A Tasty Guide to What’s Cooking in Memphis
Craving fall-off-the-bone barbecue and golden fried chicken with farm-fresh vegetables?
It’s all cooking in Memphis, Tennessee, along with some surprises: fine cuisine from acclaimed chefs, craft beer, globally-inspired eats — plus breakfast and dessert spots to delight your culinary senses all day long.
Memphis boasts 100-plus barbecue joints, and at least as many preparation styles. At Germantown Commissary, dunk tender pulled pork into thick, sweet sauce. At Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous, sink your teeth into savory dry-rubbed ribs. At Corky’s, taste flavor-packed combinations such as smoked pork with spaghetti.
It's okay to get saucy in Memphis — this city is known for its incredible barbecue!
The Four Way is a classic “meat-and-three,” where diners select one meat, two sides and oven-fresh bread. From hearty pot roast to creamy mashed potatoes, selections are deliciously homespun. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken — moist on the inside, crispy and zesty on the outside — relies on a 50-year-old family recipe. Miss Polly’s Soul City Café serves it all. Try the chicken and waffles.
Fare That Locals (and Critics) Love
Memphis’ acclaimed chefs take the cuisine of the Southern USA to a new level. Taste bright Brussels sprouts tossed with Tennessee bacon at Restaurant Iris; fresh pasta, plump with collard greens and pork belly, at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen; Gulf Coast shrimp accented by pickled jalapeno cornbread at Felicia Suzanne’s.
Craft Beer and Spirits
At Memphis restaurants and bars, request local microbrews Ghost River, High Cotton, Memphis Made and Wiseacre. (On weekends, the latter three open tap rooms. Sample one of Memphis Made’s seasonal brews.) For a cocktail, ask for a pour of Pyramid Vodka.
Try one of Memphis Made's craft brews for a taste of this foodie city.
Globally Inspired Eats
Get your fill of Memphis’ culinary signatures, then join locals on a globe-trot. Start with a wedge of quiche du jour at Tart. For lunch, bite into a taco, made fresh daily and stuffed with spicy chorizo, at Las Tortugas. For dinner, reserve at Tsunami for roasted sea bass in soy beurre blanc.
It's not just about barbecue here. Memphis is also a hot spot for cuisine from all over the world, like this spicy Mexican dish.
Start your day with Brother Juniper’s cheesy grits and an omelet layered with grilled meats, cheeses and vegetables. Indulge in sweet potato pancakes at The Arcade. On Sunday, do brunch at The Beauty Shop for creative dishes — maybe ham with coffee-infused red-eye gravy.
Have a standout breakfast at the Arcade restaurant
For scratch-made pie and irresistible cupcakes, hit one of Muddy’s bakeries. For chocolates (almost) too pretty to eat — some infused with Tennessee’s own Prichard’s Distillery spirits — visit Phillip Ashley Chocolates. Or, make a selection from the rich dessert cart in the famed Peabody Hotel lobby.
Muddy's Bakery is one of the most talked-about bakeries in Memphis. Locals love the cupcakes in all flavors and frostings.