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Charles Vergos' Rendezvous

$$
Downtown
Barbecue, Latvian
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52 South 2nd Street, Memphis, TN 38103-2628
+1 901-523-2746
Website
Today
4:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Tue - Thu 4:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Fri 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sat 11:30 am - 11:00 pm
Dining options: Dessert, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Delivery, Late Night, Reservations, Takeout
Description: The Rendezvous, founded by Charlie Vergos in 1948, started out as an 80...
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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,157 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 779
    Excellent
  • 607
    Very good
  • 451
    Average
  • 187
    Poor
  • 133
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Unique place with storied past.Good cheap eats in a crowded place.

If you are touring, this place is for you. Very busy and not fancy, but excellent ribs at a reasonable price. The three of us had only a 30 minute wait on a weekend night.

4 of 5 starsReviewed May 27, 2015
tvlbuddy
,
Arizona
Good for:
  • Local cuisine
  • Large groups
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2,157 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Rugby, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2015 NEW

On our first proper night in Memphis we came here for dinner on the back of a recommendation from a guy in Nashville, and we had a great meal. The restaurant was packed so we had to wait a while to get in. Also, the service after that point was a little slow, however the food was excellent. Go for... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Arizona
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2015 NEW

If you are touring, this place is for you. Very busy and not fancy, but excellent ribs at a reasonable price. The three of us had only a 30 minute wait on a weekend night.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Nashville, Tennessee
Top Contributor
159 reviews 159 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015 NEW

I had read several reviews recently talking about the decline of the rendezvous. I was worried. I had not eaten here in 17 years. I took my family back to Memphis for a quick weekend and we visited. We LOVED it. I was not disappointed. The ribs are some of my favorite all time (I like a dry rub ribs).... More 

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New Castle, Delaware
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015 NEW

Went for lunch during a road trip. They're not officially opened for lunch but offer a limited menu. Downtown Memphis, they have a valet which was great for us because we wanted security for our car loaded to the gills. We each had a half of rack of rib, meat fell off the bone. Very tasty. Cole slaw was outstanding.... More 

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Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015 NEW

Traditional dry rubbed ribs and sauce on the side if you like it. Very tasty and quite a crowd for a mid week stop. The brisket was delicious also.

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Memphis, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015 NEW

So, it is sort of an inside Memphis joke: people come to visit and they want to eat at Rendezvous. Maybe it was on the food channel? Once upon a time, it would have been the only real BBQ place downtown, which maybe helped solidify this weird yen people have. But Central and JJs are way better, and cooler too.... More 

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Pembroke Pines, Florida
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015 NEW

Best Bar B Que in Memphis. Everything was good, and believe me, we tried it all. Finger Licking Good!!!!

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Chicago, Illinois, United States
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015 NEW

Brought my boys (10 & 13) and my father during our 'boys trip to Memphis'. The guys really enjoyed the meal and the service was really good for what the Rendezvous is and is trying to be. GREAT RIBS!!! Loved the sauce! We did have a teenager did not care for the slaw, the rest of us loved the vinegar... More 

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Buffalo, Missouri
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015 NEW

Dry rub ribs - YumO! We're used to lots of sauce, but the way the dry rub caramelizes on the ribs...Wow! It was worth the wait.

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Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2015 NEW

This is a must do in Memphis! It doesn't look much from the outside and it isn't fancy at all but it is delicious! We thought the ribs were the best we had ever had and could have eaten them again! There was a short wait for a table at around 6pm but only about 10 minutes.

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 52 South 2nd Street, Memphis, TN 38103-2628
  • Location: United States  >  Tennessee (TN)  >  Memphis>  > Downtown
  • Neighborhood: Downtown
  • Phone Number: +1 901-523-2746

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 15 - 20
  • Cuisine: Barbecue, Latvian

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Local cuisine, Large groups

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.
Open Hours
Tuesday
4:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Wednesday
4:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Thursday
4:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Friday
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Saturday
11:30 am - 11:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Charles Vergos' Rendezvous staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?