Dining in Downtown Little Rock

Fine Dining and American Restaurants in Downtown and the River Market

View of downtown Little Rock Arkansas from the North Little Rock side of the Arkansas River.
••• Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

If you're exploring the Downtown Little Rock area, you're sure to stumble across a number of great restaurants, with new establishments popping up every day, but navigating the food downtown can be a problem to the uninitiated. This is especially true because there seems to be a pizza joint, bar, or grill on every corner, each with pretty great reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor.

Fortunately, we've compiled a list of sure-fire small chain restaurants and locally-owned businesses that will leave your taste buds and stomachs satisfied—explore this list of fine dining, casual eats, international foods, and local favorites and choose your next foodie in Downtown Little Rock, Arkansas.

Fine Dining in Little Rock

If you're looking for a night of extravagance in the Little Rock area, look no further than these local fine dining establishments, perfect for that romantic date night or a celebratory birthday dinner. While the following restaurants may be a bit on the pricey side, the ambiance, food service, and quality of the meals you'll get at these fine establishments are definitely worth the price.

  • One Eleven at the Capital Hotel
    This is probably one of the best fine dining establishments in Little Rock, with a nearly perfect rating on Yelp. If you're looking for a great, moderately expensive brunch spot, check this place out!
    Address: 111 West Markham Street (inside the Capital Hotel)
    Website: One Eleven at the Capital Hotel
  • Sonny Williams Steak Room
    Some say that this steakhouse offers the best steaks in the Little Rock area, but they also serve up a decent selection of seafood and other quality entrees in an elegant setting—perfect for a romantic meal.
    Address: 500 President Clinton Avenue, Suite 100
    Website: Sonny Williams Steak Room

    Great American Eats in Little Rock

    If you're in the mood for something with that traditional Americana taste—think burgers, fries, and chicken fingers—you definitely do not want to miss these great restaurants. Ranging in price from meals under $15 to meals as expensive as $100, the following restaurants are sure to hit the spot for that taste-of-home cooking Americans have come to expect from local establishments.

    • 4square Cafe and Gifts
      This gift shop with vegetarian soups, salads, wraps, and sandwiches located in the River Market is one of the best places to get a vegan or gluten-free lunch in the city. They can also create custom gift baskets with Arkansas foods and souvenirs, making this cafe the perfect one-stop-shop for tourists to recharge and knock out some gift shopping all at once.
      Address: 405 President Clinton Avenue
    • Andina Cafe
      This little coffee shop at the corner of River Market and 3rd Street serves sandwiches, soups, and salads as well as a handful of little snacks—perfect for grabbing a bite to eat while shopping in the busy downtown area.
      Address: 433 East 3rd Street
      Website: Andina Cafe
    • Big Whiskey's
      This French brasserie and bistro present casual elegance and wide array of peasant foods in a peaceful ambiance. Check out the user reviews and stop in while you're exploring the downtown area, though make sure to call ahead if you plan on getting a table during the busy dinner rush.
      Address: 225 East Markham
      Website:  Big Whiskey's
    • The Box (The Burger Box)
      This relatively cheap option claims to have the best burgers in the city. With fresh hand-cut fries, a variety of great American sandwiches, and a relatively cheap menu overall, this place is perfect if you're just hoping to grab a quick for lunch (not open for dinner).
      Address: 1023 West 7th Street
      Website: The Box TripAdvisor
    • Capital Bar and Grill
      Located in the Capital Hotel but a cheaper and easier-to-access restaurant than the One Eleven, Capital Bar and Grill offers a great selection of lunch specials, hot sandwiches, and live music from lunch until late-night.
      Address: 111 West Markham Street
      Website: Capital Bar and Grill
    • Cotham's In The City
      Home of the famous, Food-Network-featured hubcap burgers, Cotham's is one of the best places to go to get a traditional southern lunch in the city. If you've never tried fried green tomatoes, try theirs!
      Address: 1401 West 3rd Street
      Website: Cotham's
    • Dave's Place
      Although this establishment is mostly a lunch spot (except for Fridays), Dave's Place offers great sandwiches during the weekday afternoon rushes and a creative dinner menu on Friday nights.
      Address: 210 Center Street
      Website: Dave's Place
    • Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro
      This fun restaurant offers a huge menu with a variety of options at moderate prices. With an energetic atmosphere and trendy style, this place is the perfect fit for a casual dinner or lunch.
      Address: 200 Commerce, Suite 150
      Website: Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro
    • Forty-Two
      This restaurant in the Clinton Presidential Center offers an all-you-can-eat salad bar, some elegant entrees, and an excellent brunch menu—and you don't have to pay for admission to the library to eat here!
      Address: Clinton Presidential Center, 1200 President Clinton Avenue
      Website: Forty-Two
    • Sim's BBQ
      No southern American restaurant list would be complete without a great BBQ joint, and Sim's is some of the best BBQ in Little Rock, serving up a huge menu of slow-cooked meats in a rustic atmosphere you'd expect from a great southern BBQ restaurant. Although there's a location downtown, the one at the address listed below is a bit better.
      Address: 1307 John Barrow Road
      Website:  Sim's BBQ

