Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen garden
Photo: spiritofamerica/Fotolia

Memphis, Tennessee is well known for its excellent selection of restaurants, from barbecue and soul food to Italian cuisine, Asian favorites, and other flavors from around the world. Whether you are looking for a quick bite to eat while sightseeing in downtown Memphis, Tennessee or want to spend an evening sipping cocktails and snacking on delicious culinary creations while enjoying the view, our list was designed to a offer range of options for your next trip to Memphis, TN. Here are the best restaurants in Memphis.

»Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen

Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen

Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen is a rustic, yet elegant, Italian eatery that offers a fresh perspective on traditional Italian cooking. Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen was established in 2008 in celebration of Italian food, drawing inspiration from the big Italian families in Memphis and from around the world.

The seasonally changing menu features contemporary Italian cuisine with a fresh take on traditional dishes, such as soft shell crab served with baby red potatoes, bacon, basil, peppers and lemon.

On the last Monday of every month, a multi-course prix fixe menu is served with unusual delicacies that promise to leave the taste buds wishing for more.

What to See: 25 Best Things to Do in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo: Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen

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»Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar

Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar

The upscale Flight restaurant serves contemporary American cuisine in small plates style and has an award-winning wine list. Start your meal off with the Deviled Eggs & Gulf Oysters appetizer, before diving into incredible dishes, like Pork Tenderloin (with pumpkin ravioli and grilled scallions) or Elk Chop (with Truffle White Cheddar Macaroni, local mushrooms, and a Kahlua glaze).

Or stop in for Sunday brunch and try the Chicken and Waffles. For an innovative and delicious meal, visit Flight, nestled between Wolf River Harbor and AutoZone Park.

39 South Main Street, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 901-521-8005

Next read: Best Time to Visit Memphis, Tennessee & Other Travel Tips Photo: Flight Restaurant

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»Twilight Sky Terrace

Twilight Sky Terrace

Boasting sweeping views of the Mississippi River from downtown Memphis, Twilight Sky Terrace is one of the romantic restaurants in Memphis TN and the perfect place for drinks, sundowner hand-crafted cocktails, or relaxing over an excellent wine by the roaring fire. Set in a Beaux-Arts building and donning a contemporary, chic design, Twilight Sky Terrace features a number of intimate rooms for private dining and parties and a beautiful rooftop bar for evenings under the stars.

A menu of small tapas-style cuisine is good for sharing with friends against the backdrop of the city skyline, while other unique touches, such as a dancing fire pit, a 70-inch television, and High Spy Binoculars for star gazing, add a glamorous urban touch.

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»The Majestic Grille

The Majestic Grille

The Majestic Grille serves modern American cuisine in a fun, 1940s-inspired setting that includes the largest private movie screen in the city. Start off with the Cajun Chicken Egg Roll appetizer, before diving into delicious dishes, like Smoked Salmon Flatbread, Wild Mushroom Tortellini, or a 21-day aged steak.

Classic movies, art shows, and dance and theatrical performances are regularly featured in this former silent film house (called Majestic No. 1) built in 1913. Owners, Chef Patrick Reilly and his wife, Deni, opened the restaurant in 2006. It is located close to the Orpheum Theatre and historic Beale Street.

145 South Main Street, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 901-522-8555

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»Mosa Asian Bistro

Mosa Asian Bistro

Mosa is a locally-owned bistro that serves a fusion of Korean, Thai, and Japanese dishes with a distinct Chinese touch in the form of delicious noodle and rice bowls, curries, and small plates in a casual, relaxed atmosphere.

Dishes are made to order with fresh ingredients, and service is quick and efficient, especially at lunchtime. Run by the Pao family, the bistro will make you feel like a local after just a few visits as they come around to have a chat while you are dining, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Mosa Asian Bistro also offers a full-service catering menu, where you can build your own menu to create a delectable Asian-fusion selection of cuisine for your next event. Stop by for lunch or dinner. The bistro is located at 850 S. White Station.

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»Sweet Grass & Next Door

Sweet Grass & Next Door

Sweet Grass and Next Door on 937 S Cooper Street are intimate neighborhood bistros that rest side by side and serve farm-to-table fare created with locally sourced ingredients. Famed for their fantastic Sunday brunch, Sweet Grass boasts a comfortable atmosphere with a great menu of comfort food. Fried oysters are served with cilantro crème fraîche and pickled daikon salad.

The Dirty Pig Fries are a must-try and consists of French fries with braised pork shoulder, greens, pecorino romano, and sriracha. Next Door has a popular bar that features signature cocktails, local and craft beer menus, and a selection of premier bourbons.

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»Hog and Hominy

Hog and Hominy

Hog and Hominy owners Michael Hudman and Andrew Ticer have mixed Southern food with mouthwatering wood-fired pizza and a selection of small plates for food that appeals to all.

