Collectively, our SB FACES of Memphis make up one of the best advisory committees you could possibly consult with on local topics. Today, we share their insights on dining out in Memphis. These hardworking, talented women are active in the community and, in turn, are acutely aware of the city’s traditional favorites, hidden hot spots and trendy new flavors. We asked each of these women to name their favorite Memphis-area restaurants.
Cynthia Allen, community involvement manager for Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation
I like certain restaurants for certain things: 0pen grilled oysters at Pearl’s Oyster House, fried green tomatoes and BBQ ribs along with great music B.B. King’s and the margarita special (not a drink) at Happy Mexican. Try the crawfish rolls at Old Venice Pizza Company, and Just for Lunch is a great stop for lunch and shopping in Chickasaw Oaks Village.
Sekisui in Midtown is my favorite stop for sushi. The Cupboard will always be my choice for Italian spinach and corn pudding, and, of course, their corn bread. For breakfast, I still love Brother Juniper’s, if you can get a seat.
Kontji Anthony, anchor and reporter for WMC-TV 5
I go to Flight for their incredible Seafood Flight and the option to break up your meal into smaller portions. DeJaVu is a favorite for delicious gumbo when I need to eat on the go. DKDC always has something new on the menu; I’ve never had a bad bite there. Try the Chicken Havanas. Second Line has fantastic po’ boys, particularly the White Oak Pastures.
Carmen Bond, owner of Social, a shop for gracious living
My husband, Matt, and I have been involved with River Oaks since its inception. We really gained a gem when José Gutierrez came on board. He is one of the finest and most talented chefs in this country.
I have been friends with Wally (Chef Wally Joe) for a really long time and love dining at Acre. He is also my neighbor at Social, so we will always support him. We enjoy taking out-of-town reps there.
I also love popping into the Grove Grill, one of my go-to places. Jeff Dunham is one of the nicest guys I know, and his food is always delicious.
Iris is definitely one of our favorites. It is now harder to get a reservation, as we are last-minute planners, but when I do, I feel like I am being treated to finery.
One place that Matt and I just can’t get enough of is Andrew Michael. The delicious-ness never ends! These guys are doing amazing things, and I am so glad to call them friends.
Dana Driver and Cheryl Walker, co-owners of the Sorelle Boutique
Kate Gassaway, a board-certified family nurse practitioner, health care entrepreneur and owner of Solutions Medical Center
I’m not into foo-foo food, and I might be a smidge of a picky eater. That said, I just knew I wouldn’t like anything at Hog & Hominy, but after trying it, I LOVE their food. Plus, we live near there, so it’s convenient. Ciao Bella is also another favorite.
Carissa Hussong, executive director of the Metal Museum
It seems like there are fabulous new restaurants opening up in Memphis every day, but it is Tsunami where we find ourselves returning again and again. It is like Cheers, where everybody knows your name but in my case, food allergies. What more could one ask for other than great food, attentive staff and original art?
JJ Keras, Memphis-based lifestyle consultant
Helen Kiser, a leader in her family’s business, Kiser’s Floor Fashions.
Molly Lambert, owner of Maggie Louise Bridal in Collierville
Julie Lansky, the third generation of the Lansky Bros. retail business, and buyer and marketing manager for all four Lansky Bros. shops
Tramica Morris, mother of 12-year-old Moziah Bridges, the founder of Mo’s Bows design company
My dad is a chef, and my grandparents owned several restaurants in Memphis. So I love GOOD food. Mot & Ed’s on Madison for great turkey burgers; the East Memphis Fish Market & Eatery for great Southern fried fish; and for something sweet, you will always find me at Dorothy Mae’s (located inside The Withers Collection Museum and Gallery on Beale Street).
Julie Spear, floral designer, Memphis Garden Club member and a Garden Club of America Flower Show judge
Oh gosh! That’s hard to narrow down, but we love Café Society, India Palace, Iris, Café 1912, Tsunami, Folk’s Folly for dinner; Babalu, Bayou Bar & Grill , Bosco’s, Just for Lunch, the Grove Grill and the Half Shell after an afternoon movie.
Emily Tickle Thomas, cancer survivor, founder of The Cancer Card Xchange
Las Delicias for guacamole and margaritas; love Second Line, ESPECIALLY eating on the patio; and we ate at Rizzo’s Diner a few times and cannot wait to go back when it opens in its new location … so good! We love to take our four boys to the Young Avenue Deli for lunch or early dinner before it turns into a more 21+ crowd. And we are excited that Collierville is getting a Pyro’s pizza. We enjoy going to the one at Ridgeway and the one on Union.
Holly Whitfield, I Love Memphis blogger and social media strategist for the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau
I’m really liking Bounty right now because you can try different small plates with fresh, bold flavors. Great cocktails, too. Elwood’s Shack is such a Memphis experience I dream about their BBQ slaw dog. I don’t usually go for crazy monstrous burgers, but I was pleasantly surprised at the taste and quality of my LBOE burger at LBOE (Havarti, bacon, chilies and – yes – Fritos!) and I can’t wait for their inside/outside bar to open.
Thank you to our FACES of Memphis women for rave reviews of your favorite local restaurants!
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