The restaurant scene in Memphis continues to boom, and we are delighted to bring you another sampling of what the Bluff City has in store for those who love good food. From Downtown to Midtown to East Memphis, here are five wonderful new eateries to try.
5 New Memphis Restaurants To Check Out (Updated June 2021)
Backlot Sandwich Shop
265 S. Front Street, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 509-8612
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Bluff City Law may not have taken off, but Backlot Sandwich Shop is sure to stick around! Located behind the former Paramount Studios where some of the TV series scenes were filmed, Backlot is the brainchild of restaurateur Tyson Bridge and Chef Derk Meitzler. Open for breakfast, lunch, and an early dinner, the menu features freshly baked biscuits, homemade jams and pickles, and made-in-house corned beef and pastrami.
For breakfast, you can build your own biscuit sandwich, choosing from cheddar-chive, honey butter glazed, or buttermilk biscuits. Proteins range from a classic smoked salmon to the more unexpected lamb belly. Add some delicious cheese and you’ve got a breakfast that will keep you going all morning. Sourdough French toast, breakfast bowls, and avocado toast are other yummy options. The menu for lunch and dinner is just as tempting and includes hearty sandwiches, filling soups, and fresh salads.
RELATED: Your Updated Guide to Harbor Town
The Complicated Pilgrim
21 Cooper Street, Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 538-7309
Hours: Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 6:30 a.m. to noon and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The Memphian in Overton Square offers two dining and drinking options. Rooftop bar Tiger & Peacock will open soon with ingredient-forward cocktails and approachable bar fare. Complicated Pilgrim is open for business, serving up breakfast and dinner with a side of world-class service. Chef Don Latham makes the most of fresh ingredients in creating a delicious menu of local and regional fare. Breakfast includes handhelds such as the Pilgrim Wrap with soft scrambled eggs, bacon, avocado, skillet potatoes, cheddar cheese, and salsa verde. The Cooper Street Breakfast is a filling way to start the day, and bowls that feature grits or oats are tasty choices. The dinner menu offers a range of dishes sure to please. Entrées include the harissa chicken, pan-roasted thighs served with Mississippi basmati rice and tomato confit; Shrimp and grits with stone-ground grits and Gulf shrimp; and the braised lamb shank served with barley risotto, red wine sauce, and gremolata.
Hog Wild East
921 S. Yates, Memphis, TN, 38120 • (901) 522-9453
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Ernie Mellor, owner of Hog Wild BBQ and A Moveable Feast, says the catering industry was absolutely flattened by the pandemic. It seemed one day they were booking events, and the next, they faced a complete shutdown. His first pivot was to offer home delivery of many of their most popular catering dishes. His next was to open a bricks-and-mortar location offering both take-and-bake and takeout. Customers to the newly opened Hog Wild East can pick up delicious casseroles, barbeque pizzas, yummy dips, specialty sauces, homemade chips, and house-made ice cream to go. Made-to-order items include the ever-popular barbeque nachos; hearty sandwiches made with brisket, smoked chicken, and pulled pork; ribs; and fresh salads.
Raw Girls Downtown
150 Peabody Place, Suite 118, Memphis, TN 38103
Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Raw Girls bring their fresh-pressed juices, plant-based salads, soups, and gluten-free baked goods to a new location downtown. Owners Amy and Hannah Pickle offer a full coffee bar, wine, and beer from Hampline Brewery in the colorful and welcoming café, the newest addition to the Raw Girls food trucks on Cooper Street and Poplar, and a bricks-and-mortar location in Saddlecreek in Germantown. The new café has indoor and outdoor seating as well as the grab-and-go items customers love. For those dining in, hot soups such as fan-favorite French lentil and chilled gazpacho are on the menu, along with fresh smoothies and bruschetta – all plant-based and gluten-free, of course!