Recently renovated and retro-refitted with wood tables and tiles to create a hip and contemporary East Memphis restaurant, Hog and Hominy has an open kitchen and brick pizza oven out of which their delicious cuisine pours, as well as an outdoor bocce court for a game of petanque in the sun.

The menu offers creative dishes, such as Buffalo Pork Tails with pecorino vinaigrette, and wood-fired pizzas with a variety of toppings. The restaurant is located at 707 W Brookhaven Circle and serves lunch, brunch and dinner.

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»Felicia Suzanne's

Felicia Suzanne's

Specializing in seasonal New American cuisine with a Southern twist, Felicia Suzanne’s is owned by Executive Chef & Owner Felicia Suzanne Willett, former protégée of Emeril Lagasse. The restaurant serves a seasonally changing menu using fresh, locally sourced ingredients from local farmers and artisans.

Located on the historic Main Street Trolley Line in Downtown Memphis, the restaurant lies at the heart of the city and is within easy walking distance of Beale Street and the famous Peabody and Madison Hotels. Boasting an intimate and elegant ambiance with Southern charm, Felicia Suzanne’s is mostly known for dinner, but the ‘25 cent martinis’ Friday lunch special tends to draw the crowds.

The menu features both classic and contemporary dishes, such as devilled eggs, catfish, shrimp, and dumplings (website).

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»Porcellino’s Craft Butcher

Porcellino’s Craft Butcher

Tucked away in East Memphis, Porcellino’s Craft Butcher is a butcher shop and sunny café that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Brainchild of Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, the eatery offers meat sourced from regional farms, Newman Farm in Myrtle for pork and lamb and Claybrook Farm in Covington, TN for beef.

The store features items such as charcuterie, both fresh and cured, handmade fresh and dried pasta, and a range of cookbooks. The lunch menu at the cafe includes a choice of sandwiches, quiche, soup and salad. For dinner, try the chicken liver bruschetta, dumplings, mussels or sausage lorraine.

The cafe offers a great selection of desserts, pastries, coffees and teas as well. Read more

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»The Beauty Shop

The Beauty Shop

The Beauty Shop is a quirky and offbeat restaurant in the Cooper-Young district of Midtown Memphis that reflects the charm and glamor of a 50s-style beauty shop. Once frequented by Priscilla Presley, the Beauty Shop seats its guests under hooded Belvedere hair dryers.

Paying homage to the beauty parlor’s past through the retro décor and fittings, the eatery’s menu is just as bold, boasting a range of scents and flavors from around the world.

Exotic dishes such as Watermelon & Wings – a combination of spicy chicken wings served with watermelon, greens, sweet chile lime sauce and toasted cashews – catch your attention, while traditional favorites, such as soup of the day and pastrami on rye, never fail to please (website).

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»The Second Line

The Second Line

The Second Line is a popular eatery that serves contemporary Southern cuisine, Memphis-inspired New Orleans favorites all made from ingredients sourced from friends and neighbors. Treat yourself to Natchitoches Meat Pies, Roast White Oaks Pasture Beef Po Boy (with gravy and Swiss), Chicken & Andouille Gumbo, or Fried Mississippi Catfish. They also offer tasty handcrafted cocktails.

TV’s award-winning Chef Kelly English opened The Second Line in 2013 and also owns its sister restaurant, Restaurant Iris (Chef English’s first). Enjoy the light-hearted, casual atmosphere at The Second Line, which resides in a charming, refurbished bungalow in Midtown Memphis.

2144 Monroe Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 901-590-2829

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The soul food and Southern-style cuisine at Alcenia’s is so delicious, it’s even been featured on popular television shows, like Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”. Made from recipes that have been passed down through numerous Southern generations, you will love the Fried Chicken, Pork Chops, or Baked Catfish. Don’t miss the Go-Go Pecan Pie!

Or stop in for brunch and try the famous Salmon Croquette. Owner, Betty Joyce Chester-Tamayo, opened the charming eatery in 1996, following a lifelong dream of manufacturing her family’s treasured recipes. For some unmatched down-home cooking, visit Alcenia’s in Memphis’s Pinch District.

317 North Main Street, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 901-523-0200 Photo: Alcenia's

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Located in a small cottage built in 1928 on tree-lined Overton Park Avenue in Memphis, Ecco is a stylish Mediterranean bistro-restaurant with a charming personality, and is very welcoming with bright white walls and splashes of vivid colors. A few tables on the sidewalk are equally inviting when the weather cooperates.

Food is as colorful and fresh as the interior, with many vegetarian dishes and interesting combinations of vegetables and fruits. It is a popular neighborhood place where you will see the same people coming for a delicious Sunday brunch every week. Customers keep coming back for the delicious crepes, with fillings like spinach, pine nuts, arugula and goat cheese or yummy frittatas with Bacon, arugula and Campari tomatoes. Add a mimosa to the mix and you have a Sunday brunch that will become your family tradition.

