Lent, the season leading up to Easter in Christian communities, is a great time to reflect and prepare oneself spiritually and physically. We won’t comment on the spiritual side here, but on the physical side, Little Rock is well suited to serve up your Lenten meals meat-free.
If you want to go vegan or vegetarian, you might catch Shambala, a vegan food truck, or Green Leaf Grill, a healthy and popular (yes, they CAN go together) lunch spot downtown. Izzy’s is super-popular with the locals and offers conventional, vegan and gluten-friendly menus.
Little Rock is a lot more international than you realize. We’ve got great Indian, Thai, Mediterranean, European and Middle Eastern restaurants to satisfy your Lenten craving for spice-rich meals and delicious fare that doesn’t contain animal protein. Middle Eastern Cuisine (that’s really the name) and The Indian Feast are trusted standbys in the River Market Hall for lunch-goers. Layla’s Gyros and Pizzeria is another local favorite in West Little Rock. And Banana Leaf Indian Cuisine is another downtown hot spot for curries, veggie samosa and naan.
If you’re a true “Fish on Friday” kinda person, you can catch your limit in Little Rock (sorry—couldn’t resist that one). If you ask a local for the best fried catfish, that venerable standard of Southern cuisine, you’ll get as many different answers as people you ask. Try several and then you pick your fav. A good place to start is Catfish City on University. Adams Catfish Express and Catering is another local favorite, tucked off the beaten path, but close to downtown. If you want to up the seafood game with a beautiful view over the Arkansas River, try Brave New Restaurant. Chef Peter Brave is famous for securing only the freshest seafood, farm fresh ingredients and a wine list to die for. Downtown diners make their way to Samantha's Tap Room and Wood Grill to get their fill of filets.
See? You can have a great non-carnivorous Lenten season and still enjoy yourself. Dig in, peoples!
*photo courtesy of Samantha's Tap Room and Wood Grill (@samstap) on Instagram.