With millions of out-of-town guests visiting Memphis each year, hotel choices in the city have always been vibrant and varied, with an array of options from stylish comfort to eclectic boutique to high-end luxury. And with a population of more than 600,000 locals growing evermore food-savvy, it’s no wonder we’ve always been known as a great town for restaurants. Recently, we’ve noticed an intertwining of the two — as more hotels are opting to include a dining experience that features fabulous, locally sourced, top-notch dishes that are worthy of a special night out for the home team as well as visitors. We talked with two local chefs and one bar manager/mixologist to get their take on the hotel restaurants that Memphians love.
3 Memphis Hotel Restaurants Even The Locals Love
3rd & Court Diner
24 N B. B. King Blvd., Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 930-0793
Hours: Sunday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“There was a time when hotels looked at their food and beverage program as a lay-up to accompany their rooms. In recent years, more and more hotels are starting to realize that a nice restaurant helps make a guest’s stay even more enjoyable,” says Chef Ryan Trimm of 3rd & Court Diner in Hotel Indigo.
Hotel Indigo was designed with a retro Memphis music feel in mind, and 3rd & Court is a perfect complement. Inspired by 1950s-style diners, the restaurant offers locals, as well as guests, a place to feel comfortable and at home. “The design by Ann Parker, of Parker Design Studio, creates the ambiance. Our menu offers breakfast all day and an array of plate lunches to keep every traveler happy. Plus, it keeps our locals coming back for more,” Chef Ryan says.
3rd & Court sources ingredients from a wide array of farmers and purveyors in the area, and Chef Ryan likes to use fresh, locally sourced vegetables as much as possible. “Not just for the flavor,” he says, “but more importantly, to build relationships with our local farmers and stimulate the local economy.”
The Greyhound Bar
201 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 528-1540
Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday to Saturday 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Located on the site of the old downtown Greyhound Bus Station, The Greyhound Bar at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown offers a playful homage to Memphis, with drinks like Gin & Tonic Trolley and Memphis Grizz. The classy cocktail bar keeps locals happy with bites that go far beyond typical bar food, and a menu of signature and classic craft libations.
“The atmosphere of The Greyhound attracts Memphians as well as visitors, and the focus on gin-based craft cocktails has a lot of locals intrigued,” says Kendrick Cook, bar manager and mixologist. “And the location in the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown is great. It’s walking distance to Beale Street, AutoZone Park and everything downtown has to offer.”
Although the focus is on gin, The Greyhound offers a full selection of local beers, wines and other spirits. Kendrick stocks the bar from local partners Old Dominick’s, Memphis Made, High Cotton, Ghost River and Wiseacre. Why does he think The Greyhound is so popular with locals, aside from the novelty of being the first gin bar in Memphis? “Simple,” he says. “People enjoy good service, good food and good drinks.”
149 Union Ave #4, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 529-4188
Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“Chez Philippe is an ‘occasion’ restaurant for locals,” says Chef Andreas Kisler. “We’ve celebrated so many special occasions with our patrons — birthdays, anniversaries, proposals.”
Though the food has maintained a stellar standard of excellence for years, Chef Andreas says it’s not just about the food; it is the entire experience from the ambiance to the service. “We leave nothing undone to give our customers a wonderful experience. We want them to feel like they are a part of something special.”
The menu changes often to accommodate what’s fresh and in season. Local ingredients include vegetables delivered from local farms, Bonnie Blue Farm goat cheese, Sequatchie Cove milk cheese, and Marmilu Farms eggs and chicken. A current favorite is seared sea scallops with fresh mango, mint, red onion salsa, coconut tapioca and Harissa kisses. When asked his favorite dish, Chef Andreas responds, “You might as well ask, ‘what is your favorite child?’”
Chef Andreas feels the growth of good hotel restaurants is partly because Memphians have increasingly sophisticated palettes, and partly because hotel owners understand the importance of having a good restaurant that consistently attracts locals as well as visitors. “To be a great hotel, you have to have a great restaurant,” he says.
Click HERE to read more about our favorite restaurants here in Memphis!