HOME > Chowhound > General South Archive >


BBQ in Memphis

A friend is going to be in Memphis this coming week and needs some recommendations for good BBQ. What's good in Memphis?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hmmm, I responded, but looks like my post was deleted. If you search this board, you will find many many responses to this very question. Personally, any trip to Memphis without Payne's for a sandwich is a wasted trip.

    1 Reply
    1. re: biskuit

      Second on the recommendation for Payne's. Their sandwich is unique to Memphis and very, very good.

    2. Rendezvous is consistently one the best BBQ places in Memphis. There may be new, better places, but few have the reputation and history as Charles Vergos' restaurant. It's downstairs in the alley behind 52 South Second in downtown.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kstover

        The Rendezvous is a fair barbecue joint. It should not be considered a GOOD one. Went last week for some visitor from TX. Very disappointed.

        1. re: srussell705

          completely agree. "Consistent" is the last word i'd use to describe The Rendezvous. When they are on and you get a good rack, it's a top 5 rib. When they are off, it's essentially charred pork bark.

          BBQ Shop on Madison (ribs and sandwich)
          Payne's on Lamar (sandwich with neon slaw+fried pie)
          A&R on Elvis Presley (sandwich+fried pie)

      2. Bar-B-Que Shop and Central BBQ are the two best places in the city!

        1 Reply
        1. If this is Catherine of Chicks in Charge,your friends probably would seek out BBQ Shop and Central to eat,but Rendezvous should always be worth a visit, for the history and at least a shoulder sandwich.

          Maybe catch the ribs fresh at an early lunch on Friday.

          Paynes for the sandwich with the strange slaw,and the A and R ,on Elvis Presley.make good shoulder sandwich.

          Not KCBS,but the BBQ spaghetti is interesting at the BBQ Shop


          1. I've posted recommendations here for years, but I think you'll do as well, just checking them out on the map (opinions expressed on the map are mine alone):


            1. I took my mother to Memphis to fulfill her dream of visiting Graceland. And while I was there I had the opportunity to have the best BBQ of my life. I went to four places in four days.

              First, I went to Payne's on Lamar. The place is not exactly known for its decor but the chopped pork sandwish is solid. It is an experience that I have never had before. The woman behind the counter could tell that my mother and I were from out of town and she was appreciative to know that I found about her out of the way place on Chowhound. My mother was not exactly wowed by her ribs but its the sandwhich that is worth the trip. And do not pass on the fried pie! My mother dreams about it.

              The second place I went to was Neely's. Again, the ribs were out of this world and it made me sad to know that a "fast food" place like this was around the block in Memphis while I still search all over LA for good BBQ. Had the BBQ spaghetti and beans which again are unmatched.

              The third place I went to was Pig with an Attitude on Beale Street. Had the sandwhich was so good. I was hungry during our Blues City Tour and brought it on the bus and had to appologize to everyone for intoxicating BBQ smell.

              The fourth and probably best place I went to was Central BBQ. My mother and I shared a rack for two;half wet, half dry. Unbelievable! I am so happy we went to this place. If I were ever to go back to Memphis it would be to eat at this place.

              Enjoy your time in Memphis Chowhounders. Everything you heard about the BBQ in this region is totally true!

              1. We just got back from Memphis and these are the spots we went to.

                Monday- Went to Paynes but they are closed Mondays so we headed to A&R for a sandwich combo and a fried pie. The sandwich and beans were good. The pie I wasnt too impressed with. Kind of soggy. Not my style. Later that night we went to the BBQ shop. Got a half rack of wet ribs and some chopped pork. Both of those were amazing. Huge portion of food too. Very nice staff and very good BBQ.

                Tuesday- Went to Paynes! Heaven on a bun! Got 2 pulled pork sandwiches and a coke. Sandwiches were absolutely amazing! Hot sauce, mustard based slaw, crunchy bits of bark in the pork. This was the best sandwich I had all trip. For dinner we went to Rendevous-Still full from Paynes I only got a half order of ribs. The dry rub was something that I never had before but I really liked it. Good ribs and quick service. Tasty Ribs!