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Downtown Eats

by Lisa Tedder, illustrations by Brittney Guest Osborn

Editor’s note: As Downtown Jonesboro continues to grow, so do the options for good eats. Downtown restaurants, the majority of which are locally owned, draw visitors to the historic heart of the city daily with an eclectic array of appetizing menus. In addition to some of the city’s best American cuisine, visitors can find a taste of New Orleans, Japanese food, Irish fare, pizza, Chinese food and more. With so many options, Downtown Jonesboro is the perfect place to meet for a meal, a business meeting or a festive celebration. For a complete list of menu items or hours or operation, please contact the restaurants below.

Bamboo Japanese Cuisine
300 South Main St., Suite A
(870) 203-0893

Sushi lovers know that Bamboo Japanese Cuisine offers some of the city’s best sushi. Besides the extensive sushi menu, Bamboo serves authentic hibachi, poke, bento boxes, fried rice and much more, all made from the freshest ingredients. The beautiful restaurant is great for a nice lunch or a date night and has weekly specials. Celebrate a birthday there and the honoree gets a free entree.

Owner: Dan Johnson
218 South Main St.
(870) 336-2441

For those in the mood for food, fun and the best in entertainment, the Mighty Mighty Brickhouse has it all. Guests can enjoy live music, watch their favorite sports on multiple high-definition flat screens or party on an outdoor balcony overlooking Main Street. The friendly staff serves up New Orleans-style cuisine including steaks, fresh seafood and weekly specials. Let the good times roll and head on over to Brickhouse.  

Bubblee Tea
Owner: Elna June
241 South Main St.
(870) 517-7644

Fans of boba or bubble tea will love Bubblee Tea in downtown Jonesboro. Bubble tea is a sweetened tea beverage with everything from chunks of fruit to tapioca pearls and has a unique following among boba tea fans. Owner Elna June, a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines, says her goal is to bridge cultures and change how people think about tea. Bubblee Tea also serves regular teas brewed in house with tea imported from Asia, steamed buns filled with meat and vegetables, and bubble waffles. 

City Wok Dim Sum
Owners: Li and Cory Clay
241 South Main St., Suite A
(870) 520-9954

City Wok is a small, family owned and operated cafe with food lovingly made from scratch. For those who need a quiet place for a delicious bowl of ramen, steamed buns or dim sum, City Wok has the best in Jonesboro according to their loyal and dedicated fans. The sweet egg custard steamed buns are now back on the menu. 

Cregeen’s Irish Pub
201 South Main St.
(870) 972-9200

Cregeen’s is a unique spot in Jonesboro, serving traditional Irish fare like bangers and mash or corn beef and cabbage along with more familiar American food like cheeseburgers or a Cobb salad. Serving a “proper pint,” Cregeen’s has a long list of beers, wines and specialty drinks. Entertainment includes live bands, and the ever-popular drag shows are back on Tuesdays at 9 p.m.

Dragon City Chinese Restaurant
300 South Main St., Suite F
(870) 933-8889

Dragon City is a popular spot for a wide variety of Chinese favorites like General Tso’s Chicken, Fried Rice, Sweet and Sour Pork or Cheese Crab Rangoon. The menu is extensive, so there is something for everyone. Customers say delivery is swift and portions are huge. For those Chinese food cravings, stop by Dragon City.

Eleanor’s Pizzeria
Owner: James Best
211 South Main St.
(870) 520-6356

Sometimes pizza is just a must. Eleanor’s Pizzeria takes pride in serving New York-style pizza made by hand using the best authentic ingredients, and it shows. Choose from a list of signature pies or build one from the extensive list of toppings; salads, calzones and other items are available. Check Eleanor’s Facebook page for weekly specials and the live entertainment schedule.  

Ichiya Ramen
Owner: Snu Gary
322 South Main St.
(870) 520-5094

Adventurous eaters craving something different will love Ichiya Ramen. At Ichiya, the focus is on the ramen, though they also serve fried rice dishes and appetizers. Each broth is simmered several hours before being combined with any number of mouthwatering toppings like pork belly, black mushroom, bok choy, seaweed or a fish cake. 

Omar’s Uptown
Owners: Omar Barry and Bill Hurt
301 South Main St.
(870) 336-3001

Omar’s never fails to impress; the service is always impeccable, and the steaks and fish are among the best in town. Chef Omar Barry’s respect for the food is evident in every dish served. For a special celebration, a business meeting or a lovely evening with friends, this is the place to go. There is an extensive wine and cocktail menu, not to mention a fabulous dessert menu with features like a baked Alaska or a decadent chocolate terrine. Check for weekly specials and events like Easter brunch.   

