Rendezvous Memphis Barbecue
Photo Credit: @rendezvousmemphis

Beale Street Food Guide

Experience the flavors of Memphis with this epic food tour of Beale Street

Memphis is known around the world as the "Home of the Blues" and the home of original Memphis-style barbecue. While visiting the Bluff City and walking along Beale Street, be sure to stop by these restaurants and bars to experience and taste the renowned flavors of Memphis for yourself. 

Dyer's Burgers 

Located on world-famous Beale Street, Dyer's Burgers began in 1912, with the late Elmer "Doc" Dyer's secret cooking process that still continues to this day. The burgers – single, double or triple – are legendary and famous for being cooked in the same exact grease that made the burgers famous in 1912!  Dyer's also has a bountiful menu featuring many lip-smacking favorites: Hot "Blues" Hot Wings, Southern Fried Chicken Tenders, milkshakes & floats, hot apple dumplings, and more. Check out what’s often considered the best burgers on Beale at Dyers.

Blues City Cafe

Visit Blues City Café on Beale Street for authentic Memphis blues and delicious Southern comfort food. The Blues City menu includes such favorites as their famous barbecue ribs, Southern fried catfish, oven-broiled steaks sold by the pound, and homemade tamales. Known widely as having the best ribs and catfish on Beale, be sure to try their “Best Meal on Beale” spread, a legendary combo which features these two celebrated dishes in tasty harmony. In addition to the offerings at the café, there’s also nightly live entertainment in the Band Box, which is located right next to the restaurant. With the kitchen open until 3am and the bar open until 5am, that’s another combo you’ll be sure to enjoy!

Beale Sweets Sugar Shack

A family-friendly candy store located on iconic Beale Street, Beale Sweets Sugar Shack specializes in homemade fudge with unique signature flavors, candy by the quarter pound and nostalgic candies. They even have a special line of candy for kids called KidsMania as well as a 21+ Liquor Candy selection featuring candies with Jack Daniels, Kahlua and more. You can even watch their "Fudgeologists" creating the special treats, kick back and enjoy a pure cane sugar soda pop or indulge in one of Memphis' local popsicle creations, MEMpops.

King's Palace Cafe

Photo Credit: Jed DeKalb

If you want to hear some jazz and taste some super tasty Memphis-inspired Cajun cuisine, be sure to drop into King's Palace Café on Beale Street. A welcoming locale offering a full menu of appetizing southern meals, King’s Palace features such dishes as their championship gumbo, alligator, shrimp and crawfish etouffee, blackened catfish, voodoo potatoes and more. The Café also serves Memphis-style hickory smoked BBQ ribs, New York strips, bacon wrapped filets, and salmon lightly smoked and grilled. The dining area features plenty of room but step off to the side area for a comfortable, relaxed evening of local jazz artists playing tunes throughout your visit.

Charles Vergos' Rendezvous

Photo Credit: @rendezvousmemphis

Famous for being dry rubbed, then grilled over charcoal, ribs, brisket, and BBQ favorites from Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous express an intensely seasoned taste underscored by hints of paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper and oregano. Over the years, Rendezvous has been visited by countless locals, visitors and even presidents, rock groups, and celebrities since opening in 1948. In addition to their variety of barbecued bites, be sure to try their tasty appetizer plate of smoked sausage and cheese all seasoned with the famous Rendezvous spice mixture. There’s also delightful barbecue nachos (pork or chicken) that are stacked with smoked meat, cheese and spices. Prepare to savor some of the best Memphis BBQ you’ve ever tasted.

A. Schwab Dry Goods Store

A true Memphis landmark and the oldest store on Beale Street, A. Schwab Dry Goods Store is a celebrated stop to make while in the Home of the Blues. Atop its characteristic battered wood floors and tables, find everything from plumbing supplies to old-fashioned candy. A trip to A. Schwab is a step back in time to the great days of general stores, offering a great selection of everything you need, and many things you might not. In addition to the wide assortment of fun items, A. Schwab’s also offers a variety of delicious sweet treats, from gelato in freshly made waffle cones, milkshakes, malts, phosphate sodas with homemade syrups and more. When in Memphis, this is one icon not to miss.

