For people who love to eat out (we certainly do!) the words “new restaurant” resonate with one of life’s memorable pleasures: food shared with friends and family, and libations to match spirit and mood. In Memphis, where the food scene this year moved from emerging to full speed ahead, an astonishing number of new restaurants directed the question of where to eat toward more than 30 different choices. Feel like a robust bowl of ramen on a chilly February day? No problem. Looking for a scrumptious Delmonico with asparagus and Parmesan truffle fries? We know where to go. Daydreaming about charcuterie plates and Italian home cooking elevated for modern tastes? Yep, we’ve got that, too.
Certainly, the burgeoning list of new restaurants in Memphis owes much to the renaissance of Midtown’s Overton Square and to the continued popularity of Cooper-Young, its more established sister neighborhood. The hub of nighttime entertainment during the 1970s, Overton Square reemerged in 2014 with a parking garage and a unique patina, mingling art, theater, music, and food. In fact, more than half of these restaurant picks, determined by reader and staff favorites, are located in or near Overton Square. But we happily spread our love up and down the Poplar corridor, and to an independently owned treasure in the heart of downtown, shaping a top-10 list of new restaurants that is diverse, trendy, and delicious.