Porch Thirty Garden and Games
Owners: Mat Clark, Heather Walker-Clark, Brian and Sarah Nobles
401 West Huntington Ave.
(870) 206-7682

For those who just need to relax with the whole family, Porch Thirty has them covered. With three different food vendors surrounding an open-air dining area, there’s something for every appetite with a variety of adult and kid friendly offerings. While the adults enjoy their meal, the kids can choose a game to play from Porch Thirty’s selection. Even Fido is welcome at Porch Thirty. Starting May 22, hours will be extended to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday.  

Rice Box
Owner: Jiahui Huo
320 South Main St.
(870) 580-0010

For local foodies who haven’t tried a poke bowl, Rice Box is definitely the place to go. There are several signature poke bowls, but owner Huo says the “pick your own” is the hands-down favorite, as diners can chose ingredients to suit their taste, like spicy salmon, masago (fish eggs) or eel sauce.

Owners: Chefs Karl and Paula Lowe
303 South Main St.
(870) 336-1212

Masterfully blending the culinary cultures of Ecuador and Arkansas into a feast for the eyes and the palate, Chefs Karl and Paula Lowe never fail to surprise and delight their diners. Roots is an award-winning restaurant, including Best New Restaurant in Arkansas for 2020 according to AY Magazine. The eclectic menu changes seasonally and is sourced from local produce and meats as much as possible; even the pottery is locally made. For Jonesboro’s foodies, Roots is a must-stop.

Shadrach’s Coffee
Owner: Larry Billing
501 Union Street Ave.
(870) 926-4835

Jonesboro’s coffee aficionados can now get their caffeine fix from Jonesboro’s favorite coffee shop at its hip new location in the old bank building on Union Street. This location has comfortable indoor seating that’s perfect for catching up with friends and the same friendly service for which Shadrach’s is known. Get a punch card for frequent visits or pick up a bag of coffee to brew at home.

Skinny J’s
Owner: James Best
205 South Main St.
(870) 275-6264

Skinny J’s may be known for its award-winning hand cut steaks, but they offer so much more. Bring the whole family for Southern-American style pastas, wraps, burgers, chicken and fish, and dine in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. With daily specials, Saturday and Sunday brunch, trivia nights and live entertainment on the weekend, what more could diners ask for? 

Sunny’s On Main
Owner: Miles Stahl
237 South Main St.
(870) 972-8383

Sunny’s is an attractive new restaurant with some interesting menu items, such as pan roasted duck breast, caramelized scallops with green pea vinaigrette, as well as some vegetarian options. Everything is made in-house using the freshest ingredients; even the pasta is made from scratch and the fish is flown in daily. The menu rotates with new chef’s features every week. Good for a date night, Sunday brunch or dinner with friends, Sonny’s is also available for private events.    

The Parsonage
Owners: Chef John and Ramey Myers
305 South Main St.
(870) 203-6116

When you are in the mood for brunch, head over to a local favorite. The Parsonage is a family-owned restaurant conceptualized by Chef John and nurtured by Ramey. Serving classically prepared food with a Southern twist, The Parsonage has a new brunch and lunch menu in the works along with some Chef Pop Up dinners planned. The Parsonage is also available for evening events; call for more information.

The Recovery Room Coffeehouse & Bistro
Owners: Tracy and Dr. Ben Owens Jr. 
223 South Main St.
(870) 520-6006

The Recovery Room serves all-day brunch and lunch options along with its special in-house roasted coffee called “What the Dr. Ordered.” Desserts and pastries are prepared from treasured family recipes. The Recovery Room is now reopening Thursday through Saturday nights featuring small plates, wine flights and beer specials. Live music and other events are coming back, so check to see who’s playing. 

Yesdog Grill
Owners: Tom and Jeannie Martin, Lisa Godsey, Traci Burgess
226 South Main St.
(870) 938-0025

Besides great food, there is always something fun happening at Yesdog, from local bands to Singo Bingo. Chef Lisa Godsey serves up an imaginative menu with local favorites like the Wild Hog Dip, Yesdog Loaded Mac N Cheese, Frikkin Chicken and the Trashy Pork Sandwich. Yesdog is family friendly and has a laid-back atmosphere. Diners won’t leave hungry and will be back for more.