Memphis Restaurants Serve Up More Than Barbecue

New favorites come to Memphis.

Tapas and cocktails at Alchemy in Memphis, TN

Alchemy in the Cooper-Young neighborhood has tapas and artisan cocktails. Photo by Justin Fox Burks.

Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen Memphis

Italian and Southern Fusion at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen. Photo by Justin Fox Burks.

Shrimp & Grits at Majestic Grille: Deni Carr Reilly

Shrimp and Grits at the Majestic Grille

Food and wine pairing at Flight. Photo Credit: Brad Luttrell

Fine Dining at Flight

Memphis is a barbecue town. In a city where it’s hard to go a mile without passing a rib shack, we’ve earned our reputation for world-class ‘cue. But while we love all things pork, Memphis’ food scene is more than just barbecue. We’ve got one-of-a-kind restaurants serving everything from fried chicken to French fare.

If you’re planning a night out, start the evening off with dinner or drinks at Itta Bena. The secretive, somewhat-hard-to-find restaurant is unlike anything else on the street (hint: it’s located above B.B. King’s Blues Club). Sip one of their signature cocktails while looking over the action on Beale through blue-tinted windows. For dinner, their menu of upscale takes on classic Southern fare is sure to please. No matter what your order, start with a bowl of the legendary She Crab Soup.

With a huge wine list and interesting dining concept, Flight is one of downtown Memphis’ best restaurants for a special evening out. The entrees, salads and appetizers at Flight come in themed sets of three -- think a seafood flight with scallops and rice, shrimp and grits, and lobster ravioli or a salad flight with an iceberg wedge, mozzerella and tomatoes, and a watermelon salad with feta.

For something a little more low-key, locals and visitors alike love Gus’ Fried Chicken. The world-famous chicken shack serves some of the South’s best spicy fried chicken. The menu is simple and the decor is stripped down, but the jukebox is as packed with great Memphis tunes, as are the tables with hungry diners.

For late-night downtown Memphis dining, head over to South of Beale. The gastropub’s seasonal food menu is loaded with everything from bar classics like burgers and pizza to steaks, seafood and incredible desserts. Belly up to the bar and try some of S.O.B.’s signature seasoned popcorn or the daily chips-and-dip special. The kitchen stays open until midnight.