Ten years ago, no one would have guessed that Memphis would be the foodie destination it is today.
As the hometown of the annual World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest - aka the 'Superbowl of Swine' - one might think that Memphis is all about barbecue - and certainly, we do adore our pulled pork sandwiches and pork ribs. But dining in Memphis has gone way beyond barbecue, thanks to a group of young chefs dedicated to the local farm movement and the more experienced chefs who mentor them.
In choosing our list of the ten best dining experiences in Memphis, we've chosen a group of restaurants that bridge cuisines and neighborhoods, and go from all-out glamorous settings to comfortable, casual surroundings. Our ten choices include some of the city's best-loved establishments, some new, reservations-required superstars, and of course - our favorite barbecue joint.
Nothing beats the Peabody Hotel's Chez Philippe for the ultimate fine dining experience; its traditional French cuisine and refined atmosphere combine for an unforgettable evening. Erling Jensen and Paulette's are longtime favorites of Memphians, as is Folk's Folly - the slightly dated but nevertheless excellent steakhouse that caters to the political and social elite of the city. Hog & Hominy is the casual and fascinating eatery from the city's two hottest chefs - and definitely worth the wait (you can play boccee to pass the time). And about that barbecue joint: everyone has an opinion about the best barbecue in town; Central Avenue is our go-to, both for the food and the laid-back atmosphere, as well as its big deck.
No matter where your palate takes you in Memphis, our choices all promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.