Summer is a time for exploration, and very often at the heart of one’s journey is food – and drink. As Arkansas’s capital city and cultural core, Little Rock is home to a burgeoning culinary scene that is garnering acclaim and putting Little Rock on the map as a culinary destination. From Michelin star and James Beard award-winning chefs to top local culinary talents, magic is being created here every day.
The nation’s locavore movement has raised the bar on what people expect as part of their overall dining experience. Restaurants and food-related businesses focus on using locally-sourced products. Little Rock has an energetic artisanal food scene, including food purveyors such as Boulevard Bread Company, Hillcrest Artisan Meats, Kent Walker Artisan Cheese, Izard Chocolates, Le Pops Gourmet Ice Lollies and Loblolly Creamery.
Little Rock’s craft brew community has flourished in recent years. Home to ten craft breweries (Blue Canoe, Core Brewing Co., Damgoode Pies, Diamond Bear Brewery, Flyway Brewing, Lost Forty Brewing, Rebel Kettle, Refined Ale, Stone’s Throw Brewing and Vino’s Brewpub) beer drinkers will find a lot to please their palates. Rock Town Distillery, the state’s first legal distillery since prohibition, is worth a tour and taste. Rock Town specializes in small-batch, hand-crafted premium bourbon whiskeys, gin, rum and vodkas, and has won numerous national and international awards for its products, including having one of its single barrel reserve bourbons being named “US Micro Whiskey of the Year” in the 2015 issue of the Whisky Bible by Jim Murray. Nestled near Pinnacle Mountain minutes from downtown, sit two family-owned wineries River Bottom Winery at BoBrook Farms and An Enchanting Evening. The best way to explore Little Rock’s adult beverage scene is to pick up a Locally Labeled passport that includes a unique blend of local ales, spirits and wines.
Today’s traveler is in pursuit of the amazing. For many, finding unique food-related experiences is critical. With more than 600 restaurants, a thriving artisanal food and beverage scene, a large number of food-trucks, numerous food-related festivals and a state-of-the-art culinary school, Little Rock is a place that ignites the senses. Discover the pleasant surprise of Little Rock, and see why locals say, “Life is better with a Southern Accent.SM”