1585 Overton Park Ave, Memphis, TN 38112, Phone: 901-410-8200 Photo: Ecco

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»Uncle Lou's Southern Kitchen

Uncle Lou's Southern Kitchen

Uncle Lou’s is a popular fried chicken joint that has been featured on Food Network’s “On the Road” and “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”. Treat yourself to the outstanding fried chicken (made from an old family recipe), the Famous 18 oz. Monster Burger, or a Sweet Spicy Love Fish Sandwich. Don’t miss the Honey-Battered Biscuits! Scrumptious Strawberry Shortcake and other desserts are also available.

Restaurateur and owner, Lou Martin, opened his third restaurant, Uncle Lou’s Southern Kitchen, in 2001. Enjoy the friendly southern hospitality at this tasty restaurant, located just east of I-55, not far from the Memphis International Airport.

3633 Millbranch Road, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 901-332-2367 Photo: Uncle Lou's Southern Kitchen

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»The Farmer

The Farmer

The Farmer is a casually elegant restaurant that serves elevated farm-to-table comfort food, all made from sustainable ingredients. Start with something like the Old School Salmon Patties appetizer, before diving into incredible dishes, such as Smoked Beef Tenderloin, Pan-Seared Mississippi Catfish, or the Banh You Banh Mi.

Restaurateur, Mac Edwards, opened The Farmer in 2012 and it has become so popular that it has even been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives”. Enjoy a delicious meal at this upscale neighborhood restaurant, nestled between Memphis’s Joffre and Bremington Place neighborhoods, not far from the University of Memphis.

262 South Highland, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 901-324-2221 Photo: The Farmer

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»Restaurant Iris

Restaurant Iris

Memphis’s award-winning Restaurant Iris serves incredible French-Creole cuisine in a modern, intimate setting. Their menu changes frequently to highlight seasonal ingredients, but features boldly flavored dishes, like Seared Moulard Breast with Death Valley Shrimp & Duck Jambalaya or American Kobe Short Rib with Roasted Poblano Grits & Charred Tomatillo Salsa.

Or put your trust in the Chef’s hands and try the Five-Course “Degustation” Dinner with exquisite wine pairings. TV’s renowned Chef Kelly English opened Restaurant Iris in 2008. Enjoy a romantic dinner at this sophisticated eatery, located in a lovingly renovated home near the historic Overton Square in Midtown Memphis.

2146 Monroe Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 901-590-2828 Photo: Restaurant Iris

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»King's Palace Cafe

King's Palace Cafe

The iconic King’s Palace Café has been a popular hangout for decades, serving Southern delicacies and Cajun specialties and fantastic live music. Savor incredible dishes, such as the Shrimp 7 Crawfish Etouffee, the Catfish Po’ Boy, or the mouthwatering Kings Feast (a combination of BBQ ribs, BBQ pork shoulder, Crab Cake, Voodoo Potatoes, Championship Gumbo, and cole slaw).

Renowned restaurateur, Preston Lamm, opened King’s Palace in 1989. He also owns other nearby restaurants, like the Rum Boogie Café. Enjoy a dimly lit, cozy night of jazz and blues at King’s Palace Café, located on downtown Memphis’s historic Beale Street.

162 Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 901-521-1851 Photo: King's Palace Cafe

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»Terrace at River Inn

Terrace at River Inn

The sophisticated Terrace at River Inn restaurant serves innovative contemporary American and regional cuisine over stunning views of the Mississippi River and the downtown Memphis skyline. Treat yourself to amazing eats, like Smoked Catfish Fritters, Boudin-Stuffed Quail, Seared Scallop & Crispy Pork Belly, or Lamb Sliders.

Wash it all down with beer, wine, or a signature cocktail, like a Mississippi Sunset. The River Inn opened the Terrace as a year-round restaurant on the roof of their building in 2013. Executive Chef Jesse Belew is at the helm of the kitchen. Visit Terrace at River Inn in Memphis’s elegant Harbor Town community.

50 Harbor Town Square, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 910-260-3366 Photo: Terrace at River Inn

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ACRE restaurant serves award-winning modern American cuisine that combines hints of Italy, Asia, and the American South. You can’t go wrong with exquisitely prepared dishes like Seared Maine Scallops, Sweet Pea Agnoloti, Braised Indian-Spiced Lamb Shank, or Hazelnut-Fed Pork Brisket. Beer, wine, and creative, handcrafted cocktails are also available.

