Warm Up In Memphis This Winter: Food & Drink Edition

Stacey Greenberg | January, 2020

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. 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. Meanwhile, Phuong Long (306 Cleveland) serves fresh and delicious pho with all the fixings. For ramen on a fine-dining level, Lucky Cat Ramen is your go-to. Locals are still giving thanks that this wildly popular pop-up made a permanent home in Memphis' Broad Avenue Arts District.

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, The Young Avenue Deli has a great veggie option. For the ultimate chicken soup fix, try Maciel’s sublime chicken chipotle soup (listed as Caldo Tlalpeno). Other bowls not to be missed: the soup du jour (served with cheesy potato bread) from the Sudanese food stall inside Global Cafe at Crosstown Concourse and the expertly executed French onion soup at Bishop. You'll find Bishop, the newest fine dining concept from acclaimed Memphis chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, inside the newly renovated Central Station Hotel.

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. Pete & Sam’s lasagna for one, which is actually big enough to share
  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; portabella; and the Silo Burger, combining hearty beans with serrano peppers and cashew ranch)
Hustle & Dough coffee and pastry shop inside Memphis' new Arrive Hotel
Inside City Silo, a clean-eating restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee
A slice of pie and a cup of coffee at Muddy's
Outside Young Avenue Deli in Memphis, Tennessee's Cooper-Young neighborhood

Save room for dessert & drinks

Loflin Yard not only has firepits, they sell DIY s’mores kits. (You can also make your own s’mores indoors at the Kooky Canuck, right on your table!) But several of Memphis' beloved bakeries offer seasonally inspired sweets, too, like Prima's Hot Coffee Cake, a warm almond coffee cake with a cinnamon glaze. Sweet LaLa's in Germantown serves up hot cinnamon rolls. 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 Bakery or a vanilla-infused London Fog  at Muddy's Midtown. For something stronger, we recommend cozying up to the bar at Ghost River Brewing's tap room for a pint of Midnight Magic, a malty, roasty, German-style black ale available only during the calendar's colder months.  Or, gather up some friends and head to The Gray Canary, where the seasonal punch known as Midwinter's Night mixes cognac with cinnamon, star anise and cream soda for four to six guests.