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 must-try eateries are just the beginning of Memphis’ culinary resurgence.
2146 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 590-2828
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Bar, 5 p.m. until closed; Closed Sunday
Ten years of Restaurant Iris’ acclaim and excellence are propelling chef and owner Kelly English into a new wave of refinement and reinvention. Beyond the shell of the historic building and the dedicated staff, all of whom remain at the helm of the restaurant’s next phase, Restaurant Iris is totally new. And it’s beautifully done. A brand new dedicated bar area evokes elegance and richness through deeply hued wallpaper, chic seating and a zinc bar top. The coveted corner window banquette, which comfortably seats six, is first-come, first-serve six days a week. It’s the perfect place for the restaurant’s new shareable punch selections with embellished glasses for self-serving.
412 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 249-6626
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A popular pita chip-and-dip vendor at the Memphis Farmers Market has grown into a sweet South Main favorite for fast-casual Greek lunch and dinner. The family-owned Grecian Gourmet glorifies gyro, salad and dolmades standards with stellar service and consistency. Try the clever Greek nachos, layered with feta, olives and gyro meat atop perfectly-seasoned house-made pita chips.
120 E Mulberry St, Collierville, TN 38017 • (901) 286-4575
Hours: Lunch — Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Brunch — Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Dinner — Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Closed Monday
The historic Collierville square surrounds Raven & Lily’s new location, comprised of a chic exposed brick-wall dining room and cozy backroom bar. Polished wood dining tables and benches, built by owners Justin and Amy Young, paired with industrial metal chairs, reflect a traditional yet modern mix.
“We make everything in-house except the ketchup,” says Justin. “I’m always asking the question, ‘What else can we do?’ That ‘extra’ is our lagniappe, and we believe it goes a long way. Our goal is to have what our guests want before they know they want it.”
148 N. Main St, Collierville, TN 38017 • (901) 457-7655
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
As of October 1, Collierville Square has welcomed a new kid to the block, one that boasts great credibility from both back- and front-of-house viewpoints. P.O. Press’s beautiful interiors — reclaimed wood tables, high ceilings and a neutral palette that will tempt you to move in — and menu will coax even the most die-hard downtowner back regularly.
Jimmy Gentry’s menu highlights vegetables in an innovative yet not-too-intimidating style and introduces game-y meats with approachability. The seasonal fish is excellently enriching, pan-seared with bright green olives and large artichoke halves. The corn mash starter with acorn squash and pumpkin seed is rich yet hearty for autumn’s entrance. Desserts are phenomenally presented — one dish highlights matchstick-chopped apples, cooked to resemble French fries, with a scoop of gelato.
6150 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38119 • (901) 850-0191
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Closed Sunday
The Grisanti family’s newest establishment, Ronnie Grisanti’s, has opened its doors in East Memphis with a nostalgic yet nuanced approach to a cozy Italian feast. Owner Judd Grisanti’s classic Italian, family-inspired menu includes pasta standards such as spaghetti, ravioli and manicotti; while fish, chicken, steak, pizzas and veal inspire and satisfy every taste palate.
1350 Concourse Avenue #157, Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 512-6890
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Crosstown Concourse’s mission of “better together” is epitomized by its first-floor dining hot spot Global Café, a food-hall style collective of immigrant and refugee food entrepreneurs who cook and sell high-quality, affordably-priced cuisines. Distinct international offerings from Nepal, Syria and Sudan include chow mein noodles, baba ganoush and chicken shwarma. Diners are invited to walk-up and order dishes from one vendor or all three before finding a seat in the community dining space or Concourse patio. Global Café is open for lunch and dinner, has a full bar and provides takeaway and catering options.
409 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 500-6548
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Closed Monday
South Main Market’s mezzanine is now marked by City Block Salumeria’s piled-high-sandwich mecca. An enriching breakfast sandwich and lunch menu greets downtowners and tourists six days a week. Don’t miss the classic Muffaletta and Cuban — and while at the counter, check out the full-service butcher shop, which specializes in European-style cured meats as well as the standard cuts for preparing at home.
