Get Your Grub On In Memphis, Tennessee: 10 Restaurants You Must Try

places to eat in memphis, tennessee
Shawna
Shawna 
Updated

Memphis has long been known for its barbecue. What many people don’t know is the urban city offers up International cuisine as well. Five star chefs from around the world have made a home here. Foodies will find many options from casual, to fine dining to downright interesting. Here are 10 of the best places in Memphis to get your grub on.

1. Central BBQ

Barbecue-cooker-01
Source: Photo by user Southern Foodways... used under CC BY 2.0

No visit to Memphis would be complete without sampling some of the great barbecue eateries. The Central BBQ is certainly at the top of this list. After marinating in their famous spices all of their meats are slow smoked to perfection. The Central BBQ has ranked among the top 3 barbecue restaurants consistently since 2003. You will find all of your favorite items on the menu, like ribs, brisket and chicken. They offer a Vegan sandwich, the Portabella, thick sliced, marinated and grilled portabella mushrooms topped with smoked gouda cheese. One of the local favorites is their BBQ Nachos and Smoked Chicken Wings.

Central BBQ

Address: 2249 Central Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

Hours of Operation: Daily 11:00 am - 9:00 pm

Website: Central BBQ

2. Beauty Shop


For a truly unique dining experience, you must visit the Beauty Shop Restaurant & Lounge. Located in the hip Cooper Young District, this 1950s beauty shop has been renovated into an artsy eatery. All of the dishes on the menu are American favorites served with an International twist. The best seats in the house are those under the old-fashioned hair dryers. One of the most popular dishes is their Watermelon & Wings; huge chicken wings marinated, brushed with sugar then deep fried to the perfect crispness, served with watermelon topped with toasted cashews.

Beauty Shop

Address: 966 Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104

Hours of Operation: Monday - Saturday 11:00 am - 2:00 pm & 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm, Sunday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Website: Beauty Shop

3. Folk's Folly

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Drunken Shortrib Known for its rich flavor and deep marbling, this Wagyu boneless shortrib is rice wine braised for ultimate flavor. Served with heirloom tomatoes and broccoli salad.

Posted by Folk's Folly Prime Steak House on Wednesday, April 28, 2021

You can enjoy a classic, fine dining experience at Folk’s Folly. This Memphis steak house serves up excellent cuisine in an intimate atmosphere. They feature white linen tablecloths, an extensive, top notch wine list and even a piano bar. Folk’s Folly serves up a classic American meal from start to finish. Their Maker’s Mark Medallions combine the best cut of beef with one of the best bourbons. Tender pieces of filet mignon are seasoned with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, grilled to order and served atop their famous Maker’s Mark peppercorn sauce.

Folk's Folly

Address: 551 S Mendenhall Rd, Memphis, TN 38117

Hours of Operation: Monday - Saturday 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm, Sunday 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Website: Folk’s Folly

4. Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken


This popular chain restaurant started from truly humble beginnings. The original creators of the recipe for the spicy fried chicken started by selling the chicken served between two slices of white bread. Today, the restaurant chain is still family owned and still serving up the same great recipe. The menu is simple, you get chicken and sides, nothing fancy. The coleslaw and beans are slightly sweetened to offset the spiciness of the chicken. Don’t be surprised to see folks lined up outside the doors when you visit, this chicken really is that good.

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

Address: 310 S Front St, Memphis, TN 38103

Hours of Operation: Sunday - Thursday 11:00 am - 9:00 pm, Friday & Saturday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm

Website: Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

5. Hog and Hominy


The Hog and Hominy serves up Italian style dishes with a Southern flair. The restaurant was established in 2011 and has been featured in numerous publications as one of the best restaurants in Memphis. Open for lunch and dinner and while dining here, make sure you try one of their specialty cocktails. On the dinner menu you will find pizza but served Southern style. For example, the Red Eye is topped with pork belly, eggs, celery leaf and fontina cheese. Wash it down with a Memphis Romance or Foolish Moments cocktail.

