Franke's Cafeteria

Arkansas's Oldest Restaurant | Family Owned and Operated Since 1919

Memories Wall

Whether you are a new or a long time customer, please share your wonderful memories of Franke’s:

Guests Memories

  1. Betty Dortch Russell McMath says:

    Our Family, on Friday night, often went to town for a movie and, first, always ate dinner at Franke’s. All of those years are clear in my memory because we remember those great good times.

  2. Anne Crosby says:

    I have many warm memories of going to Franke’s on Capitol Avenue in the late 1950’s. In those days “eating out” was a very special occasion. Usually my grandparents would take our family for a celebration of some kind. We always dressed up. I remember wearing my best church dress and my white gloves, which wound up in my Mother’s purse before dinner. To me, eating at Franke’s was a grand affair. I have been blessed to continue the Franke’s tradition with my grandchildren- that makes my “affair” with Franke’s span five generations.

  3. Claire Heffley (age 15) says:

    Franke’s has been a favorite of my family longer than I’ve been alive and while the cherished memories I have of Franke’s are countless, more than anything I’ll remember- every Sunday, my whole family (all 13 of us) would eat here and Mr. Sutton would always give me a blue balloon, since that was my favorite color. More important than the blue balloon, was Mr. Sutton’s unfailing kindness and gentleness that little kids always pick up on. And every Franke’s employee has shown me the same care and kindness that are hard to find in any other restaurant. Thank you Mr. Sutton, and thank you Franke’s for the outstanding quality of your food and the even more impressing quality of your employees. Nothing can replace the happy times I’ve had here. P.S. Franke’s- home of the BEST macaroni & cheese on the planet- seriously!

  4. Wayne and Carrol Jones says:

    Our memories of Franke’s have always been pleasurable. We used to eat at the Mall, until it was closed, and we felt abandoned. We tried several other restaurants, but they did not fill the void. Finally one day, we said, “hey lets try Franke’s on Rodney Parham” and so we did. On entering the door, all the customers waiting in line were having a good time, and when we looked up, we saw several familiar faces from the Mall, smiling at us from behind the line. Seeing all the wonderful home cooked food on the line felt like old times. You are treated so well by everyone, including Charles and Ann, who are so kind to carry our trays to the table. It is such a good experience to eat there; we can hardly wait to get there after church. Keep up the good service Franke’s, especially for the next 90 years.

  5. Jana Duncan says:

    My great uncle, Mr. Leon Weiss, who is 94 years old, remembers as a young man sitting next to Mr. Franke down on 5th street discussing the Egg Custard. Mr. Franke shared with him that he was going to have to raise the price from .10 cents to .15 cents. He was determined that he would keep the quality of food the same. Therefore, the prices would have to go up. Many years later, my great uncle Leon continues to visit Franke’s. Now instead of bringing my brother and I, he brings his great, great nieces and nephews.

  6. Maycee (age 7) says:

    My favorite restaurant is Franke’s. I like if because there are a lot of people there. At the top of the ceiling, there are beautiful stars. There is music there and a lot of talking. It feels good in there. Mrs. Greta is my favorite. Last but not least, it smells like food and my favorite is the chicken leg with the bone in it. I LOVE Franke’s!

  7. Dolores Treadway says:

    When I was growing up in Conway in the 60’s, we came to Little Rock to do back-to-school shopping and to go to various doctors. The highlight of every trip was lunch at Franke’s downtown. Going to the doctor wasn’t so bad, knowing you got to go to Franke’s afterwards!

  8. Betty Lee Hewitt Thompson says:

    I’m eighty-eight years old and I can’t remember when there wasn’t a Franke’s Cafeteria in Little Rock. I treasure many happy memories of monthly reunions held at University Mall with my Little Rock Central High group. The first place my daughter from Boise wants to go when she comes home is to Franke’s. The meals I pick up to take to shut-in friends are far better than anything I could prepare myself. Thanks for making my life easier and much more fun. -Betty Lee Hewitt Thompson

  9. Terry Rasco says:

    As a small boy from the small town of DeWitt, my family came to the “city” to shop downtown in the 1950’s. We always went different directions in the morning, and then met at Franke’s. I enjoyed going through the line and seeing all of the choices- and filling my plate beyond my capacity to eat it all. I learned the phrase that “my eyes where bigger than my stomach!”

