Are you in Memphis for the weekend? Or did you just move here and are looking for some fun spots to check out? Whatever you’re here for, you’re bound to find some great restaurants and bars in and around Midtown Memphis. This bustling area of Memphis lights up at night and is the perfect destination for a date night or night out on the town with friends. Need help picking out a spot? We’ve got you covered. Check out our top 9 picks for the best restaurants in Midtown Memphis now.
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966 S Cooper St | Cooper-Young | thebeautyshoprestaurant.com
Out of all the restaurants on the list, Beauty Shop Restaurant is probably the most unique. This local favorite was built from a former 1940’s beauty shop. The shop’s original hairdryers and glass-bricked booths were kept to maintain a fun and whimsical ambiance for guests.
As for the food, you’ll find an exciting variety of New American dishes. From the watermelon and wings dish to the steak frite, the food here is sure to satisfy your taste buds while filling you up! The Beauty Shop Restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Whenever you stop in, you’ll have your pick of creative cocktails to accompany your meal, like the Paloma Crush and the Beautini. The restaurant gets busy pretty fast, so make sure you set a reservation before coming in!
“This spot is absolutely adorable! Set in an old beauty parlor, some of the tables have seats with the old-fashioned hair dryers on them. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. And my goodness the food is DELICIOUS!!” - Yelp Review
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2119 Madison Ave | Midtown Memphis | lafayettes.com
Looking for a bar where you can enjoy great food and listen to live music? Head to Lafayette’s Music Room. This popular venue hosts live bands seven nights a week. Delicious, Southern-inspired dishes like shrimp and grits and wood-fired pizza are also beloved among both regulars and new guests. Some of our favorite meals include the Short Rib Tacos, wood-fired oven Meat Lovers Pizza, and Tuna Poke Bowl.
Lafayette’s is also a popular lunch spot among locals. Served Saturday and Sunday starting at 11am, their savory brunch dishes are sure to fill you up for the rest of the day. If you manage to save enough room for your stomach for dessert, we recommend ordering some beignets to finish off your meal.
“Lafayettes has a place that we go to whenever we have friends or family in town because it is one of those places that will never fail you. The food is remarkable and my favorite is the short ribs, once you eat them you will be craving them for weeks.” - Yelp Review
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2144 Monroe Ave | Midtown | secondlinememphis.com
If you aren’t planning a short trip to New Orleans in the near future, you can immerse yourself in its vibrant cuisine and culture by visiting The Second Line instead. Located on Monroe Ave, this snazzy joint specializes in all things Cajun-Creole.
Poboys are a staple here, and can come stuffed with fried gulf shrimp, oysters, catfish, and many more delicious proteins. The Second Line’s gumbo and jambalaya are also a hit among guests. If you love steak, you’ll want to head in on Sunday for Steak Night. Brunch is also served on the weekends. Need a drink to help you unwind after a long day? The Second Line also serves a wide selection of beer, wine, and cocktails. Make sure you come hungry!
“Great menu, cocktails, and genuinely good vibes. The space is cool - you feel like you're in someone's living room, and the outdoor patio is perfect for a late afternoon. Glad we stumbled upon this spot - we will definitely be back.” - Yelp Review
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2115 Madison Ave | Midtown | eatbabalu.com
Babalu is a popular Latin-inspired restaurant in Midtown that is adored by locals for both its warm service and mouthwatering dishes. If you’re looking for a fun, new spot to check out for your next night out, Babalu should be at the top of your bucket list. Weekly specials are available Monday through Friday, such as Margarita Monday and Taco Tuesday.
Along with its popular specials, Babalu also offers delicious Latin-infused dishes like the Roasted Chicken tacos and the Shrimp & Chorizo Skillet. Want something light? Try the Cobb Salad. Looking for something that will fill you up? We recommend getting the Filet on a Stick. Babalu offers something for everyone inside its warm, rustic dining room.
“Great food, and outstanding customer service. This is one of the rare restaurants where every single employee is warm, friendly, and eager to provide outstanding customer service. The food is delicious, with the ingredients obviously carefully-chosen and fresh.” - Yelp Review
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243 S Cooper St | Midtown | cafe1912.com
Sometimes, you just need to find a casual spot where you can relax and enjoy the company of your friends and family members. Cafe 1912 is a charming, rustic spot that is perfect for lunch or dinner. Inside, you’ll find a small and cozy dining room filled with happy guests and friendly servers.
