EDITOR’S NOTE: As we continue to move through the pandemic’s various re-opening phases, it’s important to remember that operating hours and mask-wearing rules can change quickly. Please check with the restaurant you intend to visit beforehand to ensure that you have the most current information.

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Memphis has no shortage of culinary-minded creatives, and despite the pandemic, never has that fact been more on display. Regardless of quarantines and lock-downs, here are a handful of new Memphis restaurants that have opened recently and that are definitely worthy of a try!

7 New Memphis Restaurants You Need to Try

King & Union Bar Grocery

185 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 523-8500
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 6:30 a.m. to midnight; Saturday, 7 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Located in the heart of downtown Memphis, King & Union Bar Grocery boasts a hearty menu of Southern-inspired deliciousness. You can get breakfast all day with some surprising and mouthwatering combinations like pork belly French toast alongside traditional favorites like ham steak and eggs. The homemade pimento cheese is a standout and is featured in the charcuterie board as well as the popular Mama Rue handheld. (SB TIP: Try the Mama Rue with tomato bisque for comfort food at its very best.) The menu includes a tasty selection of appetizers, sandwiches, entrées, and fresh veggies and sides — all made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. The signature drinks menu is also a big attraction at King & Union. The craft cocktails are bartender-created originals from head bartender Sean Hart and offer a little something for everyone.

Charcuterie board from King & Union Bar Grocery, a new Memphis restaurant

King & Union’s charcuterie is a Southerner’s delight with pimento cheese, firecrackers, kielbasa, deviled eggs and pickled “smokra.” Image: King & Union Bar Grocery

The Mama Rue from King & Union Bar Grocery

The Mama Rue is a tasty combo of pimento and cheese, bacon, and tomato on grilled sourdough. Image: King & Union Bar Grocery

The Smoked Old-Fashioned from King & Union Bar Grocery, a new Memphis restaurant

The Smoked Old-Fashioned (pictured) is a hot twist on a perennial favorite, using a smoked glass and flamed orange twist. Craft cocktails include the refreshing KU Clover and the Muddy Waters, a flavorful house-made infusion of Old Dominick bourbon with coffee, vanilla and a hint of sugar. The draft beer selection is primarily local with plenty of hometown favorites available. Image: King & Union Bar Grocery

Dory

716 West Brookhaven Circle, Memphis, TN 38117 • (901) 310-4290
Hours (by reservation only): Monday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Dory focuses on using only the freshest ingredients possible for the restaurant’s seasonally inspired menus. Working closely with local farmers to develop tasty and artfully presented dishes, Chef Dave Krog has created a four-course tasting menu for Monday and a six-course tasting menu for Thursday through Saturday. The tasting menu changes every four weeks and will inspire and delight your palate. Family-style entrées complete with delicious sides are available for takeout.

Seasonal menu item from Dory, a new Memphis restaurant

Dory works closely with local artisans and farms to produce high-quality, ingredient-driven meals. Image: Dory

Beef Bourguignon from Dory

An example of a dish you may be able to order at Dory is this delicious beef bourguignon. Image: Dory

RELATED: 21 Heated Restaurant Patios in Memphis

Southall Café

669 S. Mendenhall, Memphis, TN 38117 • (901) 646-5698
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Chef Jesus Ramon and General Manager Conner Gillo are the creative minds behind Southall Café. Chef Ramon finds inspiration in combining his Mexican heritage and extensive travels abroad with the Southern influence of the Bluff City. The seasonal menu reflects his passion for high-quality food, including local favorites like shrimp and grits, bone-in pork chop, and breakfast tacos.

Opened in September, Southall Café features large, floor-to-ceiling windows that allow a flood of natural light and an open atmosphere. “When designing the diner, we went for a clean and elegant minimalist design with beautiful shades of blue, white and gray that remind you of Memphis and make you feel at home,” says Emily Gillo, who is in charge of branding and media. “With our spacious floor plan and outdoor seating on the patio, we want our customers to feel safe, welcome and part of the family.”

