Food & Drink

The Best Restaurants in Memphis Right Now

Published On 10/04/2017 Published On 10/04/2017
hog & hominy
hog & hominy | Sarah Rossi Voigt/Thrillist
Bounty on Broad

Bounty on Broad

Broad Avenue

Bounty's consistent quality and delicious flavors are bringing people from all over the city to Broad Ave. Quietly gluten-free, the menu is packed full of local meats and vegetables made for sharing. Try the chicken under a brick (half a chicken cooked under a brick from the original structure of the building, with smoked creamed corn and sautéed swiss chard).

Courtesy of The Second Line

The Second Line

Midtown

Kelly English's more casual undertaking is a little slice of NOLA. Case in point: his po-boys are about as good as it gets. The Besh Barbecue shrimp and i.b.y.a. (I beat your ass) shrimp are also strong cases to make the trip. The inside is lovely, but the minute the temperature rises above 50, people swarm the large patio. Be sure to get here early, as there is rarely an empty seat.

Holly Whitfield/Thrillist

The Beauty Shop Restaurant

Cooper Young

The Beauty Shop's decor is among the best in the city and the menu follow suit. You haven't really done brunch until you've had brunch at the Beauty Shop. A Bad Boy Bloody Mary or a Big Boy mimosa gets you started. The beignets, egg pizzette, and chilaquiles migas are the standards. And you can even get a copy of the Sunday Times added to the meal. Need more reasons to stop by? Try lunch or dinner during the week and delicious late night drinks.

BAR DKDC

Bar DKDC

Cooper Young

Despite the name (Don't Know Don't Care), Karen Carrier put a lot of thought into every aspect of the Beauty Shop's sister restaurant next door. It's dark and cozy, with an ever changing menu of small plates, sandwiches, and entrees. Most people think of DKDC as a bar and music venue, but don't sleep on the dinner options.

Courtesy of Felicia Suzanne's

Felicia Suzanne's Restaurant

Downtown

Known for consistently good food/drinks, Felicia Suzanne's is serving up southern classics that are the perfect choice for downtown dining. Felicia also keeps things casual with her Friday lunches (featuring the $0.25 martini), patio dining, and Thursday night Tacos & Tunes (weather permitting).

Bari Ristorante E Enoteca

Bari Ristorante e Enoteca

Midtown

There are three primary reasons to love Bari: great food, wine, and attentive service. Starting -- or ending -- the night there with a specialty cocktail or aperitif, a cheese plate, and the fruiti di mare fritti is totally the way to go. Of course enjoying a luxurious multi-course meal in the lovely (and quiet!) dining room isn't half bad either.

Justin Fox Burks

Loflin Yard

Downtown

The latest offering from the minds behind Tennessee Brewery and Bounty on Broad is extraordinary. Modeled after Bacchanal Wine in New Orleans, Loflin is essentially a park with a lovely bar and restaurant in it. It’s considered Downtown’s new backyard, and offers food like brisket, watermelon, romaine salad, and street corn (that all come from the grill). It’s safe to say that everyone will be here all the time and want to try everything on the menu.

LYFE Kitchen

LYFE Kitchen - Downtown Memphis

Downtown

The newly opened Downtown location has most nine-to-fivers flocking to the long-abandoned Chisca Hotel for all manner of healthy dishes. Who would have thought Memphians would ever have a quinoa crunch bowl in their regular lunch rotation? It really is something to see -- and try.

Courtesy of Hog & Hominy

Hog & Hominy

East Memphis

Hog & Hominy is like Andrew Michael’s laid back little bro. A brighter, airier atmosphere, a wood burning pizza oven in plain sight, and waiters dressed in plaid give H&H a homey feel. They not only serve incredible pizzas and cocktails, but also have outdoor seating and bocce ball, where you can finally prove you're proficient at throwing a large ball at a smaller one. Looking for late night dining and brunch? Stop searching, they have that here too.

Courtesy of Andrew Michael

Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen

East Memphis

Andy Ticer & Michael Hudman’s flagship restaurant is a lauded go-to for special occasions, and with the addition of the new 16 seat bar and casual dining area, it’s also the perfect place for a quick cocktail and snack. For those special occasions, the tasting menu is totally the play. If you decide to sidle up to the bar, start with the A/M breakfast and then ask one of the bartenders to suggest a cocktail and pasta pairing (i.e. Hot to Trot & gnocchi sardi).

