Here’s how to celebrate a Made in Tennessee Mardi Gras
*This post has been updated with 2016 information.
Mardi Gras is coming up and, to celebrate, there are a few Tennessee parties and restaurants you should have on your radar; because if we know anything, it’s that the best parties are Made in Tennessee. Here’s where to celebrate a Tennessee Mardi Gras:
Where to eat
Craving some Cajun flavor? Step into these restaurants even after the confetti and beads have been swept away:
Chef Kelly English, owner of the famously successful Restaurant Iris and Magnolia House, has gone for a laid-back atmosphere in this venture. Serving up generous portions of New Orleans-inspired fare with a Memphis flare, The Second Line’s menu quenches any craving. Get your Mardi Gras fix from barbecue shrimp to oysters, large helpings of Mississippi catfish and braised chicken thigh po’boys.
Jambalaya, muffalettas, po’boys, etouffee, red beans and rice, oysters, and gumbo are all for the ordering. Indulge on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 9 as they serve up drink specials, a mighty Crawfish Boil, and jam out to music provided by the Might Souls Brass Band 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The quaint town of Gallatin is serving up Creole, Cajun flavor on the daily thanks to this New Orleans-inspired restaurant. The gumbo is spicy, the po’boys large and filling. They even have Mardi Gras tacos! But, save room for dessert as the warmly served beignets are heavenly.
Tucked away in Printer’s Alley, blues music blares out of each crevice from under this bar’s neon sign. It’s a small. unassuming place but inside, the party gets started and keeps going with live music every single night. With a menu that includes alligator bites, gumbo, crawfish tails, Voodoo fingers, and fish fry po’boys, you’ll want to stay a while.
This eastern corner of Tennessee serves up some of the best seafood around. Try the fried alligator, the blackened oysters, shrimp remoulade or cocktail, and be sure to sample the gumbo and oyster, catfish, shrimp, crawfish or chicken po’boys.
Where to party
Grab a bevy of beads, your favorite party wear, and head out to Tennessee’s cities for Mardi Gras madness.
Mardi Gras has gone to the dogs (literally) March 5 in Knoxville as the annual Mardi Growl Parade and Festival comes through town. Dogs of all types and ages are welcomed with their owners to participate in the parade. Many dress up in extravagant costumes. A variety of vendors in Market Square follow the parade and keep the festivities going.
Dinner, dancing, casino and auction are all on the bill for this year’s Chattigras 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at The Chattanoogan. Love, Peace and Happiness perform Motown-style songs while guests enjoy a photo booth, delicious cocktails and more. Tickets are $100 a person.
Memphis knows how to party with this full street celebration down Beale Street. Each venue provides music, food and fun to celebrate Mardi Gras beginning 5:30 p.m. Feb. 9.
Share with us your favorite way to celebrate Mardi Gras in the comments below.