This was my first visit to Memphis, and I’m here to share the sights, sounds, do’s, and don’t’s of this famous city. Some people say Memphis is all about music and BBQ – and they would be correct.
• Check out the duck procession at The Peabody Hotel. Pro Tip: They walk at 11 am and 5 pm. Get there 30 minutes early or you won’t be able to see anything.
• Gus’ World Famous Fried Chicken is 100% worth the hype. Enjoy with a Ghost River Golden Ale and bask in the glory of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. Get there early…you’ll wait. It’s worth it. Drink a beer outside and dream of fried happiness.
• Beale Street & Main Street are the downtown hot spots, and feel like a pseudo Bourbon Street. You have to check them out, at least to say you’ve done it. B.B. Kings Blues Club has ridiculous live music every night, and even though we went on a Monday night it was probably the highest quality live music I’ve seen live outside of an actual concert.
• Blues City Cafe for BBQ. I heard mumbling that Central BBQ was better, but didn’t get a chance to check out.
• Tamp & Tap for your morning cup of coffee…and 8-bit Nintendo fix.
• Be sure to get off campus, grab an Uber, and go out to Cooper Young. It’s a short distance, and it has the fantastic Sweet Grass Next Door restaurant. Sit at the bar and talk to Harold. His stories about Memphis, knowing Prince, and other weirdness will keep you there 4 hours (I know from experience).
• Expect good service. It was generally slow wherever we went. Check Yelp, and the #1 complaint is slow service. It was especially bad at Local Gastropub. “Southern hospitality” was find in some places…completely absent in others.
• Sit in your hotel. Walk around. There is fun art everywhere (see below).
• We went to Kooky Canuck’s for what a few people said was the “best burger” in Memphis, and left pretty disappointed. The bun was almost impossible to eat, and while my burger was good, let’s be honest – the bun is pretty essential. I’d recommend stopping down the street at Huey’s.
• Automatic Slim’s was bad for breakfast. Slow, inattentive, and bad food. Cold food. Adios. Eggs aren’t that hard, partner. Make reservations (seriously) at The Majestic. Don’t screw around…just go there.
Anyway, all in all Memphis is a lively, fun city. Focus on BBQ, Gus’ Fried Chicken, and music. Don’t be afraid to get off site and enjoy Cooper Young – there were a ton of great places there that we couldn’t hit, and can’t wait to go back and explore.
Anyone have any travel experience with Memphis? What did you think?
Next trip: Naples, Florida