  10. Judy Lanford says:

    It was such a treat to dress up and take the bus downtown with my girlfriend to meet our Dads (who worked downtown) at Franke’s on Capitol Street with the stone goldfish pond out front. Keep making the good home style cooked food. Pure comfort! -Judy Lanford

  11. Iolonia Gray says:

    I’m 86 years old. My first visit to Franke’s, I was about 13 years old. I had ridden the bus from Roe, AR to visit my aunt. She took me to Franke’s where I had my first Italian Spaghetti. Our whole family still eats at Franke’s often and I still love the Italian Spaghetti! -Iolonia Gray

  12. Athalene and Tandy Jones says:

    Our favorite place to eat for 50 years!

  13. Marilyn Chennault Rogers says:

    At the age of 5, I began seeing an Ophthalmologist in LR. Each time we came to see the eye doctor, my Mother would tell me; “If you will be good when they dilate your eyes, I’ll take you to Franke’s.” This continued until I was out of school. My treat for being good was lunch at the original Franke’s downtown.

  14. Bill Hefley says:

    I have been eating at Franke’s since 1937, and never had a meal I didn’t enjoy.

  15. Ann and Bill Wison says:

    Since the early 1950’s we have enjoyed coming to Franke’s. Our children and grandchildren live here now and are enjoying your wonderful food and service!

  16. Cindy Bandy says:

    I grew up eating at the Town and Country location after church on Sundays. I always called egg custard pie “shakey pie” when I was a little girl, b/c when you touched it, it would wiggle. I didn’t know it was egg custard pie until I was an adult. I also didn’t know I would grow up and marry a Franke and have 4 Franke children. Though the marriage didn’t work out, I’m so glad my children were raised with such a rich family heritage and pride that is synonmymous with Franke’s. Employees like Rufus help keep that pride and tradition alive today. Thank you Bill, Carolyn, and Christen for keeping the same great food and special touches for all the rest of us to enjoy. Love you all! : )

  17. John E. Yates says:

    Growing up in Malvern, it was always a big treat for me to get to go to Hot Springs. Hot Springs was a whole new world for me.

    My family and I would always eat at Franke’s Cafeteria in downtown Hot Springs. This was a BIG treat for me.

    My favorite has always been the roast beef. Another is the eggplant casserole.

    I visit Franke’s in LR every Saturday, and it’s still a treat for me.

    I hope to continue to enjoy Franke’s food!

  18. Little Man says:

    My favorite thing about Franke’s is Floyd.

  19. Paula B says:

    I too, have many fond memories of Franke’s in downtown Little Rock. My sister and I lived with our Grandmother in the late 50’s when we were in grade school, and shopping trips to downtown Little Rock always included lunch at Franke’s. My favorites were their macaroni and cheese and the Lemon Meringue pie. Thank you for the wonderful memories Franke’s —- even after all these years.

  20. Becky Tackett says:

    On a trip to Little Rock this Christmas holiday, we visited Franke’s for lunch on Sunday and I was flooded with warm and wonderful memories. My brother and I recalled the various locations and wonderful dishes we enjoyed throughout our childhood and the quality and atmostphere has changed very little. The food is still absolutely the best and the staff is warm and friendly. Even standing in line is a pleasure as you have the opportunity to talk with wonderful people. I took pictures with my Blackberry in order to better describe the Franke’s experience to my St. Louis friends and family who don’t understand what is so special about this place. I hope you are around for many years to come and I wish you would expand to St. Louis – don’t change a thing!

  21. Sam Kelley says:

    If I had to chose a last meal, it would be Frankes. Born and raised on weekly meals at the best cafeteria in America.
    I love the food and memories that come from eating here for over 50 years.

  22. Paul D. Snodgrass says:

    I remember Franke’s from my childhood in the 1930’s. My family would frequently have Sunday dinner at the Capitol Avenue location. Although I have not lived in Arkansas for my adult life, whenever my wife (Flo) and I travel to Little Rock we ALWAYS include enjoying meals at Franke’s. It is a favorite place even though we live 1,000 miles away!