RELATED: What’s New in Memphis: May 2021
Zayde’s at the J
6560 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38138 • (901) 208-3495
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Zayde’s NYC Deli has a new bricks-and-mortar location. As befits the popular kosher meal delivery service, Zayde’s at the J has found a welcoming home in the Memphis Jewish Community Center. Owner and chef Marisa Baggett has created a tasty menu featuring noshes, salads, and sandwiches for lunch, with future plans for dinner and for a kiosk by the MJCC pool once it opens.
Noshes include spinach potato knish and matzo ball soup. A selection of tasty sandwiches ranges from a traditional corned beef on rye made with Marisa’s in-house brined meat, to the Sabich Wanpaku Sando – hummus, grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, soft boiled egg, fried onion, cabbage, and marinated cucumbers on Challah. Craving a burger? Zayde’s has you covered, whether you eat meat or not. The Z Burger is served smash-style with all the fixings, and vegetarians can enjoy an Impossible Z Burger. Stop by on Wednesdays for their specials, usually Asian-influenced.
Subscribe to StyleBlueprint for a Life of Substance + Style.
Published May 2021
Amazing restaurants are cropping up so fast in Memphis, it’s hard to keep up with them all – but we will give it our best shot! This month alone, we’ve discovered delicious dishes from Morocco, rolled ice cream from Thailand, Japanese-inspired small plates, Latin American cuisine, Southern fare with NOLA flair, and a little buttery goodness to top it all off. You will not want to miss these six fabulous new Memphis restaurants.
6 New Memphis Restaurants You Need To Try
5101 Sanderlin Avenue, Ste. 103, Memphis, TN 38117 • (901) 236-7784
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The historic region of Andalusia has long been known for its cultural richness and diversity. For years, inhabitants lived in harmony with many different religions co-existing happily, Andalusia owner Jamal Romani tells us. “I chose the name to remind people that we did it before, and we can do it again,” he says.
A native of Morocco, Jamal brought his love of his homeland’s cuisine to the menu he created, aiming for an authentic Moroccan experience using a local source he can trust. Jamal and his family own a farm in Mississippi, and they use as many ingredients as possible from there, from the meats and poultry to the vegetables. Start your meal with eggplant puree, a delectable dish served with homemade bread, or Briouat, savory pastries wrapped in crisp phyllo dough. Popular dinner entrees include the lamb, chicken, and Kefta tagines, and couscous. For a taste of genuine Moroccan street food, try a Bucadillo sandwich. French fries are included – inside the sandwich, in true Moroccan style.
RELATED: Where to Get Crawfish in Memphis
Butteriffic Bakery and Café
488 S. Second Street, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 207-4618
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Butteriffic Bakery and Café owner Tamika Heard knows a thing or two about making melt-in-your-mouth treats – her parents founded Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies, a beloved local favorite. She and her sisters worked in the family-owned business for years, and she jumped at the chance to take over and rebrand, using a uniquely descriptive word. “Butteriffic” is quite an apt term to describe the goodies to be found at the new bakery and café. Rich and delicious, the butter cookies come in a selection of flavors, and the butter cookie-crust pies are outstanding. Muffins, puddings, and parfaits are also on the menu. For something savory, Tamika offers tasty lunch items that include smoked tuna and smoked chicken salad. Freshly brewed artisan coffees complete the selection. Best of all, Butteriffic Bakery and Café celebrates important holidays, such as National Pie Day and National Peach Cobbler Day. Yum!
By the Brewery
496 Tennessee Street, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 310-4341
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (breakfast served 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.); Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (breakfast served all day)
True to its name, By the Brewery is across the street from the historic Tennessee Brewery. The charming Downtown eatery is bright and welcoming, with a touch of both New Orleans and Memphis history. “All three of my kids have spent time in New Orleans,” owner Robin Joyce says. “The vintage doors are from there, as well as the custom-made countertops.” And while the space is new, the history behind the brewery is certainly not. Robin actually found the blueprints to the Tennessee Brewery years ago, and they now grace the walls of By the Brewery.
