Bite Into the Top Five Memphis Restaurants

Bite Into the Top Five Memphis Restaurants

Satisfy your appetite by checking out the top five Memphis restaurants.

Restaurant Iris

Since 2008, Chef Kelly English has sated Memphis palates with his masterful blends of Southern, French-Creole, and fine-dining cuisine. Restaurant Iris is a 13-table midtown eatery has its reservations regularly booked, thanks to such dishes as fried oyster and blue cheese-stuffed New York Strip, lobster knuckle sandwich, mahi-mahi with roasted corn custard, and the chef's choice five-course dinner with wine pairing. Although the restaurant is currently undergoing renovations, it will reopen in August.

The Second Line

If you can’t wait until August, The Second Line is the casual cousin of Restaurant Iris. Also in midtown, it offers diners authentic New Orleans food, with such dishes as roast beef po' boys with bread delivered straight from New Orleans, fried seafood, crawfish pimento cheese fries, and Natchitoches meat pies. The Second Line’s drink menu features local beers and artisan cocktails infused with herbs such as Kudzu and cilantro, and crafted with Mississippi Cathead vodka and ginger beer.

Central BBQ

With four locations throughout the city, Central BBQ is THE spot for Memphis barbecue. Instead of sauce, the eatery boasts that smoke is their sauce. They infuse that smoke by slow cooking the meat on hickory and pecan, using a secret blend of spices to make a rub that is marinated for 24 hours before ever hitting the flame. The pulled pork sandwiches with slaw, ribs, hot wings, and barbecue nachos, and in-house made potato chips are all to die for. The dining experience is made even better with the sides, which include creamy mac & cheese, baked beans, potato salad, and collard greens.

Beauty Shop

The 2017 Diners’ Choice winner, Beauty Shop is a trendy restaurant located in the Cooper Young district of downtown Memphis. The former ‘60s-era beauty salon has been redone as an upscale, eclectic eatery that embraces its hair-do history with wash sinks and hair dryers still intact. Chef and restaurateur Karen Carrier has a menu filled with bold international flavors. The daily specials include ravioli, sandwiches, crêpes, fish, and steaks. Favorites also include beet-stained salmon gravlax with avocado-tangerine salsa, cocoa-ginger-spiced brisket, and watermelon and wings. Sunday brunch items include frittatas, Benedicts, and egg-topped bruschetta. In addition to Sunday brunch, Beauty Shop also offers lunch, dinner, and cocktails.

Folk’s Folly

Folk’s Folly is a family-owned restaurant that deems itself Memphis’ original prime steak house. Located in East Memphis, this eatery sports a traditional, upscale atmosphere with dependable service. The menu features such entrée items as prime-cut filets, strips, ribeyes and porterhouses, fresh lobsters, she-crab soup, and crab legs. Appetizers range from mushrooms to a variety of seafood bites, including calamari, crab cakes, and catfish beignets. The myriad of soups, salads, and vegetables round out the meal, along with such enhancers as hollandaise sauce and wasabi butter. Plus, the weekly special variety with a range of surf-and-turf fare. The Cellar Lounge sets a relaxing mood with complimentary fried pickles. You have a choice of fine wines, mixed drinks, cocktails, cognacs, liqueurs, and coffees to enjoy while listening to the live piano music.