Beale Street Flippers

Memphis Cheat Sheet: Must See, Do, Eat

Note that due to COVID-19, some Memphis attractions may be operating at limited capacity or temporarily closed. Please check with each attraction or experience before visiting.


Whether or not you’re an Elvis fan a pilgrimage to Graceland is the perfect choice. To really understand the full scope of how Memphis became the birthplace of Americana music, you'll have to visit:
• Sun Studio
• Stax Museum of American Soul Music
• Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
• Memphis Music Hall of Fame
The Blues Foundation's Blues Hall of Fame


Note: While many Memphis restaurants have reopened for dine-in service, others are offering exclusive patio and take-out dining options. Please call or check a restaurant's social media before you go.

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!


Live music is everywhere in Memphis, from Beale Street to spring, summer, and fall concerts at the Levitt Shell. While some live music events are being presented virtually at present, follow these venues for updates (and a healthy dose of virtual concerts):
• B.B. King's Blues Club
• Alfred's
• Silky O'Sullivan's
• Rum Boogie
• Earnestine & Hazel's
Loflin Yard
• Mollie Fountaine Lounge
The Bluff
• Goner Records
• Young Avenue Deli
• Lafayette’s Music Room 
• Hi-Tone Cafe
• Minglewood Hall
• Bar DKDC​
• The Green Room at Crosstown Arts
• Railgarten

You've GOT to Hear this
Find live music events


• 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.


Note: Due to the ongoing health crisis, many annual festivals and events have been cancelled or postponed. Please be sure to check festival websites or social media pages before planning your visit around these events.

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

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

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

• Liberty Bowl (January)
• Outdoors Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race (June)
• WGC FedEx St. Invitational golf tournament  (July)
• Southern Heritage Classic (September)
70.3 Ironman Memphis triathlon (October)
• St. Jude Marathon Weekend (December)

What's happening while you're in town?


• 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
• Crosstown Concourse, Memphis' vertical urban village, features live music, art exhibits, fantastic eats and so much more
• 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 Rock N' Rides Tours and American Dream Safari 
City Tasting Tours will satisfy your taste buds

Like these ideas?
We have 60+ more attractions for you


Note: While many Memphis restaurants have reopened for dine-in service, others are offering exclusive patio and take-out dining options. Please call or check a restaurant's social media before you go.

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:

• 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: 
• Bardog Tavern
• Blind Bear
• Flying Saucer Draught Emporium 
• anywhere on Beale Street

For breakfast: 
• Arcade Restaurant
• Bardog Tavern
• Blue Plate Cafe


• 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)
• Farm Burger
Next Door

For bar hopping/late-night eating: 
• Young Avenue Deli
• Alchemy
• Sweet Grass Next Door
Art Bar at Crosstown Arts
For breakfast: 
• Cafe Eclectic
• weekend brunch at Celtic Crossing Irish Pub & Restaurant​

• Hog & Hominy (Southern-Italian cuisine plus craft cocktails)
• 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)

Memphis is more than BBQ
See all the delicious possibilities


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: