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Top 10 Restaurants in Memphis, TN

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In the home of blues and rock ‘n’ roll, nothing is ordinary. There is so much music – whoever comes to Memphis will find something to feed their soul. But what about us who like to fill our stomachs with gorgeous food? We’re in for a treat too! Just like there’s a variety of music, there’s a choice of food too. Let’s go on a journey through the top 10 restaurants in Memphis, TN.

1# The Beauty Shop – a place to make your taste buds happy

Formerly a hair salon where Priscilla Presley would go to have her beehive done, this Cooper-Young establishment is now a hotspot for fine dining. The hair dryers, sinks, mirrors, and other mint green mod elements are straight out of the 1950s. Watermelon and hot wings platters, daily crepe specials, grilled whole fish dinners, and a cosmopolitan brunch are just some of the items on the menu that showcase the restaurant’s commitment to a genuinely varied combination of foreign and Southern cuisine.

 Two people in a hair salon.
Chit-chatting like in a hair salon and a portion of fantastic food – what more do you need?

2# If you love Mexican, don’t skip Maciel’s Taco Shop

Maciel’s Taco Shop consists of two facilities. One is a comfortable café in the center of downtown Memphis, and the other is a huge and colorful facility with a bar and terrace on the Highland Strip. Both locations provide fresh, made-to-order genuine Mexican street food, setting them apart from the city’s many other superb Latin cuisine alternatives. Specialties include:

  • spicy shrimp tacos
  • huge tortas
  • chicken chipotle soup

3# Make sure to try the food at Central BBQ

Despite several attempts, no one has yet developed a reliable scientific metric by which to identify Memphis’s finest BBQ joint. Even still, the widespread agreement amongst residents that Central BBQ is the best in town must count for something.

Nice decor and great food

In addition to pictures of staff and memorabilia from the Memphis Tigers, the restaurant’s walls are covered in the dishes that have made it famous.

What is on the menu?

Smoked pulled pork, soft dry rub ribs, BBQ nachos, hot wings, and the iconic mac & cheese – this menu will make your jaw drop, and you’ll always be happy to come back again. 

4# The Cozy Corner

This downtown BBQ eatery has a hand-painted sign and a cornflower-blue awning that’s delightfully rustic. Classics like ribs and pulled pork sandwiches from Memphis barbecue are available at The Cozy Corner. But the restaurant’s true strength lies in its other, more specialized dishes. Order the sauce-slathered BBQ cornish game fowl, the smoky pasta, and the sweet banana pudding. You won’t be sorry.

5# Another cozy and friendly space – Alcenia’s

This bright soul food restaurant may be the best option if you’re looking for a trendy downtown spot for lunch. While you wait for a seat, look around and see the owner, BJ Chester-Tamayo, giving hugs to customers, collecting orders, and preparing the food herself. Fried chicken, catfish, yams, spaghetti (as a side), and meatloaf are just some of the delicious Southern staples on the menu. Overall, it’s one of the most heartwarming (and stomach-warming) restaurants in Memphis.

It will make you want to move here

This cozy and welcoming atmosphere reflects the whole city. It’s the main reason why so many people from all around America thrive on living here. So, if you’re coming from some other part of Tennessee and want to make the city your home, make sure to find the right movers as soon as possible since they are quite busy all year long.

6# Check out the Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and – Buon appetito!

This restaurant is the brainchild of acclaimed Memphis chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman. It’s located in a renovated East Memphis house. Also, it has been outfitted with numerous intimate dining rooms and a rustic minimalist bar. Fine dining with a Southern twist, the menu features delicacies like fresh, handmade pasta, inventive pig preparations, and seafood dishes served with a selection of international wines and handcrafted drinks.

A homemade pasta.
There is nothing quite like enjoying homemade pasta in the city of blues and rock ‘n’ roll!

7# Another Italian masterpiece – the Gray Canary 

The Gray Canary is the fifth Memphis restaurant from Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, both of whom have been nominated for James Beard Awards. The restaurant’s decor is a mix of industrial modern and Old World, providing the ideal setting for a menu that emphasizes small plates and draws inspiration from the chefs’ Italian heritage and the abundance of local ingredients. The outstanding atmosphere is complete with a raw bar and a refined drink menu.

8# Restoran Iris – one of the best restaurants in Memphis, and for a reason

Memphis’ Restaurant Iris is a converted home turned upscale eatery, and its menu showcases chef Kelly English’s admiration for both traditional and contemporary Southern cuisines. The lobster knuckle sandwich and the fried oyster and blue cheese-filled New York strip are just two examples of delicious food you can enjoy in a pleasant atmosphere. Yum.

9# Enjoy at Folk’s Folly

The she-crab soup and au gratin potatoes at Folk’s Folly, a popular steakhouse in Memphis, are just a few of the restaurant’s standout sides and appetizers. Large and small events may feel at home here, thanks to the kitchen team’s attentive service and meticulous planning.

10# Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

At Gus’s, they fry up flawlessly crispy, delightfully juicy, and slightly spicy chicken every day. Thousands of Memphians and tourists from all over the globe stand in line for it! Also, it has an addictive quality. They serve famous fried chicken with white bread and sides like greens and fried okra at this downtown Memphis hole-in-the-wall. There, the batter recipe is a closely kept family secret. Your tastebuds couldn’t ask for much more, could they?

A bowl of fried chicken.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is among the top 10 restaurants in Memphis for a reason.

Bottom line

We hope that we’ve intrigued your imagination at least a little bit with this list of the top 10 restaurants in Memphis, TN. So, what are you waiting for? Go visit at least one of them and let

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