Holly Whitfield/Thrillist

Porcellino's

East Memphis

All of Andy & Michael’s restaurants are worthy of a dinner at, and Porcellino’s is no exception. It’s great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as grabbing a cocktail and picking up a dinner to go from the butcher. When people say they’ve only been for one of the aforementioned reasons, then they are denying themselves the full experience. Breakfast is marked by nitro coffee, meaty breakfast sandwiches, fresh pastries, and delights like the Dutch baby pancakes. Lunch has great sandwiches and salads, plus the entire breakfast menu. The real standout, however, is dinner. In addition to a menu full of one of a kind dishes, there are dim sum style carts that come around with mini daily specials.

Flickr/Erin Kohlenberg

Ecco on Overton Park

Evergreen

This modern European restaurant tucked in the Evergreen ‘hood is the perfect spot for ladies who lunch (the tables are set with massive wine glasses) and the ultimate spot for an evening cocktail, thanks to the covered back patio and outdoor bar. Lunch favorites include the salmon salad and chorizo burger. The dinner menu wows with specials like grouper sous vide with lemon and thyme, roasted okra, heirloom carrots, lentils, peas, purple onions, and browned butter.

Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Casablanca

Midtown

Owned and operated by Jerusalem native, Aimer Shtaya, Casablanca’s newest Midtown location is laidback and features great outdoor seating. The Middle Eastern menu is spot on and they literally serve the best falafel ever. Ordered with hummus as a starter or in a pita, it’s a must try along with the iced tea, homemade with fresh herbs and Wolf River Honey.

Flickr/Sean Davis

MemPopS

Crosstown Concourse

It’s a thousand degrees outside so naturally, Memphians are looking for delicious ways to cool themselves. MemPops can barely crank out frozen pops fast enough to keep their store, two trucks, and three carts stocked. Made from the freshest ingredients, top sellers are Strawberry, Orange Vanilla, Mexican Chocolate, Peaches n Cream, Pineapple Coconut, Avocado Lime, Reverb Coffee Dulche de Leche, and Banana Nutella. And, uh, no big deal, but they can also dip the pops chocolate.

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1. Bounty on Broad 2519 Broad Ave, Memphis, TN 38112

Bounty's consistent quality and delicious flavors are bringing people from all over the city to Broad Ave. Quietly gluten-free, the menu is packed full of local meats and vegetables made for sharing. Try the chicken under a brick (half a chicken cooked under a brick from the original structure of the building, with smoked creamed corn and sautéed swiss chard).

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2. The Second Line 2144 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

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.

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3. The Beauty Shop Restaurant 966 Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104

Brunch gets a makeover at this Cooper Young hotspot, which is completely packed on Sundays with Midtowners looking for an upgrade to everyday omelettes. Try the Beneduck -- spiced, sugared crispy duck with jalapeño jam -- or country ham with red-eye gravy, green apples, and bleu cheese over eggs and hash browns. Spirits-wise, the Bad Boy Bloody Mary and the Big Boy Mimosa have you covered.

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4. Bar DKDC 964 S Cooper, Memphis, TN 38104

Head to the cozy (read: small) Cooper Young bar for any of the simple cocktails served in Mason jars. Check out the Satsuma Mama with Mississippi Cathead vodka, tangerine juice, and a satsuma peel, or the Blackberry Julep with whiskey, muddled blackberries and mint sugar. Memphis' best local musicians frequently fill half the bar on Thursday and weekend evenings, attracting a standing-room-only crowd that spills out onto the patio or into the tiny old-fashioned photo booth.

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5. Felicia Suzanne's Restaurant 80 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38103

Chef Felicia Suzanne has trained with some of the best to create a unique cooking style that reimagines Southern Creole cuisine with fresh ingredients sourced from local farms. Expect original takes on sweet and savory dishes like sweet potato pie, peach upside down cake, and butternut squash bisque -- and be sure to take one of her cooking classes because she's one hell of a teacher.

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6. Bari Ristorante e Enoteca 22 S Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104

The Bari experience is much like joining someone else's family for the evening: the space is intimate and warm, though never stuffy, and the staff is attentive and informed, taking special care to recommend wines and cheeses from the changing menu based on your preferences. Starting -- or ending -- the night there with a specialty cocktail or aperitif, a cheese plate, and the fruiti di mare fritti is a quick way to sample the experience, while enjoying a luxurious multi-course meal in the lovely (and quiet!) dining room isn't half bad either.

