Memphis takes food seriously, and food lovers delight in the fact that the city not only offers gourmet fare and exceptional dining experiences but plenty of casual comfort food as well. When it comes to the most important meal of the day, there is a wealth of great spots that serve excellent breakfast and brunch menus with the regular classics as well as creative twists on all-time favorites. Whether you are craving a pile of pancakes topped with blueberries and dripping in maple syrup or a full breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato, hash browns, toast, and more, Memphis promises to fill the gap. Here are some of the Bluff City’s top spots to head to for breakfast and brunch.
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Located in the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis, the Capriccio Grill is a brunch nirvana, with a buffet brunch that gathers crowds. The famous steakhouse by night makes a statement with its outstanding brunch that focuses on Southern comfort fare served in a casual, relaxed setting. The buffet-style brunch boasts tables laden with fruit platters and cereals, freshly baked pastries, Danishes, muffins, brownies, cookies, and scones, and omelet and Belgian waffle stations with an array of fillings and toppings from which to choose. Other classics include bagels and lox, eggs done several ways with a selection of meats such as bacon, ham, and sausage, breakfast burritos and wraps, and medallions of New York strip steak. Beverages range from fresh fruit juices and mineral water to espresso and French press coffee.
149 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 901-529-4199
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Barksdale is an old-school diner with photograph-covered walls, wooden paneling, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The classic greasy spoon has been serving locals and regulars for more than 30 years for breakfast and lunch, with a menu of authentic all-American and Southern fare. Memphians flock to the eatery for favorite Saturday brunches, which boast heaving plates of country-fried steak and fries, catfish sandwiches, pork chops, sandwiches, and burgers, all of which is served with sides of well-cooked vegetables and cornbread. Sweet endings range from peach cobbler and banana pudding to lemon icebox pies.
237 Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104, Phone: 901-722-2193
Alcenia’s is a much-loved soul food spot that is renowned for its classic breakfasts and Saturday brunches, which are served in bright and vibrant surroundings. Located on Main Street in Memphis, the friendly neighborhood café is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday, as well as brunch on Saturday, and features comfortable seating and a warm and welcoming ambiance. The famous Saturday brunch menu boasts fried chicken, pork chops, bacon, sausage, omelets, fried green tomatoes, chicken and waffles, hash browns, eggs are done in several ways, rice and grits, pancakes, and biscuits and gravy, along with fruit juice and coffee.
317 N Main St, Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 901-523-0200
© Automatic Slim's
Named for a renowned and much-loved Beale Street bluesman, Automatic Slim’s has been a downtown Memphis institution on the dining scene for the last 20 years. Situated on 2nd Street in the heart of the vibrant Downtown, Slim’s boasts a bright and eclectic interior with local artworks on the walls and a lively bar, with the menu reflecting the same light-hearted approach to life. Famed for its innovative food, the menu features seasonal dishes prepared using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, with the brunch menu showcasing classics such as Slim’s chicken and waffles, red velvet pancakes with cream cheese, crab cakes Benedict, bananas Foster French toast, and the Three Little Pigs Omelet with bacon, smoked sausage, bacon, cheddar cheese, and potato hash.
Automatic Slims, 83 S 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 901-523-7948
© Bardog Tavern
Bardog Tavern is a laidback neighborhood bar in the heart of downtown Memphis that serves a varied menu of all-American fare with an Italian touch from lobster sandwiches to meatballs in a casual, relaxed setting. Helmed by John Haley, the kitchen produces a simple yet creative menu of American classics with international accents for breakfast and lunch during the week and brunch on the weekends. The brunch menu boasts hearty plates that are heavy on carbs, such as New York strip and eggs, avocado and spicy mayo-laden lobster sandwiches, French toast with whipped cream and fresh fruit, and three-egg omelets with various fillings. Pair the cuisine with Bloody Marys, mimosas, and other libations.
73 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 901-275-8752
© Brother Juniper's
Brother Juniper's is a quirky little breakfast nook on the University of Memphis campus that serves an award-winning breakfast and brunch menu that draws crowds of both students and food-lovers alike. Once owned by an Eastern Orthodox priest, the family-oriented and nationally acclaimed eatery serves a range of healthy and hearty breakfast and brunch dishes such as scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and cream cheese, oat bran waffles with pure maple syrup, and open-face omelets with a variety of toppings, such as pesto, portobello mushrooms, gyro meat, and spicy cream cheese. Other delights include homemade, fluffy rolls, biscuits with sorghum, house-made jams and sauces, and unique roast coffee.
