LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Once upon a time, Little Rock used to just be a pit stop along the interstate between Dallas and Memphis.

"It used to be you just had choices of chain restaurants," said Little Rock resident Aylett Roper. But now, many say it is much more than that. "Now the food options and the different ethnic options are really expansive."

With more diverse cultures coming to the capital city, more diverse food options are coming with them. Little Rock is breaking down the chain restaurant barriers and building up our notoriety for local eats.

"I think the makeup of Arkansas has changed drastically in the last 10 years, and I think we'll start to see a lot more diversity of foods," added Holly Dunning.

"We're using fresh ingredients, local ingredients and preparing them in very high quality ways," said Michael Roberts, a local food blogger who has experienced the progressive evolution over the past six years. "We've got a good agricultural base. We've got some very talented chefs in town that know what they're doing."

"I think not only is it good business to use local farmers, but I think it's becoming a must this day in age to be taken seriously as a restaurant," explained Matthew Bell, a chef. "I think we'll only get more credibility as one of the premiere food destinations."

"Food is the basis of most of our culture, especially in the south where you still have this kind of family dinner mentality," Roberts continued.

As the population continues to grow, so will the choices. While we may never be a New York or D.C., Little Rock is beginning to have its own flavor that people will drive miles to taste.