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7. Loflin Yard 7 W Carolina Ave, Memphis, TN 38103

Modeled after Bacchanal Wine in New Orleans, Loflin is essentially a park with a lovely bar and restaurant on its grounds. The indoor/outdoor venue is split into a few areas: the Coach House, a building that was originally home to Downtown Memphis' carriage fleet and is now used as Loflin's event space; the Safe House, which features the main dining room and an outdoor deck overlooking the yard's waterfalls; the Front Yard, an outdoor community space with plenty of picnic tables and Adirondack chairs; and the Back Yard, a private green space that's available to book alongside the Coach House. The Loflin's food menu sticks to a family-style Southern format featuring dishes like beef brisket and trout with sides (collard greens, house-made slaw, sweet potato salad), and specialities like house-made sausages and po' boys.

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8. LYFE Kitchen - Downtown Memphis 272 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103

LYFE Kitchen's menu focuses on making delicious, healthy meals that will give you the best quality of life. LYFE's menu offers flatbreads, sandwiches, and salads using locally and sustainably sourced ingredients so that you never have to feel guilty about what you eat. Enjoy LYFE and get comfortable in their spacious indoor seating area, but if you're on the go, online ordering and take out is also available.

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9. Hog & Hominy 707 W Brookhaven Cir, Memphis, TN 38117

Hometown boys Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman's restaurant has a homey feel thanks to a bright & airy atmosphere, a wood-burning pizza oven in plain sight, and waiters dressed in plaid. They not only serve incredible pizzas, like the Fontina, boudin, and scrambled egg-topped Prewitt pie, and cocktails, but also have outdoor seating and bocce ball. Looking for late night dining and brunch? Stop searching, they have that here too.

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10. Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen 712 W Brookhaven Cir, Memphis, TN 38117

When childhood friends Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman opened their first restaurant -- Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen -- in 2008, they combined Memphis' reverence for meat with their own Italian culinary training. The chefs' strength is apparent through consistent execution of an ambitious, seasonally-rotating menu, featuring innovative dishes like the signature "Maw Maw's Ravioli" in a meat gravy, spiny lobster tortellini, and pork belly served with a poached egg, polenta, and house pork rinds. For the adventurous diners, stop by on the monthly "No-Menu Monday" for an omakase-style Italian meal you'll likely never forget.

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11. Porcellino's 711 W. Brookhaven Cr., Memphis, TN 38117

From Andy Ticer & Michael Hudman, Porcellino's manages to impress at every meal. Breakfast is marked by nitro coffee, meaty breakfast sandwiches, fresh pastries, and delights like the Dutch baby pancakes. Lunch has great sandwiches and salads, plus the entire breakfast menu. The real standout, however, is dinner. In addition to a menu full of one of a kind dishes, there are dim sum style carts that come around with mini daily specials. Not in the mood to sit and stay? Grab a cocktail and pick up a dinner to go from the butcher.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Ecco on Overton Park 1585 Overton Park Ave, Memphis, TN 38112

This modern European restaurant tucked in the Evergreen ‘hood is the perfect spot for ladies who lunch (the tables are set with massive wine glasses) and the ultimate spot for an evening cocktail, thanks to the covered back patio and outdoor bar. Lunch favorites include the salmon salad and chorizo burger. The dinner menu wows with specials like grouper sous vide with lemon and thyme, roasted okra, heirloom carrots, lentils, peas, purple onions, and browned butter.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Casablanca 5030 Poplar Ave #7, Memphis, TN 38117

Owned and operated by Jerusalem native, Aimer Shtaya, Casablanca’s newest Midtown location is laidback and features great outdoor seating. The Middle Eastern menu is spot on and they literally serve the best falafel ever. Ordered with hummus as a starter or in a pita, it’s a must try along with the iced tea, homemade with fresh herbs and Wolf River Honey.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. MemPopS 1243 Ridgeway Rd, Memphis, TN 38119

It’s a thousand degrees outside so naturally, Memphians are looking for delicious ways to cool themselves. MemPops can barely crank out frozen pops fast enough to keep their store, two trucks, and three carts stocked. Made from the freshest ingredients, top sellers are Strawberry, Orange Vanilla, Mexican Chocolate, Peaches n Cream, Pineapple Coconut, Avocado Lime, Reverb Coffee Dulche de Leche, and Banana Nutella. And, uh, no big deal, but they can also dip the pops chocolate.