Brother Junipers, 3519 Walker Ave, Memphis, TN 38111, Phone: 901-324-0144
© Bryant's Breakfast
The epitome of the Southern breakfast, Bryant's Breakfast is a casual eatery that serves hot, greasy, and incredibly delicious Southern breakfasts that can be enjoyed in or taken away. Established in 1968, the restaurant is a favorite spot for the college crowd, who flock to tuck into huge portions of biscuits and gravy, eggs, ham, grits with eggs, cheddar and sausage, pancakes with crispy bacon, grilled, thick-sliced bologna, country-fried steak and smoked sausage, and seriously good cinnamon rolls. Bryant's Breakfast is open for early breakfast and lunch, Mondays through Saturdays, with breakfast being the star of the show.
Bryants Breakfast, 3965 Summer Ave, Memphis, TN 38122, Phone: 901-324-7494
© Café Eclectic
Café Eclectic is a casual neighborhood coffee shop and café with three locations around the city that serve all-day breakfast, delicious lunches, and an array of freshly baked cakes, cookies, muffins, pastries, bread, and rolls. The café’s original location at 603 North McLean in the heart of the Volentine-Evergreen district houses the bakery and central kitchen as well as an expansive coffee bar, an old-fashioned soda fountain, and a sunny patio for alfresco dining. The all-day breakfast menu features eggs done in several ways, three-egg omelets with various fillings, breakfast wraps, chicken and waffles, homemade biscuits and gravy, vegan pancakes, bagels and lox, French toast, and house-made granola, yogurt, and fruit. Things to Do in Memphis
Café Eclectic, 603 N McLean Blvd, Memphis, TN 38107, Phone: 901-725-1718
Café Eclectic Highland, 510 S Highland St, Memphis, TN 38111, Phone: 901-410-0765
9.City East Bagel and Grille
© City East Bagel and Grille
City East Bagel and Grille is a classic deli that serves a variety of fresh water-boiled bagels and gourmet sandwiches in a casual, colorful setting. Boasting bright yellow walls adorned with photographs and comfortable seating, the kosher deli and bagel shop has been a staple in East Memphis and Germantown for decades, with a steady stream of locals and regulars cramming into the small space to tuck into huge omelets and potato skillets, bagels with an array of toppings, breakfast sandwiches and wraps, steak and eggs, corned beef and egg scramble, and oatmeal pancakes. City East Bagel and Grille is open for breakfast and lunch, seven days a week, with a second location in the South Main Market.
6698 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38138, Phone: 901-754-2660
© Elwood's Shack
Elwood’s Shack is a no-frills comfort food eatery that serves hot-off-the-grill barbecue, smoked meats, burgers, and hotdogs along with other all-American fare. Boasting an ambiance akin to that of a neighborhood cookout party, the award-winning deli serves an expansive menu of classic Southern cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days of the week. Signature items on the list include roast beef debris po’boys, 7-Up biscuits piled high with tomato and pimento cheese, and the all-time favorite of steelhead trout tacos with small chunks of steelhead trout and cheddar, topped with avocado, mixed greens, and creamy horseradish sauce. Big eaters or groups of friends can tuck into the Elwood’s Shaq Attack, which features half a chicken, pulled pork, brisket, two wings, and ribs, served with potato salad, green and purple cabbage slaw, and Texas toast.
4523 Summer Ave, Memphis, TN 38122, Phone: 901-761-9898
11.Front Street Deli
© Front Street Deli
Front Street Deli is Memphis' oldest deli and is famous for being the location for the filming of the Tom Cruise movie, The Firm. Located in the heart of downtown Memphis, the cozy café is open for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Saturday, and offers a hearty breakfast menu of classics and favorites from eggs to pancakes. Breakfast specials include pastrami and fried eggs on a croissant, bacon and sausage on a steamed biscuit, and bacon, scrambled egg, and cheese on a toasted croissant. The deli also serves a variety of all-day fare such as gourmet sandwiches, stacked subs, and freshly prepared salads along with a selection of beverages and beers.
77 S Front St, Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 901-522-4824
12.Miss Polly's Soul City Cafe
© Miss Polly's Soul City Cafe
Miss Polly's Soul City Café is a small, simple eatery that focuses on serving Southern classics and soul food classics in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week, this cozy café is an excellent place for breaking the fast with a menu full of traditional and favorite breakfast dishes. Tuck into country-fried chicken or steak, pork chops and eggs, steak and eggs, three-egg omelets with various fillings, potato skillets with meat options, biscuits and gravy, and rich buttermilk pancakes and Belgian waffles. Hungry diners can try Polly's BBQ Spaghetti, which includes BBQ pork or chicken with sautéed onions and peppers on top of a bed of spaghetti and smothered in BBQ sauce.
154 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 901-527-9060
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© Owen Brennan's
Located in the sophisticated Regalia Shopping Center in East Memphis, Owen Brennan's is a stylish restaurant that specializes in Cajun and Creole fare, which is served in a friendly, upscale atmosphere. Featuring bright décor with Mardi Gras accents, the family-friendly restaurant hosts a signature Sunday brunch with bottomless champagne and a live New Orleans jazz band and a menu of Southern classics such as Southern fried chicken, fried catfish and crawfish, and biscuits and sausage with gravy. Traditional brunch items range from omelets and egg dishes, scrambles and skillets to Belgian waffles, pancakes, and French toast.
