Top 20 Restaurant Bars in the Little Rock Area
I love a good restaurant bar. And in the Little Rock area, we have no shortage of them. To me, the bar is more than just a place to get a great drink. It’s also about the vibe, the setting, and the overall feeling it gives you. With that in mind, here are my 20 favorite restaurant bars (in no particular order) in the Little Rock area.
Capital Bar and Grill
This bar is classic Little Rock and one that I recommend to all out-of-towners if they’re looking to capture the essence of our city. My favorite drink is the icy Southern Comfortable. If you’re hungry, the burger is a nice option.
The neighborhood vibe is great here, but so too are the cocktails prepared by Paul Perroni. Word to the wise, tell Paul your spirit of choice and let him do the rest. It’s a relaxed setting with raised, shared benches that allow you to get a little closer to a significant other.
Raduno Brick Oven & Barroom
At Raduno, expect one of the better beers-on-tap selections in town. The bar itself is gorgeous, long like the restaurant with plenty of room to spread out if you don’t want other ears eavesdropping on your conversation.
Big Orange Midtown
This is the first (and probably the best) of several Yellow Rocket Concepts bars on this list. Hey, the group knows how design a beautiful bar. Beer, wine, and great cocktails, you name it, this bar does it quite well. The layout is also a standout.
Brood & Barley
The bar is a gem, and make no mistake, it’s beautiful. But let’s be honest here, Brood & Barley makes this list because of David Burnette. Many folks, me included, consider Burnette to be in the very upper echelon of bartenders in this area. His old fashioned is tops, but if you’re in the mood for a beer, go with the slow pour Pils.
The Pantry (West)
The Pantry’s redesigned bar greets guests right upon entry. I enjoy going early on a Friday evening while the setting is still quiet and having one of their rotating cocktails. The bartenders are always friendly and there’s a good chance you’ll stumble into a conversation with a bar mate.
The Pantry (Crest)
The Pantry Crest’s bar, while a touch smaller, is just as cool as its sister to the west. Unlike the other, I enjoy going to Crest when things are a little livelier, as there’s a wonderful energy throughout the restaurant and the nearby television allows me to catch a game while sipping on a cocktail.
This is such a chill bar and I love how it’s a little sunken. Go for Happy Hour, as the drink and food specials are some of the very best in town. Table 28 has an outstanding wine selection, and its cocktail-making game has improved considerably.
This is my “Cheers,” a place where everyone knows my name, so to speak. The “L” shape of the bar enables folks to strike up friendly conversations with neighborhood folk. The bartenders are always nice, allowing patrons to sample a few brews to ensure the right pint selection. The food is also good, so get an order of duck nachos to go along with a beer.
Petit & Keet
This is just an elite bar. From the drinks to televisions to knowledgeable staff, Petit & Keet’s bar really has it all. While the Peachy Keet is their signature drink, I think they make a top-notch old fashioned. This is another restaurant with an excellent wine selection.
Beautiful bar that somehow combines a classic look with modern touches. In short, I imagine it will age well and require few updates. Park yourself right in the middle and order a frozen margarita with chips and the salsa trio.
Allsopp & Chapple Restaurant + Bar
Here’s another good cocktail bar. I like sitting at the very end, a spot that gives a nice view of Main Street. If you enjoy dining at a bar, and I’m talking about a full meal, Allsopp is an excellent place to do so. The bartenders are friendly and attentive, and the setting is chill.
The Faded Rose
This is a classic, old-school bar. Is there anything about it that is overly impressive? Maybe not, but this is another one that gives folks a real feel of what Little Rock is all about. Go on a Friday afternoon for lunch when Gary is behind the bar. He’s one of the friendliest people in the industry and has an uncanny ability to make you feel good, as does the Abita and shrimp and grits.
While I haven’t spent a tremendous amount of time at Capeo’s bar, there is no denying its greatness. This is a perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine and a bowl of pasta while chatting it up with the bartender or nearby patrons.
Baja Grill (Heights)
Like Capeo, the bar at Baja Grill is fairly small. I like the neighborhood feel and of course, the frozen margaritas. Get yours with a Flyway Bluewing floater and spend the rest of your time noshing on nachos while chatting it up with Kathy behind the bar.
The Fold: Botanas & Bar
At The Fold, you really can’t go wrong with any area of the restaurant, from the covered patio area to the indoor dining room to, yes, the bar. I like to go during slow times (early evening) and partake in one of their strawberry margaritas.
When I’m at SO, I tend to eat in the regular dining areas, but there is absolutely no denying the awesomeness of the bar. It’s a chill setting, with somewhat dim lighting, a beautiful backdrop of spirits, and an overall vibe that practically begs you to split a bottle of wine with a friend or partner.
Here’s another bar that I haven’t spent a tremendous amount of time at, but what’s not to like? Big, bright, modern, and with televisions every few feet, Cypress Social, like its sister to the south, has made the bar area the focal point of a restaurant that has left no stone unturned when it comes to design and layout.
Heights Taco & Tamale Co.
Yes, I love the frozen mojito at Heights Taco, but I also enjoy those comfortable bar seats. Hey, I’m old, and my ass tends to get sore after several minutes parked on modern medal seating. Thanks to the restaurant for providing a big television, located front and centered, for this sports nut.
Are the cocktails at Trio’s the best? No, but they’re good enough, and I enjoy how the bar area is separated from the rest of the restaurant. I’ve spent a lot of time at this bar, chatting it up with friends and crushing an appetizer or two.
Readers’ Choices: Diamond Bear Brewing Company, Kemuri, Stickyz Rock N’ Roll Chicken Shack, Crazee’s, Sauced Bar and Oven, Purple Cow, Cache, Cheers (Maumelle), YaYa’s, Pizza D’ Action, White Water Tavern, Prospect Sports Bar, El Mezcal, North Bar, Rock n Roll Sushi, Dugan’s Pub, 42 bar and table, Four Quarter Bar, Brave New Restaurant
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