You'll find some of the best ethnic food in Southwest Little Rock. It's the older, more urban, part of town so most of the restaurants here are very casual. It's also a great place to find authentic ethnic food.
This list isn't in order of best to worst, because the best restaurants include many styles, price ranges and types of food. It's hard to pick a best with such a variety.
You can see all the restaurants in Southwest and Midtown Little Rock on the restaurant list. Their are quite a few chains in the larger shopping malls around the area.
HB's BBQ and Sims
You can't talk about barbecue in Little Rock without talking about HBs. They're legendary. Hidden away in a residential area, the restaurant only has a few tables. It's better to get your pulled pork sandwiches to go (they also have beef, no chicken). They don't have all the fancy sides that some barbecue places have, but the meat is excellent.
Sim's is another Little Rock institution. Very casual location, but again, you find the best barbecue in these little joints. Located a little less out of the way than HBs.
Riviera Maya is probably not the best Mexican food in the city, but it's good for Little Rock. The service is always really friendly and they are a bargain at lunch. They have great salsa and their menu is kind of a mixture between Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican.
Murry's Dinner Playhouse
At Murry's, you get dinner at a show. The real attraction here is the atmosphere. The buffet style dinner is decent, but nothing special. The productions are always light and the cast is fun to watch. It can be hard to find, but it's worth looking for. It's white tablecloth dining, but patrons wear everything from jeans to suits. Murry's Dinner Playhouse info
kBird is nestled in a residential neighborhood and you could easily miss the storefront you weren't looking for it. They have authentic Thai food that's fresh, light and delicious. It's not the best place to eat in at, because it's basically a house with a few counters. It's great to grab your food and go. kBird was originally a pretty popular food truck in Arkansas, but they grabbed this retail location
Grady's is one of the older pizza joints in Little Rock, but they have good, hand-tossed pizzas. The real secret to Grady's is their sandwiches. They make awesome sandwiches. Grady's info
La Regional Market
If you like real authentic Mexican food and a real Mexican experience, Baseline and Geyer Springs are for you. Pretty much any taco truck on Baseline is worth trying. The Mexican supermarkets La Regional and Mercado San Jose have dining areas. La Regional is the Mexican supermarket at 7414 Baseline Road. They have a grill in the back and make some awesome, authentic dishes.
Mr. Chen's Authentic Chinese Cooking
Mr. Chen's really is authentic and it's one of the few places to find real Chinese food in Little Rock. It's located in an Oriental Supermarket. 3901 S University Ave.
Taqueria Karina Cafe
Taqueria Karina Cafe is authentic Mexican cuisine, or at least as close Little Rock gets. The prices are great. They make awesome guacamole.
5309 W 65th St
Authentic Vietnamese food and some of the best Pho in the area. They also have Chinese food. The food is great and authentic, but the atmosphere leaves a bit to be desired. Prices are great.
3901 S University Ave