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Oct 4, 2008 04:37 PM

Memphis Recs near Cook Convention BBQ plz!

I will be attending a conference in Memphis at the end of October, and staying at one of the nearby hotels without a car. Our group is a mixed bag, but with many vegetarians, and those who want healthy options, and just excellent food. All price ranges welcome, and I'd love recs for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner if you could as, well, we'll be eating all three :-)

Please no BBQ, and nothing too far from the convention center, as our only transportation will be the trolley or our feet. We'll be there 5 days, so feel free to offer up a bunch!

Thank you!


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  1. These will all be easy to get to with the trolleys - either on the route or a very short walk. North of the convention center on Main - Alcenia's for lunch (or Saturday brunch if you're there over the weekend). It's mainly a meat and three with good vegetable selections. Westy's for wild rice blends with the toppings of your choice and hot fudge pie. They're a good late night place, too.
    There's a lot more south of the convention center - The Majestic is great all around with a lot of local, seasonal food for lunch or supper. Circa is another good all around doing lunch and supper. Either of those will have good vegetarian options. Encore is another nice place, but supper only. Felicia Suzanne's is good Southern high end food for lunch or supper. Stella would be another nice lunch or supper. The Westin does a great burger with local beef for lunch and higher end for supper. If you really want to go all out, Chez Philippe in the Peabody would be a great supper choice and will do vegetarian meals. Pearl's Oyster House does good oysters and decent other seafood - definitely supper, maybe lunch, but not a lot for vegetarians. Big Foot Lodge is good casual burgers for supper or lunch and good vegetable choices. Ernestine & Hazel's for the soul burger - trust me on this one, but supper only and nothing vegetarian. Gus's Fried Chicken is always good for lunch or supper, but no vegetarian options. Arcade for breakfast - try the sweet potato pancakes. Ohana Bakery would be great pastry for breakfast. Bon Ton is traditional Southern breakfast (that means gravy & biscuits), but they can take care of vegetarians, too. If you're looking for something good for dessert, try Cheesecake Corner.
    Hopefully that will at least give you some places to start with.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mamasquirrel

      Those were spot on. The only thing I would add is don't rely on the trolly if you're trying to get somewhere on time. Always seems that the only one near you is going the opposite direction. Only places I would add is Flying Fish for more fish options and Flying Saucer for a great beer selection. Both are on Second across from the Peabody/Peabody Place.

      1. re: fijitodd

        Flying Fish is terrible. I have tried on three occasions and at different parts of the day, each time. I will never go back.

      2. re: mamasquirrel

        Westy's is very close to the conention center, the menu has a lot of variety to it. Try the fudge pie.

        346 N Main St, Memphis, TN 38103

      3. Hope I'm not too late - but I didn't see a mention of Automatic Slim's. That's one of the best downtown places - basically across the street from the Peabody. I've always had great service there, which certainly isn't true of most of the supposedly good downtown places (Encore and Felicia Suzanne's). I echo the rec. of Gus's for chicken.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Piranha

          Not too late at all, we don't leave for Memphis till the 22nd...thanks to everyone who posted so far!

          1. re: pringle347

            For a really good fresh take on Italian, try Spindini, 383 South Main. Owned and operated by a member of the Grisanti family, a memphis institution. Great place to spend a cool fall night in Memphis.

        2. A couple of additions to the above; Blue Fin on Main about 3 doors north of Peabody for sushi and fusion. they do have some vegetarian options; for a more involved breakfast the Arcade on S. Main accross from Earnestine & Hazels and the train station. Sawadde Thai on 2nd just west of Union is also good, although I haven't been there in a while. Grill 86 in the Madison Hotel is very nice.I would second the rec's for Slim's, Gus's, and Encore

          1 Reply
          1. re: chazzerking

            Thanks I love sushi, so that works for me! 4 more days till I get there...any others, keep 'em coming, I"ve passed on the list to my friends so far! Thanks so much.