Memphis is experiencing a wave of new — or renewed — epicurean offerings right now. From baba ganoush to burgers and pastries to porterhouse steaks, these new restaurants in Memphis should be at the top of your must-try list.
11 New Memphis Restaurants
Lucky Cat on Broad
2583 Broad Avenue, Memphis, TN 38112 • (901) 208-8145
Hours: Lunch, Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Dinner, Tuesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday
The ramen pop-up-turned-permanent establishment is, without question, here to stay. Husband and wife duo Sarah and Zack Nicholson of Lucky Cat dreamed up a vision that ties Japanese bowls and yakitori with innovative methods in an enriching space in the historic Broad Avenue Arts District. Ramen and rice are the mainstays from previous iterations of Lucky Cat, and new yakitori dishes and dumplings are perfect for sharing. Don’t miss the Memphis BBQ bao (steamed bun) and bar lead Paul Gilliam’s Asian-inspired cocktails. The lunch deal is a delight — just $13 for a steamed bun (bao), greens with addictive sweet chili vinaigrette, and either half-portioned ramen or rice bowl.
Sweet LaLa’s Bakery
6150 Poplar Avenue, Suite 118, Memphis, TN 38120 • (901) 654-3646
Hours: Monday, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.; Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Sunday
The beloved 17-year-old business, Sweet LaLa’s, has opened its first retail bakery and café in Regalia in East Memphis. Owner Lauren Wilson Young directed the buildout of a beautifully dynamic space that transitions from a morning business crowd to after-school family snack stop, boasting menu items from its signature almond sugar cookies to humble pies and sausage pinwheels. The new soft-serve ice cream component, a tribute to Lauren’s grandfather Kemmons Wilson, can be sandwiched between two cookies, swirled into a shake, or served affogato-style with a shot of espresso. Interior designer Natalie Lieberman of Collect + Curate Studio mastered a “residential” home-like feel, and City & State owners Lisa and Luis Toro consulted on the space’s new full coffee bar. Franco’s Italian Kitchen provides pre-packaged lunch sandwiches and pasta salads for the Ridgeway/Poplar on-the-go crowd.
3 South Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103 • (866) 446-3674
Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, breakfast from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m, and dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursdays through Saturdays, breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, brunch from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The anchor restaurant of the new Hu. Hotel in Downtown Memphis, Hu. Diner‘s elevated diner experience blends Southern nostalgia with global flavors and avant-garde technique. The restaurant and patio, which spills into South Main through its oversized corner bar window service, serves lunch and dinner daily, as well as a lively weekend brunch, and its high-energy, approachable atmosphere matches any occasion. For lunch, get the pastrami sandwich on toasted brioche with the soup of the day; and for dinner, try the dense and doughy Parker House rolls, country fried cauliflower and spinalis ribeye with sunchoke.
358 North Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 610-0906
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Sunday
Open since late March with a nonstop line of leisurely caffeine lovers, Comeback Coffee in the historic Pinch District is clearly meeting a demand for high-quality coffee, delicious pastries and hip atmosphere. Twenty-something couple Amy and Hayes McPherson took their artistic backgrounds and passionate dispositions to practice, offering a curated brand that invites visitors to stay a while and “comeback” soon. Chef Cole Jeanes heads the pastry, sandwich and breakfast taco menus for daily breakfast and lunch.
Elemento Neapolitan Pizza
350 Concourse Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 672-7527
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; closed Sunday
Elemento, Crosstown Concourse’s newest restaurant, features its state-of-the-art white ceramic Neapolitan pizza ovens as the eatery’s centerpiece. The extremely high, precise temperature of its wood-fired interior allows individually sized pizzas to cook to perfection in just 90 seconds with a doughy yet bubbly crust and perfectly cooked toppings. Though over a dozen pizza choices are available, customers are encouraged to build their own pie. Order at the counter, and pick your spot in the bright and open atmosphere.
