Local Chefs Reveal Favorite Eats

It wasn’t long ago that Forbes dubbed Little Rock a “secret foodie city.” Well, the out-of-towners may be out of the loop, but we know exactly how good our food is here in Little Rock. We could go on all day about the fantastic local eats, or even (hypothetically, of course) create a spinoff Twitter account dedicated to just that. 

But whether you grew up here or are visiting for a short time, food is high on the priority list. Our sister publication, Little Rock Guest Guideagrees. The mag decided to go straight to the source by asking local chefs what can’t-miss dish makes their restaurants worth visiting, as well as their favorite meals across the metro.

Here are a few of the chefs’ personal recommendations. Check out the full list here. 

The Fold Botanas Bar | Chef Alex Smith

Credit: Karen E. Segrave

The hippest new restaurant in Riverdale— due in part to its trendy crowd and cool atmosphere—The Fold offers a fresh and creative menu. Chef Smith says…

You must order: Get a table on the patio, order the pork torta and don’t pass on the margaritas.

If you must go somewhere else: “My current favorite is The Pantry Crest. Because of my late hours, it’s nice to have somewhere in my neighborhood to get a nice meal after work while continuing to support a local business.”

Piro Brick Oven & Barroom | Chef/Co-Owner Jason Neidhardt

Credit: Daniel Moody

New to trendy SoMa in downtown Little Rock, Piro serves traditional Neapolitan-style pizza served in a casual-cool setting and featuring a full bar with 20 beers on tap (including many local craft brews). Chef Neidhardt says…

You must order: Start off with the beef carpaccio, then go for the Salsiccia Pizza. 

If you must go somewhere else: “I go to Maddie’s Place as often as I can. I used to live in New Orleans and Maddie’s is the only place in town that comes close. Their crawfish gnocchi just might be the best plate in Arkansas.”

Best hidden gem in Little Rock: 
“H.B.’s Bar-B-Q is such a great local spot. It has so much charm and good food…”

Sushi Café | Chef Jose Laguna

Credit: Daniel Moody

Hailed as one of the city’s best sushi spots, Sushi Café draws the locals in for creative rolls like One Hot Mama and Mango Tango, and the American kobe burger is hard to beat. Chef Laguna says…

You must order: The Pad Thai or the lamb burger

If you must go somewhere else: When he’s not creating new menu items for the Café, you’ll find Chef Laguna at Chi’s Dim Sum & Bistro or The Pantry.

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