Beale Street at Night

Places to Eat Near the Memphis Cook Convention Center

Food is part of the cultural holy trinity here. The other two are Music and Heritage. As a result, there’s really no way you can have a bad meal in Memphis. If you’re staying near the Memphis Cook Convention Center in Downtown Memphis, here are just some of the restaurants that are a short walk away. 


If you're in Memphis, you have to pay your respects to one of the following three establishments.


Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous may be the most famous barbecue restaurant in the city, but their ribs are world-renowned for a reason. In fact, they’re kind of hard to miss. The smoke they use to tenderize those ribs, sausages and pork butts, flavors the air around Second Street and Union Avenue.


A tiny brick building next to loft-condos on South Front Street, Gus’s keeps it simple and perfect with handmade spicy fried chicken that has just the right amount of heat to water your eyes but also keep you eating.


Beale Street may be the live music epicenter of Memphis, but it’s also got a slew of great restaurants. Tucked away above B.B. King’s Blues Club, Itta Bena offers visitors a cool and quiet corner to feast on a Delta-influenced menu. And if you just want to have a drink and listen to awesome live music, Rum Boogie Cafe is the spot for you. 


Not every visit to Memphis is a vacation, but that doesn’t mean it has to feel like work. Here are a few places to take the boss or a client when you’re in Memphis.


Memphis chef Felicia Willett is known for her high-quality twist on Southern Creole cuisine in a fine dining atmosphere. Her downtown restaurant, Felicia Suzanne's, celebrated over 13 years in business. The spot is mostly known for dinner, but she does offer a mean Friday lunch. 


A former movie theater, the Majestic is a go-to place for visitors and locals alike. The art-deco décor and eclectic menu make it a great place to stop for lunch or dinner. Even better, grab a seat at the bar, order a glass of wine and share a couple of their signature flatbreads.


Located in the stunning Peabody Memphis Hotel on Union Avenue, Chez Philippe has long been the standard-bearer for fine dining in Memphis. Featuring traditional French cuisine, Chez Philippe offers diners a range of prix fixe menus, including the highly indulgent seven-course experience.
Fine dining at Felicia Suzanne's
Dry rub ribs at Rendezvous Restaurant in Memphis
Gus's Chicken in Memphis
Kooky Canuck's 4-Pound Hamburger. Photo Credit: Eli Cloud


Some of the best meals are the unplanned impromptu places where you can walk in off the street, sit down and feel like home.


From sandwiches and salads to the popular salmon entree with miso and pecan glaze, McEwens has something for everyone. The “Wine Cellar” is available for parties up to 20 people who would like to add a little Old World charm to any private dining event. 


The first official gastro pub in Memphis, South of Beale, or SOB as its known, is a cool, affordable chef-driven joint. Creative cocktails, a great wine list, and a menu that features bites, small plates and seasonal entrees, SOB’s is a great spot for that casual-slash-unforgettable night out. 


Kids could care less about an amuse-bouche or synchronized service. They want what they want, and what they want is great-tasting food in a fun environment.


You really can’t go wrong with a burger after a long day of sightseeing around Memphis. A perennial winner of local polls for best burger, Huey’s has a particularly great kids’ menu, which includes mini corn dogs, the kid’s mac-n-cheese and the Baby Huey burger.


You definitely will not leave hungry after a visit to the Kooky Canuck. Known for their Kookamonga Challenge, a four-pound burger that if you eat in under an hour you get for free.
Memphis World Famous Barbecue
Local Craft Breweries