Beale Street Flippers

Memphis Cheat Sheet

Must-Dos, Must-Sees and Must-Eats

1. GET A DOSE OF MEMPHIS MUSIC HISTORY

Whether or not you’re an Elvis fan a pilgrimage to Graceland is the perfect choice. If you don’t have the time or budget for Graceland, we recommend a visit to:
• Sun Studio
• Stax Museum of American Soul Music
• Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
• Memphis Music Hall of Fame
• Blues Hall of Fame

2. EAT BBQ

Barbecue is the official cuisine of Memphis. Try:

• Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous for ribs or the sausage and cheese plate
• Central BBQ for a pulled pork sandwich or barbecue nachos
• The Bar-B-Q Shop for ribs and a side of barbecue spaghetti
• Corky's BBQ for ribs dry or wet and banana pudding for dessert 
• Payne's BBQ for the barbecue bologna sandwich 

For non-barbecue dining recommendations, keep reading.

Don't stop there, Memphis has over 100 bbq joints

3. LIVE MUSIC

If you’re looking for the live and mostly local music scene, try:
• B.B. King's Blues Club
• Alfred's
• Silky O'Sullivan's
• Rum Boogie
• Earnestine & Hazel's
• Mollie Fountaine Lounge
The Bluff
• Goner Records
• Young Avenue Deli
• Lafayette’s Music Room 
• Hi-Tone Cafe
• Minglewood Hall
• Bar DKDC 

During spring, summer, and fall, catch a free concert at the Levitt Shell. And of course you'll always find a ton of live music on Beale Street

4. PHOTO OPS

• Stop by Beale Street Landing and Tom Lee Park for views of the mighty Mississippi and the iconic bridge.
• The historic Peabody Hotel has a beautiful lobby, a rooftop with a great view, and two daily duck marches that the kids will love.
• Take a daytime stroll on historic Beale Street, then stop in A. Schwab for a sundae. At night, enjoy live music and drinks, and watch the Beale Street Flippers do their thing.
• Ride on the tallest free standing elevator in the country found in the Bass Pro at the Pyramid for a birds eye view of the Downtown Memphis skyline.
Walk across on the Big River Crossing, the only pedestrian/bike bridge that spans the the mighty Mississippi River. 
• Take a photo in front of an I Love Memphis mural. Check out the full list here.

5. ANNUAL FESTIVALS & EVENTS

Food: 
• Memphis Brewfest (April)
• Overton Square Crawfish Festival (April)
• Southern Hot Wing Festival (April)
• Wold Championship BBQ Cooking Competition (May) 
• Cooper-Young Beerfest (October)
• Memphis Food & Wine Festival (October)
• Carribean Jerk Festival (July)

Music:
• International Blues Competition (January)
• Elvis Week (August)
• Beale Street Music Festival (May)
• Mempho Music Fest (October)

Cultural:
• Africa in April (April)
• Memphis in May International Festival (May)
• Memphis Music & Heritage Festival (September)
• RiverArts Fest (October)
• Indie Memphis Film Festival (October)

Sports/Outdoors:
• Liberty Bowl (January)
• St. Jude Classic golf tournament  (June)
• Outdoors Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race (June)
• Southern Heritage Classic (September)
• St. Jude Marathon Weekend (December)
 

Promo Icon
Find out what's happening

6. ATTRACTIONS AND TOURS

• Memphis Zoo, consistently rated #1 in the country and one of 4 zoos with pandas
• The National Civil Rights Museum, an interactive museum focused on the Civil Rights movement
• NBA team the Memphis Grizzlies play home games at FedExForum, adjacent to Beale Street in downtown Memphis
• Backbeat Tours: musical sightseeing bus tours, walking ghost tours
• Memphis Hop: hop-on, hop-off shuttle with 10 stops
• Historical Haunts ghost tours
• A Tour Of Possibilities and Heritage Tours focuses on Civil Rights and African American history
• Ride in style in vintage cars and your personal tour guide with Rockabilly Rides and American Dream Safari 
City Tasting Tours will satisfy your taste buds

7. PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK IN MEMPHIS

Most restaurants in Memphis offer vegetarian options, and there are quite a few that cater to those looking for healthier choices. If you’re looking for choices by neighborhood, read on:

DOWNTOWN:
• Earnestine & Hazel’s (beer and soul burgers in the divey-est of atmospheres)
• The Majestic Grille (upscale, art deco atmosphere)
• Gus's Fried Chicken (world-famous spicy, crispy chicken)
• Felicia Suzanne’s (white-tablecloth Southern fare) 

• Alcenia’s (soul food in the most hospitable atmosphere around)
• Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos (fresh, authentic Mexican)

For bar hopping/late-night eating: 
• SOB
• Bardog Tavern
• Blind Bear
• Flying Saucer Draught Emporium 
• anywhere on Beale Street

For breakfast: 
• Arcade Restaurant
• Bardog Tavern
• Blue Plate Cafe
MIDTOWN:
• Beauty Shop (fusion food in a swanky atmosphere)
• Second Line (New Orleans-style food and craft cocktails)

• Soul Fish Cafe (soul food in a casual atmosphere)
• Aldo’s is a pizza joint next to Memphis Made Taproom
• Bounty (upscale farm-to-table)
• Local on the Square
• Tsunami (asian fusion)

​For bar hopping/late-night eating: 
• Young Avenue Deli
• Alchemy
• Sweet Grass Next Door

For breakfast: 
• Cafe Eclectic
• weekend brunch at Celtic Crossing Irish Pub & Restaurant​
 
EAST MEMPHIS:
• Hog & Hominy (Southern-Italian cuisine plus craft cocktails)
• Porcellino’s (upscale cafe with coffee, butcher, breakfast, lunch and dinner)
• One & Only BBQ (tasty ribs and more)
• RP Tracks (college bar with surprisingly great food . . . the barbecue tofu nachos are A+)

• Elwood’s Shack (folks love their barbecue, fish tacos and breakfast)
• Gibson’s Donuts (open 24 hours, a Memphis-must)
For breakfast: 
• Another Broken Egg
• Blue Plate Cafe
• Brother Juniper's (expect a wait)

6. WILD CARD

This one depends on your interests. Here are some options for a choose-your-own-adventure in Memphis:

If you’re the outdoorsy type, go to the Bass Pro Pyramid
 

If you’re into craft beer, check out:
• WISEACRE Brewing
• Memphis Made Brewing
• Ghost River Brewing Co.  
• High Cotton Tap Room
• Bosco’s Squared
• Hammer & Ale
With kids, check out:
• Fire Museum of Memphis
• My Big Backyard at Memphis Botanic Garden
• Rainbow Lake Playground at Overton Park
• The Children’s Museum of Memphis
• Pink Palace Museum