Hungry? Well, you came to the right place. The Little Rock restaurant scene is growing and evolving every day, and we have been keeping our eyes on it for you. Last year brought us great spots like Petit & Keet, Buenos Aires Grill & Cafe, and Agāsi 7, and this year continues to not disappoint. If you’re looking for some new restaurants to try in town, here are nine to place at the top of your list in no particular order.
#1: Live Life Chill
Have you ever been to a show at Rev Room? If so, you may remember a restaurant behind it called Revolution Restaurant. It was a taco and tequila lounge and had a great outdoor patio. That is, until this year.
Rev Room sold the restaurant earlier this year and as of last week, Live Life Chill has opened in its place! According to Rock City Eats’ preview, it feels like a beachside oasis and has tiki-style drinks.
We are excited to see something new in that location because it really is one of the best spots in the River Market. The menu looks great, too. Burgers, tacos, barbecue, wings…sounds tasty.
If you want to check it out, their grand opening party is on Thursday, September 27. Go and tell us how it is!
Have you been craving a nice wood-fired, Neopolitan-style pizza? Us, too! Up until recently, we never got to have one in Little Rock. But, that all changed when Sauce(d) opened in the Rodney Parham Shopping Center.
Located right next to Zin Wine Bar, Sauce(d) is a very welcome addition to an area we started to forget about. It replaced Cici’s Pizza, and honestly, we do not miss it.
The pizza options feature some delicious ingredients like prosciutto, soppressata, fresh basil, and buffalo mozzarella. We are excited to try the Humble Pie, as it changes depending on the local fresh vegetables they have at the time.
Pizza not your thing? Try one of their yummy salads or stacked sandwiches.
When Southern Gourmasian closed earlier this year, Little Rock was sad. We lost one of the best new restaurants we had seen in quite some time. No more steamed buns, spicy chicken and dumplings, or ramen bowls.
But, thankfully, the crew behind it was not finished.
Just a month later, they announced a new restaurant called TAE (True Arkansas Eatery) as their next venture. Now open for lunch and dinner in the Hotel Frederica on Capitol Ave, TAE features updated and reimagined Southern classics.
Some stand-outs on the menu include pork and cornbread sliders, twice-fried fried chicken, and Arkansas toothpicks (country-friend spare ribs). Race you there?
#4: Ira’s Restaurant
Looking for more of a date-night, dress-up, and celebrate type of new restaurant in Little Rock? Check out Ira’s Restaurant on Main Street downtown.
Executive Chef Ira Mittelman originally started his namesake restaurant years ago in North Little Rock. But, he was finally able to make the big move this year and open what looks to be an amazing new spot.
The menu looks delectable, featuring mouth-watering options like a poblano pepper cheesecake, stuffed chicken breast, grilled peach salad, and Tasmanian prime ribeye. Go make a reservation now!
#5: Poke Hula
The poke trend officially made its move into Little Rock when Poke Hula opened at the start of 2018. Never heard of poke? Well, in Hawaiian, it means “to chop,” and a poke bowl is essentially a bowl filled with chopped raw seafood and other tasty treasures.
At Poke Hula located Downtown on 3rd Street, you can build your own bowl or try one of their signature bowls, topped with Hula sauce.
Just to give you a taste, the “Hula House” Bowl is only $12.50, and it comes with tuna, salmon, shrimp, cucumber, green onion, edamame, crab salad, seaweed salad, and a sriracha mayo sauce. Delicious!
#6: Ohia Poke
Just a couple weeks after Poke Hula opened, Little Rock got its second new poke restaurant in Ohia Poke. We would be remised if we didn’t mention both!
Just like at Poke Hula, the big thing at Ohia Poke is building your own poke bowl. In five steps, you choose your base (rice or salad), protein (tuna, salmon, etc.), add-ins (corn, scallions, etc.), sauce (ohia classic, ponzu, etc.), and toppings (avocado, pineapples, carrots, etc.).
If you want to check out this fun new restaurant, head to their location on 6th Street for lunch or dinner any day of the week.
#7: Cathead’s Diner
When Donnie Ferneau and Kelli Marks announced they were starting a new restaurant together, Little Rock rejoiced. If you’re not up on the local foodie culture, just know that those are two great local chefs and you have every reason to be excited.
The new restaurant is called Cathead’s Diner and it is already making a splash with its bodacious biscuits, barbecue, and brunch. But, beware, it is breakfast, lunch, and brunch only, so have limited time to go check it out!
Here is the menu, if you want to give it a look before you go. But, for lunch or brunch, the menu doesn’t really matter. Since the brunch is all-you-can-eat, just prepare yourself to load up on some amazing sweet and savory Southern food. For lunch, you need to choose the day you go wisely. They serve it cafeteria-style, with different lunch specials Tuesday through Friday. Can you say, “Hello, smoked meatloaf and fried catfish?”
#8: Fassler Hall
Can you believe it? Little Rock finally has a beer garden! Before Fassler Hall opened this Spring, the concept was very successful in Oklahoma. We are very happy they decided to come here.
Aside from the fun beer garden and massive beer hall, you will be struck by the amazing food you can try with one of the beers they have on tap. Yes, they have all kinds of sausage and a classic Schnitzel. But, you haven’t lived until you try their duck fat fries or pretzel bread pudding.
Wash it all down with a cold Oktoberfest while watching your favorite sport on a big screen, and your day will be made at Fassler Hall.
#9: Kontiki African Restaurant
We love seeing new restaurants open in Little Rock that highlight unique and vibrant cultures. Kontiki African Restaurant is one of them!
Kontiki opened earlier this year in Alexander (just over 10 minutes from Bowman Pointe) and they have already announced they are working on a new location in Little Rock.
While small, the menu is mighty in its representation of Sierra Leone cuisine. Jollof rice, smoked fish, and fried plantains sound like a welcome addition to the Little Rock food scene.
If you want any other recommendations for new restaurants in Little Rock, just ask our staff! We keep a list of helpful links for all kinds of things to do in Little Rock, and we would be happy to point you in the direction of something to satisfy your craving.