  23. Kristy Young says:

    I love Franke’s food. I have been eating there since I was a little girl…And now I work there! (Franke’s Downtown)

  24. Chandra Wood says:

    I didn’t so much visit every week as I worked there everyday when I graduated high school and my dad managed the location in Hot Springs in 1981. My dad was Bob Wood (he is now deceased) and he was the manager for a few years. Those were good memories. I wanted to go back but I understand that location has closed.

    I was a server on the line. Deserts mostly.

    Thanks for this page.

  25. Patricia Hillis says:

    I remember going to Franke’s on Capitol with my Mother when we were downtown for various resons and it was always a huge deal for me as a little kid and a treat. I always got the stuffed deviled crab in the crab shells. I guess that was a fore runner to crab cakes. And I always got coconut layer cake. And of course, we got the eggplant casserole! yum, yum!Thanks for all the wonderful food memories.

  26. Kathryn Dalton Beavers says:

    THE FIRST TIME I ATE AT FRANKE’S I WAS 16 YRS OLD AND HAD JUST GOTTEN MARRIED. MY NEXT MEAL AT FRANKE’S WILL BE NOV. 2011 AT THE AGE OF 72.

  27. Kitten Tudor Snyder says:

    I grew up in Marshall and my father’s family owned the local newspaper back in the 1960’s. Every year, we came to Little Rock for the annual Press Convention. We stayed at the Albert Pike hotel and ALWAYS ate at Franke’s downtown. My sister and I always felt like royalty when we came down here. It was always a magical trip. I am in my 50’s now and can’t wait to share the Franke’s tradition with my grandchildren.

  28. Sheba says:

    Franke’s has been a favorite of my family longer than I’ve been alive and while the cherished memories I have of Franke’s are countless, more than anything I’ll remember- every Sunday, my whole family (all 13 of us) would eat here and Mr. Sutton would always give me a blue balloon, since that was my favorite color. More important than the blue balloon, was Mr. Sutton’s unfailing kindness and gentleness that little kids always pick up on. And every Franke’s employee has shown me the same care and kindness that are hard to find in any other restaurant. Thank you Mr. Sutton, and thank you Franke’s for the outstanding quality of your food and the even more impressing quality of your employees. Nothing can replace the happy times I’ve had here. P.S. Franke’s- home of the BEST macaroni & cheese on the planet- seriously!
    +1

  29. Lynne Tull says:

    I remember going to lunch with my work buddies. When we sat at the counter, we had a cheeseburger with grilled onions. Sometimes when we had time, we waited in the Cafeteria line. But, most of all I remember the Franke’s in Hot Springs. My Mom and Dad moved here from Texas to be close to their only child…that would be me. Dad got a job as Manager of the Hot Springs location. Those were great memories, not only eating at Franke’s, but having my Mom and Dad in Arkansas.

  30. Libby A. Smith says:

    My grandmother told me she used to eat at Frankes as a very young woman just out on her own because she could get a vegetable plate for 25 cents. They moved to California during WWII. My mother recalls eating at Frankes on visits back “home.” When my family came back when I was a toddler, we stopped at Frankes on our way to our new home. I also remember eating at the location on top of a downtown Little Rock bank building as a child. When I was about 7, I dropped my tray! I started crying. My mother thought I was embarrassed though a kind employee realized I was upset about the macaroni & cheese and chocolate pudding. She replaced my tray complete with TWO servings of pudding! I’ve never eaten at Frankes without having macaroni & cheese – and never will. Thank you for being a family tradition.

  31. Richard Hall says:

    When I was four or five years old, in the late 50’s, we visited my aunt and uncle in North Little Rock and they took us to dinner at Franke’s. My family convinced me to try the scalloped eggplant casserole even though they didn’t tell me what was in it. If I had known, I probably wouldn’t have tried it! Much to their surprise, I liked it so much that someone there at the restaurant was kind enough to give us the recipe. I now make it for our family reunions every year and everyone loves it.

  32. Linda says:

    When I was growing up, my Grandmother would take my family to eat at Town & Country every other Friday night. I always got either the roast beef or fish. The roast was always so good that, even now (40+ years later), if I eat roast beef at another restaurant, I will compare it to Franke’s. We also ate at University Mall for lunch many times and the male employees were always so helpful. But, my earliest memory of Franke’s was at the Louisiana location. Just recently I was thinking about that location and was happily surprised to find that my memory was correct about there being a restaurant on Louisiana.

Share your Memory