Memphis has a huge selection of incredible restaurants and bars that deliver some of the best food that you’ll eat in the country. There’s a whole lot of barbecue food, that’s for sure. It’s one of the main things that Memphis is famous for. The other thing? Memphis music. It’s called the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll and the home of the blues for a reason. Visit one of the many bars in the city, and you’ll quickly find that music runs through the soul of the city. Almost every establishment will offer some form of entertainment.
Central BBQ is the home of the traditional and authentic Memphis-style barbecue experience. It’s a firm favorite with tourists and locals alike. It’s been running for well over 20 years and serves traditional Memphis fayre. Of course, you have to try Memphis’ signature dish of dry-rub ribs. They literally fall off the bone and are imbued with a flavor like no other. Not a rib fan? The pulled pork is legendary, and they do a mean brisket too.
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Mollie Fontaine Lounge
If you’re heading to Mollie Fontaine’s, then you’ll feel a bit away from the central hub of the city. In fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’re about to wander into someone’s home. Mollie’s is found within a residential area, housed in a historic mansion. It feels more like a home than a bar, with seating in various rooms and sections rather than open spaces. There’s music regularly, but you’ll need tickets before turning up. Make sure that you book in advance.
The Bar-B-Q Shop
Established in 1987, the Bar-B-Q Shop is a place where the residents of Memphis come back for barbecue time and time again. It doesn’t go against the grain too much, serving dry-rub ribs, brisket, and pulled pork with Memphis barbecue sauce. The classics. It does, however, have a signature that does stand out. Their BBQ spaghetti is beloved by regulars and is absolutely worth trying if you visit.
When Nick Scott opened Alchemy, he wanted to make sure that the bar was a home away from home for everyone. You’ll find a place that welcomes everyone and has a virtuous standpoint on equality and diversity. This is a place where you’ll feel comfortable and welcomed. It’s a great spot to get together with friends and family.
Corky’s Ribs & BBQ
Another Memphis institution, Corky’s Ribs & BBQ is a must-visit spot for any barbecue enthusiast. As with many joints in Memphis, Corky’s signature is their ribs. Cooked low and slow for at least 8 hours, they’re dry rubbed but served with Corky’s own homemade barbecue sauce. This sauce is incredible. Even if you don’t get the ribs, you need to get some of the sauce. This is a welcoming, friendly place that you can visit with friends or bring along the family.
The Peabody is a special kind of place and has some traditions like no other. It’s a staple of the Memphian skyline and has been since 1869, when it was established. The hotel has a wonderful cocktail bar complete with unique cocktails. Some of which were created in the hotel decades ago. Turn up at 11 am or 5 pm, and you’ll be able to see the resident Peabody ducks on their daily commute to and from the fountain in the hotel lobby.
Payne’s Bar-B-Q is the kind of place that doesn’t stand on ceremony for you. It’s a relaxed kind of affair without any bells or whistles, and that’s the main charm of the place. That and their unbelievable 12-hour cooked chopped pork shoulder sandwich. If you’re after a filling, tantalizingly tasty, succulent bite to eat, then this is the thing to get.
One thing is for sure. You’re not going to be wanting for places to eat or get a drink. Memphis is awash with options, and so many of them are worth visiting. The only issue is working out how you’re going to squeeze them all in.
- Some of these places have been serving for over 100 years.
- Always try out a restaurant’s signature dish.
- Check ahead of time to see if there is any live music on. There probably is
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