southern Comfortable—a drink filled with spiced pear vodka, house-made pecan soda, lemon juice, and yellow chartreuse served over crushed ice and garnished with a spiced pecan.
Donuts Hit the Mark
Donuts never tasted so good. Seriously, Mark’s Donuts in North Little Rock makes some of the best donuts you will find anywhere. Each one will run you about a buck (CASH ONLY). I personally favor the chocolate glazed, but they’re all great, due in large part to their light and airy nature.
Breakfast at The Root
The Root Café is just another one of those restaurants that perfectly captures the essence of Little Rock. The place is small but has such a wonderful downhome vibe. For breakfast, you’ll sometimes encounter a line out the door, but the folks running this true farm-to-table establishment know how to make food that’s well worth the wait.
All You Can Eat Red Beans and Rice
For something like $6-7, The Oyster Bar offers all you can eat red beans and rice on Mondays. It comes with bread, and if you can eat more than two bowls, you need to start questioning where things went wrong in life. It’s mighty tasty but quite filling.
Jagerschnitzel at The Pantry
Not only is The Pantry (and The Pantry Crest) one of the best restaurants in town, but it also offers the greatest bang for your buck, with entrées sitting in the $12-20 range. The Pantry specializes in European comfort food and no dish is more reflective of this concept than the jagerschnitzel–a thin, fried pork cutlet resting over spaetzle and covered in gravy and mushrooms.
Beer and Pizza at Vino’s
Vino’s is old and musty, but damn if it doesn’t have a ton of character. The house-made brew ain’t too shabby and neither is the pizza. In short, Vino’s isn’t an upscale, destination dining spot, but it is a fixture of Little Rock with a ton of history behind it.