Whether you are visiting the Birthplace of Rock and Roll to explore the home of some of the most famous musicians worldwide or want to try a Memphis-style barbecue, you are guaranteed a good time.
Sometimes called the biggest little city in America, Memphis has a population of just over half a million – you get a metropolitan vibe and a welcoming feel all at once when you are walking in Memphis.
Memphis is not all barbecue and Elvis, though. Some of the best brunch places in the South are here. Chicken and waffles, mimosas, and comfort food abound, Bluff City brunch gives you a taste of Southern hospitality. From my favorite brunch item, shrimp and grits, to classics like eggs benedict, Memphis serves brunch for everyone. I’ve rounded up my top picks for brunch in Memphis, ranging from top-notch-fine-dining to breakfast nooks. Read on for the best brunch in Memphis.
145 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103
The Majestic Grille oozes style. Decorated with art deco vibes and silent films on screen, eating here makes you feel like an old Hollywood star. Offering classics with modern twists, your brunch at Majestic will never be boring. From their filet mignon benedict, breakfast burger, and sides like sausage gravy and cheese grits, you get a kicked-up Southern feast. Chef Reilly continuously wins Best Chef and Best Restaurant awards – including Best Restaurateur in 2019. The Majestic Grille is a two-minute walk from legendary Beale Street and Orpheum Theatre.
The Beauty Shop
966 Cooper St #5611, Memphis, TN 38104
The Beauty Shop is the most innovative brunch spot on this list and is my all-time favorite. The setting is an old beauty shop, and the dining chairs look like old hairdryers! The Beauty Shop was Priscilla Presley’s salon of choice and turned into the hip cafe of today in 1987. The Beauty Shop has different weekend brunch menus. Saturday offers their famous Watermelon & Wings, while Sunday serves waffles, french toast, and customizable biscuit sandwiches. Both brunch menus are bold, quirky, and just adventurous enough to get you out of your comfort zone. You can look good, eat well, and be safe with a short walk from the Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market, which is open Saturday mornings. Grab a delicious brunch after shopping for fun Memphis goodies.
50 Harbor Town Square, Memphis, TN 38103
Maybe Southern food isn’t your thing, or you want to try something more high-end? Paulette’s Restaurant should be at the top of your list. They serve French and Hungarian-inspired dishes in an old-but-glamorous setting. My favorite pick from Paulette’s is the Ham Palacsinta, a Hungarian dish made with a crepe, ham, mustard sauce, apples, and sour cream. Another bonus is you get fresh popovers and strawberry jam complimentary with every meal. Paulette’s is on the Harbortown Circle, a famous water-side road with restaurants and quaint shops. I recommend checking out the shopping after you have brunch!
83 S 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38103
Known for its eclectic southern-tropical fare, Automatic Slims is a fun ride all around. With small details like mini rubber ducks in martinis and a 100oz mimosa pitcher, it is no wonder Automatic Slims is one of the most loved brunch spots in the city. What I love at Automatic Slims the most has to be their waffle and pancake offerings. Whenever I need a bit of indulgence, I go for the Oreo waffle. Also, try the Elvis pancakes, a stack layered with peanut butter and bananas. For the ultimate Memphis experience, book a stay right across the street at The Peabody Memphis, a historic hotel with luxurious amenities.
3519 Walker Ave, Memphis, TN 38111
Are you looking for something more casual for brunch? Brother Juniper’s offers diner vibes with terrific food. Known for their creative omelets and plethora of potato dishes, Brother Juniper’s provides a unique dining experience. I love a sweet breakfast, so their cinnamon roll pancakes are my go-to. If I am in the mood for something sweet and savory, I get the Monte Cristo. They also have great coffee that is locally roasted and a souvenir shop! Brother Juniper’s is near the University of Memphis, cornering Walker Street and South Highland.
4523 Summer Ave, Memphis, TN 38122
If authentic Southern cuisine is what you are looking for, look no further. Elwood’s Shack serves famous barbecues, country breakfasts, and legendary hot dogs. A little-known secret, though, is that Elwood’s has some of the best brunches in Memphis. From the classics like french toast and pancakes to barbecue eggs benedict, Elwood’s never disappoints. Although it is a bit off the beaten path, this place is worth the visit if you love Southern food (or want to try it for the first time). Elwood’s Shack is next to a Lowe’s Hardware on Highway US-64. It is about twenty minutes outside of downtown Memphis.
492 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103
Get back into the city with Rizzo’s Diner, one of our favorite places to eat. Chef Michael Patrick won Southern Living’s Best Chicken Pot Pie award, so you know its quality. You will dine in simple, traditional digs and enjoy spicy Tennessee favorites. Rizzo’s has a diverse menu with flavors from all around the world, combined with Southern staples. From their Andouille sausage and grits to their curry edamame scramble, you will take a journey. Learn more about Memphis at the Civil Rights Museum and the Lorraine Motel, or make your way to the Blues Museum just a block north. Either way, a trip to Rizzo’s means embracing Memphis culture at its finest.
670 Jefferson Ave, Memphis, TN 38105
Having fun brunch in Memphis starts at Sunrise. Serving top-notch biscuits and other brunch feasts, this quick-serve spot is a must-have in Memphis. Better yet, they are available all day, every day. With light options like The Fit and the super-yummy stack of pancakes, you cannot go wrong at Sunrise. I love the atmosphere as well. It is colorful and has a family-owned vibe. You walk in and feel right at home. After you finish your world-class biscuit, stop across the street at the Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum, an old Victorian house with rotating history exhibits.