Hog and Hominy

Address: 707 W Brookhaven Cir, Memphis, TN 38117

Website: Hog and Hominy

6. Alcenia's


Alcenia’s serves up southern soul food, happiness and love. The owner B.J. greets her customers with a welcome and a hug. The restaurant is her dream child based on the delicious recipes of her mother. B.J. is also the cook and loves to expand on her knowledge of soul food cooked with love. She is renowned for her homemade preserves and desserts. The restaurant is quite unique and a local favorite, you will even find a game room with the classic board games ready to play. When you visit be sure to try her delicious chicken and waffles or order up a slice of her lemon icebox pie.

Alcenia's

Address: 317 N Main St, Memphis, TN 38103

Hours of Operation: Tuesday - Friday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Website: Alcenia’s

7. Charles Vergos' Rendevous

A post shared by Jill Welker (@jillanna_24) on Aug 12, 2017 at 10:54pm PDT


Charles Vergos’ Rendevous has been serving up southern style barbecue since 1948. Charlie started his business selling ham sandwiches and beer from a basement in a back alley. Who knew that 60 years later his BBQ ribs would be some of the best in the city. The restaurant is still located in the basement but today’s menu offers more varieties of slow smoked meats using the old, traditional dry rub spices.

Charles Vergos' Rendevous

Address: 52 S 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38103

Website: Charles Vergos’ Rendevous

8. The Bar-B-Q Shop


It just wouldn’t be a 10 best restaurants in Memphis without at least one more barbecue joint. What sets the Bar-B-Q Shop apart from the rest is their award winning sauces. Most Memphis style barbecue is based on dry rub seasonings. Here, the meats are marinated in one of their gourmet sauces before being slow cooked in the pit-style barbecue. Besides their line of Dancing Pig sauces, The Bar-B-Q shop is best known for their world famous barbecue spaghetti.

The Bar-B-Q Shop

Address: 1782 Madison Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

Hours or Operation: Monday - Saturday 11:00 am - 9:00 pm

Website: The Bar-B-Q Shop

9. Bounty on Broad


Bounty on Broad serves up fine dining fare in a casual atmosphere. They pride themselves on using only the freshest ingredients sourced locally in all of their menu options. They are known as a steakhouse but their dishes offer diners a twist on American favorites. For example, you will find the Duck Duo alongside Moroccan Spiced Lamb Ribs. To accompany your meal they have a nice wine list, a selection of beers and their house made specialty cocktails.

Bounty on Broad

Address: 2519 Broad Ave, Memphis, TN 38112

Website: Bounty on Broad

10. The Second Line


The Second Line serves up gulf seafood and Creole dishes made with the freshest ingredients. Rather than trying to recreate popular favorites, the restaurant focuses on making every bite delicious. Best known for their Poboy’s, The Second Line gives diners a number of tasty options to choose from. You will find the traditional fried oyster and catfish sandwiches on their menu. Or try something a little different, like the Johnny Snack, layers of hot ham and cheese all smothered in a rich, beef gravy.

The Second Line

Address: 2144 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

Phone Number: +1 9015902829

Hours of Operation: Sunday - Thursday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm, Friday & Saturday 11:00 am - 11:00 pm

Website: The Second Line

Take a taste of Memphis

Touring Graceland and dancing down Beale Street is likely to create an appetite. No visit to Memphis is complete without sampling the fine, Southern style barbecue. But most people don’t want to eat just barbecue when there are so many tasty choices all around. Whether you are looking for casual or fine dining, traditional or something more interesting, you are sure to find it in Memphis.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Shawna is a domestic goddess living by the sea in the beautiful state of South Carolina. She has earned two degrees in Criminal Justice and Human Services but now spends her time pursuing her...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Memphis
Looking for accommodation?
Good things are meant to be shared!