1789 Kirby Pkwy #10, Memphis, TN 38138 • (901) 730-0893
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Closed Monday and Tuesday
With a mix of vintage, modern and eclectic decor, Milk Dessert Bar immediately feels like home. Any dessert item you can dream of, from colossal milkshakes and cookie dough flights to cakes and ice cream, are readily available. While there are staple menu items, a constant creative zest defines each day’s menu.
1350 Concourse Avenue #280, Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 507-8010
Hours: Tuesday through Friday. 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Closed Sunday and Monday
More than a simple food amenity, Today & Always is an artists’ gathering space offering healthful and innovative plant-based meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located in the new Crosstown Arts space on the second floor inside Crosstown Concourse, diners are surrounded by artists in residence and the art exhibits themselves. Beverage selections throughout the day include coffee drinks as well as beer and wine. Local beloved baker Ali Rohrbacher prepares delectable vegan pastries with precision, available each morning. And for lunch or dinner, try the creative Chicken Fried Tofu with slow-cooked collards and grits.
MEMPHIS OVERTON SQUARE, 2-6 Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 654-5100
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight
451 Perkins Extended, Memphis, TN 38117 • (901) 833-7022
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Austin-originated Hopdoddy Burger Bar is not your average burger joint; the lively, inviting atmosphere fosters an enjoyable lunch, dinner or football game experience on the screens surrounding a 360-degree full bar with all-local beer, cocktails and booze-optional milkshakes. Hopdoddy stands true to its commitment to 100% daily baked buns, hand-cut fries and hand-made sauces with full support of local antibiotic- and hormone-free purveyors, including ground meats. With two locations in town — Overton Square and East Memphis — you’ll find the wait in line to be worthwhile and the creative menu to bring you back time and time again.
2094 Trimble Pl, Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 729-7916
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; Closed Monday
A white and pastel patisserie has graced Overton Square, thanks to Nuha Abuduhair. The visual artistry of 17 Berkshire’s creations is as distinctive as their flavors. In addition to its trademark macarons and transcendent cakes, 17 Berkshire offers a rotating menu of tarts, cookies, donuts, baklava and even its own chocolate bars. The sparkling, airy store also hosts a full coffee and tea bar that invites guests to sit and savor the freshest new options.
117 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 433-9851
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Saturday, 5 p.m. to midnight; Sunday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Brunch coming soon
While 117 Prime has all the charm of your grandparents’ favorite classic American steakhouse, its elegant yet edgy setting and exquisite culinary offerings take it to the next level. Restaurateurs Craig Blondis and Roger Sapp teamed up with Chef Ryan Trimm to create a unique Downtown steakhouse experience. Within months, 117 Prime has mastered its multifaceted yet focused position as a go-to business lunch location, after-work cocktail and oyster bar, date night dinner spot and soon-to-be boozy brunch destination.
523 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 352-4193
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Closed Monday
When two creative cousins come together, the byproduct is twice as beautiful! Cousins Rachel Mullen of RM Petit Cakes and Angelique Sloan of ShopMochu have joined forces on South Main with a storefront spilling of Latino and Texas-inspired apparel and decor, as well as a stunning pastry collection of macarons, truffles, iced cookies and cakes. Don’t miss this unique shopping-meets-bakery experience.
And keep an eye out for these spots, coming soon:
- Lucky Cat on Broad
- Hu. Roof
- Hu. Diner
- Elemento Neapolitan Pizza
- Slider Inn/Out Downtown
Now venture forth and taste the new flavors of the Bluff City!
New Memphis Restaurants to Try for Spring 2018
Published March 2018 | Author: Jennifer Chandler
301 S. Front St., Memphis TN 38103 • (901) 249-2932
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Weekend brunch coming soon
Located in the Old Dominick Distillery in the South Main Arts District of downtown Memphis, The Gray Canary is the latest endeavor of Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman. This is the duo’s sixth restaurant and the fifth restaurant here in Memphis. “The Gray Canary marks where Andy and I are as both cooks and diners,” explains Michael. “Our obsession with techniques and the influence various ways of cooking has on flavor — especially with live fire, coals and in the hearth — drives the menu.” In addition to dishes prepared on their custom wood-fired grill, The Gray Canary also has a raw bar that features oysters from around the country. Dishes are meant to be shared and savored. “The menu reflects how we like to eat right now,” adds Andy. “We love oysters and sparkling wine. We love to share and to order a bunch of different things to taste for dinner. So that inspired the format.” SB TIP: Request a booth along the wall of 100-year-old warehouse windows for a stunning view of the Mississippi River.
Read our full feature on The Gray Canary.
409 S. Main St., Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 341-3838
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Individual vendor hours may vary.
The South Main Market is really five spots in one! “As Memphis’ first food hall, we bring a variety of culinary options under one roof so that the downtown community — its neighbors, commuters, tourists and Grizz enthusiasts alike — can all visit, with any number of persons, without having to choose just one ‘style’ of food,” explains Kim Dyer, who opened The South Main Market with her husband Justin. Java Cabana serves fair-trade coffee drinks and yummy sweets. Kinfolk is offering elevated but familiar country-inspired cooking with a twist. By the same owner as Kinfolk, Magnolia serves up Asian-inspired fare. Known for its freshly made bagels and traditional Jewish deli offerings, City East Bagel & Grille at The South Main Market is the second location for the popular East Memphis institution. Serving handcrafted cocktails, wine and beer, Civil Pour is the place to meet and greet after work or before the game or a show. Coco, a juice and salad bar, is in the works to be the sixth addition to the culinary offerings at The South Main Market.
141 E. Carolina Ave., Memphis, TN 38126 • (901) 321-5553
Hours: Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Located in the south end of downtown on East Carolina Avenue, Carolina Watershed is probably one of the coolest uniquely constructed restaurants in town — it’s constructed from metal grain silos! But it’s so much more than the one-of-a-kind architecture. “It all boils down to the atmosphere, the handcrafted cocktails and the locally sourced food,” explains owner Mac Hopper. Mac partnered with talented local chef Andy Knight to create a spot that has tasty dishes, craft beers and fun cocktails with a Southern spin. “Our food at Carolina Watershed is based on a Southern deli to which all of our sandwiches come with a Southern side — turnip greens, fried okra, black eyed peas, cornbread, etc.,” explains Andy of the menu. Now that the weather is warm, plan to spend some time with your girlfriends in their backyard, which is home to waterfalls and a big outdoor bar!
Read our full feature on Carolina Watershed.
670 Jefferson Ave., Memphis, TN 38105 • (901) 552-3144
Hours: Breakfast is served all day, Monday through Sunday, 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Lunch is served Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Brunch is served on Saturday, Sunday and Monday starting at 9 a.m.
Sunrise is the brainchild of Craig Blondis, Roger Sapp and Ryan Trimm. You may recognize those names as each is already a successful restaurateur here in Memphis. Craig and Roger are the duo behind Central BBQ, and Ryan is the chef and owner of Sweet Grass. “We wanted to serve the best breakfast in town while also reminding our guests what Sunday morning at Grandma’s house tastes like,” says Ryan when asked about their new concept. Served all day, breakfast is the centerpiece of the menu at this Medical District restaurant. Be sure to also check out their lunch menu, which is full of some delicious sandwich and salad offerings.
Read our full feature on Sunrise Memphis.
600 Monroe Ave., #101, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 425-2605
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Located in the Edge District near Sun Studios, Edge Alley is a hybrid spot that is part café, part coffee shop and part retail store. “The primary concept of Edge Alley is to create an environment in which co-located businesses could share resources, work together and thrive,” explains owner Tim Barker. “Edge Alley offers wholesome food, craft cocktails, house-roasted specialty grade coffee and curated retail — all within a single, beautifully designed space.” For breakfast or lunch, you will love their big biscuit sandwiches or shrimp and grits. They also offer salads if you’re looking for a little lighter fare. In the evening, stop by for one of their coffee cocktails.