Central BBQ

Since opening in 2002, Central BBQ has built quite a name for itself, earning many accolades including being voted the Np. 1 barbecue in Memphis several times. Their downtown establishment offers not only a full range of barbecue dishes like pulled pork, brisket, and ribs but also large, meaty wings, smoked sausage, and their famous barbecue nachos. The homemade potato chips make an excellent accompaniment to any entrée. Plus, live music can be heard on the patio when the weather is nice.

Old Dominick Distillery

Whether you're stopping in for a refreshing drink while you're exploring Memphis, or finishing up a night out in style, the bar at Old Dominick Distillery offers up carefully-crafted cocktails to suit everyone's taste in an elevated yet relaxed atmosphere. Located a short walk from Beale Street, the distillery recently partnered with Bain BBQ to offer a variety of tasty food and range of sandwiches including turkey breast, pulled pork, and brisket to pair with your Old Dominick whiskey. And as a bonus, Old Dominick offers distillery tours and curated spirits tastings where their team shares their stories, traditions, and processes. Reservations are encouraged for the tour.

Elwood's Shack

Located a short drive from Beale Street, Elwood’s Shack on Park Ave is the BBQ destination of choice for locals. Combining a deli with smokehouse, Elwood’s serves up New York deli style sandwiches packed with authentic Memphis barbecue.  Some local favorites include the trout fish tacos, specialty hot dogs and pizza, bull poppers, and burnt ends. Elwood’s also has a very popular breakfast menu with items like the country biscuit sandwich or breakfast pizza as well as a coffee bar and ice cream and milkshakes.  Prepare for a truly fantastic foodie experience at Elwood’s Shack.

Ghost River Brewing Co

Located near the corner of 4th and Beale, the music and taps at Ghost River Brewing Company are always flowing. Partnering with local Memphis food truck legend New Wing Order, you can pair your Ghost River ales with their delicious menu items, such as the avocado tacos, hot wing nachos and smokehouse loaded fries with jalapeno ranch dipping sauce. Be sure to try their wings, known widely as some of the best in Memphis. Ghost River Brewing Co is situated at the quieter end of Beale and offers a wide selection of their own craft beer. There’s often live music being played and you can even bring your dog, as they are dog-friendly and have a great outdoor patio. A perfect combo for an amazing evening on Beale, definitely be sure to stop by Ghost River and New Wing Order.

Itta Bena


Photo Credit: @explorereats

Looking for a speakeasy vibe on Beale Street? On the 3rd floor of B.B. King's, you'll find Itta Bena, a posh cocktail bar with swinging jazz and upscale Southern cuisine. Lounge in the glow of B.B. King's blue sign and savor dishes like shrimp and grits, a center cut filet mignon, Cajun pasta, stuffed herb chicken and decadent desserts.

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

No Memphis food guide would be complete without Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken. Head to the Memphis staple for made-to-order, hand-battered fried chicken. The southern spicy fried chicken is served with southern sides made in-house daily like coleslaw, potato salad, mac and cheese and baked beans. Save room for one of their amazing desserts like sweet potato, chess, southern pecan and chocolate chess pies. 

Arcade Restaurant

Step inside Memphis' oldest cafe, Arcade Restaurant, and slide into the booth Elvis Presley would frequent. Order up a coffee and settle in for a delicious meal you won't soon forget. Order Travel Channel's favorite Eggs Redneck - sausage, chicken or bacon with biscuits soaked in gravy with eggs and hash browns or Arcade Restaurant's famous French Toast with two eggs, hash browns or grits and bacon or sausage on the side. The sweet potato pancakes will satisfy any craving and the chocolate mudslide pancakes are a culinary paradise. 

Celebrate the Lunar New Year in Nashville

Welcome the Year of the Dragon with these special events and Asian-inspired restaurants in Nashville

Read More