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Jul 7, 2010 08:20 AM

Little Rock Eateries

I am staying at the Courtyard Little Rock Downtown in August. I am travelling from Atlanta and looking for some great places to eat. If there are any local specialties I want to try them. If there are restaurants (non-chain) that stick out, please let me know.

Also, are there any nightlife hotspots that stick out? I'm 23 years old and enjoy a good comedy show or bar.


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    1. Don't leave LR without having dinner at Doe's Steakhouse.

      Doe's Eat Place @ 1023 West Markham St., Little Rock, AR 501 - 376 - 1195.

      Whole Hog Cafe W of your hotel near the river is a good BBQ restaurant. Ashley's at the Capital Hotel 5 blocks W of your hotel is a fine dining restaurant highly recommended. The Capital Bar and Grill in the hotel is very pleasant for cold drinks and bar food. You will enjoy a cold drink there. Bosco's is just down the street from your hotel and should provide some fun at their bar. Ernie Biggs is a nice piano bar 2 blocks W of your hotel. Sonny Williams Steak Room is just down the street and has a nice piano at night.

      Whole Hog Cafe @ 2516 Cantrell Rd., Little Rock, AR. 501 - 664 - 5025.
      Ashley's @ The Capital @ 111 West Markham St., Little Rock, AR 501 - 370 - 7007.
      Bosco's Restaurant and Brewing Co. @ 500 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock, AR 501 - 907 - 1881.
      Ernie Bigg's @ 307 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock, AR 501 - 372 - 4782.
      Sonny Williams Steak Room @ 500 President Clinton Avenue #100, Little Rock, AR 501 - 324 - 2999.

      Flying Fish in the River Market next to your hotel is a good seafood restaurant. River Market is an indoor mall with food shops and a farmer's market.

      Flying Fish @ 511 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock, AR 501 - 375 - 3474.

      Copper Grill and Grocery is a great lunch/dinner place a few blocks SW of your hotel. Buy some of their gourmet foods to take home. Cotham's is about 20 blocks W of your hotel but serves the best burger's in LR. Mr. Mason's BBQ is about 20 blocks W of your hotel and serves excellent BBQ.

      Copper Grill and Grocery @ 300 East 3rd St., Little Rock, AR 501 - 375 - 3333. LD.
      Cotham's @ 1401 West 3rd St., Little Rock, AR 501 - 370 - 9177. BURGERS.
      Mr. Mason's Pit Bar B Que and Catering Co. @ 915 W Capitol Ave, Little Rock, AR. 501 372 4227.

      Bosco's Restaurant
      500 President Clinton Ave Ste 105, Little Rock, AR 72201

      , Scott, AR 72142

      1. You will be right in the RiverMarket district, which is fantastically convenient for most of the dining and entertainment you could want. You can also catch the trolley over to Argenta, North Little Rock's entertainment district.

        Since you mentioned you like comedy, I thought I'd mention the Funny Bone in the River Market district as another place you might enjoy.

        As far as local specialties, I would say they would probably be bbq and catfisth. littleman gave some good suggestions, also Capitol Smokehouse and Grill was just chosen best bbq in LR by Sync magazine. it's about a 17 blocks from your hotel.


        Sim's is legendary, and my personal favorite. There's a location at Broadway and Roosevelt, a couple of miles from your hotel.

        Adam's catfish is a good local representation, but it's certainly nothing fancy, just walk up and carryout with odd hours (used to be a roach coach type operation). Other than Flying Fish it's the only catfish downtown.

        If you can get away from downtown, Grampa's and Cock of the Walk are both good.

        If you can get away from town, Leon's in Pine Bluff is the best. Hushpuppies with cheese dip! (Don't question it, just dig in.

        I hope you enjoy your visit!

        1. As far as nightlife, besides the aforementioned Funny Bone:

          Sticky Fingerz (relaxing comfy-cozy bar with a patio on the front, live music in the back), Rumba/Revolution (Rumba is a tapas place with a fantastic brunch and a deck overlooking the river, the Rev Room is a bar with live music), and Ernie Biggs and Willy D’s (piano bars that become increasingly raucous as the night goes on) are all in the River Market district.

          Cornerstone Pub and Reno’s are just a trolley ride away in Argenta and have live music as well.

