While we are all aware that streets and neighborhoods like Hillcrest, Kavanaugh, Argenta, Heights, Main, and SoMa are often viewed as the popular food hubs of the area, you might be surprised to learn that JFK Boulevard in North Little Rock is now something of a culinary hot spot. If you don’t believe me, make your way across the river and check out the eclectic mix of restaurants, coffee shops and food trucks residing just off a stretch of road that extends through Park Hill, Lakewood and up towards Sherwood.
The newest kid on the block is The Filling Station, a renovated gas station/tire shop that now sells a variety of artisan goods, while also providing a home for a rotating group of food trucks.
“We have been blessed with an outpouring of support. So many from the community watched us through the eight months of renovations and have been so excited to see the end result. This community was definitely thirsty, and we say, ‘Drink up!’” says co-owner Joy Evans.
Just north and across the street from The Filling Station is North Bar, a spot that has been serving up one of the better burgers in town for the past three years. Old Mill Pizza, another new restaurant, is just a stone’s throw from them. Coffee lovers will enjoy the drive-thru service of the Dark Side Coffee Co. hut, yet another new spot that recently opened at the beginning of the pandemic.
JFK Boulevard also has you covered with Mexican food. Joining longtime favorite La Casa Real is Tacos El Gordo, a food truck stationed in the Cupid’s parking lot. I maintain you will not find better tacos pastor in the area. It also does not hurt that each taco is only $2.
Got a sweet tooth?
I challenge you to find a more beloved neighborhood spot than The Original ScoopDog. One of their signature concretes is what sweet dreams are made of, and the hot dog is not too shabby either. Just make sure to bring cash or check. Credit cards are not accepted. Way up the road from ScoopDog is Arkansas Pineapple Whip, a tiny trailer serving the iconic soft serve treat made famous by Disney World. Jacob’s Wings & Grill has excellent wings and Rocky’s on Country Club (just a short distance off JFK) is a must-stop for Philly cheesesteaks and fried ravioli.
Littlefield’s Café and Gadwall’s Grill, two restaurants known for their consistently good breakfast and lunch, have been doing things the right way for many years. Next time you check out Littlefield’s, give the fried chicken breast sandwich, along with a basket of fried pickle chips a try. As for Gadwall’s, it is almost impossible to beat their award-winning club sandwich, although you cannot go wrong with the cheeseburger and fries. I also maintain that they fry up an egg as good as anyone. One thing is for certain, the influx of newer restaurants in the area helps the older, more established restaurants.
“I do think it is good because it brings more people to the area,” says Gadwall’s owner Shea Bryant.
For those who are counting, that is twelve places–all recommended and all located on or very near JFK Boulevard–for you to check out. In a burgeoning food community like Central Arkansas, I’d say that something to get excited about.