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May 9, 2010 03:09 PM

Nashville and Memphis- Where to eat?

My friends and I are taking a road trip to Nashville and Memphis in a few weeks. Can you recommend some dinner options? Any good spots to listen to music and grab some dinner? We're hoping to try some of the local favorites and to listen to a lot of good music. Thanks!

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  1. I assume you will have a car. What part of town are you staying in and what level restaurant are you looking for. Are you looking for bar food with music or fine dining with little or no music. Are you interested in BBQ which Memphis is famous for. For instance you can stay in Downtown Memphis and go to lots of restaurants and bars around Beale St. and walk. If you want to go out East to Germantown and that are you will have to drive about 30 minutes. Same in Nashville.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Littleman

      Hello! Thanks so much for your quick response. We will have our car there, and location does not matter. We have not booked a hotel yet, so we're open to traveling to any part of the city. We would prefer to try BBQ, and ambience (relaxed atmosphere and good music) is important to us. We would rather go to a low key or casual place than fine dining, but if a fine dining restaurant is what you recommend, then we would be happy to try that. Oooh and if you could recommend some areas of town that would be good to stay at, we would appreciate it! Thanks again.

      1. re: erandmt

        I'm getting old and tired. I will give this some thought and give you some up to date advice Tuesday. I will say this. Memphis is divided by Downtown and East Memphis. There's a lot in the middle too but I would choose to stay in one place and stay there. It's a long drive from downtown to E. Memphis and back especially if you have been having fun. Memphis police are on the watch for driving and drinking.

        Now if you stay downtown The Peabody is just a block from Beale St. Check their rates and availabilty tomorrow. There's a Westin and other hotels but I think you would enjoy The Peabody and the night life on Beale St. There are quite a few fine restaurants downtown and some lively night life, music and parties going on. Now if you are interested in going towards E. Memphis I would stay at The Hampton on Shady Grove. That's about mid ways. Not much night life there but plenty of fine places to eat. Here's a link to Beale St. Lot going on there. Lot's of bars, music, drinking and eating. Probably some crazy folks there too late at night. Watch your back.


        The Peabody is a block from Beale St. If you choose to stay downtown you will be hanging out at some bars there. There are plenty. BB King's is well known. And there's a nice restaurant on the 2nd floor called Itta Bena. If there's a line to get in BB's they will let you by pass that to eat at Itta Bena.

        BB King's Blues Club @ 143 Beale St., Memphis, TN 901 - 524 - 5464.


        The Peabody @ 149 Union Ave., Memphis, TN 901 - 529 - 4000.


        There is a Westin next door to Beale also. Here are a few fine downtown restaurants that are not too fine dining.

        Stella @ 2709 Lombardy Ave., Memphis, TN 901 - 526 - 4950. L/D.

        Felicia Suzzane's @ 80 Monroe Ave., Memphis, TN 901 - 523 - 0877.


        McEwen's on Monroe @ 122 Monroe Ave., Memphis, TN 901 - 527 - 7085.


        If you stay downtown you will want to visit Rendezvous. I have not been in quite a while as it's becoming a tourist spot but it's still the same ole place I understand. Good dry ribs and BBQ. Atmosphere is nice. You would enjoy one visit there.

        Charlie Vergo's Rendezvous @ 52 S. Second St., Memphis, TN. 901 - 523 - 2746.


        Memphis is covered up in BBQ. I will post a few tomorrow. One downtown dining spot you might enjoy with music is Automatic Slims.

        Automatic Slim's @ 83 South 2nd St., Memphis, TN 901 - 525 - 7948. *


        I think you will find a lot of entertainment downtown and enjoy the Peabody. It's an old historical hotel that's very interesting. Everything I posted is 5/10 minutes away. If you decide to stay further E. towards Germantown let me know.

        I will get back with you tomorrow.

        1. re: Littleman

          Wow, this is the most helpful advice we have received. We are definitely going to follow your suggestions. We'll be staying downtown and we're going to research the restaurant options you gave us before making a decision. This is our first trip to Tennessee and we're really looking forward to it! Thanks again!

    2. Have you read ANY of the previous posts here? Read any travel guides, any travel web sites? It's one thing to ask for recommendations when you've already done a little research and have some general ideas, another to post a question on a web site that basically asks other people to plan your trip to two cities for you.

      I don't mind answering questions -- I enjoy it, actually, and I'm a frequent contributor to another site that's a lot busier than this one. But, I feel disinclined when it seems the person asking the question hasn't done any legwork themselves at all, even to the point of reading previous posts on the same forum. Also, you give no indication of budget for hotel or the type of music (or food) you are interested in.

      I will say this about food & music in Nashville: Any place that has live music and serves alcohol will have food. There are few places that have outstanding, trip-from-out-of-town-worthy food that also have notable live music. You can do the Lower Broadway tourist-honky-tonk crawl and feed your face along the way. Or, you can have dinner somewhere good and then do the music thing, whether it's Lower Broadway or elsewhere in town.

      If you provide more information and tell us what you've already looked at / considered, perhaps we can provide more specific answers.

      1. I think the question with Memphis is how many meals do you want to devote to barbecue? I think you'll probably want to hit the Rendezvous, just because it's ultra-famous and it is a unique experience. Then you'll want to actually have some great barbecue. For a pork sandwich, I would recommend Payne's on Lamar Ave. Only open for lunch, but worth it. For ribs, go to either the BBQ Shop on Madison Ave or Central Barbecue on Central Ave.

        If you want more, I can give you more. You can't turn around in Memphis without running into a great barbecue joint. There are so many.

        4 Replies
        1. re: jamiecarroll

          I second the rec for Central...amazing ribs. Try half wet/dry.

          Also Gus's for some of the best friend chicken around.

          1. re: jamiecarroll

            Thanks! We'll look into Rendezvous. A few others have recommended Central as well. Can't wait to try all the BBQ!

            1. re: erandmt

              You have been getting good advice- BBQ Shop, Payne's, Central and Gus's are all really good.

              I would add Bryant's on Summer Ave. for breakfast- worth the drive! Get a country ham, egg and cheese biscuit and you will never again desire an egg mcmuffin!

              If you stay downtown, priceline.com has some really good rates- we got the Doubletree for $50 a week ago! Walking distance to all the restaurants on Beale (I ate at Blues City, Dyers, Itta Bena above BB Kings, Automatic Slims, etc. Short drive to Gus's, Ernestine and Hazels, etc.

              But don't discount staying in Midtown. When I stay at the Artisan I can walk to the BBQ Shop (my favorite ribs), Hueys, Blue Monkey, etc and it is just a short drive to Central BBQ, The Beauty Shop, Soul Fish, etc...

              Blues City Cafe
              138 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103

              Central BBQ
              2249 Central Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

              Soul Fish Cafe
              862 S Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104

              Automatic Slim's Restaurant
              83 S 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38103

              Blue Monkey
              513 S Front St, Memphis, TN 38103

              1. re: Clarkafella

                I would add Tsunami, Restaurant Iris and Restaurant Bari to the midtown choices.

                Restaurant Iris
                2146 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38104