Memphis, Tennessee. Though perhaps best known around the world as being the home of Elvis and Graceland, the American city is also the home to some of the best BBQ in the country. And in popular revitalised areas like Overton Square and the Cooper-Young district, it’s finding its cuisine is reaching even further, often served in rooms beaming with musical history. In our recent trip to the great city, we had the chance to enjoy Memphis’ finest food, drink some of their finest beer and dance to their best music. Today we’ll take you to just seven of the places you have to pay a visit next time you’re in the “Birthplace of Rock n Roll”.
Lafayette’s Music Room
2119 Madison Ave, Memphis, TN 38104
Lafayette’s Music Room, which first opened in 1972, sits in the heart of the revitalised Overton Square, and has a vibrant music history, with the likes of Billy Joel, Big Star, KISS, Barry Manilow, J.J. Cale and Leon Russell all playing here as part of their early touring cycles. Local outfit Deering & Down were performing the night we visited the venue, and enjoyed their $9-12 wood fired pizzas. Alongside the excellent pizzas, you can get your hands on Burgers and Po Boys alongside mains like Blackened Mahi Mahi, Chicken and Waffles and their decedent “Midtown Mac n Cheese”. The prices are reasonable, the food tastes great and the music seems to be continually enjoyable. Come for the music, stay for the food and drink!
95 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103
Right across the street from Lafayette’s in Overton Square is another venue which oozes with history. Once called Yosemite Sam’s, the venue was a place where you’d be able to see Jerry Lee Lewis perform. Now it’s part of Overton Square’s revitalisation and it’s an affordable restaurant and bar – or, as they call it, a “Gastropub”. The menu is extensive, as is their beer list. I stayed local and tried the Memphis Made Lucid Kölsch as well as the Wisacre Ananda IPA, both excellent beers. I finished off my enjoyable time at the bar with the Angel’s Envy Rye Whiskey, which is amongst the best Rye I’ve ever tasted. To help soak up the drinks, I enjoyed some share plates of the Mac n’ Gruyere Tots with Spicy Marinara ($9), and their take on the Canadian Poutine, complete with short rib gravy ($8.5).