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Guidebook for Memphis

Geoffrey

Guidebook for Memphis

Food Scene
Go before 3:30/4p or call it in to go, or plan to wait a LONG time. This place is literally world-famous and has started franchising as far as Los Angeles. Locals don't really think much of their sides, so order those accordingly, but whatever chicken you get will be a good choice. It's a little spicy!
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Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
310 South Front Street
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Go before 3:30/4p or call it in to go, or plan to wait a LONG time. This place is literally world-famous and has started franchising as far as Los Angeles. Locals don't really think much of their sides, so order those accordingly, but whatever chicken you get will be a good choice. It's a little spicy!
I keep it simple here: egg biscuit with sausage (or veggie sausage), and a cup of granola with yogurt. They have a lot on the menu, but sometimes the quality varies. That said, for a breakfast/lunch option down the street, this can't be beat.
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Café Eclectic
603 North McLean Boulevard
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I keep it simple here: egg biscuit with sausage (or veggie sausage), and a cup of granola with yogurt. They have a lot on the menu, but sometimes the quality varies. That said, for a breakfast/lunch option down the street, this can't be beat.
Classic Italian that's been there for a long time. Not Little Italy, but worth it if you feel like Italian within walking distance.
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Dino's Grill
645 North McLean Boulevard
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Classic Italian that's been there for a long time. Not Little Italy, but worth it if you feel like Italian within walking distance.
Upscale eclectic American; highly recommended for a "nice" night out.
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The Beauty Shop
Cooper Street
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Upscale eclectic American; highly recommended for a "nice" night out.
For ramen that's outta this world. BYOB
Lucky Cat Ramen
247 Cooper St
For ramen that's outta this world. BYOB
There are a large handful of bars and restaurants in this area. If you have time, you can get there and walk around before you decide. It's pretty touristy now, but it was a ghost town a few years ago. Babalu Tacos is okay (ask them to make the guac in the kitchen--trust me), and the Memphis Pizza Cafe is an old favorite.
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Overton Square
2101 Madison Avenue
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There are a large handful of bars and restaurants in this area. If you have time, you can get there and walk around before you decide. It's pretty touristy now, but it was a ghost town a few years ago. Babalu Tacos is okay (ask them to make the guac in the kitchen--trust me), and the Memphis Pizza Cafe is an old favorite.
Burgers done well, includes veggie, black bean, and turkey options. Many other options as well.
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Huey's Midtown
1927 Madison Avenue
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Burgers done well, includes veggie, black bean, and turkey options. Many other options as well.
Located inside Crosstown Concourse which was recently an abandoned 1,000,000 sq ft Sears distribution warehouse. I always have their quinoa burger and am not disappointed.
Farm Burger Memphis
1350 Concourse Avenue
Located inside Crosstown Concourse which was recently an abandoned 1,000,000 sq ft Sears distribution warehouse. I always have their quinoa burger and am not disappointed.
Juice and granola bowls. Great for a light breakfast or snack. Inside Crosstown Concourse which was an abandoned 1,000,000 sq ft Sears distribution warehouse not long ago.
Juice Bar - Crosstown
1350 Concourse Avenue
Juice and granola bowls. Great for a light breakfast or snack. Inside Crosstown Concourse which was an abandoned 1,000,000 sq ft Sears distribution warehouse not long ago.
Coffee and beer. Inside Crosstown Concourse which was an abandoned 1,000,000 sq ft Sears distribution warehouse not long ago. Worth the trip just to visit the concourse. Check out the gallery at Crosstown Arts while you're there. Past the coffee shop and up the red spiral stairs.
French Truck Coffee
1350 Concourse Avenue
Coffee and beer. Inside Crosstown Concourse which was an abandoned 1,000,000 sq ft Sears distribution warehouse not long ago. Worth the trip just to visit the concourse. Check out the gallery at Crosstown Arts while you're there. Past the coffee shop and up the red spiral stairs.
Our newest brewery. We have a lot. They all try, bless their hearts. But if you're from a beer town, like Portland or Denver, we're still trying to catch up.
Crosstown Brewing Company
1264 Concourse Avenue
Our newest brewery. We have a lot. They all try, bless their hearts. But if you're from a beer town, like Portland or Denver, we're still trying to catch up.
Drinks & Nightlife
A mix between a dive and something more unique. Great if you've been to The Beauty Shop or walking around the Cooper-Young neighborhood. You'll rub elbows with Memphis's most current and original artists and musicians here--even if you can't tell who's who.
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Bar DKDC
964 Cooper St
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A mix between a dive and something more unique. Great if you've been to The Beauty Shop or walking around the Cooper-Young neighborhood. You'll rub elbows with Memphis's most current and original artists and musicians here--even if you can't tell who's who.
Decades-old dive bar that's seen many changes over the years. Highly recommended for the local dive experience. Beer-only, but you may BYO bottles of wine and the hard stuff. SMOKING IS ALLOWED INSIDE
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Lamplighter Lounge
1702 Madison Avenue
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Decades-old dive bar that's seen many changes over the years. Highly recommended for the local dive experience. Beer-only, but you may BYO bottles of wine and the hard stuff. SMOKING IS ALLOWED INSIDE
I hear their wings are incredible. But Alex's is most known for staying open--and serving--until the sun comes up! SMOKING IS ALLOWED INSIDE
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Alex's Tavern
1445 Jackson Avenue
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I hear their wings are incredible. But Alex's is most known for staying open--and serving--until the sun comes up! SMOKING IS ALLOWED INSIDE
Younger crowd, lots of beers on tap, late night food. I haven't been in years but lots of people love it.
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Young Avenue Deli
2119 Young Avenue
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Younger crowd, lots of beers on tap, late night food. I haven't been in years but lots of people love it.
Parks & Nature
Sunsets on the Mississippi can be quite stunning. East of Tom Lee are the bluffs. Climb the stairs for a birds eye view.
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Tom Lee Park
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Sunsets on the Mississippi can be quite stunning. East of Tom Lee are the bluffs. Climb the stairs for a birds eye view.
In the 70s the state tried to run the highway through the park. A group of old ladies in tennis shoes stopped it. The largest old-growth urban forest in TN. You can play frisbee in the open area, or walk through the trails--or play golf!
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Overton Park
1914 Poplar Avenue
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In the 70s the state tried to run the highway through the park. A group of old ladies in tennis shoes stopped it. The largest old-growth urban forest in TN. You can play frisbee in the open area, or walk through the trails--or play golf!
Recently renovated, there's a large lake and lots of trails. A huge park!
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Shelby Farms Park
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Recently renovated, there's a large lake and lots of trails. A huge park!
Arts & Culture
This is an obvious one. Dense, with a lot of reading, but a huge favorite.
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Stax Museum of American Soul Music
926 E McLemore Ave
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This is an obvious one. Dense, with a lot of reading, but a huge favorite.
Check out their listings. Wednesdays are FREE!
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Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
1934 Poplar Avenue
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Check out their listings. Wednesdays are FREE!
I don't know if it's a museum, shops, or what. It's really all of those. Locals don't think much of it--but if you're an Elvis fan, it's obviously a must.
Graceland
I don't know if it's a museum, shops, or what. It's really all of those. Locals don't think much of it--but if you're an Elvis fan, it's obviously a must.
Heavy. Powerful. Essential.
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National Civil Rights Museum
450 Mulberry Street
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Heavy. Powerful. Essential.
A new and contemporary gallery located inside Crosstown Concourse. I find myself at events and openings there about twice a month.
Crosstown Arts
1350 Concourse Ave.
A new and contemporary gallery located inside Crosstown Concourse. I find myself at events and openings there about twice a month.
Shopping
Goner is run by locals. If you're in town for Memphis music, it's a must.
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Goner Records
2152 Young Avenue
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Goner is run by locals. If you're in town for Memphis music, it's a must.
Changer La is run by locals. If you're in town for Memphis music, it's a must.
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Shangri-La Records
1916 Madison Avenue
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Changer La is run by locals. If you're in town for Memphis music, it's a must.
Well-curated vintage. Not my style and I hear a lot of it is small, but also highly recommended.
FOX+CAT VINTAGE
2153 Central Ave
Well-curated vintage. Not my style and I hear a lot of it is small, but also highly recommended.
Sightseeing
I can't make a list and not include Beale. The history is incredible. Now it's mostly neon and bars. Lots of bars, restaurants, and live music that they think tourists would like. I go maybe once or twice a year. You can have an open container on the street and I think they serve til 5 or 6 AM. It's fun to walk with a drink in your hand. LOTS of great souvenir shops.
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Beale Street
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I can't make a list and not include Beale. The history is incredible. Now it's mostly neon and bars. Lots of bars, restaurants, and live music that they think tourists would like. I go maybe once or twice a year. You can have an open container on the street and I think they serve til 5 or 6 AM. It's fun to walk with a drink in your hand. LOTS of great souvenir shops.
Call Tad Pierson at American Dream Safari and schedule an off-the-beaten path tour in his 1958 Cadillac. Probably the opposite of Beale St.--in a good way. The name and address are incorrect in this listing, as he does not advertise. His number is: 901-428-3602
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345 Madison Ave
Call Tad Pierson at American Dream Safari and schedule an off-the-beaten path tour in his 1958 Cadillac. Probably the opposite of Beale St.--in a good way. The name and address are incorrect in this listing, as he does not advertise. His number is: 901-428-3602