1350 Concourse Ave., Ste. 165, Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 779-1512
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to close; Happy Hour daily, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Located in the southeast corner of the Crosstown Concourse, Next Door has quickly become a Midtown favorite. “Next Door is an urban, casual American eatery serving real food sourced from American farmers out of a scratch kitchen,” explains Colin Ness, Director of Operations at Next Door. “It is a gathering place for family, friends and coworkers to grab a quick bite together or stay a while and play one of our many games.” The menu features a variety of shared plates (their kale chips and garlic & Parmesan smashers are both famous in Colorado), fresh salads, bowls, sandwiches and local dry-aged burgers.
1934 Poplar Ave., Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 544-6200
Hours: Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Just this month, City & State has taken over the café at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. “In November, the Brooks entered into partnership with Lisa Toro of City & State for our relaunched museum store. It has been a success, so we decided to expand our partnership so that Lisa and her team could provide excellent, innovative and well-priced food and beverages to our visitors,” explains Brooks Executive Director Emily Ballew Neff. At Café Brooks by City & State, Lisa Toro and her team will be serving up the artisan coffee beverages we have fallen in love with at the original City & State. They will also be serving lunch and snacks. The selection of sandwiches and pasta salads may be small, but each option has a tasty twist. We predict the Tuscan turkey with basil pesto dressing, sun-dried tomatoes and provolone is sure to be a favorite.
2059 Madison Ave., Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 207-7397
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to midnight
If you have ever traveled down to Apalachicola Bay, chances are you have eaten at the Indian Pass Raw Bar. Focused on the principle of “simple but good,” the McNeill family built their popular Florida-based business by providing fresh and delicious seafood. Luckily for us Memphians, the McNeills have brought their fresh Gulf seafood to Overton Square. The menu features oysters raw, baked and chargrilled, as well as fresh Gulf shrimp and steamed crab legs. Burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches are available for non-seafood eaters.
525 S. Highland St., Memphis, TN 38111 • (901) 504-4584
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
In February, Maciel’s Taco Shop opened a second location on Highland. “Maciel’s Highland is the same high-quality, authentic regional Mexican food that people have grown to love downtown but presented in a funky new atmosphere on Highland, complete with a larger kitchen, brunch on the weekends and a giant semi-covered patio on which to sip fantastic cocktails,” explains Taylor Berger, who partnered with chef and owner Manuel Martinez for this new location. From tacos to tortas, all the favorites from the original location are on the menu. Check out their craft cocktail menu to find just the right libation to wash it all down.
2655 Broad Ave., Memphis, TN 38112 • (901) 405-5477
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This past November, Lisa and Luis Toro transformed the closed liquor store down the street from their popular coffee and gifts shop City & State into a hip and hoppin’ new diner aptly named The Liquor Store. The Liquor Store is a spot like no other in town. It’s both a diner and a bar — offering breakfast all day, diner classics and Latin-inspired dishes alongside craft cocktails, beer and wine. “We knew we wanted to do a diner inspired by retro-classics such as Salisbury steak and shrimp cocktail. We also saw the opportunity to embrace Luis’s cultural heritage with the addition of Latin flavors,” Lisa explains of their eclectic menu. “We worked with Chef Danial Johnson to bring it all to life.” And save room for dessert! Head baker Ali Rohrbacher is creating some of the best pies and cakes in town.
Read our full feature on The Liquor Store.
387 Perkins Ext., Memphis, TN 38117 • (901) 800-2656
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Libro at Laurelwood, which means “book” in Italian, is Novel Bookstore’s in-house café. Local restaurateur Sabine Bachmann has created an upscale bistro that she says is “for people who enjoy good food, good wine and good books.” Whereas only minor changes were made to the actual restaurant space, the menu and atmosphere have been significantly upgraded. “Italian-inspired and Southern-rooted … every dish we create comes with intentional ingredients, authenticity and a deep love of beautiful food,” explains Sabine. Both the menu and the space now have an upscale and modern feel, making it a dining destination of note within this popular East Memphis bookstore.
Read our full feature on beloved local bookstore Novel and its resident eatery, Libro at Laurelwood.
Now, head out to try one of these fabulous new culinary gems!
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