The Root Cafe is definitely one of our top 5 favorite places to eat in Little Rock!
Everything at The Root is fresh and delicious and we also love the whimsical and eclectic atmosphere. This is favorite restaurant among locals and is one that you simply should not miss.
The Root Cafe was also featured on season 29, episode 6 of Guy Fieri’s, Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives. The episode was titled “Burgers, Bacon, and BBQ.”
Location of The Root Cafe
The Root Cafe is located in the fun and trendy SoMa neighborhood of Little Rock. This is one of the most interesting neighborhoods in Little Rock.
SoMa is a nickname for South Main. This area is located south of Interstate 630 while “downtown” is consider to be north of 630.
The Root Cafe is at 1500 S. Main St. in the building that was once “Sweden Creme,” a very popular ice cream shop in the “olden days” of Little Rock.
Soma is a great place to visit. You can enjoy the Esse Purse Museum which happens to be right next door to the Root Cafe. One of the fun street murals in Little Rock featuring smiling vegetables is painted on the side of the purse museum facing towards The Root parking lot.
After you enjoy your meal you can cross South Main street to check out Green Corner Store or have an ice cream for dessert at the excellent Loblolly Creamery.
Rock Town Distillery anchors the other end of SoMa. You can stop in to sample some of their award winning bourbon and even take a tour and tasting.
The Root Cafe: History and Community
SoMa is an area that has been experiencing a renaissance and The Root has definitely been a part of this rebirth. It opened in 2011 and they claim that their mission “is to build community through local food.”
In addition to serving great food they also host workshops, classes, music events and fun contests all aimed at bringing the community together.
You cannot overstate their important to the revitalization of this part of town. They have also brought a heightened awareness of the importance of supporting small farmer’s and producers in order to create a more sustainable and healthier way of life in Arkansas.
Food at the Root Cafe
But a restaurant is really all about the food, right?
The Root Cafe is known for serving the freshest ingredients that are locally sourced as much as possible from small farms and producers right in Arkansas.
They say on their website, “This includes 100% of the meat, eggs, and bread we serve, as well as the majority of our vegetables, fruits, nuts, and cheeses.”
You can taste the love and quality in everything they serve at the Root!
So what are some of our favorite menu items at The Root Cafe?
Many locals adore the breakfast here and some go so far as to claim that the biscuits and gravy are the best in town. I personally like the Root Benny and if you want to go vegetarian…the Shitake Benny.
All of the breakfast items are good, but in our opinion the very best foods at the Root are served on the daily menu. This is where they really shine.
We think that their Spicy Banh Mi Sandwich is excellent. We have included it on our list of the best sandwiches in Central Arkansas. It is a vegetarian dish, but you definitely don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the Banh Mi sandwich!
For the omnivores among us – the burger at the Root is absolutely the best in town. I’ll argue that point with any locals.
Why is it the best burger in town?
Well…everything about it is burger perfection. The bun, the toppings, the side salad…and, of course, the beef.
The beef is locally sourced, ground in store, hand pattied, and cooked to perfection. It is always juicy and flavorful. This is a hamburger patty that is perfectly seasoned allowing you to actually taste the beefy goodness.
Honestly, it is just above and beyond any burger I’ve ever had anywhere.
If you want to go over the top try getting the pimento cheeseburger. That is what is pictured below.
The salads with one of their delicious homemade salad dressings are always delectable. There is also the popular curry chicken salad.
Oh and if you have a burger you have to have some fries to go with it! We fancy ourselves to be french fry connoisseurs and the ones at The Root are excellent.
Tip on the fries: Get the half and half basket which is half sweet potato fries and half, well, potato fries. You will have a hard time deciding which is your favorite but it is sure fun to try.
Atmosphere at The Root Cafe
This is a super casual and eclectic place. There is indoor dining as well as lots of open air choices. They have a covered patio as well as an uncovered yard with tables. This makes the Root a great place to go on a pretty day.
The patio dining does have heaters for colder weather as well as plastic shades that drop down to block the rain or wind.
You order at a counter and then your food is brought to you. The lines to order can be a little long, but they typically move quickly. Even when they don’t we think the food is worth the short wait!
Days and Hours at the Root Cafe
The Root is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:00AM to 8:00PM. Breakfast is served from 8:00 – 11:00. A daily menu is served from 11:00 – 8:00 and there is an additional dinner menu from 5:00 – 8:00.
(always check the days and times on their website before you go as these are subject to change, particularly since we are still living in “unprecedented” times!)
Let us know if you enjoy your visit to the Root! We would love to hear about your favorite menu items.
Thanks so much for stopping by!