In beautiful West, Tennessee is the second most populated city in the state, Memphis. Memphis is one of the most visited cities in the state, next to Nashville. Memphis may be best known for Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley recording albums here and Graceland, but the food scene should be another reason to visit.
Whether you’re a local, or visiting the area, you’ll want to check out the amazing restaurants around the city. You’ll find your fair share of finger-licking BBQ spots, fine-dining establishments, and everything in between. The food scene in Memphis has a little bit of everything. Next time you’re wondering where to eat in Memphis, check out these tasty spots.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
There’s something the South knows how to do better than most, and that’s to make fried chicken. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is unassuming from the outside, but the food will send your taste buds on a journey. This joint has been owned and operated by the Bonner family for more than 60 years. If you’re in the mood for fried chicken and delicious Southern sides, you’re in the right place. At Gus’s, you’ll find a selection of fried chicken to order. You can order thighs, wings, chicken tenders, and more. Their fried green tomatoes were the perfect starter, and I rounded out my lunch with their three-piece wing plate with their homemade baked beans.
50 Harbor Town Square, Memphis, TN 38103
Paulette’s Restaurant is located right on the Mississippi River, where you’ll be able to see Aransas when you’re standing outside. This restaurant is the perfect combination of upscale yet casual. It’s become a popular spot for visitors and locals alike to gather for special occasions or simply when you’re craving a fantastic meal. This restaurant has a menu for every time of the day. From breakfast through dinner and, of course, dessert, you could spend all day tasting the chef’s creations. I dined here for dinner and started my meal off with their smoked deviled eggs. Since I was sitting on the water, I was craving seafood. I opted for the Gulf redfish and crab meat. It was to die for.
Thomas Boggs opened Huey’s in 1976, and even though he has since passed away, the restaurant has stayed operational within the family. It’s a super casual eatery with red and white checkered tablecloths and some of the best customer service you’ll find in the city. The best part about popping into Huey’s is feeling like you’re family, even if you’re not. Huey’s has everything you could want from a classic American-style restaurant. They have burgers, wings, bar bites, and soups and salads. The servers were raving about the delicious burgers, so my friend and I ordered two to share. We had to try the world-famous Huey burger, but we also ordered the old-time A1 burger.
On Main Street, between Monroe & Madison Ave, Memphis, TN 38103
If you’re looking for one of the best restaurants in Memphis for fine dining, Felicia Suzanne’s needs to be on your list. Felicia Suzzane opened her restaurant more than 15 years ago to the people of Memphis in a beautiful historic building. Since opening its doors, this joint has been the perfect date night spot. The food at Felicia Suzanne’s is upscale Southern cuisine. I couldn’t make it in for their fried chicken Fridays, but if you can, you should. I took one look at the menu and knew that I had to order the short rib gnudi, containing short ribs and ricotta dumplings. Their cocktail menu was also very impressive, and the amaretto sour paired well with my meal.
Flight Restaurant Memphis
39 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103
You’ll find Flight Restaurant in the heart of downtown Memphis. The restaurant has plenty of seating options. The main dining room, the patio outside, the bar, and my favorite, the balcony, overlook downtown. This is the perfect place to get all dressed up and treat yourself. My favorite part about this restaurant is that you’ll see a specific wine they recommend with every selection or category on every menu. The elk tenderloin caught my eye, and it didn’t disappoint. It came with truffle white cheddar macaroni, mushrooms, and a Kahula glaze. Be sure to check out their wine flight selection.
Soul Fish Cafe
Soul Fish Cafe is one of the best Memphis restaurants that offer authentic soul food. This modern soul food restaurant boasts a lot of fish decor throughout. It’s a super casual spot to enjoy one of the best meals you’ll eat while in the city. This Southern joint is known for the best fried catfish and fresh veggies. That being said, I had to order the fried catfish. It came with some of the best hush puppies I’ve ever had and coleslaw. If you’re not thrilled about fried catfish, they have plenty of other delicious meals to order. For example, there are po’boys, salads, tacos, and more.
145 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103
Right on Main Street in downtown Memphis, you’ll find Majestic Grille. The restaurant is stunning from floor to ceiling. There are gorgeous hardwood floors, wooden tables, and twinkle string lights. It’s the perfect spot for a nice dinner before a show, lunch, or even brunch on the weekends. Their dinner menu is filled with a little bit of everything. They offer entree plates, salads, burgers, and their signature flatbreads. When I stopped in, our server recommended any of their five flatbreads. I love good suggestions, and their smoked salmon flatbread was absolutely fantastic. I’m a sucker for french fries, so I had to try their parmesan fries with my flatbread.
The Second Line
2144 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38104
Kelly English has a passion for New Orleans cuisine and wanted to share his love for the fantastic food with the people of Memphis. He opened The Second Line, and it’s become a hot spot for visitors and locals. While the restaurant is pretty casual, the food and drinks make you feel like you’re dining in the finest restaurant. Since the main focus at The Second Line is New Orleans cuisine, I had to order a cup of chicken and andouille gumbo to start my meal. From there, there’s a selection of po’boys and seafood entrees. I tried the roast beef and gravy po’ boy with a side of red beans and rice.
Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken
3633 Millbranch Rd, Memphis, TN 38116
Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken opened in 2001 and quickly became a staple in the Memphis community. The food is even served at every single University of Memphis home football game. Uncle Lou grew up cooking for himself and his younger siblings, making him fall in love with food, especially fried chicken. The menu offers a selection of wings, chicken tender baskets, family-size meals, and various handheld meals. Whatever you order, you can’t forget to try Uncle Lou’s honey butter biscuits and his homemade potato salad as a side dish.
The Beauty Shop
966 Cooper St #5611, Memphis, TN 38104
The Beauty Shop is by far one of the more unique restaurants in Memphis, so you have to try it. This restaurant is decorated like a 50s beauty shop where the motto is: “Look good. Eat good.” This trendy spot used to be the home of Priscilla Presley’s curl-and-dye shop. You can eat lunch, dinner, or brunch at The Beauty Shop. Their dinner menu has plenty of small bites, salads, and what they call big bites. As for their brunch menu, they have eggs, waffles, brunch cocktails, sandwiches—you name it! You have to try their blueberry buttermilk pancakes if you ever get a chance to eat here for brunch.
Terrace at River Inn
50 Harbor Town Square, Memphis, TN 38103
If you’re looking for a restaurant that also lets you catch a gorgeous sunset over the Mississippi, Terrace at River Inn is the place to be. Regardless of where you’re sitting, you’ll have floor-to-ceiling windows, allowed natural light, and the best sunset views you’ll find in Memphis. Even if you miss the sunset, it’s still a beautiful restaurant to dine at during the day or night. Terrace at River Inn’s menu is broken down into large and small plates and plenty of cocktails, wine, and beer. The small plates are perfect for sharing with friends because you can order several and try a bunch of items. Whatever you order, be sure to check out their extensive wine list.
Rizzo’s By Michael Patrick
492 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103
Michael Patrick’s restaurant, Rizzo’s, is the epitome of redefining Southern cuisine. This modern eatery boasts beautiful floral arrangements on every table. There are white table cloths, linen napkins, and some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet who work there. The food at Rizzo’s has been recognized by many outlets, including Southern Living Magazine. The menu is elegant Southern cuisine, and since Southern Living Magazine said that they have the South’s best chicken pot pie, you know I had to try it. If chicken pot pie isn’t your style, they have plenty of delicious entrees like meatloaf, steaks, and lighter salads too.
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen
712 W Brookhaven Cir, Memphis, TN 38117
If you’re in Memphis and craving some authentic Italian food, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen should be your next stop. The chefs at this restaurant take inspiration from traditional Italian dishes and cooking techniques to provide a more modern take. The atmosphere is elegant but not so refined that you’ll feel out of place with jeans and a nice top. They have everything you’d ever want in an Italian restaurant, from pasta dishes, risotto, seafood, and cannolis. There’s nothing on the menu you can order and be disappointed with, but some of the favorite dishes include their maw maw’s ravioli, potato gnocchi, and limoncello cannolis.
2146 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38104
Restaurant Iris is another creation from Kelly English. He and his team decided to open a restaurant that strives to know where everything on their plate comes from. In 2008, Restaurant Iris opened its doors in Midtown Memphis. Since then, the restaurant got a brand new look in 2018. The menu at Restaurant Iris is relatively small, but it still packs a mean punch. The cuisine is upscale with offerings like roasted bone marrow, duck confit, and more. It’s hard to choose one entree to eat here when everything sounds phenomenal. Whatever you choose to order, the white peach cheesecake needs to be your dessert of choice.
Cozy Corner BBQ
735 North Pkwy, Memphis, TN 38105
You can’t go to Tennessee without eating at a barbeque joint. Cozy Corner BBQ has been serving some of the best barbeque food in Memphis since 1977. The people who work at Cozy Corner BBQ love sharing their meals with people as well as a taste of Memphis, Tennessee culture. As you would expect from a barbeque restaurant, Cozy Corner offers various dinner plates, a la carte meats, sandwiches, sandwich plates, side dishes, and a variety of barbeque sauces. They offer sauces ranging from mild to very spicy, allowing everyone to really customize their dining experience.
551 S Mendenhall Rd, Memphis, TN 38117
Folk’s Folly is Memphis’ original prime steakhouse. If you’re craving steak, Folk’s Folly will satisfy that craving. Since 1977, Folk’s Folly has been the spot for business dinners, special occasions, date nights, and family gatherings. The restaurant is still within the Folk family, with many members playing an active role in the business. Even though the menu offers more than just steak, you won’t want to order anything else here. Well, besides a nice glass of wine and delicious side dish, of course. They offer a variety of steak cuts such as ribeye, porterhouse, and filet mignon. The best part is that they offer nine different potato side dishes. My favorite was the garlic potato casserole.