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Charles Vergos' Rendezvous

52 South 2nd Street, Memphis, TN 38103-2628 (Downtown)
(901) 523-2746
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Ranked #97 of 1,263 restaurants in Memphis
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: Barbecue
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Takeout, Delivery, Late Night, Dessert
Neighborhood: Downtown
Description: The Rendezvous, founded by Charlie Vergos in 1948, started out as an 80 seat tavern serving ham and cheese sandwiches. When Charlie cleaned out the basement beneath his diner, he discovered a coal chute and started a barbecue legend. The coal chute gave Mr. Charlie a vent for his considerable talent over the grill. He developed a unique seasoning fusing his Greek heritage with spices he enjoyed from New Orleans. Mr. Charlie was a collector and hung antiques, memorabilia, and artwork on the walls. This, along with a soulful jukebox, lively waiters, and aromas from the kitchen helped him to create an atmosphere unequalled in the city of Memphis. Today, the restaurant is still in the Vergos family and run by Mr. Charlie's three kids. The ribs still taste the same as they did in the beginning. Ribs are the Rendezvous' specialty. Years ago, people started calling them "dry ribs" which is a terrible misnomer. The ribs are neither "wet" nor "dry." They are moist and juicy and come heavily basted in a vinegar solution that should be used for dipping, and they are sprinkled with our unique Rendezvous seasoning. Any use of sauce should be on the side. Most of the main dishes come with a 4 oz side of baked beans and a unique mustard/vinegar based cole slaw. Should you want additional sides, they may be purchased for only $1. While Rendezvous is famous for its ribs, don't overlook the other items on the menu. From the beef brisket to the pulled pork shoulder sandwich to grilled chicken everything is excellent and well seasoned. The newest item, the greek salad, is a recipe that comes all the way from the Vergos' village back in Greece. On your way out, pick up a bag of BBQ popcorn.The Rendezvous can handle parties as large as 300, call us for reservations. Reservations are accepted for 15 people or more during the week and 25 people or more on the weekend based on availablity. Our main dining area is in a basement. If you require elevator access please let our hostess know.
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1,664 reviews from our community

61% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
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English first
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014 NEW

Ribs are not my favorite meal—a lot of mess and effort to eat. But after going to Rendezvous, I’ve changed my mind. They use a delicious dry rub and there’s plenty of meat on the bone. We gobbled up the first order quickly so we ordered a second helping and that was finished up in good order as well. We... More

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14 reviews 14 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014 NEW

The service here was impeccable but I was not too impressed with the barbecue. The ribs weren't as good as they were hyped up to be. They had good chicken. The sides weren't good at all. There was not fascinating about the sausage either.

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Little Rock, Arkansas
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014 NEW

I have tried both the ribs and thr lamb riblets here and the ribs are good however the lamb is simply amazing. You have to queue outside after leaving your name downstairs however it is well worth the wait. Everything comes with coleslaw and beans and the waiters are very dry and funny. The atmosphere is busy and fun and... More

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Jacksonville, Florida
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014 NEW

We wanted a good sampling of Memphis BBQ on this trip. My wife and I grew up in Ohio, and then moved to North Carolina for several years. We now live in Florida, and have traveled throughout the country. One thing we have learned is that BBQ means many different things, and each area of the country puts it's own... More

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Boulder, Colorado
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014 NEW

This is a high traffic and tourist kind place. The ribs are pretty good..not really world class...but pretty consistent. At a lot of places the quality of ribs is hit or miss...here you get the same results. Same for the side items..but nothing really outstanding. With the ribs comes a unique atmosphere. The waiters are awesome..the whole place has a... More

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19 reviews 19 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 NEW via mobile

Great traditional ribs. Underneath piles of dry rub there are meaty, smoky, delicious ribs. This place is an international phenomenon and its location and atmosphere is legendary. Great ribs, fantastic pulled pork and meatless red beans and rice (a little spicy for our vegetarian). Apart from the meat, the star here was our server, Rob Jr. He gave us excellent... More

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
5 reviews 5 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 NEW

Just made my third trip to the Rendezvous and have a had a great experience each time. It is a blast walking down those steps from the alley and stepping back in time to one of Memphis' great barbeque joints. The food and experience has been one of my favorite parts of my Memphis experience. The place is packed at... More

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Brandon, Mississippi
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

We had a party of 12 around 6:00 on a Saturday night...only had a 20 min wait & was served within 30 mins! Very impressive. I had the ribs and they were great, a large order was enough for me to share my plate. My only complaint was I was not impressed with the sides (but I'm a ff or... More

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Fort Worth, Texas
Top Contributor
158 reviews 158 reviews
89 restaurant reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

Had dinner here one evening and was seated in one of the many rooms in the large, rambling old building. The space and interiors have lots of history and character. Many of the walls are brick and covered in historic photos and memorabilia. Dining rooms have there own themes going on but all are interesting and bustling. The service was... More

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Hogsfly, Owner at Charles Vergos' Rendezvous, responded to this review

Thank you for your kind review, and especially for debunking this argument The Rendezvous is a "tourist trap" as if we lure people into our restaurant and then fleece them of money. The Rendezvous continues to be a local favorite. We would not have been in business since 1948 without our local support. We have won best ribs in most... More

Nashville, Tennessee
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

If you like dry rub this is the place for you. Its not a upscale place, but the food is great. Don't expect to get in quick and plan on staying awhile its not a quick trip. I see people saying its a tourist trap. Not so. Lots of locals frequent the place. I can safely say Ill be back... More

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