Summer in Memphis is just plain hot, but that doesn’t mean a meal out relegates you to a lackluster salad or a soggy sandwich. You can still dine out and keep your cool at one of these wonderful restaurants around town that offer interesting dining options and delicious full meals. From appetizers to dessert, here’s what to eat … some refreshing local options with a lot of flair:
3092 Poplar Ave. #11, Memphis • (901) 433-9980 or (901) 323-3287
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Just for Lunch offers the most classic Southern lunches in town, which are perfect options during the sweltering summer heat. Choose your Bouquet of Salads from chicken, tuna, egg or pimento cheese, all of which are also available as sandwiches. The spinach salad is one of the best in town with a perfect combination of nuts, fruit and flavorful vinaigrette. The Southern Chopped Salad, with cranberries, pecans and blue cheese, is always a good choice, but don’t forget the classic Shrimp Ravigote, served in an avocado half. And for the full Southern experience, Just for Lunch also has tomato aspic!
6150 Poplar Ave. #120, Memphis • (901) 821-9600
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Paradise Café serves first-rate sandwiches and classics, like chicken salad, pimento cheese and pasta salads. But we suggest the Floridian, a bowl of fresh fruit topped with a scoop of chicken, tuna or egg salad, or go coastal with shrimp salad on a croissant. The fresh fruit and yogurt shakes are refreshing, as well.
5101 Sanderlin Ave. #104b, Memphis • (901) 729-7687
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
You may think juice or a smoothie can make a meal, and it is refreshing, but at Cosmic Coconut, you can add one of their delicious wraps or kale salads to that juice and be completely satisfied. Of course, we are thirsty more often than hungry on hot summer days, and opting for a smoothie fills both desires. At the Cosmic Coconut, you are not forgoing nutrition with this choice. They use ingredients such as bananas for thickness in lieu of ice and fresh coconut and/or coconut milk as a healthy sweetener. Therefore, their smoothies do make a good option for a lighter, on-the-go, healthy meal.
5030 Poplar Ave. #7, Memphis • (901) 725-8557
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Casablanca is another wonderful place for a hearty, but cool, meal. Try the generous Sultan’s Mezze Platter (hummus, baba ghannoush, grape leaves, tabbouli), a plate of hummus and falafel or the Simple Favorite, which is salty chunks of feta in the spicy house sauce to be scooped up with pita. The generous Jerusalem Salad is chock full of greens, olives, tomatoes and feta. Add chicken, lamb or beef for a heartier dish. Casablanca also claims to have the best tea in Memphis, and we will say the iced ginger, sage and honey brew is very refreshing!
2946 Poplar Ave., Memphis • (901) 458-1644
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
In the winter, a big bowl of Vietnamese pho, the spicy, hearty soup, is a perfect cold chaser, but Pho Saigon can also keep you cool in summer with their flavorful bánh mi sandwiches, stacked high with pork and tangy pickled vegetables. Or go for the huge, crisp, fresh spring rolls, full of shrimp, vegetables and noodles with some spicy nuoc cham dipping sauce.
2156 Young Ave., Memphis • (901) 207-5281
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The Picnic Basket at Greencork is a perfectly satisfying cold selection of cheeses, cured meat, vegetables, pickles and condiments for two or more people. Choose a glass of wine (or three) from the self-service selection, and sit, relax and stay cool. Greencork also has a wonderful selection of cheeses, available in trios or as a build-your-own platter, with add-ons of meats and condiments.
1215 South Germantown Road, Germantown • (901) 751-1200
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
At Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana, the chips with salsa, guacamole or salsa verde can obviously make a meal, but check out the salads with grilled red snapper, sea scallops or chicken. The agua frescas—fresh fruit juice blended with shaved ice—are perfectly refreshing on a hot summer day.
6194 Macon Rd., Memphis • (901) 377-2282
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Playita Mexicana on Macon Road in Bartlett has lots of cool, gazpacho-style soups and a broad selection of “cocteles,” which are ceviche-like dishes of cool, raw, marinated fish and vegetables, everything from shrimp to octopus to catfish. Have a side of guacamole, and you are in for a refreshing meal.
820 Cooper St,, Memphis • (901) 725-0091
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and late night on Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Tart, in Cooper-Young, has both a breakfast and an afternoon version of antipasto: plates of bread, meat, cheese, olives, boiled eggs and fruit. Or try the tartines, French-style, open-face sandwiches with a changing array of local toppings. Salad Niçoise is a perfect summer meal, too, made of lettuce, tuna, green beans, potatoes, olives and anchovies. Or go for the Chilled Bistro Steak Salad for a filling choice. And save room for a decadent dessert to finish the meal. Options galore!
Beat the heat this summer … go out to eat! Choose from today’s suggestions, or take the StyleBlueprint App along for a handy guide to the best restaurants in Memphis.