I obviously eat out frequently, and try my very best to hit up as many different places as possible, but as I approach my three-year mark of Little Rock living, there are still several restaurants that have eluded me. From big chains to small mom and pops, and everything in-between … here are 20 Popular Little Rock Restaurants I’ve Yet to Try:
The Pizza Café (1517 Rebsamen Park Road)
Reason: Neither Pizza Café location is ideal for me, and frankly, the draw to other pizza places is too much to overcome. I know there is a loyal fanbase of Pizza Café folks, so it’s probably about time I remedy things and get this restaurant off the list.
Graffiti’s (7811 Cantrell Road)
Reason: The location is a little funky, but the main reason I’ve yet to check out Graffiti’s is its overall lack of buzz. Like many popular restaurants in Little Rock, Grafffiti’s also lacks a strong social media presence.
Whole Hog Café (2516 Cantrell Road)
Reason: I’ll be blunt … I am not a fan of the Whole Hog Café (WLR location). The barbeque isn’t terrible, but it really lacks a good, smoky flavor. Now, I’ve heard the ‘cue at this original location is better, but it’s far from my house, and the allure has never been strong enough to pull me in.
Cantina Laredo (207 N. University Avenue)
Reason: By now, I figured some event would have lead me to this popular, regional Mexican food chain in the heart of our wonderful town. Nope. Not cocktails, not a business gathering, nothing. From all reports, the food is solid, if unspectacular.
Van Lang (3600 S. University Avenue)
Reason: I’ve heard mixed opinions about Van Lang, and in the end, I guess that’s why I’ve yet to frequent the establishment. I’m also loyal to good pho, and as of right now, Pho Thanh My and Mike’s Café have my heart.
Town Pump (1321 Rebsamen Park Road)
Reason: A friend of mine raves about Town Pump’s French fries, and sadly, I’ve still yet to check the place out. She’s probably mad at me after reading this, but I’m not often on that side of town, and a weak social media presence has worked against TP.
Capers (14502 Cantrell Road)
Reason: There is no legitimate reason why I have yet to eat at Capers. Being in far west Little Rock doesn’t help its cause, but Capers showing up on this list is a bit of a head-scratcher.
Gusano’s (313 President Clinton Avenue)
Reason: This might make me seem like a d-bag, but I’m not big fan of eating Chicago-style pizza when I am not in Chicago. Also, if I’m near downtown and have a pizza craving, Vino’s and Iriana’s get the nod.
Riviera Maya Mexican Restaurant (801 Fair Park Boulevard)
Reason: I love Mexican food, so why on earth have I not paid a visit to Riviera Maya? Truthfully, I have no reason. It’s located right in the heart of town and I’ve gotten solid reports from regular customers. I need to make RM happen.
Chip’s Barbecue (9801 W. Markham Street)
Reason: Word on the street is that Chip’s serves better desserts than barbecue. This might please Daniel Walker, but for me, if “barbecue” is in your name, it better be the best part of the menu.
Arkansas Burger Co. (7410 Cantrell Road)
Reason: By most accounts, Arkansas Burger Co. serves a very solid burger … so why haven’t I been? Glad you asked. Two words: David’s Burgers. One is five minutes from my casa and any occasional burger craving is usually satisfied at David’s.
Twin Peaks (10 Shackleford Drive)
Reason: I’m not one of these food writers who’s going to shove the “eat local” message down your throat, but truth be told, I rarely eat at mega-chain restaurants. All that being said, I’m surprised the allure and curiosity associated with Twin Peaks has yet to lead be through the doors.
Midtown Billiards (1316 Main Street)
Reason: I’m a 37-year-old father of two who lives in WLR. Sorry if crushing a greasy cheeseburger at 1AM in downtown isn’t on the top of my “food to-do” list. I know, shut up, and just go eat the damn burger, right?
Red Door and Loca Luna (3701 Cantrell Road and 3519 Old Cantrell Road)
Reason: Two different restaurants, but for obvious reasons, we’ll count them as one for this list. Location is definitely a detriment for yours truly, yet I’m still embarrassed to not have frequented at least one of these restaurants in almost three years.
Cotham’s in the City (1401 W. 3rd Street)
Reason: I love me some Cotham’s, but the original location in Scott is just too tempting. That’s probably because I can stop at Charlotte’s along the way for a piece of coconut cream pie.
kBird (600 Tyler Street)
Reason: kBird lands on this list strictly by bad luck. On several occasions in the past, I tried to eat at the old food truck, but it was late in the evening and they were sold out. I need to make it out to the new-ish, permanent location in Hillcrest.
The Main Cheese (14524 Cantrell Road, Suite 110)
Reason: Let’s keep things simple on this one: I’ve gotten reports of mediocre food, and spending a slightly high price for grilled cheese sandwiches isn’t on the top off my list.
Slim Chickens (4500 W. Markham Street)
Reason: No offense to Slim Chickens, but I get my chicken tenders at one place, and that’s my beloved Franke’s. That’s just the way it is. I’m loyal, if nothing else. Also, fried fast food is pretty low on my totem pole.
Reno’s Argenta Café (312 Main Street, NLR)
Reason: During my first week in Little Rock (I knew nothing about nothing), a neighbor told me to go try out the fantastic cheeseburger at Reno’s. So, I did. I walked through the door and was overpowered by smoke (not judging, smokers). That was the end of Reno’s.
Cajun’s Wharf (2400 Cantrell Road)
Reason: It’s a little out of the way, and if I’m going in that direction, Maddie’s Place and The Faded Rose get my business … and for good reason. Still, I’m surprised something like one of my wife’s business dinners, hasn’t brought me to Cajun’s.
*Photo courtesy of Daniel Walker