The 10 Most Famous Restaurants in Memphis

Kaylee Giacomini

The city of Memphis, Tennessee has an ever growing foodie scene that attracts new residents and tourists each year. Some establishments have been open for over a century, while other newcomers have quickly become an iconic member of the Memphis foodie game. Check out some of the most famous restaurants to visit on your next trip to Memphis, Tennessee.

The Arcade Restaurant, The Four Way Soul Food Restaurant, The Majestic Grille, Jim Neely's Interstate Bar-B-Que, Little Tea Shop, Coletta's Italian Restaurant, Brother Juniper's, The Beauty Shop, Muddy's Bake Shop, Magnolia & May

  • The Arcade Restaurant in Memphis, United States

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      Arcade is Memphis’ oldest continuously running restaurant - first opened over a century ago in 1919. The establishment has been owned by four generations of the Zepatos family and was founded by Speros Zepatos who immigrated to the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Arcade Restaurant knows what they’re doing when it comes to food. The Food Network named their fried peanut butter and banana sandwich among the best in America in 2020 and their pizzas also come highly recommended. Arcade’s dining room is steeped in nostalgia for American diner culture, and even has a booth dedicated to Elvis Presley due to the many times he visited.

  • The Four Way Soul Food Restaurant in Memphis, United States

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      The Four Way is worth a stop simply for the history behind it; this is the establishment where Martin Luther King Jr. ate his final meal. The restaurant first opened in a segregated Memphis back in the 1940’s and today pays homage to the city’s rich history of civil rights activism. The Four Way serves up classic low country options like fried catfish, collard greens, black eyed peas, and more southern staples. Don’t leave without a slice of peach cobbler.

  • The Majestic Grille in Memphis, United States

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      Majestic Grille has one of the most elaborate settings of the Memphis dining scene; the entire restaurant is an upscale converted movie theater. Rows of seats were replaced by low lit tables years ago, but silent films still play during dining hours on a projected screen. The establishment serves patrons upscale Italian-American fare with a fusion of Southern cuisine. Start with a plate of cornmeal crusted calamari, and if you’re not getting one of their outstanding flatbread pizzas try a steak. All of their filets are aged for 21 days before being served alongside classic steakhouse options.

  • Jim Neely's Interstate Bar-B-Que in Memphis, United States

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      If you want to make it as a barbecue joint in Memphis, you have to be great. Interstate is one of the best. This establishment first opened as a grocery store and today has a large interior that serves patrons huge portions of meat and side dishes. Try their elephantine beef ribs if your appetite is as big as the grocery-store-sized dining room.

  • Little Tea Shop in Memphis, United States

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      The Little Tea Shop would have been the city’s oldest running restaurant, but after opening in 1918 they closed their doors in the 1940’s during WWII. Luckily, the establishment re-opened for business later and has been managed by Jimmy Lauck since 1982. The Little Tea Shop serves classic southern fare in a down home-style structure. It feels like a step back in time and the menu goes along with this vibe. Try the Lacy Special which comes with chicken and gravy served atop a bed of cornbread.

  • Coletta's Italian Restaurant in Memphis, United States

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      Coletta’s is the city’s oldest operating Italian restaurant, opened in 1923. For nearly a century, this establishment has been beloved by Memphis locals. They’re well known for their pizza, and in the 1950’s jumped into Memphis’ barbecue game by offering a savory barbecue pizza. University of Tennessee students particularly love the restaurant as they have a second location on campus. The interior of their flagship establishment on South Parkway has a retro Italian-American flair with red checked tablecloths, arched doorways, and wood paneled walls.

  • Brother Juniper's in Memphis, United States

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      Brother Juniper’s serves some of the best breakfast options in Memphis. They have won many national accolades since their conception in the 1960’s. The restaurant is named after one of the cooks who served St. Francis of Assisi. The story goes that although Brother Juniper was rather poor, he still managed to cook a delicious meal every day. The establishment Brother Juniper follows this idea. Food doesn’t have to be expensive to be outstanding. Each month the restaurant raises money for charitable organizations while serving one of the best breakfasts in the city. Try the cinnamon roll pancakes or one of their giant, open face omelets.

  • The Beauty Shop in Memphis, United States

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      The Beauty Shop got its name as it used to be an actual beauty shop. The interior of the establishment pays homage to its history with tables placed in salon stations and chairs below 1960’s-esque hair dryers. They serve classic Southern fare with some unusual, modern spins that define this unique foodie destination.

  • Muddy's Bake Shop in Memphis, United States

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      Muddy’s is the product of what happens when an elementary school bake sale grows up. The storefront has stacks of fresh pastries and cakes for sale below a disco ball and other eclectic decor touches. Although not necessarily a restaurant, if you leave Memphis without trying food from here you’ve done something wrong. Grab a seasonal cupcake featuring fresh local berries or their infamous “Prozac” cupcake and see what else you can find.

  • Magnolia & May in Memphis, United States

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    • kaylee

      Magnolia and May perfectly exemplifies what the new-age food scene in Memphis looks like. Global cuisine can be found here cooked in the style of an old French brasserie. Their menu of course has some popular southern touches best served in Tennessee kitchens.