The SoMa neighborhood just south of I-630 has been working to make itself a great destination for food, social gathering and shopping for years. As part of my neighborhood series, today I’m bringing you the various local things a veggie would enjoy while strolling up and down Main Street. This growing and funky neighborhood is a colorful mix of local food movement and environmental awareness, giving this area of town its own look and spirit. A vegan could find herself very comfortable at the various restaurants and shops, so head down to South Main and check out these great activities:
*Brunch at The Root Cafe: I recently found myself at the Root Cafe on a cold Saturday morning, and the restaurant was packed. This isn’t an unusual occurence, as the Root is almost always bursting at the seams. We took some seats on the outdoor porch, which at the time was enclosed and warm enough for us to enjoy brunch. I ordered a coffee and the tofu bahn mi breakfast plate, which came out in great time, even with the busy brunch rush. The breakfast version of the bahn mi is a deconstructed dish, with the tofu topping a salad and drizzled with sauce and flanked by a few pieces of French bread. I enjoy this dish more than the lunch sandwich, although both are great. The Root knows vegans, and they usually have some fresh baked brownies, cookies, or cupcakes on hand that are vegan-friendly (although delicious for everyone). This restaurant is a must try for any veg heads in town.
*Bernice Garden Farmer’s Market: The Bernice Garden serves as an anchor of the SoMa neighborhood, and the rotating list of activities hosted at the covered sculpture garden is long. On Sunday morning, the garden transforms into a farmers’ market, complete with fresh vegetables, local craft items, and delicious foods from Geek Eats, That’s So Raw, and Garden Press. Often times, there will be a few food trucks parked along the back of the space as well. I often load up on seasonal veggies then pop next door to Boulevard Bread for a fresh baked loaf to accompany my haul. In addition to the farmers market, be sure to visit the vintage market, which is one Saturday a month through the summer. There you’ll find incredible vintage items alongside new items crafted by local Little Rock artists.
*Moxy Modern Mercantile: Speaking of vintage, walk a few doors down from the garden to Moxy Modern Mercantile. I feel this store belongs in a food column because of the incredible array of funky dishes, silverware and barware that can be found inside. I recently picked up a sugar skull wine key that has become my new favorite kitchen item. You never know what you might find inside this eclectic store, so stroll over and check it out.
*The Green Corner Store: No trip to SoMa would be complete without a pop into the Green Corner Store. Pick up a scoop of delicious ice cream from Loblolly Creamery, which usually has several vegan flavors on hand, while you peruse the shop. In addition to tasty treats, you can pick up fresh coffee, local artisan jewelry, soaps, clothing and cookbooks. Whenever I need to buy a present for a friend, I often head over to Green Corner and make a gift basket of Little Rock products.
*Piro Brick Oven and Barroom: The newest restaurant to the SoMa neighborhood is Piro Brick Oven and Barroom. This new hot spot boasts pizza, a bar and a beer garden, and the menu has many items for the veggie lover. The vegetarian will find an overwhelming array of options, and the vegan doesn’t have to look hard to find tasty appetizers, fresh salads, and pizza. The funghi pizza, minus the cheese, seems to be a huge hit in the vegan community. Whatever your preference, it’s sure to be a new staple in the neighborhood.
With all this great local flavor, SoMa is sure to be the perfect spot to for food lovers and shoppers craving local goods. Head down to this growing Little Rock neighborhood, and leave us a comment about your favorite spot.