Arkansas‘s capital and located at the heart of the state, Little Rock offers a variety of activities for tourists and guests. Famous for being the home of the Clintons, cotton plantations dating back to the Civil War and its Southern hospitality, Little Rock has unique dining venues that offer unmissable meals. Here are 10 of the best restaurants in the area.
Dating back to 1947, the Community Bakeryin downtown Little Rock has been receiving “Best Bakery” awards almost annually by the “Arkansas Times Readers Choice Awards” and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Although the Community Bakery has had a few different owners throughout the years, it is still famous and most visited for its homemade cakes and recipes its bakers have been using for 60 years. Serving everything from breakfast, sandwiches and warm soups, to scrumptious wedding cakes or typical European pastries, the place is never empty, especially during holidays when its seasonal desserts come into play.
This place, famous among local businesses and political leaders, diligently keeps to its motto “Rules are made at the Statehouse; laws are made at the Capital bar.” Offering typical southern fried chicken and red beans and rice, it is one of Little Rock’s most popular restaurants. Its location in the Quapaw Quarter and its close proximity to the Capital building make it easy to find even during the busiest times of the year.
Cafe, Restaurant, American, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
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The Arkansas River
Homegrown is not really homegrown unless it grows in the backyard. The Root Café in downtown Little Rock is the best place to visit, due to the fact that all of their products are Arkansas-grown. The cafe is unique with its rich choice of local meals, workshops, entertaining contests, such as the hot-pepper eating and the beard-growing contests. Built to sustain Arkansas’ economy and farms, and Little Rock’s community, the cafe offers a wide variety of choices for all your breakfast and lunch needs. The scrumptious shiitake Benny and spicy banh mi are certainly must-tries.
Named “The Best of the Best” in 2014, Brave New Restaurant not only offers yummy Southern cuisine, but also a breathtaking view of the Arkansas River. Aside from their rich menu and unique delicatessen, the restaurant sells all the original works placed in the dining room, due to its partnership with Stephano’s fine art gallery. The Brave New Restaurant is the ultimate place for folks who love beautiful views and fine dining, appreciate excellent customer service, and cherish art.
If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, an enriching cultural night, and an opportunity to meet like-minded people, South on Mainwill be your best choice. The restaurant takes pride in offering a “revolutionary cultural experience” where southern cuisine is served in the presence of musical performance, literary readings and film screenings promoting the Oxford American. Anything from snacks to classic meals is at your disposal.
Bar, Market, Wine Bar, Contemporary, American, $$$
ZIN Urban Wine & Beer Bar may not be your typical dining place, but it has its own charm accompanied by a selection of 38 wines and a rich assortment of premium beers. It is the perfect place to get together with friends or for a date night.
Juanita’s is a busy cafe and bar where you can take free salsa lessons, enjoy the sounds of Keith Harkin, the Night Riots or SYNRG, or just swing by for a quick hot coffee and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Located in downtown Little Rock, Juanita’s is hard to miss.
Ciao Italian Restaurant is your typical neighborhood joint located in the heart of Little Rock. The venue tends to attract couples or larger groups as it provides the perfect ambiance for engaging conversations. Although its interior seems simple at first glance, the restaurant stands out with its unique recipes and unforgettable tastes.
The Maduro Cigar Lounge is an exotic place right downtown in Little Rock. It offers a wide variety of coffees, drinks, as well as a unique experience of smoking. Their usual dress-up costume nights bring young and old to the lounge and the fun never ends.
One Eleven at the Capital
Restaurant, American, French, $$$
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There’s nothing better than visiting a new place and diving into their traditional cuisine. One Eleven at the Capital is one of those places where guests get fully immersed into the Southern hospitality experience. The chic New York style interior corresponds to the high-class service of the restaurant and the hand-crafted meals of James Beard-award winning Chef Joel Antunes. The restaurant offers breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, and some of the meals worth considering are the chef’s special out of the breakfast menu, organic risotto with mushroom and parmesan, and the roast halibut.