Andrew Adams and Wally Joe at ACRE
Shrimp & Grits at Majestic Grille: Deni Carr Reilly
Restaurant Iris. Photo Credit: Justin Fox Burks
wine flight with dinner
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen: Justin Fox Burks
Cocktails at The Second Line. Photo Credit: Justin Fox Burks
Surf and Turf at Restaurant Iris
Chef Kelly English. Photo Credit: Justin Fox Burks
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen Memphis

Beyond Barbecue

Memphis Food is More Than Ribs

It’s hard to think of Memphis and not hunger for a slab of Rendezvous ribs or one of Cozy Corner’s Cornish game hens. But the city’s palate is evolving. In recent years, a number of young up-and-coming chefs have been bringing their talents to Memphis in the form of intimate and authentic establishments. We’re talking about the gastropub.

A perfect fit for Memphis, the gastropub trend introduces local, seasonal and still very Southern cuisine to a city that’s always appreciated a more affordable plate and good drinks to go with it. Two restaurants epitomize that experience, South of Beale and Local Gastropub. Located on South Main, South of Beale was the first to bring the gastropub to Memphis. You’ll find chef-driven items on their menu like seared duck, roasted mushroom salad and Guinness elk chili, as well as a large selection of beers, including choices from Memphis’ own Ghost River Brewery. Just a few blocks north on Main, Local takes an intelligent and cool approach to classic comfort foods like pork belly salad, bbq braised short rib tacos, chicken and waffles and much more.

Local as a concept is also taking root in Memphis. With Arkansas just over the river and Mississippi just south of the city, Memphis’ location is ideal for restaurants that want to feature local and regional food sources. Restaurant Iris, one of the best restaurants in the city, takes that concept pretty seriously by making sure that all patrons read the following disclaimer before making a reservation: “In order to provide you with the freshest ingredients, menus are subject to change frequently, depending on the season and products available at the farmers’ market.”