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Restaurants in Memphis

With a reputation as the pork barbecue capital of the world, Memphis also boasts fare as diverse as Pacific Rim, 5-star French, prime steakhouses, wine bars, Mediterranean and distinctly Southern.

The restaurants below have been classed into three categories:
Expensive (over $100)
Moderate ($50 to $100)
Cheap (up to $50)
These prices include starter, main, dessert and a bottle of house wine or equivalent. Not included is the sales tax of 9.25%. Sometimes a gratuity (usually 15%) is added to the bill. If not, a tip of 15-20% for service is customary.

Expensive

Catherine & Mary's

Cuisine:

Memphis chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman are on fire with their mix of Southern flavours and food honouring their Italian roots. Following their successful restaurants giving the traditional a twist, namely Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Porcellino's and Hog & Hominy, they launched Catherine & Mary's, turning out exquisite plates inspired by their grandmothers' cooking. Get a new take on Memphis pork, and make room for irresistible Tuscan and Sicilian desserts.

Address: , 272 South Main Street, Memphis,
Telephone: +1 901 254 8600
Website: https://www.catherineandmarys.com

Itta Bena

Cuisine:

Designed like a Speakeasy above B B King's Blues Club, with access through a secret passage, Itta Bena is Memphis' best kept dining secret, and named after the town where B B King was born. Exotic Mediterranean ambiance is created with carved wooden panels and wrought iron from Afghanistan, and archways and candlelight suffused with blue light reflected through tall windows from Beale Street. She-Crab soup and jumbo shrimp and grits are not to be missed.

Address: 145 Beale Street, B B King's Blues Club, Memphis,
Telephone: +1 901 578 3031
Website: http://www.ittabenadining.com/memphis

Paulette's

Cuisine:

Modelled after a French country inn, complete with antiques, dim lighting and traditional European paintings, this restaurant features live piano music at weekends and during the popular Sunday brunch. The menu of French and Continental dishes such as mouth-watering southern Low Country crab cakes, juicy angus filet mignon, or Duroc pork chop, are accompanied with their famous popovers with strawberry butter.

Address: , 50 Harbor Town Square, Memphis,
Telephone: +1 901 260 3300
Website: http://www.paulettes.net

Tsunami

Cuisine:

This is a local favourite, and consistently tops the polls when the city is asked about its favourite eating spots. Pacific Rim cuisine is the order of the day, with owner/chef Ben Smith bringing no small amount of creativity to his menus. Colourful décor complements the playful dishes that include shrimp satay and roasted sea bass.

Address: , 928 South Cooper, Memphis,
Telephone: +1 901 274 2556
Website: http://www.tsunamimemphis.com

Moderate

Peabody Sunday Brunch

Cuisine:

A Memphis tradition, this sumptuous feast takes place at the elegant Peabody Hotel's Capriccio Grill. Artistic displays of salads, seafood, pasta, fresh-baked breads and pastries, exotic pâtés and smoked fish, omelettes, waffles and Eggs Benedict are cooked to order, while chefs carve from roast beef, lamb and pork. Desserts are a decadent work of art. Musicians even play requests while servers pour unlimited mimosas and champagne.

Address: 149 Union Avenue, The Peabody's Capriccio Grill, Memphis,
Telephone: +1 901 529 4000
Website: http://www.peabodymemphis.com

The Beauty Shop

Cuisine:

A 1960s style beauty shop turned into a trendy restaurant in the Cooper-Young Historic District is the brainchild of artist and culinary entrepreneur Karen Blockman Carrier. Patrons can dine in refurbished hair-dryer chairs, enjoy the privacy of original booths enclosed by glass block walls, or sit on stools at the raw bar. Global cuisine with a Mediterranean touch offers mouth-watering selections such as the crispy duck, pecan encrusted trout and grilled Romaine salad. Delicious daily desserts include red velvet cake and crepes. Food is tasty and innovative.

