The people of Little Rock turn out for events, y’all! I couldn’t believe how many people attended the one day Main Street Food Truck Festival.
My husband and I were two of the throngs meandering Main street as well as the side streets that the festival has now expanded to include.
What is the Main Street Food Truck Festival?
Every year sometime in September food trucks roll into downtown Little Rock. This event is hosted by the downtown Little Rock partnership and the stated purpose of the Main Street Food Truck Festival is to revitalize Main Street.
What is on Main Street Besides Food Trucks?
It must be working because it wasn’t too many years ago that this was an area of boarded up buildings. It was the kind of street that you might be nervous to walk down in the evening.
Now it is full of life and stores and restaurants. Some of the permanent (non-food truck) restaurants are Samantha’s Tap Room and Wood Grill and Allsopp and Chapple.
My personal favorite in the area is Three Fold Noodle and Dumplings. Then there is the venerable Little Rock favorite, Bruno’s Little Italy.
There are many more restaurants and shops on Main Street as well. You can even take in a show at the Arkansas Repertory Theater.
So much happening on this section of Main Street and there is a completely different atmosphere than in the past. It is lively and well-lit and feels like a happening place.
What to expect
The Main Street Food Truck Festival is just plain ol’ fun.
They cordon off several blocks of Main Street in downtown Little Rock as well as adjoining sections of some of the side streets including Louisiana and Capitol.
This year there were more than 80 trucks! Music and busking and a few craft vendors are also part of the fun.
Yes, it is crowded. And yes, you might have to wait in line for some of the popular food trucks. But it’s worth it.
The flow of foot traffic has improved over the years as the festival has expanded to other streets and brought in more trucks. The trucks themselves seem to have gotten better at anticipating and preparing for the crowds.
What about the FOod?
But it’s all about the food, right? That’s what you are there for! Little Rock has a pretty good food truck scene on it’s own plus trucks come in from Memphis and other surrounding cities.
There seems to always be at least one truck each year that is on everybody’s radar, one that attracts huge crowds.
It varies from year to year, but I’ll never forget when it was Cousins Maine Lobster. It had recently been featured on Shark Tank. One of the sharks, Barbara Corcoran, invested in their food truck business. It took off like wildfire from there.
Cousins is now showing 28 locations on their website. The truck at the food truck festival arrived from one of their newest locations in Memphis. If you want to read more about their story check it out here. It’s pretty fascinating.
The people of Little Rock went crazy standing in line to get one of their lobster rolls.
Every year as the food truck rolls in you will want to check out the Food Truck Festival Website. Here is where you can download a map and a list of food trucks and plan your method of attack.
From smoothies to dumplings to barbecue to tacos…
Believe me, there will be so much to try!
Some of the trucks had a sampler special so that you could get a smaller portion. I think it would be great if even more of the trucks had this as an option as I would suspect that most people who come to this event want to taste a variety of foods.
And I’m not kidding about variety! You will encounter a plethora of tough decisions. So much food, so little stomach space.
Tips for Visiting
Pro Tip 1: Arrive early early! Parking is easier. Crowds are lighter. And you can get in the lines for the most popular trucks before they become outrageous.
Pro Tip 2: Take a look at the Main Street Food Truck Festival website before you go and make a list of trucks you really want to try! It will help you to not get overwhelmed once you arrive.
Pro Tip 3: Share your food with a friend. It will enable you sample food from more trucks.
We will definitely attend the Main Street Food Truck Festival again next year.
I suggest that you add this event to your annual calendar as well!
Check out my post about another food centric (if we can call cheese dip a food) Little Rock event.
Thanks for stopping by,