The Top Thing to Eat: Memphis

Written: The Top Thing Staff | July 12, 2023

1. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is a must-stop for those visiting Memphis. The restaurant is renowned for its spicy and crispy fried chicken, which offers a unique blend of southern flavors that keeps patrons coming back for more.

The eatery has become a favorite among both locals and tourists, drawing in plenty of visitors who are eager to savor the delectable combination of perfectly seasoned meat with just the right amount of crunch. The establishment’s popularity can be attributed not only to its mouthwatering dishes but also to its warm hospitality and inviting ambiance.

In addition to their famous fried chicken, Gus’s menu features other Southern favorites such as grits and cheese. This further enhances the downtown dining experience, allowing patrons to indulge in an array of favorite comfort foods that have made their mark on Memphis’ culinary scene.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken stands out not only for its exceptional food but also for the sense of tradition it embodies. With its unassuming decorations and welcoming atmosphere, this eatery encapsulates the essence of Southern hospitality while delivering a truly memorable dining experience.

2. Alcenia’s Soul Food

Alcenia’s Soul Food in east Memphis is a favorite haven for those seeking traditional, homemade soul food. The restaurant prides itself on offering comforting dishes that embody the essence of Southern cuisine.

The menu at Alcenia’s features a delightful array of classic soul food options, such as fried catfish and collard greens, all prepared with a homemade touch that sets them apart from other establishments.

The dining atmosphere at Alcenia’s in East Memphis is both welcoming and cozy, making it an ideal spot to savor authentic Southern flavors while enjoying the aesthetic appeal of the surroundings.

3. The Four Way Soul Food Restaurant

The Four Way Soul Food Restaurant in east Memphis is a historic eatery deeply rooted in the civil rights movement, making it a must-visit for those interested in history and culture. Established in 1946, this iconic restaurant has been serving up soulful classics like smothered pork chops and vegetable plates that have become synonymous with Memphis’s culinary identity.

Embracing the community with its warm hospitality, The Four Way Soul Food Restaurant offers visitors a taste of authentic Southern comfort food while also providing an opportunity to engage with the local culture. Its downtown location makes it easily accessible for both tourists and locals alike.

In addition to its renowned dishes, the restaurant boasts a variety of meal options ranging from sandwiches to hearty sides, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to order a classic favorite or try something new, this eatery provides different answers catering to diverse palates.

4. Cozy Corner Restaurant’s BBQ

Famous for its mouthwatering barbecue ribs and pulled pork sandwiches, Cozy Corner Restaurant offers a delectable experience for barbecue enthusiasts. The succulent meats are slow-cooked to perfection, ensuring a rich and smoky flavor in every bite.

As a family-owned establishment with a rich culinary heritage, the restaurant embodies the essence of traditional Memphis-style barbecue. This not only adds to the authenticity of the dishes but also creates an inviting atmosphere that resonates with visitors seeking an immersive dining experience.

The restaurant’s patio provides an ideal setting for savoring their renowned barbecue while enjoying the vibrant ambiance of Memphis. This outdoor space allows patrons to indulge in their meals amidst the city’s charm, enhancing the overall dining experience.

With its commitment to delivering authentic flavors and maintaining its legacy as a quintessential Memphis eatery, Cozy Corner Restaurant stands as a testament to the city’s celebrated culinary culture.

5. Bryant’s Breakfast Biscuits

Bryant‘s Breakfast Biscuits is an iconic breakfast spot in Memphis, renowned for its flaky, buttery biscuits that have become a staple for locals and visitors alike. The biscuits are freshly baked and have a melt-in-your-mouth texture that keeps patrons coming back.

The menu at Bryant’s offers a wide array of delicious biscuit fillings, ranging from classic sausage to savory country ham. This variety caters to different taste preferences and ensures there is something for everyone.

For biscuit enthusiasts and breakfast lovers, visiting Bryant’s is a must-do when in Memphis. The establishment has garnered a loyal following due to its consistent quality and hearty portions. It provides an authentic Southern culinary experience that captures the essence of comfort food done right.

6. Restaurant Iris’ Fine Dining

Restaurant Iris offers an upscale dining experience, featuring creative and elegant dishes that cater to those seeking a sophisticated culinary adventure. The restaurant emphasizes locally sourced ingredients, ensuring freshness and supporting local producers. Their seasonal menus reflect the vibrant flavors of Memphis, offering a unique taste of the city’s culinary landscape.

This fine dining establishment is perfect for special occasions or a sophisticated night out. Its intimate ambiance and impeccable service make it an ideal setting for romantic dinners or celebratory gatherings with loved ones.

The emphasis on locally sourced ingredients not only ensures quality but also contributes to sustainability and supports the local community—a factor that resonates with many modern diners who value ethical consumption practices.

