spread of ramen, rice, wontons, chicken at Good Fortune
Holly Whitfield

Warm Up In Memphis This Winter: Food & Drink Edition

Winter is a relative term in Memphis, where we can deliver nearly year-round patio weather. However, during our occasional stretches of cooler temps, you'll enjoy plenty of tasty ways to warm your belly. Try these local-favorite restaurants, bars and menu items to start

Craving steaming bowls of soup or noodles?

You can find plenty of Asian restaurants in Midtown if spicy, fragrant soups are what you have in mind: Think Vietnamese, Korean, Thai and Chinese. The Crazy Noodle (2015 Madison) is a sweet little place tucked in just down the street from Overton Square. They have an amazing variety of ramen as well as Korean favorites like manduguk, which features Korean dumplings, flat rice cakes, cabbage, carrots, onions, shiitakes and zucchini. It’s stirred with an egg and topped with seaweed. For ramen and dumplings on a fine-dining level, Good Fortune Co. is your go-to. Locals are still giving thanks that this popular pop-up made a permanent home in Memphis' South Main Historic Arts District. Near the University of Memphis, you'll find mouthwatering bibimbop, packed with rice, steamed veggies, house gochujang sauce and your choice of eight proteins (or order the Billy Bop to add three to your bowl!), at Sam's Deli.  

If you're looking for a more traditional soup to stick to your bones, then get a bowl of Huey’s hearty potato soup. Go ahead, get a burger too. If chili is your thing, Young Avenue Deli has a great meaty and vegetarians options. For the ultimate chicken soup fix, try Maciel’s sublime chicken chipotle soup (listed as Caldo Tlalpeno). Other bowls not to be missed: beef consommé from Taconganas food truck (order with tacos "nganas style" with melted cheese, then dip the tacos in the savory broth) and the expertly executed French onion soup at Bishop. You'll find this fine dining concept from acclaimed Memphis chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, inside the stylish Central Station Hotel. Inside Crosstown Concourse, try the African peanut soup and more internationally inspired bowls at Global Cafe.

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Get your hearty proteins

When you're all souped up, or if you're souped out, you might be craving something meatier. Memphis has more than 100 barbecue spots to help you satisfy that craving, or try one of these other spins: 

  1. The mussels at Café 1912, with bread for sopping up the white wine sauce you’d drink from the bowl if no one was looking
  2. Wolf River Brisket Co.'s Smokehouse Mac, creamy mac 'n' cheese topped with your choice of burnt ends, chopped brisket, sausage, or pulled smoked chicken. (Check out their new location at Crosstown Concourse.)
  3. Any of the burgers at Kooky Canuck, with options ranging from build-your-own to the Poutine Burger to a series of challenges for the biggest appetites (four- to 12-pound patties as seen on Man Vs. Food)
  4. Gourmet veggie burger varieties from City Silo (choose from beet and walnut; portobella; and the Silo Burger, combining hearty beans with serrano peppers and cashew ranch)
  5. Go for boneless braised short ribs or the grilled New Zealand lamb chops from Southern fine dining favorite Itta Bena above B.B. King's Blues Club on Beale. 
  6. For Irish fare, stop into Bog & Barley in East Memphis. Fill up on the beef shepherd's pie paired with your favorite whiskey or pint. 
  7. What about Italian? Cocozza is cooking up Italian favorites in Harbortown. The crispy chicken parmesan covered in mozzarella, parmesan and marinara is sure to warm you up. East Memphis' Ciao Bella has an excellent beef brisket gnocchi with portobello mushrooms and a parmesan cream sauce. Downtown, go for tonnarelli with beef strocotto or lamb barese lasagna at Catherine and Mary's
  8. Dig into authentic Indian cuisine at Bombay House in Cordova. The butter chicken and chicken vindaloo are popular plates on a protein-packed menu.
Hustle & Dough coffee and pastry shop inside Memphis' new Arrive Hotel
white bowl filled with spicy pork dumplings, garnished with green herbs, on a blue patterned tablecloth
Anna Cai / Used with permission from Good Fortune Co.

Save room for dessert & drinks

Loflin Yard not only has firepits, they offer hot cocktails, including a hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps and the “Mizzus Swiss” with coffee, tequila, creme de cacao and chocolate.  Several of Memphis' restaurants offer seasonally inspired sweets, too, like the skillet chocolate chip cookie or peach cobbler from Kooky Canuck or a piping hot cinnamon roll from Sweet LaLa's in Germantown. And a mix of old- and new-favorite coffee shops in town has your warm winter beverages covered: Try a Bourbon Mocha featuring Memphis-roasted Vice & Virtue beans at Hustle & Dough or The Orchard latte with Warm Apple Pie syrup from Crazy Gander downtown. For something stronger, we recommend cozying up at Memphis Made's Cooper Young taproom for a pint of Plaid Attack! a malty, smooth Scottish ale available only during the calendar's colder months.

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