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!"
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The Green Beetle
325 S Main St
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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!
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Rizzo's By Michael Patrick
492 S Main St
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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!
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Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
310 S Front St
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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.
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The Arcade Restaurant
540 S Main St
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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)!
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Aldo’s Pizza Pies - Downtown
100 S Main St
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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
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".
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Blues City Cafe
138 Beale St
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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.
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Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar
39 S Main St
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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.
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Catherine & Mary's
272 S Main St
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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.
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Blues Hall of Fame Museum
421 S Main St
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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!
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National Civil Rights Museum - Lorraine Motel
450 Mulberry St
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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!

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!
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Earnestine & Hazel's
531 S Main St
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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.
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Kings Palace Cafe
162 Beale St
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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!
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Paula & Raiford's Disco
14 S 2nd St
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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.
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Silly Goose
100 Peabody Pl
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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!
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Silky O'Sullivan's
183 Beale St
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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.
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High Cotton Brewing Company
598 Monroe Ave
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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.
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Loflin Yard
7 W Carolina Ave
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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!
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Ghost River Brewery & Taproom
827 S Main St
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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 Street
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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Sun Studio
706 Union Ave
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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.
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Beale Street
128 Beale St
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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.
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The Peabody Memphis
149 Union Ave
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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!
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Tom Lee Park
Riverside Drive
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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!
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Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid
1 Bass Pro Dr
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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.
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City Market
66 S Main St
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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.