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Let’s put that true Memphian status to the test. Have you heard of all of these? Chances are, if you grew up in the city, you’ll pass with flying colors. As for those who aren’t sure where half of these spots are, this is your cheat sheet for acting like you’ve been a Memphis native all along. Here are some hidden gems found throughout Memphis — if you haven’t experienced them, make a list and take the time to check them all out!


Blind Bear

119 S. Main St., Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 417-8435

If you’ve ever been to the Blind Bear speakeasy, you know the first rule is that you must know the password of the night. So, first things first, sign up here to receive their daily emails with all the information you need. This 1920s prohibition-style bar boasts an exciting “giggle water” menu and serves Southern bar fare. Once you have the password, you can visit Monday through Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Thursday through Sunday from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. SB TIP: It may be a bar, but the crawfish mac and cheese on their late menu is a must! 

Itta Bena

145 Beale St., Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 578-3031

Located above B.B. King’s Blues Club on Beale Street is the fine-dining spot called Itta Bena. Make your way to Beale and Second Street, locate the black stairs along the wall and make your way to the top to find this hidden gem. When the doors open, you’ll find Southern flair in a relaxed, charming atmosphere making it the perfect place for a date night, milestone celebration or special event.

Kings Palace Cafe

162 Beale St., Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 521-1851

Kings Palace Cafe on Beale Street is quite possibly the coziest joint in town. The cafe offers a full menu including all the Memphis staples like BBQ ribs, shrimp and crawfish étouffée, and more. After getting your fill of Cajun staples, step into the lazy patio and jazz room to enjoy the live music.

Kings Palace Cafe

Kings Palace is located on Beale Street and offers tasty food and great music. Image: Kings Palace Cafe

RELATED: 6 Local Brands We Love (Found at Local Farmers’ Markets) 


Super Submarine Sandwich Shop (AKA: Chinese Sub Shop)

3316 Summer Ave., Memphis, TN 38122 • (901) 324-3728 

Chinese Sub Shop: Three famous words around the city of Memphis. You may know it as Highland Super Submarine Shop, but they’ve made a couple of moves since they opened their location on Highland Street near the University of Memphis. Now found on Summer Avenue, the shop is cash only. So, grab some green and order your sub. The bread is the perfect combination of soft and sweet, and you can pick whatever meat you’d like. Pick your chips and fill your fountain drink, then hang out in the booth until they call your order. If sandwiches aren’t your thing, go for an egg-roll – their Chinese cuisine is just as amazing.

Chinese Sub Shop

Pure deliciousness from Chinese Sub Shop. Image: Yelp

Cheesecake Corner

113 E. GE Patterson Ave., Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 525-2253

Cheesecake Corner quite possibly has the best cheesecakes this side of the Mississippi River. Only the real locals know about this downtown spot that’s a go-to for a post-dinner dessert or anytime you need to remedy a sweet-tooth craving. Take your time as your peruse the options behind the glass-front cabinet — there are plenty of options!

Elwood’s Shack

4523 Summer Ave., Memphis , TN 38122 • (901) 761-9898

An East Memphis delicacy, Elwood’s Shack can be found tucked away behind the Lowe’s on Summer Avenue. From brisket wraps to BBQ slaw dogs, you can’t order wrong from the comfort food menu at this no-frills joint. This is the spot where you’ll want to take out-of-town guests for the ultimate 901 foodie experience.

Elwood's Shack

Elwood’s Shack has daily specials like this picture-perfect sandwich right here. Image: Elwood’s Shack

Earnestine & Hazel’s

531 S Main St., Memphis, Tennessee 38103 • (901) 523-9754

Earnestine & Hazel’s represents what Memphis is all about – great food, great music, and great times. Located downtown on South Main Street, this dive bar invites you to listen to its soulful jukebox while indulging in their nationally recognized Soul Burger. You can even add a ghost tour to your visit … to see if its namesake sisters are still around.

Sam’s Deli

643 S. Highland St., Memphis, TN 38111 • (901) 454-5582

For those of you who have never heard of Sam’s Deli, let us enlighten you on this oh-so-delicious spot full of sandwiches, pizzas, burgers, and more. A standout on the menu is the bibimbap, which means “mixed with rice,” and you can order yours with chicken, BBQ pork and more. Don’t forget to grab something sweet on the way out.

Located right on Highland Street, you won’t be able to miss Sam’s Deli or its patio. Image:

Pancho’s Restaurant

717 N. White Station Rd., Memphis, TN 38122 • 901-685-5404
Surely you’ve heard of Pancho’s cheese dip, right? But did you know there’s an original Pancho’s Restaurant? Prepare to be amazed. Yes, you can get the famous cheese dip to start, but the real showstoppers are the Mexican pizzas, their quesadillas or the Pancho’s Sampler. Delicioso!

The real question is, white or yellow cheese dip? Choose wisely. There’s always an argument over which one is better. Image: Pancho’s

RELATED: 7 New Memphis Restaurants You Need to Try 

Miscellaneous Spots

Elmwood Cemetery

824 S. Dudley, St., Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 774-3212

More than a final resting place, Elmwood Cemetery is a rural garden park and arboretum where family outings and picnics take place. They like to say, “Monuments celebrate life and death, and so it continues to be.” But of course, if you’re into the spooky stuff, they have tours at night and on Halloween, too.

The House of Mews

933 S. Cooper, Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 272-3777

For the cat lovers who have never visited The House of Mews, you’re welcome. It’s the first and oldest, no-kill, legal cathouse. The rescue cats there are from local kill shelters, and they’re allowed to freely roam the premises until they find a home. So, if you’re in the market to adopt a furry friend or just feeling the need for some kitty cuddling, this is the place.

Joe’s Wines & Liquor

1681 Poplar Ave., Memphis, TN 38104 • 901-725-4252

Joe’s Wines & Liquor‘s notable, carnival-like exterior is pretty recognizable in the city of Memphis. So much to the point that it’s been put on T-shirts and murals representing the 901. But, it also carries every brand of spirits you’d like. If you want to find a new favorite, ask a Joe’s employee for the hidden treasures they’re passionate about and watch them light up like the neon sign as they share their top picks.

Joe's Wines & Liquors

Joe’s carries all the liquor brands you’d expect as well as some hidden treasures. Image: Joe’s Wines & Liquors

Have fun exploring all these beloved places Memphians hold dear!


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