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Guidebook for Memphis

J.R.

Guidebook for Memphis

Food Scene
Green Beetle is one of the oldest pubs in Memphis & serves up some amazing food along with an outstanding beer selection. It's still run by the grandson of the former proprietor. "Have a beer here...your grandfather did!"
12
locals recommend
The Green Beetle
325 South Main Street
12
locals recommend
Green Beetle is one of the oldest pubs in Memphis & serves up some amazing food along with an outstanding beer selection. It's still run by the grandson of the former proprietor. "Have a beer here...your grandfather did!"
Chef Michael Patrick has outdone himself with amazing menu of unique Southern fair. You're guaranteed to find something you love on the menu. If it all looks good & you're not sure want to order, just make sure you try the lobster pronto pups. You won't be sorry!
9
locals recommend
Rizzo's By Michael Patrick
492 S. Main
9
locals recommend
Chef Michael Patrick has outdone himself with amazing menu of unique Southern fair. You're guaranteed to find something you love on the menu. If it all looks good & you're not sure want to order, just make sure you try the lobster pronto pups. You won't be sorry!
Everyone knows Gus's! If you don't, you should! And once you've had this chicken, there's no going back!
53
locals recommend
Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
310 South Front Street
53
locals recommend
Everyone knows Gus's! If you don't, you should! And once you've had this chicken, there's no going back!
The Arcade is one of the oldest continuously-running & family-owned businesses in Memphis. More than your ordinary greasy spoon, get here early, or be prepared to wait for 30-60 minutes for a table.
39
locals recommend
The Arcade Restaurant
540 South Main Street
39
locals recommend
The Arcade is one of the oldest continuously-running & family-owned businesses in Memphis. More than your ordinary greasy spoon, get here early, or be prepared to wait for 30-60 minutes for a table.
Aldo's is an amazing local pizza place that blows all the franchise operations out of the water. Stop in for a daily slice or whatever they're serving or try the amazing vodka pizza (there's nothing quite like it)!
11
locals recommend
Aldo’s Pizza Pies - Downtown
100 South Main Street
11
locals recommend
Aldo's is an amazing local pizza place that blows all the franchise operations out of the water. Stop in for a daily slice or whatever they're serving or try the amazing vodka pizza (there's nothing quite like it)!
Everybody has their favorite rib joint & this is definitely my choice for the classic Memphis dry rub-style ribs. You might be wondering what you've gotten yourself into as you walk down the alley to main entrance, but trust me: you'll love it!! Be prepared for a wait if you have a large group.
Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous Alley
Everybody has their favorite rib joint & this is definitely my choice for the classic Memphis dry rub-style ribs. You might be wondering what you've gotten yourself into as you walk down the alley to main entrance, but trust me: you'll love it!! Be prepared for a wait if you have a large group.
Blues City Cafe on the corner of Beale & 2nd streets is my pick for the best "wet ribs" in Memphis. These the classic fall-off-the-bone ribs you long for, slathered in sweet BBQ sauce with just the right amount of spice. See if you can spot Tom Cruise's late night study spot from the movie adaptation of John Grisham's "The Firm".
11
locals recommend
Blues City Cafe
138 Beale Street
11
locals recommend
Blues City Cafe on the corner of Beale & 2nd streets is my pick for the best "wet ribs" in Memphis. These the classic fall-off-the-bone ribs you long for, slathered in sweet BBQ sauce with just the right amount of spice. See if you can spot Tom Cruise's late night study spot from the movie adaptation of John Grisham's "The Firm".
It ain't cheap & you might not be able to sit anywhere but the bar without a reservation, but Flight is known for consistently great food & unique options. As the name would imply, the menu is full of a variety of food & drinks flights to tempt you.
25
locals recommend
Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar
39 South Main Street
25
locals recommend
It ain't cheap & you might not be able to sit anywhere but the bar without a reservation, but Flight is known for consistently great food & unique options. As the name would imply, the menu is full of a variety of food & drinks flights to tempt you.
A relatively new spot within the Memphis restaurant scene, Catherine & Mary's has an impressive menu of unique flavors both for food & cocktails. Call ahead for a reservation.
19
locals recommend
Catherine & Mary's
272 S Main St
19
locals recommend
A relatively new spot within the Memphis restaurant scene, Catherine & Mary's has an impressive menu of unique flavors both for food & cocktails. Call ahead for a reservation.
Arts & Culture
I have yet to make it here myself, but I've heard amazing things about this museum & the information it provides on the history of blues in Memphis & the surrounding areas.
6
locals recommend
Blues Foundation
421 S Main St
6
locals recommend
I have yet to make it here myself, but I've heard amazing things about this museum & the information it provides on the history of blues in Memphis & the surrounding areas.
