Memphis Restaurants

Although Memphis has a satisfying variety of restaurants, the local passion is barbecue; the city has 70-odd barbecue places. Popular "meat-and-twos" and "meat-and-threes" (diners serving meat with two or three vegetable side dishes) specialize in fried chicken, turnip greens, corn bread, and other southern specialties. Numerous soul-food restaurants, offering country specialties like fried chicken and pork chops, can be found outside of Downtown.

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  • 1. Alcenia's

    $ | Pinch District | American

    The food at this hole-in-the-wall lunch spot just north of downtown is as down-home and funky as the decor—walls lined with eclectic artwork...Read More

  • 2. Alfred's on Beale

    $ | American

    Not surprisingly, music is the theme at this busy restaurant on Beale Street, the city's bluesy entertainment district. Up to 500 people can...Read More

  • 3. Benihana of Tokyo

    $$ | Japanese

    Deft knife-juggling chefs prepare steaks, shrimp, scallops, and lobsters on a steel cooking table surrounded by diners. Known for the Benihana...Read More

  • 4. Cafe Olé

    $ | Cooper-Young District | Mexican

    This popular midtown hangout offers a healthy version of Mexican cuisine (no animal fats are used), including spinach enchiladas, vegetarian...Read More

  • 5. Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous

    $$ | American

    They sell plenty of dry-style barbecued ribs in this downtown restaurant in an 1890 building, in an alley just north of the Peabody Hotel. A...Read More

  • 6. Chez Philippe

    $$$$ | Downtown | French

    This Memphis institution serves sophisticated dishes from a multi-course tasting menu in an ornately decorated dining room Downtown. Nightly...Read More

  • 7. Corky's Ribs & BBQ

    $$ | East Memphis | American

    There's always a line at this no-frills barbecue restaurant in East Memphis. Once you taste the ribs (or sandwiches, or beef, or pork platters...Read More

  • 8. Erling Jensen

    $$$ | East Memphis | European

    Jensen first earned a loyal following as the chef at La Tourelle. The cuisine at his East Memphis restaurant is French; most noteworthy is the...Read More

  • 9. Folk's Folly Prime Steak House

    $$$$ | Steakhouse

    Folks flock to this busy restaurant in the heart of East Memphis for the USDA prime steaks served with sizzle and a pat of herb butter. If beef...Read More

  • 10. McEwen's on Monroe

    $$ | Downtown | Contemporary

    Upscale regional food (described as "contemporary Southern") is served at this popular Downtown restaurant where the menu changes every two months. ...Read More

  • 11. Paulette's

    $$$$ | Overton Square | French

    This Overton Square classic, located in a half-timbered house with an elegantly appointed dining room, serves delicious crepes (try the hot...Read More

  • 12. Tsunami

    $ | Cooper-Young District | Asian

    An informal but artsy bistro in the eclectic Cooper-Young neighborhood in midtown, Tsunami fuses Pacific Rim cuisines. Don't miss the rack of...Read More

  • 13. Westy's

    $ | Pinch District | American

    This unpretentious bar and grill, which sits in the shadow of the Pyramid alongside the Mississippi River, dishes out large portions of steak...Read More

  • 14. Cielo

    $$ | Contemporary

    This restaurant is housed in the turn-of-the century Molly Fontaine-Taylor house, a former residence in the city's Victorian Village, but the...Read More

  • 15. Jarrett's Restaurant

    $$ | Contemporary

    A popular bistro in an East Memphis shopping center, Jarrett's offers a full spectrum of fish, meats, and pasta. Standouts are the smoked trout...Read More

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