The menu is traditionally Southern but with an uplifted twist. For breakfast, you’ll find a yummy assortment of brewery biscuits, all made with Ghost River Cream Ale. The selection includes the Brisket Biscuit, the Tennessee Street Biscuit, and the BLT (which in this case stands for Bacon, potato Latke, and Tomato jam). Lunch standouts are a delicious variation on standard avocado toast; a pastrami sandwich with homemade slaw, mustard, and pickles; and a grilled cheese that boasts three kinds of cheese plus a cheddar crust.
33 Beale Street, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 444-3232
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Located in the new Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis, CIMAS is currently open for breakfast and brunch. (Lunch and dinner menus are coming soon, and we can’t wait!) Satisfy your craving for original, Latin American-inspired cuisine in the mornings with dishes like breakfast tacos, carnitas breakfast hash, and Cornflake crusted French toast.
“Memphis is brimming with wonderfully renowned BBQ and Southern restaurants. So, instead of competing with that, we wanted to offer something different, but still reflect the culture and city of Memphis,” explains Troy Dixon, Director of Operations. CIMAS makes use of a wide variety of Southern ingredients and inspirations, creating a menu that is both unique and delicious.
You’ll find Southern standbys like grits on the menu – but it’s not your grandmother’s grits! The Anson Mills Grit Bowl is a hearty serving with farm eggs, Tasso ham vinaigrette, green onion, and fried garlic. And while the word “oatmeal” usually conjures up a bland dish, the Anson Mills Heirloom Oatmeal sounds divine, with Piloncillo (a raw form of pure cane sugar used in Mexico), candied pistachios, and hibiscus raspberry coulis.
Poke World East Memphis
575 Erin Drive, Memphis, TN 38117 • (901) 779-4971
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Delicious and healthy, the menu at Poke World focuses on poke bowls, milk teas, and rolled ice cream. “Milk tea originated in Taiwan, poke bowls are from Hawaii, and rolled ice cream was invented in Thailand,” says Derek Wong, Marketing Manager of Poke World. “We wanted to bring these three unique cultures and flavors to Memphis.”
A traditional Hawaiian dish, poke bowls feature sushi-grade raw fish tossed with rice, fresh veggies, and flavor-packed sauces. At Poke World, you build your own, choosing from tuna, salmon, and other seafood as well as cooked options like chicken. Toppings include vegetables and fruits, while sauces range from spicy wasabi yuzu to a milder honey soy. Milk teas are a tasty treat, more often called “bubble teas” for the characteristic pearls of tapioca at the bottom. Customers love the Brown Sugar Boba and the Classic Milk Tea – but with the huge variety of flavors and styles at Poke World, you’re sure to find a new favorite. Finish your meal with rolled ice cream, creamy swirls of sweetness served in a cup and covered with delicious toppings.
Salt | Soy
2583 Broad Avenue, Memphis, TN 38112 • (901) 207-1531
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
After two years of tempting taste buds around Memphis, the red-hot pop-up Salt | Soy has found a permanent home on Broad Avenue. Inspired by Izikaya eateries popular in Japan, the new space is sleek and cool – the perfect setting for sharing delicious small plates. “We want to offer a fun, fast-casual atmosphere with fine dining food,” explains Brad McCarley, who owns Salt | Soy with Alchemy’s Nick Scott.
The collaboration of the two chefs is a match made in heaven. Brad brings his background as a craft butcher, while Nick has extensive experience in Asian fare and sushi. The menu features Japanese-influenced creations that incorporate local ingredients and Southern style. A few of the must-try items are the Chicken Fried Chicken and Dumpling Dumplings, Chili Crab Udon, and the Hamachi Sashimi. The bar at Salt | Soy offers creative house cocktails, a curated wine and beer list, and one of the best saki selections in town. (SB TIP: Bourbon lovers, try the House of the Ritten Sun, a delightful concoction with Rittenhouse Rye, Suntori Toki Japanese Whisky, sunflower orgeat, lemon, and Lost Angel Pinot Noir. Topped with star anise, it’s almost too pretty to drink!)
Enjoy your dining adventures, Memphis!
Get the best part of your day delivered to your inbox by 5 a.m. Subscribe to StyleBlueprint!