Address: , 966 Cooper Street, Memphis,
Telephone: +1 901 272 7111

Cheap

Java Cabana

Cuisine:

Cooper-Young's first coffeehouse, now owned by former employee and welcoming barista Mary Burns, is a wonderfully eccentric place to stop. A comfortable, odd collection of easy chairs blends with the 1950s décor, inviting patrons to sip on a gourmet cup of java or snack on tasty sandwiches or desserts while reading a good book. Local and regional art for sale adorns the walls.

Address: , 2170 Young Avenue, Memphis,
Telephone: +1 901 272 7210

The Arcade

Cuisine:

Memphis' oldest restaurant sits opposite Central Station in the revitalised South Main Historic Arts District. Owner Harry Speros continues his grandfather's tradition begun in 1919, charming his customers with his friendly, personal attention. The restaurant features home-style breakfasts, plate lunch specials, Mediterranean-style fresh salads and hand-tossed pizzas. A daily special is the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, a favourite of Elvis, who was a regular customer.

Address: , 540 South Main Street, Memphis,
Telephone: +1 901 526 5757
Website: http://www.arcaderestaurant.com

Trolley Stop Market

Cuisine:

Just a few minutes' walk from Sun Studio and Beale Street, this characterful indoor market is ideal for casual lunch dining on the cheap. Opened in 2010, it's owned and run by local farmers. All produce comes from local and Mid-Southern farms, billed as "tractor to trolley". There's plenty of choice for vegans and vegetarians and for everyone else, a range from catfish hoagies to gourmet pizzas, brats and burgers. The market has live music on Friday nights, an unbeatable brunch deal on Saturdays plus artisan gifts on sale.

Address: , 704 Madison Avenue, Memphis,
Telephone: +1 901 526 1361
Website: http://www.trolleystopmarket.com
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Featured Hotels

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Gen X Inn

A chic boutique-style hotel in Midtown from the Best Western chain. It's in the heart of the Medical District and less than one block from Interstate 240, ideally located on the trolley line and only two miles from downtown. The décor in the 32 rooms is knowingly contemporary, and the king and queen rooms feature complimentary WiFi and cable TV. Breakfast is included and there's an exercise room and free parking.

The Guest House at Graceland

As part of the Graceland complex's renovations, the somewhat dated Heartbreak Hotel closed down but instead Elvis fans can opt for more luxurious accommodation with a stay at The Guest House, opened in October 2016. This 450-room resort was built to feel like an extension of the Graceland mansion itself with a touch of Southern colonial style to its exterior and décor and furnishings inspired by retro opulence from Presley's homes in Memphis and Palm Springs.

River Inn of Harbor Town

This 28-room boutique bolthole opened in 2007, one of the few properties on the well-to-do island of Harbor Town. For dramatic views of the city skyline and the Mississippi, you could do worse than their rooftop terrace. This Memphis hotel is a mix of European and Old South chic, with lavish sitting rooms to lounge in. A chocolate and glass of port wine await you as you retire to your room at night.

Madison Hotel

Transformed from an original bank building, this Memphis hotel now boasts Beaux Arts architecture and 110 well-appointed rooms. The interior has been transformed: for example, the fitness centre occupies the original bank vault and includes an indoor heated lap pool. One of the hotel's best features is its rooftop terrace. In the summer on Wednesday to Saturday nights, parties there feature live DJs and afford sunset views over the Mississippi.

The Peabody

The South's 464-room Grand Hotel is the epitome of elegant Southern hospitality, and the social hub of Downtown Memphis. This 1869 historic landmark was restored to its original splendour in 1981. See once, but only once, the famous Peabody Ducks' twice daily march at 1100 and 1700 to and from the marble lobby fountain. Sunday brunch and Thursday-night rooftop parties for dancing under the stars are the social highlights.

Days Inn Memphis at Graceland

Elvis fans on a budget should take a look at the Days Inn for an adequate alternative to the expensive Guest House at Graceland. With 60 rooms not far from the airport and a short walk to Graceland, the hotel has a guitar-shaped outdoor pool and inclusive WiFi, breakfast and parking.