          Juanita’s (TexMex restaurant with live music venue next door), Vino’s (grungy pizza/brewpub with mostly hardcore music in the back) and Downtown Music (metal and hip hop shows plus the very popular Cool Shoes dance parties) are all downtown within a mile or of your hotel. Whitewater Tavern (ruckus-y hole in the wall near the Capitol) and Cajun’s Wharf (see-and-be-seen parties on the deck overlooking the river) are on the outskirts of downtown.

          (PS – Rumba and Cornerstone both have karaoke nights, if that’s your thing.)

          For just hanging out, shooting pool/darts/whatever, Underground Pub and Flying Saucer are very popular, as is Gusano’s, a pizza joint with sports on the bigscreens, and are all in the River Market district. West End Marketplace is across town in West Little Rock but is also very popular.

          Also, I thought of another DO NOT MISS place: Ashley’s (upscale) or Capital Bar and Grill (less expensive but still fantastic) in the Capital Hotel. It’s a block or so down President Clinton Avenue from the River Market proper. A few more places downtown worth checking out are Lulav (Mediterranean/California), Ciao (Italian), Juanita’s (TexMex) and Hanaroo (sushi). Also, for lunch, EJ’s, Community Bakery, Boulevard Bread Company, or just about any of the River Market hall kiosks (though the hall IS NOT OPEN ON SUNDAY which annoys and confounds me to no end). And Rumba for brunch.

          If you do venture out of downtown, a few more favorites (*especially recommended):

          La Hacienda (TexMex) (Cotija’s downtown is a spinoff)
          Loca Luna or Brave New Restaurant* (American)
          Faded Rose* or Maddie’s (Creole)

          Acadia or Ferneau (American)
          The House* (burgers/eclectic)
          Café Bossa Nova (Brazilian/South American)
          Vieux Carre (Creole)
          Sushi Café (sushi)
          ZaZa (gourmet pizza and gelato)
          Fantastic China (Chinese)
          Oyster Bar* (seafood)
          Satellite Café (brunch)

          Van Lang (Vietnamese/Korean)
          Casa Manana (TexMex) (also has a kiosk in the River Market hall)
          Ali Baba (Middle Eastern)

          West Little Rock
          Star of India* or Amruth (Indian)
          B-Side* (brunch)
          Fu Lin (Chinese)
          Igibon (Japanese)
          Lilly’s Dim Sum (Asian)
          Layla’s* or Taziki’s (Middle Eastern)
          The Pantry* (Czech/European)
          Bruno’s or Graffiti’s (Italian)
          Saigon Cuisine* (Vietnamese/Thai/Chinese)

          Southwest Little Rock
          Taqueria Karina* (Mexican – NOT TexMex)
          Las Americas* (Salvadoran)

          North Little Rock
          Starving Artist Café (soups/salads/sandwiches)
          Cregeen’s (Irish pub)
          Taqueria Guadalajara (Mexican – NOT TexMex)

          2601 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, AR 72205

          4855 Whitesburg Dr S, Huntsville, AL 35802

          Taqueria Karina Cafe
          5309 W 65th St, Little Rock, AR 72209

          Casa Manana
          6820 Cantrell Rd, Little Rock, AR 72207

          Faded Rose Restaurants
          400 N Bowman Rd, Little Rock, AR 72211

          Brave New Restaurant
          2300 Cottondale Ln Ste 105, Little Rock, AR 72202

          Willy D's
          322 President Clinton Ave, Little Rock, AR 72201

          Vieux Carre
          2721 Kavanaugh Blvd, Little Rock, AR 72205

          500 President Clinton Ave Suite 40, Little Rock, AR 72201

          Star of India Restaurant
          301 N Shackleford Rd, Little Rock, AR 72211

          Community Bakery Cafe
          1200 Main St, Little Rock, AR 72202

          Saigon Cuisine
          6805 Cantrell Rd, Little Rock, AR 72207

          Starving Artist Cafe
          411 Main Street, North Little Rock, AR 72114

          Loca Luna Restaurant
          3519 Old Cantrell Rd, Little Rock, AR 72202

          220 West 6th Street, Little Rock, AR 72201

          Taqueria Guadalajara
          58 Southpark Shopping Ctr, Nashville, AR 71852

          1. Oh! And how could I forget Midtown Billiards: Dive Bar Extraordinaire. Go there after everyplace else closes.