    Bars, Pubs, and Places to Grab a Drink in Little Rock

    If you're not quite in the mood for a full meal and could just use a light snack and a drink after a day of shopping, Downtown Little Rock offers a great range of bars, pubs, and other places to grab a quick drink.

    • The Flying Saucer
      This favorite hangout of locals in downtown Little Rock is known for their beer but also have a great selection of bar foods and sandwiches. It's not a family establishment, but it is the place to be on a Saturday night downtown.
      Address: 323 President Clinton Boulevard
      Website: Little Rock Flying Saucer
    • Sticky Fingers Rock'N'Rocll Chicken Shack
      People don't typically visit this chicken shack for the food, but the bar menu they offer is pretty great! Instead, people come for the great lineup of live music events this popular downtown venue hosts year-round.
      Address: 107 S Commerce Street
      Website:  Sticky Fingers Rock'N Roll Chicken Shack
    • Willy D's Rock'N'Roll Piano Bar
      With a name like this bar, it's no wonder it's such a popular spot for catching some live music and grabbing a drink. This dueling piano bar's food selection is about average for bar food, but it's sure to offer a fun night—especially if you're a fan of the hip-hop lounge downstairs, though it does require a cover charge.
      Address: 322 President Clinton Avenue
      Website:  Willy D's Rock N'Roll Piano Bar
    • Zin Urban Wine and Beer Bar
      If you're looking for a slightly more upscale place to grab a glass of wine after work or for a casual date night, this sleek wine and beer bar has a great selection of wines by the glass with a light menu of appetizer dishes to snack on while you chat.
      Address: 300 River Market Avenue, Suite 1
      Website:  Zin Urban Wine and Beer Bar

    International and Overseas Foods in Little Rock

    If you're looking for a bit more international flair in your meals, Downtown Little Rock offers a variety of ethnic foods at authentic Japanese, Italian, Mexican, and Latin restaurants. Check out some of these fine establishments if you're looking to escape Americana for a moment and disappear into a foreign food frenzy.

    • Hanaroo Sushi Bar
      The best place to get sushi downtown and one of the better places for Japanese food in Little Rock, Hanaroo is a well-decorated and sleek sushi bar offering a full menu of every type of roll imaginable at moderate prices.
      Address: 205 West Capitol Avenue
      Website: Hanaroo's Facebook Page
    • Iriana's Pizza
      This trendy little pizza joint makes the best pizza in Little Rock, offering a unique sauce and thick-cut crust at really cheap prices. This restaurant is perfect for stopping in on your way to or from the bars!
      Address: 103 West Markham Street
      Website: Iriana's Pizza
    • Vino's
      Another trendy Italian spot, Vino's features a more elegant and upscale menu for the same low price as Iriana's. Known for their live music and microbrews, Vino's also makes a decent pizza and routinely features local bands and brews.
      Address: 923 West 7th Street
      Website: Vino's
    • Rumba/Revolution
      This spicy Mexi-Cuban restaurant offers a variety of Latin dishes from both Mexico and Cuba, combining both in a fun atmosphere with plenty of tequila specials to fuel your night of fun in the downtown area.
      Address: 300 President Clinton Avenue
      Website: Rumba/Revolution
    • Juanita's
      Best known for the music, Juanita's also serves a decent Tex-Mex menu and is especially busy on Friday and Saturday nights when they routinely feature local and visiting musicians. This high-energy bar and restaurant are perfect if you're looking for a festive night on the town.
      Address: 614 President Clinton Avenue
      Website: Juanita's