5 Little Rock Restaurants to Sample the Local Flavor
1. Brave New Restaurant
2300 Cottondale Lane, Suite 105, 663-2677
Lunch: 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Mon–Fri, Dinner: 5 p.m.–10 p.m. Mon–Sat
Boasting a location right on the Arkansas River in Riverdale, Brave New Restaurant is perfect for an unforgettable lunch, intimate dinner or casual drinks. Grab a glass of wine and a seat on the patio and enjoy the area’s scenic beauty and five-star culinary creations, often made with local meat and produce. The dinner rolls are addictive; consider yourself warned!
Must-try dishes: Grilled Tuna, Chocolate Crème Brûlée, Nontraditional Grilled Cheese, Avocado & Crabmeat Salad
2. Forty Two at the Clinton Presidential Center
1200 President Clinton Ave., 537-0042
Hours: 11 a.m.–2 p.m. daily
Whether you’re touring the William J. Clinton Presidential Center or just in the area, dropping by the center’s bottom floor to pay this eatery a visit is a must. This downtown favorite was named after the country’s 42nd president and uses local produce and meat whenever possible — often from its own terrace garden. Great views of the river and diverse daily lunch specials sweeten the deal.
Must-try dishes: Andouille Sausage Hoagie, Reuben Wrap, Boursin Cheeseburger
3. Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel
Markham and Louisiana Streets, 374-7474,
Breakfast: 6:30 a.m.–10 a.m. daily; Lunch: 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Mon–Fri; Dinner: 5 p.m.–9 p.m. Mon–Thu, 10 p.m. Fri.
Sun brunch: 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Little Rock’s historic Victorian jewel The Capital Hotel pleases guests and locals, alike, with its fine dining hotspot Ashley’s. With a commitment to farm-to-table practices, Chef Jöel Antunes seamlessly integrates traditional Southern fare with international flavor. Drop by the “front porch of Little Rock” for an unforgettable meal and equally amazing hospitality.
Must-try dishes: Any of the chef’s specials
4. The Root Café
1500 S. Main St., 414-0423
Hours: 7 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Tue–Fri, 8 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Sat, 9 a.m.–2 p.m Sun.
Located in downtown Little Rock’s SoMa (South Main Street) district, this eatery goes above and beyond to support local and sustainable agriculture. Not only does it deal with local producers of everything from honey and dairy to bread and rice, an on-site garden provides seasonal produce for menu items.
Must-try dishes: Spicy Bánh mì, Toasted Curry Chicken Salad, Sweet Potato Fries (try them with curry ketchup!), burgers made with local beef
Locations in The Heights, River Market, SoMa and Midtown
Hours: 7 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon–Sat at SoMa, River Market & Midtown locations. Open until 7 p.m. in The Heights. Closed on Sat in Midtown.
This Little Rock native has locations from the River Market to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Midtown. An eclectic menu full of delicious sandwiches on housemade bread, salads, soups, baked goods and more make this the perfect place for lunch or breakfast. Most of Boulevard’s produce is locally and sustainably grown to boot.
Must-try dishes: Balsamic Chicken Salad, Caprese Panini, Vegan Hummus Sandwich