6150 Poplar Ave #150, Memphis, TN 38119, Phone: 901-761-0990
© Paulette's Restaurant
A Memphis institution located on the ground floor of the boutique River Inn hotel, Paulette's is favorite amongst locals and tourists alike, serving a delicious breakfast and brunch in an elegant setting with beautiful views of downtown Memphis and the Mississippi River. The Southern-inspired menus feature a variety of hearty morning fare, such as eggs Benedict with creamy hollandaise sauce, plain and stuffed French toast, granola with seasonal fruit or honey yogurt with fresh berries, fresh fruit plates, assorted melt-in-your-mouth croissants, and Paulette's signature popovers and strawberry butter. All breakfasts, whether continental or full gourmet, come with fresh fruit juice, tea or hot chocolate, and freshly brewed house-roasted coffee.
Paulette’s, The River Inn of Harbor Town, 50 Harbor Town Square, Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 901-260-3300
15.Staks Pancake Kitchen
© Staks Pancake Kitchen
Located in the Laurelwood Collection in East Memphis, Staks Pancake Kitchen is a fast-casual counter-order spot that serves an array of all-American breakfast fare in an airy, turquoise-walled setting. The friendly neighborhood café specializes in fantastic pancakes, with a variety of different kinds from which to choose, including the chocolate Elvis Pancakes, filled with bananas and topped with a peanut butter glaze, Oreo-praline pancakes with a decadent Oreo cream cheese filling, and lemon ricotta pancakes stacked with creamy ricotta cheese and infused with the zest of fresh lemons. The breakfast menu also includes eggs, omelets, and other breakfast favorites such as burrito bowls, shrimp and grits, and huevos rancheros.
4615 Poplar Ave #102, Memphis, TN 38117, Phone: 901-509-2367
16.Stone Soup Cafe & Market
© Stone Soup Café & Market
Stone Soup Café & Market is a warm and welcoming family-owned eatery that serves a hearty country-style breakfast and lunch in a relaxed, laidback setting. The neighborhood café boasts local artworks on the walls and has a bakery that bakes fresh bread, cakes, and pastries every day and features a small gift shop with market produce and handmade gifts. The breakfast menu features favorites such as egg platters and omelets with various fillings, biscuits and gravy, homemade quiches, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, cinnamon French toast, and cereals, along with hot and cold beverages, and freshly brewed house-roasted coffee.
993 Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104, Phone: 901-922-5314
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© Sunrise Memphis
Sunrise Memphis is a bright and airy quick-serve diner offering traditional Southern-style breakfasts and lunches in addition to libations from a full-service bar. The breakfast menu features a variety of favorites, such as three-egg omelets and egg scrambles with a selection of fillings and toppings, biscuits sandwiches with fried chicken, country ham, and sausage gravy, and stacks of pancakes. Signature breakfast plates include the Three Amigos Tacos with scrambled eggs, jalapeños, chorizo, and potatoes, the Kitchen Sink, which features eggs, bacon, sausages, hash browns, biscuits, and grits, and the best-selling Bi Bim Breakfast of char siu pork, kimchi, fried egg, scallions, pickled daikon, and sticky rice.
670 Jefferson Ave, Memphis, TN 38105, Phone: 901-552-3168
© Sweet Grass
Sweet Grass is a friendly neighborhood bistro that serves a seasonal menu of Low Country-style cuisine with a Southern flair prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Open for dinner and weekend brunch, Sweet Grass offers a delightful brunch menu of Southern favorites such as fried green tomato sandwiches, shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, brioche French toast, steak and eggs, and avocado grilled cheese toast. Sides of buttermilk biscuits, pecan waffles, potato hash, and farm grits can be added to any dish, and beverages range from the regular coffee and tea to a variety of handcrafted and signature cocktails.
937 Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104, Phone: 901-278-0278
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19.Tamp and Tap
© Tamp and Tap
Tamp and Tap is a third-wave coffee shop and café that serves a thoughtful and seasonal menu of made-to-order gourmet food. Boasting two locations in Downtown and East Memphis, Tamp and Tap exude a casual, quiet atmosphere that is popular for private events and meetings such as weekly live music and trivia sessions that are open to the public. Open for breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch, Tamp and Tap offer a deliciously light breakfast menu of favorites like bagels and lox, oatmeal with berries and fruit, Belgian waffles, English muffins, eggs done in several ways, bacon, sausage, and assorted fruit cups. Brunch offers more substantial fare, such as eggs Benedict, omelets, fresh salads and soups, and gourmet sandwiches.