6150 Poplar Ave #150, Memphis, TN 38119
Cajun and Creole-style food is a Southern staple, and no one does it better than Owen Brennan’s. They bring spicy New Orleans favorites to downtown Memphis. From Crawfish Étouffée to their legendary Jambalaya, Owen Brennan’s packs every meal with flavor. Owen Brennan’s serves a legendary Sunday Brunch Buffet each week, offering diners an array of Creole-style breakfast and Bloody Marys. Their brunch buffet was voted the Best Brunch in Memphis by Memphis magazine. It is about 25 minutes from downtown, but the drive is worth it.Spicy food is not my thing (at all), but even I manage to find flavorful dishes at Owen Brennan’s. I’m impartial to the Hussarde, a twist on eggs benedict with fried green tomatoes. After you finish your NOLA-approved meal, have a shopping spree at the Regalia Mall, the center that Owen Brennan’s calls home.
The Second Line
2144 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38104,
Another Cajun-inspired restaurant, The Second Line, has authentic cuisine cooked by a New Orleans native. I love this spot for Sunday brunch, it has so much personality, and the food is spectacular. The Eggs in Purgatory dish are a personal favorite, followed closely by irrationally good barbecue shrimp. The best part of a Second Line brunch, though, has to be their mimosa special. After you finish your first glass, your second mimosa is on the house – cheers! If you want to explore the Memphis fine arts scene, The Second Line is a perfect start. It is surrounded by performing arts theatres like the Hattiloo and The Circuit.
South of Beale Restaurant
345 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103
Enjoy a blend of brunch staples and globally-inspired dishes at South of Beale. With selections like duck fried rice and cinnamon rolls, there is something for everyone. They also serve screwdrivers, bellinis, and other brunch cocktails. Whenever I head to South of Beale for brunch, I know I have to get their fried chicken. As a Southerner, there is nothing better than fried chicken on a Sunday. Also, because I have a sweet tooth, I get their delicious cinnamon rolls. Their decor is modern but welcoming, and I love the rustic look of the bar. South of Beale Restaurant is on the corner of Vance and South Main. I suggest browsing the antique shops nearby!
Stone Soup Cafe & Market
993 Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104
If down-home country cooking is your cup of tea, Stone Soup is for you. Serving up old southern favorites like cat head biscuits and hash browns, you will never leave hungry. The atmosphere at Stone Soup is casual and glimmers with Southern hospitality. What I love about Stone Soup is the homey feel. It reminds me of the breakfasts my family makes back home and tastes nearly as good. The country sausage is a cannot miss, particularly when paired with a cup of fresh coffee. Stone Soup serves Sunday brunch until 3 pm, so no need to rush your day in Memphis. Whenever you are ready to stop by, look for the white house on the corner of Cooper and Felix.
The Arcade Restaurant
540 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103,
Take a trip to the past at The Arcade, the oldest diner in Memphis. Frequented by Elvis and loved by locals, The Arcade is all about nostalgia. They offer new specials daily and have typical delicious diner food. I’m a big fan of the spiked milkshakes and their country ham breakfast, but their beignets are also contenders. Another reason I cannot get enough of The Arcade is the fun 50s vibe. From the small booths to the bright blue ceiling, The Arcade is never dull. I suggest going here around October, so you can visit the nearby Historical Haunts of Memphis and go on a spooky ghost tour.
Tug’s Casual Grill
51 Harbor Town Square, Memphis, TN 38103
Across the street from Paulette’s sits Tug’s Casual Grill, a family-friendly haunt serving top-notch unpretentious fare. Enjoy your meal with panoramic views of the Mississippi River. The chicken and waffles at Tug’s are world-famous, as are their many varieties of eggs benedict. I always order the Tugwreck Benedict, a Southern twist on the traditional eggs benedict with griddled biscuits. Harbor Town is one of the most popular destinations in Memphis, and Tug’s brings the beauty of the district to light. Take a stroll along the river at the steps-away Greenbelt Park after your brunch – the ideal brunch date!
431 S Highland St #120, Memphis, TN 38111
With $5 mimosas and bloody marys, Char is a brunch legend. I swear by their Croque Madame and their crab benedict. Char is the place to be if you want to splurge and treat yourself to a luxurious meal. Despite how refined and classy Char is, the environment has an inviting Memphis charm. If you are a steak lover, their meats are USDA-certified prime cuts – be sure to try the steak benedict if you want to give their meats a try. Char is near the University of Memphis, a few blocks from Brother Juniper’s. Walk straight up South Highland, and you will be there in no time.
Sweet Grass Memphis
937 Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104
Chef Ryan Trimm opened the doors at Sweet Grass Memphis in 2010, and it has been a legend ever since. Serving Lowcountry grub with a mix of Memphis classics, Sweet Grass gives farm-to-table a new name. Sweet Grass never has the same brunch menu twice, so you never know what to expect. Past menus have included crispy chicken and waffles and savory grits. The vibe of Sweet Grass leans casual, so leave your tie at home – but look presentable. This spot is right up the street from The Beauty Shop, next to the Cooper-Young Historic District.
Serving two Memphis locations Southern food with Latin flair, Babalu gives patrons an adventurous Sunday brunch. Indulge in their Monte Cristo (served with dulce de leche french toast) or an Irish Cream cocktail – either way, you will have a bold meal in a modern setting. If you love tacos and other Latin foods, Babalu has you covered. They have several options with crispy avocado, fresh chorizo, and more. It is ideal for those who enjoy inventive food, but it is nothing too crazy. Check out either Babalu Memphis locations for a flavorful weekend brunch. Their East Memphis location is about 25 minutes from downtown, while their Overton location is closer to the center of town – about a 4-minute drive.