Five don't-miss foodie spots in Central Arkansas Day: 1 Day 1 The PantryWhen Tomas Bohm opened The Pantry in 2009, it’s safe to say that Little Rock didn’t quite know what to make of this rustically romantic spot’s Czech and German inspired menu; schnitzel, goulash, and spaetzli, delicious though they may be, aren’t exactly common in these parts. But taste won out. The restaurant was an instant hit, and within five years Bohm had opened a second location. Though the menus differ slightly between the two locations, the must-try staples like truffled deviled eggs, Svickova and house-made brats and Hungarian sausage appear on both. Insider tip: This carnivore’s heaven also has some of the best—and most interesting—salads in town. Table 28There are two ways to enjoy a meal at Table 28, and whichever you choose, adventurous eaters will want to clear their schedules for a long visit. Chef Scott Rains has taken the “small plates” concept to a new level (think quail lollipops) on a capacious menu that will leave you wishing there weren’t so many mouthwatering entrees to choose from as well. If the stress of having to decide feels like too much, make a reservation for the hallowed Table 28 itself (one week advance notice required) and Chef Rains will personally prepare and serve an exclusive six-course meal just for you and your guests. The RootThis tiny, homespun café has taken the “locavore” idea and run with it. The short, thoughtful menu features everything from grass-fed beef burgers to vegan bratwurst, all made with exceptional care and served on mismatched vintage plates. While waiting for your food, you can learn about the farmers and growers your ingredients were procured from; surprise crops result in inventive daily specials—which are quick to sell out. Favorites here include the vegan banh mi sandwich, curry chicken salad, and the aforementioned burger. If eggplant fries are on offer, don’t pass them up. Bossa NovaSince 2002, owners Rosalia and Dan Monroe have quietly been taking over their little corner of Little Rock’s Hillcrest neighborhood. They started with a tiny café, where their irresistible Brazilian cheese bread quickly won over diners new to South American cuisine. Soon, Bossa Nova was expanding into a larger restaurant space; a Brazilian bakery next door followed. You could throw a dart at the menu and hit something you’d love, but local favorites include the crepes, salpicao, moqueca de peixe, salmon cakes and feijao, the black beans and rice dish that is the national recipe of Brazil. South on MainWalking into South on Main is like walking into the pages of a magazine—which makes sense, since the restaurant and event space is part of the Oxford American Literary Project and the offices of the eponymous publication are next door. Chef Matthew Bell’s creative menu features new twists on Southern classics like catfish, pork shoulder, fried chicken, duck and the like. Exemplary cocktails and a frequent schedule of live music performances make this a great hangout even if you’re not having a full meal.