Little Donkey

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Little Donkey, April 2012

Little Donkey (the English translation of "burrito") is a chain of taquerias and Southern-influenced Mexican restaurants. The first location opened on April 3, 2012 and was located at 2821 Central Avenue in Homewood. This restaurant moved and reopened on November 15, 2021 at 2701 18th Street South suite 105 near the Valley Hotel. The restaurant's menu features tacos, burritos and tortas made with hand-rolled tortillas and slow-smoked meats. Other specialties include fried chicken with Mexican spices, roasted shrimp with salsa and guacamole, and hickory-smoked barbecue tacos.

Little Donkey logo.JPG

The restaurant was created by Birmingham's Fresh Hospitality Group, headed by Nick Pihakis of Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q and Little Donkey chef Joshua Gentry. The redesign of the former ABC Store on Central Avenue was spearheaded by partner John Michael Bodnar. Suppliers include Mt Laurel Organic Farm, McEwen & Sons and other regional producers. LeNell Camacho Santa Ana coordinated the bar menu, featuring "The Donkey's Daddy" cocktail with tequila, bourbon, hibiscus syrup and key lime juice.

A second Little Donkey opened in the Bazaar 280 Center near Cahaba Valley Road in Hoover. A third opened later in Montgomery.

In 2014, Little Donkey's adovada burrito was named one of the country's best in statistician Nate Silver's ESPN website FiveThirtyEight's America's Best Burrito bracket contest. It advanced to the second round.

After construction of the Valley Hotel and redevelopment of adjacent commercial properties, the Homewood Little Donkey moved to 2701 18th Street South.

The Cahaba Valley Road restaurant closed in October 2023 in anticipation of a planned new location in the Valley Post complex on Dunnavant Valley Road (Shelby County Highway 41) in Chelsea.


  • Carlton, Bob (October 27, 2011) "Birmingham-based Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q plans to open fast-casual Mexican restaurant in Homewood." The Birmingham News
  • Carlton, Bob (April 3, 2012) "Little Donkey restaurant in Homewood offers Mexican food with Southern kick." The Birmingham News
  • Carlton, Bob (June 27, 2014) "Homewood's Little Donkey restaurant advances in ESPN website's America's Best Burrito bracket." The Birmingham News
  • Thornton, William (April 28, 2020) "Rodney Scott, Little Donkey to open Homewood locations in 2021." The Birmingham News
  • Embry, Neal (November 24, 2021) "Next phase for 18th Street revitalization to begin as more businesses open." Homewood Star
  • Leech, Marie (November 1, 2023) "Popular restaurant on busy stretch of U.S. 280 closes doors." Birmingham Business Journal

External links