Hong Kong-born, Mississippi-raised owner, Wally Joe, opened ACRE in 2011 with partners, Mary and Frank Stanley. Wally Joe collaborates with Executive Chef Andrew Adams in the kitchen. Enjoy a friendly meal in a casually sophisticated setting at ACRE, located at the northeast corner of Memphis Botanic Garden.

690 South Perkins, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 901-818-2273 Photo: ACRE

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»Folk's Folly

Folk's Folly

Folk’s Folly has been serving some of the city’s best steak and seafood for decades. Treat yourself to boldly flavored dishes, like the Maker’s Mark Medallions, Smoked Pork Chop, a 28-ounce Porterhouse Steak, or an 18-20 ounce lobster tail. Complimentary fried dill pickles, an extensive wine list, and beautiful, handcrafted cocktails are also available.

Folk’s Folly was originally founded in 1977 by prominent developer, Humphrey Folk, Jr. He welcomed managing partner, Thomas Boggs, in 2003 and their families have been running the place together ever since. Folk’s Folly is nestled between the St. Nick and Pleasant Acres neighborhoods.

551 South Mendenhall Road, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 901-762-8200 Photo: Folk's Folly

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»Central BBQ Memphis

Central BBQ Memphis

Central BBQ has taken the top honors on numerous occasions for serving unrivaled grilled and smoked meat. Premium meats, including beef, pork, chicken, and turkey, as well as beef brisket, ribs, sausage, and bologna, are rubbed with a mixture of herbs and spices, marinated for 24 hours, and then smoked for hours to produce barbecue like no other.

Don’t miss the BBQ Nachos and smoked hot wings, which are favorites on the menu, and the desserts, which are nothing less than sublime. The restaurant has three locations: 2249 Central Ave., 4375 Summer Ave. And 147 E. Butler Ave. Photo: Central BBQ Memphis

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»Erling Jensen

Erling Jensen

The elegant Erling Jensen restaurant serves award-winning New American cuisine, with a heavy focus on incredible steaks and seafood. Enjoy the Maine Lobster Pancake with Wild Mushrooms and Scallions appetizer, before savoring exquisitely prepared dishes, like Filet of Buffalo Tenderloin (with lobster béarnaise) or Dover Sole Meuniere (with jumbo lump crabmeat and capers).

An extensive and eclectic wine list is available, as are beer, spirits, and handcrafted cocktails. Denmark-born, world renowned Chef Erling Jensen opened this popular restaurant in 1996. You will find this sophisticated eatery in East Memphis, nestled between Sea Isle Park and Memorial Park Cemetery.

1044 South Yates, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 901-763-3700 Photo: Erling Jensen

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»Elena's Taco Shop

Elena's Taco Shop

For some of the best tacos in Memphis, you will want to check out Elena’s Taco Shop. Their delicious, authentic Mexican food incorporates bold Southern California flavors. Stop in today and try Elena’s Fish Taco, El Sancho Burrito, Rolled Tacos, or Flautas. Don’t miss their famous Carne Asada fries! Refreshing Tamarindo, Horchata, and Jamaica are all available to quench your thirst.

Husband-and-wife team, Elena and Pedro Gonzales, first opened the taco shop in 2012 and have achieved great success ever since. Their tacos are a favorite amongst local residents.

6105 Summer Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 901-417-7915 Photo: jc_studio/Fotolia

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»Bon Ton Cafe

Bon Ton Cafe

Bon Ton Café has been a local favorite for decades, serving delicious, classic diner fare in a fun and exciting atmosphere. You can’t go wrong with tasty dishes, such as Bon Ton’s Griddle Benedict, Bayou Po’Boy, Blackened Catfish, or Philly Cheesesteak Bon Ton Style. Enjoy the casual setting upstairs in the old-fashioned diner, or make your way to the speak-easy downstairs, in the basement.

Founded in 1945, the Zambelis family owned and operated the eatery, until Tommy Peters took over the restaurant in 2012. Bon Ton Café is located in the heart of downtown Memphis, close to AutoZone Park.

150 Monroe Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 901-525-0883 Photo: Bon Ton Cafe

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Memphis’s iconic Paulette’s restaurant serves award-winning French and Hungarian cuisine, as well as delicious regional favorites. Enjoy incredible flavors in dishes like Ham Palacsinta (a Hungarian specialty) or Smoked Mozzarella Arancini. Pop in for a signature cocktail and a snack, like the Smoked Salmon Flatbread.

Owner, restaurateur, and Mississippi native, George Falls, founded and established Paulette’s in 1974 and over the years, it has become a Memphis landmark. He has Executive Chef Daniel Schroeder at the helm of the kitchen these days. Visit Paulette’s at the River Inn in the Harbor Town community.

50 Harbor Town Square, Memphis, Tennessee, Phone: 901-260-3300 Photo: Paulette's

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25 Best Romantic Restaurants in Memphis, Tennessee