“There has never been a sadness that cannot be cured by breakfast food.”

—Ron Swanson, “Parks & Recreation,” Season 6, Episode 13

There are dozens of ways of measuring the health of a city’s downtown. And let’s face it; Little Rock may miss the mark by certain metrics. One department in which we’re thriving, though, is the accessibility of quality breakfast sandwiches, which has to count for something, right? Our recent editorial-wide jaunt through the various amalgamations of egg and bread available in the River Market, SoMa and the East Village (and slightly beyond) revealed a formidable array of tasty and mostly affordable options, ranging from dirt cheap (500 Grill) to farm-fresh (The Root Cafe) to boundary-pushing (Flora Jean’s), with a smooth gradient of alternatives in between.

Brian Chilson
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit from Rosie’s Pot & Kettle Cafe

Rosie’s Pot & Kettle Cafe
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit, $5. Available 6-10:30 a.m. Mon.-Fri.; 7-10:30 a.m. Sat.

Unlike so many breakfast places that treat the biscuit as an afterthought, the bacon, egg and cheese offering at Rosie’s Pot & Kettle rightly lets its large, buttery biscuits be the star of the show. Inside, the American cheese is structurally delicious, holding the craggly, crunchy biscuit top together while you enjoy the freshly scrambled eggs and thin, crispy bacon that fill the fist-sized sandwich. And at only $5, it might just be the best breakfast deal in town.

Brian Chilson
Bean Sprout Bacon Sandwich from Flora Jean’s

Flora Jean’s
Bean Sprout Bacon Sandwich, $15. Available 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Wed.-Fri; 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat.-Sun.

The clear choice for those who are on their way to the office but wish they were headed to hot yoga, this smoky number from Flora Jean’s “nutrient-dense,” fully vegetarian menu is served with greens, cheddar, cashew aioli, charred superseed bread, tempeh-ish bean sprout “bacon” and crepe-like layers of delicately folded egg, plus a side of rosemary-flecked potatoes. Pairs well with: the diner’s vivacious fresh-pressed juices, a good skincare routine, “Deeper Well” by Kacey Musgraves.

Brian Chilson
Breakfast Sandwich from @ The Corner

@ The Corner
Breakfast Sandwich, $13. Available 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.Tue.-Fri.; 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat.-Sun.

Downtown diner @ The Corner’s breakfast sandwich is served on a soft, buttery homestyle biscuit that’s topped with crispy bacon and a generous slab of smooth scrambled egg that’s blanketed with cheddar cheese. If you don’t get to it right away, your first bite might come with a couple of the accompanying diced hash browns that become fully absorbed in the cheddar that melts down the edge of the bun.

Brian Chilson
Egg and Cheese on a Bagel from The Bagel Shop

The Bagel Shop
Egg and Cheese on a Bagel, $9-$12. Available 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tue.-Fri.; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat.-Sun.

For just $3, you can add your choice of sausage, ham, bacon or Spam to The Bagel Shop’s finely tuned breakfast sandwich; but, frankly, you’ve gotta go with the sausage. With the caramelized char and slightly sweet sophistication of a good smash burger, their sausage slabs are almost unbearably tasty. Also of note is the sheer magnitude of this sandwich — easily a full lunchtime meal.

Brian Chilson
Unlisted breakfast sandwich from 500 Grill

500 Grill
Unlisted breakfast sandwich, $3. Available on request 7-10 a.m. Mon.-Fri.

Secreted away in a subterranean chamber, the 500 Grill is one of those IYKYK places. The cafeteria in the basement of the Arkansas Capitol feeds Democrats, Republicans and all the rest, and its bargain off-menu breakfast sandwich is one of the only things people across the political spectrum agree on. Salty, cheesy, crumbly and hefty enough to fuel you through a whole day of hearings, this $3 expenditure is fiscally responsible.

Brian Chilson
Egg & Cheese Sandwich from Sterling Market

Sterling Market
Egg & Cheese Sandwich, $10-$13.50. Available 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tue.-Sun.

“Oh, wow,” and “Man, that looks incredible,” are two of the non-expletive forms of food envy reactions from friends and editors who have witnessed me embark on a Sterling Market breakfast sandwich adventure. You can add bacon or brown sugar ham to the already enormous sandwich for $3.50 and have it served on the bakery’s bagels, croissants or milk bread. If available, try the impossibly light, flaky croissant, which will make you want to leave with a dozen more.

Brian Chilson
Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit from The Root Cafe

The Root Cafe
Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit, $8.50-$12.25. Available 8-11 a.m. Tue.-Sat; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun.

Sandwiches are sorta known for being more than the sum of their parts. That’s their thing! So it is with this breakfast staple from The Root Cafe, a colossal and utterly perfect drop biscuit cradling a fried egg, your choice of cheese and a sausage patty from Rabbit Ridge Farms in Bee Branch [Van Buren County]. If your morning doesn’t mandate a handheld, add gravy for an additional $4. Honestly, they could serve this gravy in a cute bowl at dinnertime with some chopped parsley atop and call it sausage chowder, and it’d still slap.

Brian Chilson
Classic Breakfast Sandwich from Community Bakery

Community Bakery
Classic Breakfast Sandwich, $6. Available 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Thu.; 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun.

It was either Voltaire or Guy Fieri who asked, “What if a croissant cosplayed as a panini?” Community Bakery’s breakfast sandwich answers that question deliciously. A griddled scrambled egg, thin bacon and American cheese are loaded into one of its house-made croissants, then smooshed in a panini press until the cheese melts and the flaky croissant takes on a crunchy outer texture. Add a cafe au lait and the whole meal runs you barely $10.

Brian Chilson
Biscuit Sandwich from Big Bad Breakfast

Big Bad Breakfast
Biscuit Sandwich, $7.50-$11. Available 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily.

Golden brown on the outside and fluffy on the inside, the buttermilk biscuit at Big Bad Breakfast is quintessential, making it the perfect foundation for a solid, no-frills breakfast sandwich. Egg (prepared to order) and waterfall-esque melted cheese (American, cheddar, Swiss and goat) are guaranteed, but meats as far-ranging as roasted turkey and Andouille can be snuck into the ensemble for $3.50, though there’s nothing wrong with the traditional sausage patty, which carries an unexpected kick.

Brian Chilson
Breakfast Sandwich from Boulevard Bread Company

Boulevard Bread Company
Breakfast Sandwich, $6.50. Available 7-10:30 a.m. Tue.-Fri.; 7 a.m.-noon Sat.

If turned off by the stereotypical image of a greasy breakfast sandwich, its lighter, airier and more delicate cousin from Boulevard Bread Company may tickle your fancy. The restaurant compiles the complementary flavors of pancetta, a thin fried egg, lettuce, tomato and aioli onto its 8-grain bread for a delightful morning bite. The sandwich feels like an elevated approach to the status quo, without breaking the bank.