Memphis is a city known for a lot of things. Blues music, Graceland, the world’s largest Bass Pro Shop, and food. Growing up in the Bluff City, I didn’t truly appreciate all the greatness it has to offer. Now that I am planting some roots, I am proud to be from a city with soul. When you come to visit, there is so much you must do + there are also some things you must eat in Memphis. This list of amazing food could go on forever, so I am going to narrow it down to what I think are the most quintessential 901 foods.
5 Things You Must Eat in Memphis
As I am writing this blog post, the World Barbeque Cooking Contest is taking place downtown. Groups from all over are gathered to see if their BBQ can grab a championship title. It is befitting then that the first item on the “must eat in Memphis” list is BBQ. My pick – and that of many others – is in the form of nachos. BBQ joints all around town + even our professional sporting events feature it on their menu. Central BBQ is the place to go! I recommend the location on Summer Ave or downtown by the National Civil Rights Museum.
Nashville may be the namesake of hot chicken, but Gus’ Fried Chicken gives them a run for their money. With locations in 14 states, Gus’ got its start in the Bluff City + features several locations in the 901. I prefer tenders, but to get the full experience, get a 2-piece plate with beans + slaw!
Jerry’s Snow Cone is one of my absolute places in the city. With over 70 different flavors, this gluten-free treat is perfect for a humid summer day. You HAVE to get it as a supreme which means they sandwich the snow cone with soft-serve ice cream. I haven’t gone a summer without one since I was 16 + able to drive.
Don’t forget breakfast. Gibson’s Donuts is there for you not just in the AM, but 24/7. I know what you’re thinking, donuts are donuts. But, Gibson’s is an institution that you simply must eat at in Memphis. They make fresh donuts all day + have tons of flavors from classic glazed (yum) to maple bacon, chocolate sprinkle, blueberry, etc. They also have cinnamon rolls + apple fritters which my fiancé loves.
We don’t just have a BBQ festival in Memphis. We also have a wing fest. You probably don’t put Memphis in the top cities for wings, but did you know we have our own flavor? You can pretty much only get honey gold wings in the 901. There are wing joints all over the city, but I would say Ching’s and Wing Guru of two of the more popular options. Central’s are also pretty great!
Hopefully, you spend enough time in our city to try all these must-eat places in Memphis. Looking for more things to do besides eating your way through the Bluff City? Check out my 901 bucket list!