Since Arkansas is an agricultural state, we have plenty of opportunities to eat locally. Even in the big city of Little Rock, there are opportunities to support local agriculture.
The Argenta Farmer’s Market –
****Temporarily closed in 2018****
The Argenta Farmer’s Market is a “source verified” market. All vendors have been inspected to verify that they are the source of the product they are selling. Nothing outside of Arkansas can be sold at the market. It’s the easiest way to be assured you are buying local food.
The market is open Saturday in April thru September in downtown North Little Rock’s Argenta district on Saturdays from 7 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Bernice Garden Farmer’s Market –
Any Arkansas farmer or gardener is welcome to sell what they raise and produce. Farmers, gardeners and growers can rent a 10 ft. by 10 ft. space at the market for $10 each Sunday. Local artists, musicians and food providers also can rent space at the Farmers’ Market. It’s one of the most fun farmer’s markets in the city.
The Bernice Garden is open from April until Mid November every Sunday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., rain or shine.
Where to go: The market is located at 1401 South Main Street, in downtown Little Rock, near The Root Cafe.
River Market Farmer’s Market –
Located in the Little Rock Farmer’s Market, there is no requirement to be locally grown to have a booth here. Many local farmers do display their goods at this market and those vendors normally display the “Arkansas Grown” logo. This market normally has a larger variety than the others.
The River Market Farmer’s Market is open Saturdays from early May until late September from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Directions: The market is located in the open-air pavilions behind the River Market building in downtown Little Rock.
Hillcrest Farmers Market –
This is another all local market that has locally-grown vegetables, fruit, cheese, flowers, pasture-raised meat, poultry and dairy, eggs, and locally produced jams, jellies, bread and candy.
Hillcrest Farmers Market now operates Sundays year-round. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They utilize the building when it’s really cold.
Where to go: Located in the Pulaski Heights Baptist Church parking lot (2200 Kavanaugh)
Other, less expansive, markets-
Maumelle has a small farmer’s market at 449 Millwood Circle, in a parking lot. The Arkansas Home Grown Market is a seasonal market that operates three days a week from April to October, in a different location each day. There’s also an online version of a locally grown market.
Restaurants Serving Local Foods
There are some restaurants that strive to use local foods whenever possible. A few of them are listed below. If you know of a restaurant that uses local foods for most of their menu choices, email me and let me know.
Some of these are pretty pricey, but a few of them are bargains.
- One Eleven at the Capital Hotel
111 W Markham St
- Boulevard Bread
400 President Clinton Ave.
- Brave New Restaurant
2300 Cottondale Ln # 105
- The Root Cafe
1500 Main St
- ZaZa Fine Salad and Wood-Oven Pizza Co.
5600 Kavanaugh Blvd. (behind the Heights Theater)
- Big Orange
17809 Chenal Parkway
- Lilly’s Dim Sum, Then Some
11121 N Rodney Parham Rd
8201 Cantrell Road
- Forty Two
Clinton Presidential Center, 1200 President Clinton Ave.
Local Meats & Dairy
Most from grass fed animals. Some are certified-organic, but some small farms cannot afford to be certified, but still raise their animals organically.
- Falling Sky Farms (meats)
- Farm Girl Natural Foods (meats)
- Petit Jean Farms (meats)
- Waterfall Hollow Farm (beef)
- Greener Pastures (beef)
- Ozark Pasture Beef (beef)
- Kent Walker Cheese (cheese)
- War Eagle Mill – Organic grains ground locally on water-powered stone buhr mill.
Local Produce and Orchards
- North Pulaski Farms (produce)
- Williams Berry Farm (berries)
- Collins Orchard (fruit)
- Suzanne’s Fruit Farm (fruit trees, berries)
- Mountain Home Berry Farm (berries, asparagus, radishes, lettuce, onions)
- Cox Berry Farm (apples, peaches, berries)
- Hardin Farms (produce)
- Drewry Farm and Market (orchards and vegetables)
- Armstead Mountain Farm (produce)
Local Food Festivals
- Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival – Warren, AR – Normally in June
- Purple Hull Pea Festival – Emerson, AR – Normally in June
- Hope Watermelon Festival – Hope, AR – Normally in August
- Arkansas Apple Festival – Lincoln, AR – Normally in October
- Arkansas Rice Rice Festival – Weiner, AR – Normally in October
- Grand Prairie Rice Festival – Hazen, AR – Normally in October
- Strawberry Festival – Cabot, AR – Normally in April
- Grape Fest – Altus, AR. Normally in July.
- Spinach Fest – Alma, AR – Normally in April
- Johnson County Peach Festival – Clarksville – Normally in June