If you're in Memphis for even 24 hours, you need to make a concerted effort to visit the National Civil Rights Museum. Recently renovated, the NCRM is moving, impactful & beautiful all at the same time. Whether you spend an hour or five hours, just make sure you go!
100
locals recommend
National Civil Rights Museum
450 Mulberry Street
100
locals recommend
If you're in Memphis for even 24 hours, you need to make a concerted effort to visit the National Civil Rights Museum. Recently renovated, the NCRM is moving, impactful & beautiful all at the same time. Whether you spend an hour or five hours, just make sure you go!
Orpheum Theatre Memphis is a beautiful gem on South Main that hosts touring Broadway productions & smaller concerts.
24
locals recommend
Orpheum Theatre
203 South Main Street
24
locals recommend
Orpheum Theatre Memphis is a beautiful gem on South Main that hosts touring Broadway productions & smaller concerts.
Drinks & Nightlife
E&H's is a can't miss stop during your Memphis trip! Many a movie has been filmed here, the jukebox is rumored to be haunted & the late night Soul Burgers are LEGENDARY! Did I mention the upstairs used to be a brothel? Don't believe me? Go check out the bathtubs that are still in the bathrooms. While you're upstairs (if it's late), make sure you grab a drink from Nate. It's a cash-only operation, but he's always good for a great story!
51
locals recommend
Earnestine & Hazel's
531 South Main Street
51
locals recommend
E&H's is a can't miss stop during your Memphis trip! Many a movie has been filmed here, the jukebox is rumored to be haunted & the late night Soul Burgers are LEGENDARY! Did I mention the upstairs used to be a brothel? Don't believe me? Go check out the bathtubs that are still in the bathrooms. While you're upstairs (if it's late), make sure you grab a drink from Nate. It's a cash-only operation, but he's always good for a great story!
If you're tired of the same ol' scene on Beale Street, head UPSTAIRS to the Absinthe Room above Kings Palace Cafe. The entrance from the street is easy to overlook, but it's a nice little secret hideaway amidst all the craziness.
Kings Palace Cafe
162 Beale St
If you're tired of the same ol' scene on Beale Street, head UPSTAIRS to the Absinthe Room above Kings Palace Cafe. The entrance from the street is easy to overlook, but it's a nice little secret hideaway amidst all the craziness.
If it's after midnight on Friday or Saturday night, you have a slight buzz, a $20 bill in your pocket & you want a once-in-a-lifetime experience, make your way to Paula & Raiford's Disco. Fake smoke, classic hits & Jheri curls abound; order a 40 at the bar...you're night is about to take a turn for the bizarre. Just don't say you weren't warned!
23
locals recommend
Paula & Raiford's Disco
14 South 2nd Street
23
locals recommend
If it's after midnight on Friday or Saturday night, you have a slight buzz, a $20 bill in your pocket & you want a once-in-a-lifetime experience, make your way to Paula & Raiford's Disco. Fake smoke, classic hits & Jheri curls abound; order a 40 at the bar...you're night is about to take a turn for the bizarre. Just don't say you weren't warned!
This is a nice place to grab a drink with a fully-stocked bar & some unique concoctions on the menu. Non-smokers might avoid this stop as it's one of the few remaining smoker-friendly establishments downtown.
10
locals recommend
Silly Goose
100 Peabody Place
10
locals recommend
This is a nice place to grab a drink with a fully-stocked bar & some unique concoctions on the menu. Non-smokers might avoid this stop as it's one of the few remaining smoker-friendly establishments downtown.
A Memphis classic! Silky's is one of the most famous watering holes on Beale Street. Where else can you listen to foul-mouthed dueling piano players & drink with goats while eating some classic Memphis BBQ or fresh oysters? Order a diver...if you dare!
10
locals recommend
Silky O'Sullivan's
183 Beale Street
10
locals recommend
A Memphis classic! Silky's is one of the most famous watering holes on Beale Street. Where else can you listen to foul-mouthed dueling piano players & drink with goats while eating some classic Memphis BBQ or fresh oysters? Order a diver...if you dare!
High Cotton is small, yet fun little brewery in downtown Memphis with a respectable variety of beers that make it a worthwhile stop for a tour or just to grab a pint.
10
locals recommend
High Cotton Brewing Company
598 Monroe Avenue
10
locals recommend
High Cotton is small, yet fun little brewery in downtown Memphis with a respectable variety of beers that make it a worthwhile stop for a tour or just to grab a pint.
Loflin Yard is a fun neighborhood beer garden with live music that serves a variety of local beers & offers a small food menu. If the weather is nice, this is a great way to spend an afternoon.