Breakfast tacos from Southall Café

Order the breakfast tacos to treat yourself to three authentic raw masa, house-made tortillas filled with chorizo verde, eggs, diced sweet potatoes, crema, queso fresco and micro cilantro. Image Southall Café

Porkchop from Southall Café, a new Memphis restaurant

A great example of how Chef Jesus Ramon’s Mexican heritage inspires the Southall Café menu: The bone-in pork chop is brined and marinated in Al Pastor seasoning, grilled, served on acorn squash mash, and topped with roasted pineapple and caramelized onion chutney. YUM! Image: Southall Café

Shrimp and grits from Southall Café

A lunchtime favorite, the shrimp and grits feature Grit Girl cheddar and gouda grits in a tomato broth, sautéed shrimp, andouille sausage and house-cured ham. It’s served with a slice of baguette bread. Image: Southall Café

Curfew

164 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 467-0308
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Located in Memphis’ Canopy Hotel, Curfew is a classic tavern with Spanish, American and Italian influences on the menu. Lunch serves up great appetizers such as beer-braised mussels, yummy salads and Roman-style pizzas. Handhelds include classics like the Angus burger and the fried chicken sandwich. Dinner patrons can discover the delights of a 16-ounce New York strip, Gulf redfish or roasted chicken pepperonata — all cooked to perfection.

South of Beale East Memphis

5040 Sanderlin, Memphis, TN 38117 • (901) 818-0821
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Owners Ed and Brittany Cabigao opened South of Beale (SOB) in downtown Memphis in 2009. “SOB East came about shortly after the onset of the pandemic,” Brittany says of the new location, which opened in September. “We were operating Interim Restaurant and decided to pivot to something a little more to-go-friendly.”

To create one of the most diverse kitchens in Memphis, Chef Anthony Fenech took inspiration from many different cultures and backgrounds. The goal is to offer dishes that are both well-balanced and adventurous, and the menu reflects that. Entrées include pan-seared salmon, wild mushroom pasta, and bangers and mash. There’s a tasty selection of salads, bowls and sandwiches, too.

Burger from South of Beale East Memphis, a new Memphis restaurant

The burger is fairly straightforward but packs a flavorful punch that makes it one of the best in the city. Image: Andrew Cabigao, South of Beale

Duck fried rice from South of Beale

One of the top sellers of the SOB East kitchen, duck fried rice uses duck confit made in-house and a secret five-spice recipe. Image: Andrew Cabigao, South of Beale

General Tso’s Cauliflower from South of Beale East Memphis, a new Memphis restaurant

General Tso’s cauliflower is a play on General Tso’s chicken but is a delicious vegetarian option. “You would never know you’re not eating meat,” says Brittany. “It’s so good!” Image: Andrew Cabigao, South of Beale

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Sugar Grits

150 Peabody Place, Ste. 111, Memphis 38103 • (901) 249-5206
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

No surprise, grits are the main attraction at Sugar Grits. Inspired by Lowcountry Southern cuisine, the downtown eatery serves breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring this Southern staple. Fans of the North Carolina tradition of sweet grits will be delighted with Sweet Shirley’s Grits for breakfast, while those who prefer a savory breakfast can choose from several hearty bowls that combine a variety of cheeses, meats and flavors. And who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? Signature bowls using grits make unique and delicious entrées.

Slim & Husky’s

634 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 617-1655
Hours: Monday through Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.

Nashville-based Slim & Husky’s brings its amazing take on gourmet pizza to the Edge District. Famed for its artisan pies, cinnamon rolls and local libations, Slim & Husky’s fits right into the Memphis restaurant scene. You can choose from signature pizzas that boast some truly creative flavor combinations, such as the Nothin’ But A “V” Thang for vegetarians and the P.R.E.A.M, a white sauce-based pie with cheese, spinach, pepperoni, pulled Italian sausage, mushrooms and red onions. If you are feeling a little adventurous, you can opt to build your own pizza, choosing from delicious sauces and a ton of toppings.

We hope this list inspires you to try some of these new Memphis dining destinations. Enjoy!

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