122 Gayoso, Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 901-207-1053
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20.The Arcade Restaurant
© The Arcade Restaurant
Established in 1919, The Arcade Restaurant is one of Memphis' oldest restaurants, with 1950s diner-style décor, historical photos lining the walls, and a classic menu to match. The old-school eatery serves a hearty breakfast with a side of old-fashioned charm and traditional dishes with a Southern twist such as country-fried steak with fries, biscuits, and sausage covered with country gravy served with eggs and hash browns, stuffed or plain French toast, fluffy pancakes dripping with maple syrup and topped with berries and cream, country ham with eggs, hash browns, grits and gravy, and sweet potato pancakes.
540 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 901-526-5757
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21.The Beauty Shop Restaurant
© The Beauty Shop Restaurant
Brunch gets a makeover at The Beauty Shop Restaurant, a whimsical New American eatery and bar in the Cooper-Young district of midtown Memphis that conjures up images of a ‘50s-style beauty shop. The hip and trendy restaurant boasts glass brick booths, original terrazzo flooring, glamorous copper and silver-leaf walls, hand-blown art-glass lights, and vintage hooded Belvedere hair-dryer chairs, oozing nostalgia and creating a warm and convivial atmosphere. Sip Bad Boy Bloody Marys and Big Boy Mimosas before tucking into a Sunday brunch of country ham smothered in red-eye gravy and topped with blue cheese, eggs, and hash browns, or the signature Beneduck – a mouth-watering spiced, sugared crispy duck with jalapeño jam.
5611, 966 Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104, Phone: 901-272-7111
22.The Majestic Grille
© The Majestic Grille
Set in a grand 1913 movie house that was built as the Majestic No. 1, a movie theatre that provided entertainment in the form of silent films for more than 30 years, The Majestic Grille exudes an old-school Hollywood feel with exquisitely restored décor in the beaux arts style. The award-winning restaurant celebrates the cinematic glory of the dawn of the silver screen with a large screen that still shows silent movies and classic films, transporting diners back to another era. Live music can be enjoyed on the mezzanine level of the 1920s art deco theatre while tucking into a delicious brunch of signature flatbreads, gourmet sandwiches, and burgers in addition to entrees of eggs Benedict, filet mignon, steak and eggs, biscuits and gravy, and frittatas. Sip on handcrafted Bloody Marys and mimosas from the full-service bar.
The Majestic Grille, 145 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 901-522-8555
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23.Tug's - A Casual Grill
© Tug's – A Casual Grill
Located in the River Inn of Harbor Town hotel, Tug’s is a laidback sports bar that offers a casual dining experience with all-American comfort fare such as grills, salads, sandwiches, and seafood plates. Boasting splendid views of the Mississippi River, along with historical photographs on the walls and beautiful stained-glass works, Tug’s is open for lunch and dinner daily and brunch on the weekends. The brunch menu offers favorites such as egg dishes done in different ways, three-egg omelets with various fillings, eggs Benedict with signature sides, sausage and biscuits, French toast, chicken and waffles, sweet pancakes and waffles, and bacon and egg burgers.
51 Harbor Town Square, Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 901-260-3344
25 Best Breakfasts & Weekend Brunch Spots in Memphis
- Capriccio Grill, Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Francois - Fotolia.com
- Barksdale Restaurant, Photo: Courtesy of JJAVA - Fotolia.com
- Alcenia’s, Photo: Alcenia’s
- Automatic Slim's, Photo: Automatic Slim's
- Bardog Tavern, Photo: Bardog Tavern
- Brother Juniper's, Photo: Brother Juniper's
- Bryant's Breakfast, Photo: Bryant's Breakfast
- Cafe Eclectic, Photo: Café Eclectic
- City East Bagel and Grille, Photo: City East Bagel and Grille
- Elwood's Shack, Photo: Elwood's Shack
- Front Street Deli, Photo: Front Street Deli
- Miss Polly's Soul City Cafe, Photo: Miss Polly's Soul City Cafe
- Owen Brennan's, Photo: Owen Brennan's
- Paulette's Restaurant, Photo: Paulette's Restaurant
- Staks Pancake Kitchen, Photo: Staks Pancake Kitchen
- Stone Soup Cafe & Market, Photo: Stone Soup Café & Market
- Sunrise Memphis, Photo: Sunrise Memphis
- Sweet Grass, Photo: Sweet Grass
- Tamp and Tap, Photo: Tamp and Tap
- The Arcade Restaurant, Photo: The Arcade Restaurant
- The Beauty Shop Restaurant, Photo: The Beauty Shop Restaurant
- The Majestic Grille, Photo: The Majestic Grille
- Tug's - A Casual Grill, Photo: Tug's – A Casual Grill
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of sframe - Fotolia.com