30
locals recommend
Loflin Yard
7 W Carolina Ave
30
locals recommend
Loflin Yard is a fun neighborhood beer garden with live music that serves a variety of local beers & offers a small food menu. If the weather is nice, this is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Ghost River is a great microbrewery with an impressive new tasting room on South Main. You'll find an impressive array of regular & seasonal beers along with a fun brewer's series that always keeps things fresh!
8
locals recommend
Ghost River Brewery & Taproom
827 South Main Street
8
locals recommend
Ghost River is a great microbrewery with an impressive new tasting room on South Main. You'll find an impressive array of regular & seasonal beers along with a fun brewer's series that always keeps things fresh!
This beautiful spot atop the Madison Hotel offers the most amazing views of the Mississippi River in all of Memphis. Definitely worth stopping in for a drink & a photo op.
Twilight Sky Terrace
79 Madison Ave
This beautiful spot atop the Madison Hotel offers the most amazing views of the Mississippi River in all of Memphis. Definitely worth stopping in for a drink & a photo op.
Sightseeing
Faced with demolition in 2014, a local developer (& minority owner of the Memphis Grizzlies) stepped in to save this Memphis landmark. The Tennessee Brewery is currently under renovation after sitting vacant for decades & will serve the next generations of Memphians as condominiums & a shopping space.
Tennessee Brewery
495 Tennessee St
Faced with demolition in 2014, a local developer (& minority owner of the Memphis Grizzlies) stepped in to save this Memphis landmark. The Tennessee Brewery is currently under renovation after sitting vacant for decades & will serve the next generations of Memphians as condominiums & a shopping space.
If you came to see the birthplace of rock & roll, head straight down Union Ave. to Sun Studio! This recording studio started by Sam Phillips in 1950 has seen more hits than nearly any other place in Memphis & has memories of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison & so many more!
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locals recommend
Sun Studio
706 Union Avenue
31
locals recommend
If you came to see the birthplace of rock & roll, head straight down Union Ave. to Sun Studio! This recording studio started by Sam Phillips in 1950 has seen more hits than nearly any other place in Memphis & has memories of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison & so many more!
If this is your first trip to Memphis, head on down to Beale Street. Is it a tourist trap? Of course it is. But it's still worth a visit, even if just to say you were there.
56
locals recommend
Beale Street
56
locals recommend
If this is your first trip to Memphis, head on down to Beale Street. Is it a tourist trap? Of course it is. But it's still worth a visit, even if just to say you were there.
The Peabody is an icon of downtown Memphis. Whether you go to watch the march of the historic Peabody ducks, have a drink at the Lobby Bar, or check out the amazing views from the Peabody Rooftop, no trip to Memphis is complete without stopping in.
53
locals recommend
The Peabody Memphis
118 Union Avenue
53
locals recommend
The Peabody is an icon of downtown Memphis. Whether you go to watch the march of the historic Peabody ducks, have a drink at the Lobby Bar, or check out the amazing views from the Peabody Rooftop, no trip to Memphis is complete without stopping in.
Parks & Nature
Home to the Memphis in May music & BBQ festivals, Tom Lee Park is where you can take those cliché pictures of the Memphis bridge or skyline. If you have an hour to kill & want to catch some amazing views of the mighty Mississippi, this is the place!
20
locals recommend
Tom Lee Park
20
locals recommend
Home to the Memphis in May music & BBQ festivals, Tom Lee Park is where you can take those cliché pictures of the Memphis bridge or skyline. If you have an hour to kill & want to catch some amazing views of the mighty Mississippi, this is the place!
Shopping
Once a basketball arena for the Memphis Grizzlies & Memphis Tigers, the Pyramid is now home to the largest Bass Pro Shops in the country. Come check out the live fish & alligator displays, the amazing animal taxidermy, or the various arcade shooting games throughout the store. For a fee, you can also take a ride up the tallest free-standing elevator in North America to see some breathtaking views of Memphis!
53
locals recommend
Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid
1 Bass Pro Drive
53
locals recommend
Once a basketball arena for the Memphis Grizzlies & Memphis Tigers, the Pyramid is now home to the largest Bass Pro Shops in the country. Come check out the live fish & alligator displays, the amazing animal taxidermy, or the various arcade shooting games throughout the store. For a fee, you can also take a ride up the tallest free-standing elevator in North America to see some breathtaking views of Memphis!
Essentials
There's no major supermarket on South Main, but City Market is a great place to pick up some fresh groceries to stock the refrigerator.
8
locals recommend
City Market
66 South Main Street
8
locals recommend
There's no major supermarket on South Main, but City Market is a great place to pick up some fresh groceries to stock the refrigerator.