Food & Drink

The 9 Best Bloody Marys in Memphis

Published On 07/13/2015 Published On 07/13/2015
Majestic Grille
Owen Brennan's
Holly Whitfield/Thrillist
Holly Whitfield/Thrillist
Alchemy
Bardog
South of Beal
Holly Whitfield/Thrillist
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1. The Majestic Grille 145 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103 (South Main)

Centrally located Downtown, the Majestic Grille embodies all the glamour of its silver screen heyday. The cavernous restaurant used to be a movie theater, and the space maintains its original Art Deco feel with staggeringly high ceilings, gold embellishments, and an actual movie screen onto which Hollywood classics are projected. The menu consists of market-driven sandwiches, salads, and flatbread pizzas, but be sure to try standouts like the roasted mahi mahi with grilled artichoke butter and the addicting Parmesan fries.

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2. Owen Brennan's 6150 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38119 (East Memphis)

The NOLA-inspired eatery boasts a brunch buffet that fills the entire room, featuring Gulf favorites like fresh crawfish, shrimp, oysters, gumbo, and jambalaya. With salad, seafood, bread, entrée, and cooked-to-order stations, you’ll be overwhelmed by sights and smells, so plan to spend a couple of hours taking it all in. At Owen Brennan’s, dessert is an all-meal-long affair. Try chocolate-covered strawberries, mini eclairs, brownies, cheesecake, chocolate mousse, lemon tarts, banana pudding cups, and cookies, and, while you’re indulging, you might as well get the Bloody Marys and Mint Juleps a-flowin’.

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3. Celtic Crossing 903 South Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104 (Cooper Young)

Bangers and rashers meet French toast and cheesy eggs and at this neighborhood Irish pub during weekend brunch. Stopping by weekdays after work? Opt for lunch and dinner options like stuffed sweet peppers with corned beef and Swiss cheese, homemade potato and leek soup, and beer-battered chicken & chips. Sit inside with fellow sports lovers and gather around the projector for daily sportscasts, or enjoy mellow live music and a mimosa carafe on the spacious, heated patio.

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4. The Bayou Bar & Grill 2094 Madison Ave, Memphis, TN 38104 (Midtown)

The Bayou Bar & Grill is the place for laid-back Midtowners to stumble to on weekend mornings. Here, traditional brunch dishes are inflected with Cajun flavors, like the Creole Benedict with two poached eggs on a buttermilk biscuit with Andouille sausages, crawfish, Creole hollandaise, and bacon cheddar grits and Eggs Pontchantran with fried oysters and bacon. The Bayou pours up a nationally acclaimed Bloody Mary, which, of course, you’ll want to down for some good ol’ fashioned hair of the dog relief, so come early (especially for a coveted spot on the patio) and come often.

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5. Beauty Shop 966 Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104 (Cooper Young)

Chef and restaurateur Karen Carrier's menu at The Beauty Shop is a myriad of bold international flavors and is just as inventive as the location: a 60's-era beauty salon redone with a few wash sinks and hair dryers still intact, redone as a swanky, eclectic restaurant with ravioli, crêpes,and beet-stained salmon gravlax.

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6. Alchemy 940 South Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104 (Cooper Young)

The appropriately-named Alchemy offers the kind of dim, sexy atmosphere and sophisticated cocktails you might associate with Manhattan rather than our Midtown area. From behind the spacious bar, bartenders produce craft cocktails with ingredients that might be new to you, like The Alchemist (Eagle Rare, Antica, Aperol, and Peychaud bitters), and there're bourbon and scotch lists and a small plates menu.

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7. Bardog Tavern 73 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38103 (Downtown)

Bardog Tavern offers a brunch to end all brunches, one that’s hearty, simple, and heavy on the meat and carbs. Get a New York Strip and eggs, pancakes, French toast, or an avocado- and spicy mayo-laden lobster sandwich. The gastropub is ornamented with industrial elements, like exposed brick, red leather banquette booths, and bicycles hanging from the ceiling (hinting that a meal this indulgent might necessitate a bit of exercise). Plus there are inexpensive Bloody Marys, mimosas, and "cheap screws," should you need some hair of the bardog.

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8. South of Beale 361 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103 (South Main)

South of Beale gastropub scores with its daily happy hour offering cheap beer, liquor drinks, and wines, plus $6 bar bites when hunger strikes. You can taste the South with the fried chicken & waffle sliders, and the South tastes good. If you feel like supporting your home team through alcohol consumption, you can also snag a blue-hued Grizz shot for just 3 bucks, anytime. The gastropub also features local artists and charities, so you can drink charitably.

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9. The Second Line 2144 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38104 (Midtown)

As the casual cousin of Chef Kelly English's Restaurant Iris, The Second Line offers up simple, authentic New Orleans fare: think juicy roast beef po' boys with bread delivered fresh from NOLA as well as heaping trays of fried seafood, crawfish pimento cheese fries, "fancy ass cole slaw," and Natchitoches meat pies, and herb-infused cocktails.