RELATED: 7 Must-Try Pizza Places in Memphis
916 South Cooper Street, Memphis, TN, 38104 • (901) 552-4967
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The sister restaurant to Memphis’ famous Elwood’s Shack, Elwood’s Shells recently made its grand entrance in the Cooper-Young neighborhood to a clamoring crowd of seafood (and Elwood’s) fans. From breakfast to dinner and every po’ boy in between, the jam-packed menu brings shellfish and Cajun-inspired specialties to the forefront.
Malco Powerhouse Cinema Grill
540 South Front Street, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 350-5975
Hours: Opens daily at 11:30 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends.
The movie theater is no longer just a destination for the big screen; it’s a landing point for a lively lunch or dinner at the new Malco Powerhouse Grill in the South Main Arts District of Downtown Memphis. The restored building’s historic architecture and charm anchor the restaurant’s ambiance. Malco Powerhouse offers a full-scale grill menu curated by local restaurateur Scott Tashie, including a full bar with local draft beers, wood-fired pizza oven and full-screen TVs.
Fourth Cup at River Garden
51 Riverside Drive at Jefferson Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
What could beat a cup of Joe enjoyed along the Mississippi River? The Fourth Cup, a colorful kiosk centered in the newly redesigned River Garden, offers a full coffee bar with fresh baked goods, refreshments and locally purveyed snacks seven days a week. Whether a destination in itself, a pitstop into work downtown or a stop along the new River Line biker and pedestrian trail, you’re in for a treat. Beginning in May, you can grab more than food and drink from this kiosk — you can check out a kayak to paddle on the Mississippi River!
94 South Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 672-7902
Hours: Monday through Thursday, lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to midnight; Tuesday and Wednesday, dinner from 5 p.m. to midnight; Friday, lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday brunch, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sage, situated in the heart of the Main Street Mall of Downtown Memphis, is where Memphis soul meets global inspiration. Owner and chef Elijah Townsend is an artist and culinary talent, formerly with Kaleidoscope Kitchen, whose passion shows through every flavor profile. Not one ingredient is overlooked — Chef Elijah adds irresistible sauces, seasonings and pairings to standard Southern dishes (hello, chicken and waffles!) for a truly unique dining experience.
Phillip Ashley Chocolates Café
1200 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 572-1011
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday
Acclaimed chocolatier Phillip Ashley Rix has moved his retail shop into the Edge District of Downtown Memphis with an enhanced offering of his world-famous artistic chocolates, turtles and more. Phillip sought a space for community, thus creating a coffee lounge with free WiFi in his new Phillip Ashley Chocolates Cafe. Partnering with French Truck Coffee, Phillip Ashley offers a special drip coffee blend that carries nutty, bold and chocolate notes, as well as freshly baked scones and biscotti. It’s never too early to try something sweet!
Park + Cherry by Chef Phillip Dewayne
4339 Park Avenue, Memphis, TN 38117 • (901) 761-5250
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday (coffee + pastries only), and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; closed Monday
A new chef helms Dixon Gallery & Gardens’ Park + Cherry cafe. Chef Phillip Dwayne brings his dynamic background and passion for Memphis to the museum’s lobby cafe, which offers a delicate and delightful breakfast and lunch. In addition to a full espresso bar with scones and croissants for morning gallery visits or meetings, Chef Phillip is creating a seasonal lunch menu comprised of salads, grain bowls and sandwiches. Using inspiration from rotating exhibits to define his evolving menus, Chef Phillip will also grow fresh herbs in the Dixon Gardens to garnish his dishes. Try the berry-quinoa salad with honey vinaigrette and mint — yum!
- Swanky’s Downtown (spring)
- Slider Out on South Main (summer)
- Moondance at Thornwood (summer)
- Dory in Brookhaven Circle (fall)
SB TIP: When you need to book a sitter for your night out, download Wyndy! Now, get out there and try some new flavors and menu items!
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