On the menu, you’ll find an appetizing selection of French dishes, such as the Pan-seared Fish of the Day and Burger and Pommes Frites. Soups, salads, and appetizers are also available if you’d like to preface your main meal with something light. Thirsty? Order a glass of wine or beer. You are sure to leave Cafe 1912 feeling full and satisfied.
“I went to Cafe 1912 for a Valentine's dinner at this lovely restaurant. Everything was delicious! I love the open-style kitchen where you can see the staff making the creations! And the waitstaff was so accommodating. Remember to always make reservations!” - Yelp Review
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940 S Cooper St | Cooper-Young | alchemymemphis.com
If you’re into modern cocktail bars, Alchemy is definitely the way to go. Located in the Cooper-Young area, Alchemy offers a fun and engaging experience for guests that lasts all the way until 1 a.m. in the morning. At the bar, you can try creative cocktails like the Pimm's Cup and Days of Our Lives.
Savory bar snacks and dinner entrees are also available if you’re looking to fuel up for the night. Some of our favorite tapas and toasts include the Homeplace Pastures Pork Belly and the Seared Tuna Crudo. Have a sweet tooth that needs to be satisfied? Share a slice of the Orange Olive Oil Cake or Vanilla Creme Brulee with a friend!
“This is a great cocktail bar with lots of choices. Very clean and great service. The food is fantastic as well. I usually get the salmon and it's delicious. Drinks are great! Good prices too and atmosphere.” - Yelp Review
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1585 Overton Park Ave | Evergreen | eccoonovertonpark.com
Trying to shop locally? Dining at local restaurants is a great way to help boost your city’s economy. That’s why we recommend visiting Ecco On Overton Park, a popular family-owned restaurant located in the Evergreen Historic District.
As a small business, Ecco On Overton Park is dedicated to providing superior service and fresh food daily. All of the pasta and bread is made in-house and the produce is locally sourced whenever possible. Seats do fill up fast, so try to make a reservation beforehand.
“They are best known for their pasta and it did not disappoint. If you like richer tasting things, go with the spaghetti with wild mushrooms (very rich and creamy sauce). If you like something more traditional, go with the spaghetti all' amatriciana.” - Yelp Review
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1707 Madison Ave | Midtown | casablancamemphis.com
Have you ever tried Mediterranean food? If not, you’re definitely missing out. Casablanca Restaurant brings the tastes and scents of the Mediterranean right to Midtown Memphis.
Falafel, hummus, kebab, and other classic Mediterranean dishes are served inside this lively restaurant. Their house specialty sandwiches, like the Beef & Lamb Shawarma and Lamb Chop Sandwich, are also popular among guests. Thirsty? Try some Turkish Coffee or freshly-squeezed lemonade. You’re definitely in for a treat when you dine at Casablanca.
“We all know Memphis is known for its barbeque. Well did you know, courtesy of Casablanca Restaurant, it's also known for some great Moroccan food? This has to be some of the best Moroccan food I have had hands down. The service was top notch and it was good to see a place in the South that had halal food and Muslims working in the restaurant and not just owning it.” - Yelp Review
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2146 Monroe Ave | Midtown | restaurantiris.com
Restaurant Iris offers a chic, intimate atmosphere for diners. Its small, high-quality menu boasts savory meals like Confit Duck Leg and Seared Seabass. Coming with a group of people? Order a bowl of punch, such as the bourbon or rum punches. If you really find yourself enjoying Restaurant Iris, you can even hire them to cater your next private event! If you’d rather dine at home, you can also order one of their many family packages for pick-up.
“The setting was romantic but also relaxed. This is a must-go in Memphis and it's perfect because you can walk over to the square afterward if you still want to have more fun. And they also have complimentary valet parking which is also a very nice bonus with the parking being a little difficult in that area usually!” - Yelp Review
Purchase a GiftYa card for Restaurant Iris.
Midtown Memphis is home to dozens of exciting restaurants and bars. Whether you want to celebrate a special occasion or just find somewhere to enjoy some drinks with friends, you can easily find a spot that suits your unique tastes and interests. Which spots do you plan to hit up next? Let us know in the comment section below!