Picturesque homes, cozy streets and lots of local love await in two of the city's most iconic neighborhoods. Here's what to do in The Heights and Hillcrest no matter what time of day you're there.
- MORNING -
Fuel the Day
Some of the city's best-loved coffee shops call these neighborhoods home, meaning a caffeine stop is always in order when you're nearby. Fans of the original Mugs Café in Argenta will find an equally pleasing cup in the newer Heights location, and yes, that includes their famous pancakes.
In Hillcrest, Mylo Coffee Co. has carved out its role as a neighborhood anchor. A dependable rotation of house-made roasts and pastries have helped it become the first local coffee shop that comes to mind for many Little Rockers, and its creative drinks (the part-horchata, part-cold brew Dancing in the Moonlight is delightful) help it keep that status.
Just a short three blocks away sits River City Coffee with more than 40 years of brewing expertise in Hillcrest, some of which took place in the location Mylo now occupies. Branding itself as "where the quirky get caffeinated," River City offers great coffee with unbeatable flavor and customizable options, as well as a devotion to the local art scene, both on its walls and through community events and performances.
Early Bird Eats
When it's time for the most important meal of the day, order accordingly at Leo's Greek Castle, another of Hillcrest's oldest institutions. From Greek omelets and French toast to breakfast pitas and flowing mimosas, you can't go wrong with this menu.
The same can be said for Hillcrest Little Bakery, which serves up multiple tasty dishes, but whose flaky, buttery biscuits are the star of the show, piled high with hot chicken, crispy bacon or any number of toppings.
For a pastry on the go, Boulevard Bread Co. in The Heights has endless fresh options, but if you've got time to spare, the bistro's modern, yet familiar menu is a Little Rock favorite, especially for Sunday brunch. The Southern Benedict with house-smoked pork shoulder and sunny side up eggs is a scrumptious way to start your day.
Break a Sweat
Looking to get in a good sweat sesh in the a.m.? Don't let the pace fool you, there's plenty of perspiring happening at The Pilates Studio of Little Rock. One of the city's few dedicated studios, this Hillcrest space offers traditional Pilates classes on reformers, springboards and mats for whatever your practice requires.
To scratch your yoga itch, visit the new Camp Yoga & SUP studio in The Heights run by well-known yogi JoAnn Camp. For everything under one roof — cycling, dance cardio, barre, HIIT and more — ZenStudio is your go-to.
All you have to do is BYO-body.
For the Kids
To keep the kiddos entertained, try an art class at Zig Zag for the whole family. Got allowance to blow? Shop The Toggery's whimsical toy selection or peruse the kids section in the basement of Box Turtle. And say hi to shop dogs Moose and Mash Potato while you're there.
- NOON -
Both dedicated and aspiring plant parents have plenty to catch their eye here. The Heights is home to the Tipton & Hurst florist headquarters, which has a variety of freshly cut flowers and arrangements in-shop. To liven your space even more, find a new succulent (or two or three) at Dandelion Home and Garden.
If a whole new landscape is in the works, or you're dreaming about the day it is, a stop at Hocott's Garden Center should be on the agenda. A stroll among the nursery's fiddle leaf figs, azaleas and monsteras is enough to get anyone excited about their next green beauty.
No day in The Heights and Hillcrest is complete without a tour of the neighborhoods' shops. For the latest and greatest fashions, stop by Steamroller Blues, Beige, Mr. Wicks and E.Leigh's, or indulge in a bit of pampering at Winc Beauty and Belle & Blush.
The area also has no shortage of housewares and gift shops. Fresh I.D., J. Parkey, The Full Moon and Cobblestone & Vine have all the seasonal, trendy or classic pieces needed to complete your space. Fostering a new passion? Bolster your cooking prowess at Eggshells Kitchen Co., your stationery obsession at The Social Type and your love of nature at Ozark Outdoor Supply.
The sun is high and it's high time for a classic. Burge’s in The Heights hits the spot with its iconic smoked turkey salad, chicken sandwiches and juicy burgers. If you want to turn up the heat a bit, head to Baja Grill for a tall plate of Caribbean jerk nachos, then cool off with a margarita on the patio.
Although it's best known for its boutique wines, don't sleep on the Cheers in The Heights lunch menu, especially its seafood dishes like fried crawfish tails, catfish po'boy or, of course, the chopped salmon salad.
PRO TIP: If you want to keep things quick and light, visit a coffee shop for a freshly made sandwich, then grab some java to keep you going all afternoon.
Anytime's the Right Time
One of the area's undisputed jewels is its greenspace, with views to spare and ample canopy. Whether you opt for Knoop Park or Allsopp, heart-pumping hike or casual walk, early morning or peak afternoon, visiting the trails is never a bad idea.
- NIGHT -
Dinner, Drinks, Dessert
As charming as Kavanaugh is in the daytime, it really comes alive at night thanks in large part to the restaurant scene. La Terraza's charming, expansive patio is the perfect place to enjoy its equally expansive selection of Venezuelan cuisine and rum-based cocktails, not to mention one of the best mojitos in the city.
Down the road, the sushi never misses at Kemuri, but don't forget about their takes on more Western dishes, like the delectable pork tenderloin with edamame succotash or prime New York strip with wasabi mashed potatoes. Our advice? Don't pass up the cappuccino jar dessert (and come back for the bloody mary on Sunday).
Most establishments in the area welcome kids, but it can be tricky to find something to everyone's liking. That's not a problem at U.S. Pizza. With locations in both The Heights and Hillcrest, this pizzeria pleases families, parties and solo diners with its lengthy menu spanning from classic pepperoni pies to hearty Philly cheesesteaks. If you can, opt outside in Hillcrest and people-watch from the patio.
Want to be one of those watchable people? Pop into Zaza's for a scoop of their latest gelato flavor to-go, or grab a bubble tea from Kawaii Boba House to sip on your sweet tooth stroll.
Take it Slow
Sometimes a wild night on the town isn't in the cards. When a lowkey evening is just what you need, browse the spines at WordsWorth Books in The Heights or head to Hillcrest to flip through Control Records and Retrograde Comics, complete with indoor and outdoor reading spaces.
Little Rock natives Mary Olive and John Stephens have plans to open George's in the former Cafe Prego space, bringing "Italian excellence with local taste" to The Heights.
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