Feel the soul of Memphis in restaurants that regularly host live music. You'll hear soul, blues, rock n' roll and even DJs at dining spots around the city. Add these stops to your Memphis itinerary.
Originally opened in 1991, B.B. King’s Blues Club has remained a favorite for visitors and locals alike. With a unique blend of blues, soul, and classic rock & roll music that can only be found in Memphis, this eatery features great music and a great menu. Specialty ribs are a highlight, but the restaurant also serves some other Southern favorites like shrimp and grits, barbecue chicken, burgers, po' boys, and more. Signature drinks (like Beale Street Lemonade and Memphis Margarita), beers and wines are also available. Be sure to stop at B.B. King’s for the distinctive atmosphere, tasty food and fantastic live music.
Discover Itta Bena, a hidden speakeasy nestled above B.B. King’s Blues Club on Beale Street. Discernable only by a blue canopy, you’ll walk up a long, narrow metal staircase and enter through an unmarked door to find the elegant yet casual dining room with subdued lighting, blue tinted windows, and charming atmosphere. Featuring an eclectic and vibrant selection of live music, Itta Bena serves up fine contemporary Southern fare, including dishes like Cajun pasta, braised short ribs and grilled lamb chops just to name a few. Itta Bena is open nightly from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; it is recommended to make a reservation prior to arriving.
Lafayette’s Music Room
Lafayette’s Music Room was first opened in the 1970s as a small but very influential music venue which helped kick-start the careers of artists like Billy Joel, Barry Manilow and KISS. Though it closed its doors not too long after they were opened, nearly 38 years later the Memphis staple returned to Overton Square, this time as a revived restaurant and prominent live music venue. Lafayette’s Music Room now stands as one of Memphis’s top live music scenes and serves up some of the best Southern comfort food around, including delicious homemade mac and cheese, wood-fired pizzas and made-from-scratch desserts. Evoking their storied past, Lafayette’s boasts live music every day and features local and touring acts playing jazz, blues, rock n' roll and everything in between. Quick tip: Check out Lafayette’s music calendar for a peek at all the upcoming acts.
When in the Memphis area, be sure to visit Loflin Yard, an incredibly unique restaurant and bar space that features a huge outdoor area and multiple buildings on property. Walk into the Coach House where you can enjoy the full-service bar and porch with rocking chairs. Wander over to the Safe House to grab a bite to eat and peruse the wide selection of bottle-aged cocktails and the wine wall; drink and dine indoors or grab a bottle and enjoy it on the attached deck overlooking Loflin Falls, a beautiful onsite waterfall and creek. Also available is the Front Yard and Back Yard, two distinct outdoor areas lit with ball lights and with plenty of seats and room to play yard games. Live music is playing often, so you can relax and listen the entertainment while you eat, drink and take in the charming setting. Loflin Yard is also pet-friendly.
Blues City Cafe & the Band Box
Visit Blues City Cafe for authentic Memphis blues and delicious Southern comfort food. The Blues City menu includes such favorites as their famous barbecue ribs, Southern fried catfish, steaks and homemade tamales. The fun is just beginning when you finish your meal at Blues City Cafe. Roll on through the night at a real Beale Street juke joint, where the fun begins and everybody's night on Beale Street ends. Blues City Cafe offers nightly live entertainment in the Band Box, which is located right next to the restaurant.
If you want to hear a variety of music genres, pull up a chair at Railgarten. Cover bands, hip hop, jazz, folk, gospel and Americana legends, and national touring acts rock the stage. Hungry? Grab one of the sandwiches offered from Sloppy Joe’s to burgers to grilled chicken sandwiches as well as brisket nachos, chicken tostada and chicken tenders. Set on 1.5 acres and complete with cozy outdoor spaces, railroad shipping containers, a volleyball court, large outdoor TV, secret spaces, games and more, Railgarten’s atmosphere is creative, relaxed, and fun. Recently voted a 2022 Best of Memphis winner by MemphisFlyer, you’ll be sure to enjoy top notch food, a wide selection of beer and cocktails, and excellent live music at Railgarten.
Located on Beale Street, SugaShack serves up some classic favorites, including their famous fried catfish, yams, fried okra and cabbage as well as the Suga Hot Chicken. Also offered is an impressive array of house cocktails (like the Suga Mama), wines and beer. The intimate and relaxed atmosphere at SugaShack is accentuated by live music, which is playing often.
Bishop inside Central Station Hotel
Check out Bishop inside the Central Station Hotel and discover a restaurant which embodies the soul of Memphis and is accentuated with minimalist yet upscale décor. This French brasserie-inspired menu with southern flair has fried chicken, the highly acclaimed Bishop Burger, duck a L’orange and caviar. Oysters, Parisian gnocchi, and mussels & frites transport you to France without ever needing a passport. The wine list is all French, highlighting each region of France. Quick tip: Reservations are highly encouraged and can be made 30 up to days in advance. Once you're finished your meal, head up to the lobby where you'll find DJs spinning dance-worthy tracks. The hotel also has a listening lounge you can rent to hear music as it's intended. The shape of the room, acoustical ceiling and walls and the placement of furniture and speakers prepares you for a true music education.
Visit Crosstown Concourse, a 1,200,000-square-foot marvel of architectural rehabilitation housed in an old Sears distribution center in downtown Memphis. With a focus on food & drinks as well as music & art, Crosstown Concourse is home to a dozen curated eateries and cafés, including Abner’s Famous Chicken, Crosstown Brewing Co., Art Bar, Farm Burger, Global Café, Wolf River Brisket, Lucy J’s Bakery and more. In addition, the Concourse features the Crosstown Theater and Green Room spaces, which provide cozy areas to enjoy live music or shows. There is even a 7,000-square-foot art gallery where you can see local art exhibitions at no cost. Quick tip: Be sure to check out Crosstown Concourse’s event page to see the schedule of live music and other performances.
Find more Memphis restaurants with live music on our travel planning page.
Get Into the Game at Tennessee's Sports Bars
With plenty of TVs, great craft beer and delicious food, check out these can’t-miss spots to cheer on your favorite sports team.