If you’re a true food fan looking for fresh, new culinary flavors, Little Rock, Arkansas is rapidly becoming a “Go-To” food lover’s destination. From farm to table breakfast and brunch spots, to innovative lunch and dinner options, whatever you’re craving, you’re sure to find complete satisfaction in Little Rock.
Here are a few fantastic Drink.Dine.Do. finds in Little Rock.
The Root Café
The Root Cafe is the epitome of community. From locally sourced ingredients to whimsical artwork and hometown flare, to their dedicated staff led by Chef Jack Sundell, The Root Cafe is a “must visit” spot.
“Our mission is to build community through local food. We seek to foster a sense of connectedness among the individuals, families, organizations, and businesses of central Arkansas by offering a focal point for sustainable activities in the area.
We believe that sourcing locally not only supports our state’s economy but also makes us better stewards of the environment because of the shorter distance the ingredients have to travel to get to the plate. We firmly believe that it’s because we source locally that our food is so delicious. It makes us feel great that The Root supports local Arkansas farmers and producers that we know and love and that we get to showcase those farmers who grow this delicious food!” ~ The Root Cafe
The Root Cafe also hosts a range of activities from workshops, classes, and speakers to music events, hot pepper-eating and beard-growing contests!
Drink.Dine.Do. favorites: Shiitake Benny, Eggs Bahn Mi (a MUST TRY), Buttermilk Pancakes, Donut Muffins and all of the coffees!
The Root Café
LOCATION: 1500 S Main St | Little Rock, AR 72202
Such a fun restaurant! It’s an easy thing to completely fall in love with the unique decor and delicious food in this cute, cozy cafe.
Café Bossa Nova was founded in March 2002 by Rosalia and Dan Monroe. Rosalia, using the recipes she carried in her heart from her native Brazil, and with the support of her husband Dan, her sons Marcio and Joe, and her daughter Adriana, the restaurant was started in what once was the kitchen of the old Café di Roma.
In a tiny kitchen, with only a hot plate burner and a conventional oven, Rosalia started serving lunch to a curious crowd who immediately acquired a taste for her now famous cheese bread and black beans and rice.
Drink.Dine.Do. favorites: Pao de Queijo, Coxinhas, Bolos de Salmao, Panquecas de Frango, Buddha Bowls
LOCATION: 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd #105 | Little Rock, AR 72205
The Red Door lives true to its name when upon entering, there is a huge hanging red door above the bar!
Chef Mark Abernathy has over 40 years experience in the restaurant industry as chef, owner, manager, consultant and developer. Mark is arguably Arkansas’ best-known chef and restaurateur.
In addition to being active throughout the state in teaching, demonstrations and fundraising; Mark also owns two of Little Rock’s most popular restaurants…the multiple award winning Loca Luna and Red Door. He has owned and/or developed multiple restaurants and earned hundreds of local and national awards and accolades.
Mark has been recognized in the media on Food Network’s Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels, in Bon Appétit, Southern Living Magazine and a host of others. He’s also the former host and creator of Today’s Cuisine, an ABC syndicated cooking show. Mark was a featured presenter for 3 years at Food & Wine Magazine’s Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. He was also the presenting chef for St. Jude’s “Farm to Table” series in 2011 and 2012.
Drink.Dine.Do. favorites: Cheese Dip, Nachos, Crab Cakes, Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms, Brown Sugar Roasted Sweet Potatoes
LOCATION: 3701 Old Cantrell Road | Little Rock, AR 72202
CONTACT: 501-590-2638 (Mark)
One Eleven at the Capital
There are virtually no words for this spectacularly divine experience.
*Pro Tip: while everything on the menu is superb, ask for a tour of their “secret wine cellar”. You won’t be disappointed!
Since his early years learning from his grandmother, James Beard and Michelin Star award-winning chef, Joël Antunes was destined for a culinary career which eventually led him to five continents and the opportunity to work with a culinary “Who’s Who” including Bocuse, Troisgros, Meneau, Maximin and Duquesnoy in his native France.
At the Normandie restaurant in The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok he earned a nomination for the best restaurant in Asia. He opened his Michelin two-star restaurant, Les Saveurs, in London and was nominated best restaurant in the UK. Antunes is a James Beard and Michelin Star award-winning chef.
Drink.Dine.Do. favorites: Burrata Cheese with Pickled Vegetables, Berkshire Pork Pate with Pickled Okra, Chicken Liver Mousse, Lamb Shank with Roasted Potatoes, Shrimp Risotto, and ALL OF THE DESSERTS. All of them.
One Eleven at the Capital
LOCATION: 111 West Markham | Little Rock, AR 72201
SPECIALTY/ GOURMET SHOPS
Izard Chocolate was founded in 2014 by Nathaniel Izard, as a bean-to-bar chocolate company, the first ever chocolate making company in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Izard Chocolate has since expanded their products to include chocolate dipped caramels and wrapped caramels, which have become very popular among the Little Rock natives.
“We’re focused on buying above Fair Trade standards, organic, high quality, and fine flavor cacao. We use organic cane sugar for both our chocolate and our caramel.
We incorporate local ingredients as often as we can. We are small but passionate team of individuals looking to build a company that creates great and healthy products for our consumers, builds professional and mutually beneficial relationships with stores across the US who carry our products, and helps build a sustainable industry of chocolate making across the world.” ~ Izard Chocolate
Drink.Dine.Do. favorites: EVERYTHING!!!
LOCATION: 623 Beechwood St | Little Rock, AR 72205
Arkansas? When we were asked to visit Arkansas, we admit, we had no idea what to expect and quite frankly we weren’t expecting much we haven’t seen or done.
Little Rock is a community oriented town holding a huge secret. They are home to spectacular, world class food scene with no signs of slowing down!
Little Rock boasts outstanding chefs that are so passionate with their city and local ingredients that their food screams whimsical and fresh flavors of complete and utter love.
Most of all, we found the most amazing, friendly people. We wanted to pack so many in our suitcases and bring them home with us. Sweet Libby Lloyd was like family from the moment we met, and vivacious Chef Mary Beth Ringgold completely won our hearts and respect with her food and her story. We didn’t want to leave Arkansas without them, or without innovative Chef Jack Sundell, the masteful chocolatier Nathaniel Izard, and SO many more.
If you’re not already planning your trip and booking your flight, you are totally missing out! Do. It. Now. You’ll thank us later.
YES, THIS is Arkansas.
*This article is sponsored by Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau. All travel accommodations were hosted, however all opinions are our own.