There’s a little spot in between East Memphis and downtown that’s full of life, dining, and shopping. Known as Overton Square, this Memphis neighborhood offers plenty to see and do — whether you want to spend the afternoon there or have a night out. Plus, be on the lookout for a new hotel and a mural that is great for Instagram! Here’s your updated guide to Overton Square.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
When it comes to Overton Square, there are several hotspots perfect for lunch or a dinner date … plus some dessert afterward. We’ll start with Bayou Bar & Grill, a super affordable brunch spot with $3 mimosas, Bloody Marys and screwdrivers, as well as two-for-three beignets. You’ll also find tasty menu items like gumbo, po’ boys, and shrimp pasta for lunch and dinner. If you’re in the mood for tapas and tacos, Babalu is the place to go. Depending on the day you visit, they offer plenty of happy hour specials, including $5 sangrias and Luna Ritas, or enjoy $1 off your tacos. If you’re craving a burger or American cuisine, Bosco’s Squared, Belly Acres and Local Gastropub are great options!
If you want something with more of an international flair, there’s Golden India and Robata Ramen & Yakitori Bar. At Golden India, the menu is extensive and features classic Indian cuisine, including curry, biryani and tandoori dishes, and a variety of chef’s specials. At Robata Ramen & Yakitori Bar, customize your ramen dish or select from the Yakitori menu. Consider joining them for brunch as well, where you can enjoy an array of flavors during the most enjoyable meal of the week. If you’re wanting to expand your horizon just a little, there’s Saltwater Crab (started by Sushi Jimmi) that has an array of items like shrimp baskets, oysters and more sushi than you can eat.
If you’re craving authentic Italian and cheese delicacies, Bari Ristorante has everything you want and more. Don’t forget to pair your appetizer and dinner with an exquisite wine. (And don’t worry, if you aren’t sure what to get, the staff is incredibly knowledgeable and ready to assist!) To top off your dinner, head upstairs to Dodici, a lounge offering a selection of carefully curated cocktails. As you leave, be sure to snap a picture with the building’s outside mural, too!
For a casual lunch spot, Memphis Pizza Cafe is always a hit. In addition to pizza, they also have calzones, salads and sandwiches — all of which are superb. SB TIP: The BBQ chicken pizza is a 901 staple if you’re showing out-of-town guests how it’s done in the M-town.
Lastly, for a bit of nightlife and yummy dining, check out Porch & Parlor (we recommend ordering Butcher’s Bacon Rack), LaFayette’s Music Room (which is temporarily closed right, be sure to check out their social media for updates), or the Zebra Lounge for live music and entertainment. (Note: LaFayette’s Music Room is temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Check their website and social media for updates.)
Oh … and don’t forget to stop by 17 Berkshire for some macarons and a cup of tea or coffee. Plus, it’s a great place to hang out and get some work done if you want a little escape. (Note: The storefront is currently closed, but takeout and curbside services are available.) And, last but not least, Sweet Noshings is a must-see (the bourbon ice cream is amazing!). For those still craving something sweet, you can grab a bag and fill it to your heart’s content with candy and goodies.
WHERE TO SHOP
While Overton Square isn’t necessarily a retail hotspot, there is still plenty to explore. For the modern boutique shopper, Ivory Closet has everything from statement earrings and cocktail dresses to sweaters, shoes, gifts and more. Another retail destination for playful clothing with a Memphis edge is Stock & Belle. Peruse options for men and women as well as home furnishings, gifts and more — all with a decidedly Memphis vibe and a dedication to working with local makers. For fitness footwear and athleisure wear, Breakaway Running has everything you could possibly need. Plus, if you’re looking to jumpstart your fitness journey by finding the right shoe, they offer fittings and tips for finding the right fit. Lastly, if you love to give gifts or need e shop that carries local and unique products, check out Midtown Mercantile, owned by LaFayette’s Music Room.
WHAT TO DO
Overton Square is known as an arts hub n Memphis. New to the area, The Art Project Memphis is an art studio for kids, offering classes, workstations and more to let little ones’ imaginations run free. While the storefront is currently closed, at-home art kits and supplies are available for purchase on The Art Project Memphis website.
Performance art is wildly popular in Midtown, as well. With two theaters — Playhouse on the Square and Hattiloo Theatre — you can see local talent perform musicals and plays when it’s safe to do so again. Previous performances have included Junie B. Jones The Musical, Peter Pan, Once On This Island and more.
And don’t forget about Ballet Memphis. Offering classes in ballet, Pilates, dance and fitness, as well as live performances, you’ll want to go back every week. Be sure to check their calendar for upcoming events.
COMING SOON …
The Memphian, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel by Marriott, is coming to the square! This 106-room boutique hotel will be located right in the heart of Overton Square. Opening this spring, this new and hip hotel will be the prime place for all of your out-of-town guests or a staycation for yourself. Stay tuned!
Here’s to exploring this beloved Memphis neighborhood!
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