Moreover, the ever-changing seasonal menus add an element of excitement to each visit as patrons can anticipate new flavors and innovative dishes with every return trip. This commitment to variety keeps customers engaged while showcasing the versatility of Memphis’ food scene.

7. Vice & Virtue Coffee’s Crafted Drinks

Vice & Virtue Coffee is a Memphis gem, renowned for its specialty coffee offerings that cater to both vice and virtue. The meticulously crafted espresso-based beverages are the heart of this establishment, providing an unparalleled experience for coffee connoisseurs.

The menu at Vice & Virtue boasts a wide array of specialties, each carefully curated to deliver a unique and indulgent experience. From velvety lattes to robust cortados, every drink is a testament to the artistry and dedication of the baristas.

What sets Vice & Virtue apart is not just the quality of their drinks but also the ambiance they provide. The cozy setting invites patrons to savor their favorite brews while immersing themselves in the comforting atmosphere—an ideal retreat from bustling city life.

Whether it’s an expertly poured cappuccino or an adventurous seasonal creation, Vice & Virtue Coffee consistently delivers excellence in every cup. For those seeking more than just a caffeine fix but an elevated coffee journey, this establishment stands as a beacon of exceptional craftsmanship within Memphis’ thriving coffee scene.

8. Muddy’s Bake Shop Treats

Muddy’s Bake Shop is a charming establishment in Memphis, celebrated for its delectable cupcakes and pastries. The shop takes pride in embracing whimsical and creative dessert offerings, making it an ideal spot to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings.

  • Muddy’s Bake Shop has gained a strong reputation for its meticulously crafted treats, drawing locals and tourists alike.
  • Their menu features an array of mouthwatering desserts, from classic cupcakes to innovative muggin creations that never fail to impress.
  • The bake shop also caters to various dietary preferences with vegan and gluten-free options available.

Visiting Muddy’s Bake Shop offers more than just indulging in delicious treats; the ambiance is cozy and inviting, creating a memorable experience for patrons. It’s not just about the food; it’s about the entire sensory journey – from the delightful aroma of freshly baked goods to the visually appealing display of their treats.

9. Sample Foods at Memphis Food Festivals

Explore the diverse cuisines offered at Memphis’ vibrant food festivals, where you can indulge in an array of local delicacies and international flavors. These festivals provide a unique opportunity to savor the rich culinary heritage of Memphis while enjoying live music, entertainment, and engaging with fellow food enthusiasts.

Memphis is renowned for its annual events such as the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, where visitors can relish mouthwatering barbecue dishes prepared by some of the most skilled pitmasters in the world. The International Goat Days Festival offers a chance to try delectable goat-based dishes that showcase the city’s cultural diversity and culinary expertise.

At events like the Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival, attendees can immerse themselves in Creole and Cajun cuisine featuring spicy crawfish boils alongside lively music performances. The Latino Memphis Festival celebrates Hispanic culture through a tantalizing display of traditional Latin American dishes like pupusas, tamales, and empanadas.

These food festivals not only serve as platforms for gastronomic exploration but also contribute significantly to Memphis’ tourism industry. They attract thousands of visitors annually who come to experience these unique culinary celebrations while contributing to the local economy.

10. Las Tortugas’ Authentic Mexican Cuisine

Las Tortugas is renowned for its genuine Mexican cuisine, prepared with fresh and high-quality ingredients to deliver an authentic dining experience.

The restaurant is celebrated for its flavorful tacos, tamales, and traditional dishes that capture the essence of Mexican flavors.

Las Tortugas provides a truly immersive dining experience where patrons can savor the rich and diverse tastes of Mexico through their meticulously crafted menu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken worth trying in Memphis?

Absolutely! Gus’s fried chicken is a must-try in Memphis. The crispy, spicy coating and juicy meat create a flavor explosion that will leave you craving for more.

What are the must-try dishes at Alcenia’s Soul Food?

Alcenia’s offers mouthwatering soul food, but don’t miss their famous fried chicken, cornbread, and peach cobbler. Each dish bursts with authentic Southern flavors that will make your taste buds dance.

Why should I visit Cozy Corner Restaurant for BBQ in Memphis?

Cozy Corner serves up some of the best BBQ in town. Their tender, smoky ribs and flavorful pulled pork are like a symphony of taste that will have you coming back for an encore.

What makes Muddy’s Bake Shop treats special in Memphis?

Muddy’s Bake Shop crafts delectable treats using high-quality ingredients and creative recipes. From cupcakes to cookies, each bite is a delightful journey into sweet bliss that’ll satisfy any dessert lover.

Are the Mexican cuisines at Las Tortugas truly authentic?

Las Tortugas takes authenticity seriously with their traditional Mexican dishes made from scratch. Every bite of their tacos or tamales transports you to the vibrant streets of Mexico with its rich flavors.