Memphis might be synonymous with Elvis and world-famous barbecue, but with new restaurants putting a modern twist on Southern staples and dynamic cultural attractions steadily popping up, it’s becoming known for its other unique tastes, too.
With the success of downtown’s Local Gastropub, owner Jeff Johnson decided to open a second location in the newly renovated Overton Square, turning the capstone 100-year-old, two-story building in Midtown into a casual pub. The menu reflects the same popular staples as the original spot, especially the half-pound Donnell Farms beef burger; goat cheese, shrimp and crab enchiladas with crème fraîche; and addictive hot wings. Be sure to imbibe in one of the tasty libations — such as the Memphis Mule (vodka, candied ginger, thyme, lime, sugar and ginger beer) or a Velvet Elvis (901 Tequila, lavender syrup, orange and champagne) — on the new rooftop patio.
For an Italian twist on Southern staples, opt for Hog and Hominy, which has been growing strong since its July debut. The sister restaurant to Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen serves classics such as margherita pizzas and meatballs as well as updated takes like the mortadella hot dog (with mustard and relish, of course), buffalo pig tails and the Gulf Coast shrimp pizza. With an inventive menu filled with local ingredients, this is definitely a place to hit for a new taste of the South.
Check out “The Taste for Tiffany,” an exhibition of blown-glass objects, silver, lamps and more from the luxury company (or pieces inspired by it) at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. All of these items will be on display until January 13. Turn a day of museum-browsing into a night of drinks every Thursday as the Brooks extends its hours for its Art Open Late series. This weekly event brings locals and visitors alike together for gallery tours, artist talks, film series and even tango dancing in the rotunda.
It’s been in the making for more than five years, but the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum finally inducted its first class of music megastars into its Hall of Fame in late November. All the 25 inductees have recorded, taught and performed in Memphis. Enshrined legends like Elvis Presley, Otis Redding and Sam Phillips are among the performers who were responsible for creating the rock and soul sound that made Memphis such a music hotbed in the 1950s and ’60s.
Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Peabody Memphis, in the heart of downtown, has been decorated with lights, tinsel and trees for the holiday season. Hang out in The Lobby Bar located (where else?) inside the grand lobby. This self-proclaimed “living room of Memphis” clinched the “Best People Watching” honors from Memphis Magazine. So grab a drink and a dessert (preferably strawberries covered in tiny milk, dark and white chocolate balls) and listen to local choirs perform in the lobby during a while gazing at passersby.
Photos Courtesy of Memphis Rock ‘N Soul Museum and iStock Skip O’Donnell