In Conversation With South On Main’s Chef Matthew Bell, Arkansas

Culture Trip

With a menu rooted in tradition yet eager to innovate, a calendar full of cultural events and a loyal following across Little Rock, South on Main is one of the most happening venues in town. After featuring South on Main in our Little Rock dining top 10, we speak to the man behind the concept –Chef Matthew Bell – and explore the restaurant, as well as its gourmet hometown.

Loved by over 40s
Chef Matthew Bell and Amy Bell

Why did you pick Little Rock as the location for South on Main?

I fell in love with the most wonderful Southern girl, who happened to be from North Little Rock. We came here after moving from Montana to Texas.

Spring Onion Tart

What dish did you create that you were most proud of?

The dish that makes me most proud is the pork trotters dish. I love to take bits that most people don’t think they like, and change their viewpoints entirely. In this case the pork feet have been one of our most popular dishes.

What can we expect from South on Main in the near future?

As South on Main grows we hope to offer more of our chefs series events. This is where a chef or food professional comes in to meet our guests, and does a short Q&A while we serve food inspired by that person.

South on Main

What’s one of the most memorable dishes you’ve ever had, and where did you have it?

One of my most memorial bites was at an event in Nashville, Tennessee. It was prepared by the chefs from the Catbird Seat: a thyme crème brûlée with pine needle and bacon. It has stood out for many years as a transcendent bite. So much harmony in such a simple and clean bite.

When you have time to eat out, where is your favourite place to dine in Little Rock?

I really like eating ethnic food on my days off. One of my favourites is Rosa Linda. This amazing Honduran spot is always right on the money with their flavours. I also really enjoy The Pantry and Ciao Baci.

The Bar

For the best drinks in Little Rock, head to…

This question is tough because I am very partial to my barman’s creations. Dave Burnette in my opinion is maybe the best beverage person in the state. If I am not drinking at my own place, I seek out a Lee Edwards-run bar. He is beverage director for several concepts and they are all high-level cocktail programs. Big Orange Midtown would be one of my favourites.

Hummingbird Cocktail

What’s your go-to place for local cuisine, and what would you order?

For local flavor I really like to go to K Hall and Sons. This counter-service place rocks my world with pork chops sandwiches and burgers that are super comforting.

Chicken Liver Mousse

An exciting new arrival to the local food scene?

I am so excited for my good friend and former co-worker Travis McConnell who just opened Butcher & Public. It doesn’t hurt that it is right next to my house.

In Little Rock, culture lovers need to…

Culture lovers who come to Little Rock cannot miss the Esse Purse Museum. It is a truly unique gem for Little Rock and a must-see when in Soma.
South on Main, 1304 Main St, Little Rock, AR, USA, +1 501-244-9660

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.