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. There are many great things to do in Memphis.
Whether you are looking for a quick bite to eat while sightseeing in downtown Memphis 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. Here are the best restaurants in Memphis.
1. 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.
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2. Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar, Memphis, TN
© Flight Restaurant
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
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3. 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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4. 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. (website link)
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5. 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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6. 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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7. 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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8. Alcenia's, Memphis, TN
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
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9. Ecco, Memphis, TN
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, (website link)
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10. Uncle Lou's Southern Kitchen, Memphis, TN
© 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
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11. 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, (website link)
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12. 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
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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
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14. 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
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15. 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.
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16. 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
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17. Elena's Taco Shop
© Courtesy of jc_studio - Fotolia.com
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
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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
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