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I need 5 places to eat in Memphis

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New Orleans
9 posts
I need 5 places to eat in Memphis

I definitely want some good BBQ, burgers, and fried chicken. I'm not looking for super fancy restaurants, but rather the places that serve food that you'd have to come to Memphis to get.

Memphis, TN
Level Contributor
1,399 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: I need 5 places to eat in Memphis

For fried chicken - Gus's

For BBQ - There are dozens of good places. If you are downtown, try Rendezvous.

For burgers - IMO, there aren't any really special burgers in Memphis. Huey's is a favorite of most folks, though.

Memphis, Tennessee
Destination Expert
for Memphis
Level Contributor
7,696 posts
173 reviews
2. Re: I need 5 places to eat in Memphis

I'll throw out my 5 and hopefully others will chime in with theirs.

For fried chicken, I agree with Gus's.

For barbecue ribs, I would also have to agree with Rendezvous. However, for pulled pork, I'd say Interstate. (I know that really makes 6 places!)

For something more special, I'd say Flight.

For absolutely the best sandwich in the entire city of Memphis, I'd say the Chilean at Pop's Deli. (far removed from the touristy areas)

For Mexican, I'd say Swanky's.

Lakeland, TN
Destination Expert
for Tennessee
Level Contributor
2,567 posts
47 reviews
3. Re: I need 5 places to eat in Memphis

Central Barbecue, probably at their main location on Central Avenue, would give you your best variety of Memphis Style pork BBQ. Proper Memphis smoked ribs w/wet sauce, pulled smoked BBQ shoulder placed on buns, put in cheezy nachos, or served in large Iceburg lettuce salads with some smoked chicken mixed in topped w/sauce and your favorite salad dressing on the side-(please pardon me; I'm salivating)

For a classic signature burger, you might try a dark neighborhood dive called the Belmont at Mendenhall and Poplar Av. Once your eyes have adjusted you'll see that they have Ruebens and Chowders and specials, but you're there for the burger basket w/ fries or o. rings & kosher pickle.

Close by the Belmont is a popular location of Gus's Fried Chicken. Check it out.

Just down from Gus's East location is Gibson's Donuts. Skip breakfast and go there one morning for freshly made Red Velvet Cake Doughnuts or Apple Fritters - Holy Cow!

Going north on Mendenhall from Gus's & Gibsons is a uniquely Memphis Steakhouse called Folk's Folly, one of only a few Prime steakhouses in town. If you're spending a little more one night, go there or Flight (mentioned above) which features a great atmosphere, good service, and boasts a top one hundred in the nation rating.

If you're staying downtown and decide not to move your car from the garage for your stay, then the picks would be:

BBO Ribs - Blues City Cafe

Chicken - Gus's original llocation

Burger - Huey's


Have a wonderful gastromomic experience in Memphis!

Edited: 11:47 pm, January 22, 2013
Memphis, TN
Level Contributor
336 posts
27 reviews
4. Re: I need 5 places to eat in Memphis

Don't forget Uncle Lou's on Millbranch when it comes to chicken - sweet and spicy - especially if you are out towards Graceland. Guss's is crispy spicy fried chicken. Cozy Corner is good local BBQ, a small family run place off Danny Thomas north of downtown. Plate lunch at the Arcade on South Main - it hasn't changed in 80 years. Rendevous is a classic - must have the dry ribs or don't go there. For me, Interstate BBQ & Central BBQ are too close together with their tomato-y sauces. I'd try something different like the BBQ Shop on Madison, or go looking for Payne's on Lamar.

You must do a search for great fried catfish. Soulfish in Cooper Young area is good, also Alcenia's downtown. Most places around the US cannot fry catfish like it is done in the South - catfish has to be fried really hot.

Ellen's is some of the best soul food in the area, though they are now located in a very plain location off Belview near Lamar.

Memphis, TN
Level Contributor
336 posts
27 reviews
5. Re: I need 5 places to eat in Memphis

How did I forget the Soulburger at Ernestine & Hazels? Duh! A classic place & a classic meal. And across the street from the Arcade.

Might as well add DejaVu to the list, in case you want to try some New Orleans food with a Memphis twist.

Destination Expert
for Memphis
Level Contributor
2,251 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: I need 5 places to eat in Memphis

lol just about to recommend The Soul Burger Too, Since a burger was asked about, That place only serves The Soul Burger, they don't have a menu

Buffalo NY
Level Contributor
78 posts
7. Re: I need 5 places to eat in Memphis

Fried Chicken...One word Gus's...don't forget to dip it in Ranch Dressing

Burger -

1st choice - Soulburger at E&H

2nd choice - Hueys

3rd Choice - DYERS deep fried burgers HECK YA!!!


1st Choice - BBQ Shop

2nd Choice - Paynes

3rd Choice - Alex's Tavern...Ribs are Amazing here.

Random other "Only in Memphis" places

I agree with Gibson's mmmm...donuts

Breakfast at Arcade or at Brother Junipers

Fries at Young Avenue Deli

Ellen's Soulfood

Have a Couple Beers at Boscos

new york
Level Contributor
2,001 posts
31 reviews
8. Re: I need 5 places to eat in Memphis

I want to make another trip to Memphis just for Gus's chicken! I also liked Central BBQ and Interstate BBQ

Level Contributor
126 posts
13 reviews
9. Re: I need 5 places to eat in Memphis

Seems like you would have to be hard to please if you couldn't find something you liked out of these recommendations but .....

.....we always enjoy a beer and/or wine with our evening meals. Do most of these places serve liquor?

Destination Expert
for Memphis
Level Contributor
2,251 posts
3 reviews
10. Re: I need 5 places to eat in Memphis

Most do, Grocery stores don't sell wine though which people from Europe etc may find strange, Walmart etc are always trying to get the law changed saying that's what customers want, but the flip side of the coin is the liquor stores argue they will need to lay people off, it surfaced recently again, I imagine it will happen someday when? don't know, Walmart's argument is if someone is buying food to cook a nice meal they'd like the convenience of being able to buy a bottle of wine at the same time,

Wonder what anyone else's thoughts are