Last updated on September 24th, 2023 at 10:50 pm
5 Top Hole-in-the-Wall Memphis Restaurants
These five top hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants are part of a treasure trove of hidden culinary gems, with five top hole-in-the-wall restaurants that truly stand out. Each of these unique eateries offers a distinct and authentic experience, reflecting the rich history, diverse flavors, and warm hospitality of this vibrant city.
From the soulful Memphis Soul Burger at The Liquor Store Diner to the tantalizing Jerk Chicken at Evelyn & Olive, and the iconic Beetle Burger at The Green Beetle, these restaurants have carved a special place in the hearts of both locals and visitors alike. The inviting atmospheres, family-owned charm, and mouthwatering signature dishes create unforgettable dining experiences that showcase the very best of Memphis’s culinary heritage.
However, these five hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring Memphis’s hidden culinary treasures. The city boasts countless more hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants waiting to be discovered. From authentic Mexican delights at Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos to the soulful barbecue of Tom’s Bar-B-Q, and the vibrant Jamaican cuisine at Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos, there is an endless array of flavors and experiences awaiting adventurous food enthusiasts. This is why these are some of the great hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants that are waiting for you to discover them. This list is in no particular order.
A lot of great options are in these posts!
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1) The Liquor Store Diner
The Liquor Store Diner is one of the top hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants, located in the heart of downtown Memphis. This family-owned and operated establishment has been serving locals and visitors alike with its unique and charming ambiance since it first opened its doors. Despite the intriguing name, The Liquor Store Diner is not an actual liquor store but a cozy diner that exudes an authentic Memphis vibe, with walls adorned with vintage memorabilia and classic rock ‘n’ roll tunes filling the air.
One of the highlights of The Liquor Store Diner is their mouthwatering “Memphis Soul Burger.” This iconic dish perfectly captures the essence of Memphis flavors. The burger is a masterpiece, featuring a juicy, handcrafted beef patty grilled to perfection and topped with a generous serving of slow-cooked pulled pork. To add a tangy and savory twist, the burger is slathered with a house-made barbecue sauce that is sweet, smoky, and slightly spicy. Served on a toasted brioche bun with a side of crispy seasoned fries, the Memphis Soul Burger is a must-try for anyone seeking an authentic taste of the city.
Main Menu Items:
1. “Smokey City Ribs” – These fall-off-the-bone tender ribs are a true delight for barbecue enthusiasts. Slow-cooked with a blend of secret spices, the Smokey City Ribs are generously coated with a smoky and tangy barbecue glaze. Served with coleslaw and a choice of homemade baked beans or macaroni and cheese, this dish is a tantalizing journey into the heart of Memphis-style barbecue.
2. “Delta Catfish Po’ Boy” – The Liquor Store Diner brings a taste of the South with their Delta Catfish Po’ Boy. Crispy, golden-brown catfish fillets are nestled in a soft French roll and topped with shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and a zesty remoulade sauce. With a side of hushpuppies and homemade tartar sauce, this dish embodies the rich flavors of the Mississippi Delta.
3. “Beale Street Breakfast Platter” – This hearty breakfast platter pays homage to the famous Beale Street in Memphis. It features fluffy buttermilk biscuits smothered in creamy sausage gravy, accompanied by two eggs cooked to your liking, and a choice of bacon or sausage links. Served with a side of grits or hash browns, the Beale Street Breakfast Platter is a soulful and satisfying way to start your day in Memphis.
“The Liquor Store Diner blew me away with their Memphis Soul Burger! The combination of pulled pork and beef patty with that luscious barbecue sauce was an explosion of flavors in my mouth. I’ll definitely be coming back for more!”
“Visited this hidden gem with my family and we were hooked on their Smokey City Ribs. The meat was tender, and the barbecue glaze was on point. The atmosphere inside was cozy and nostalgic – a perfect spot for a delicious meal in Memphis.”
“The Delta Catfish Po’ Boy was beyond delicious! The catfish was crispy and fresh, and the remoulade sauce added a delightful kick. I can’t wait to try more of their Southern specialties!”
The Liquor Store Diner is undeniably one of the top hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants, popular for its family-owned warmth, exceptional service, and tantalizing food. From their signature Memphis Soul Burger to the delightful Delta Catfish Po’ Boy and the delectable Smokey City Ribs, each dish embodies the soulful flavors of Memphis. They are one of the best hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants.
If you’re in search of an authentic dining experience that captures the essence of this vibrant city, The Liquor Store Diner is a must-visit destination. Whether you’re a local or a curious traveler, this cozy diner promises to leave you with a lasting impression of true Memphis hospitality and culinary delights. They rank high among the best hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants for good reasons.
2) Tom’s Bar-B-Q
Tom’s Bar-B-Q is one of the top hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants, proudly situated in the heart of Midtown Memphis. This family-owned and operated gem has been serving up authentic Memphis barbecue and Southern hospitality for generations. With its unassuming exterior and welcoming atmosphere, Tom’s Bar-B-Q has become a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to indulge in the city’s rich culinary heritage.
One cannot visit Tom’s Bar-B-Q without trying their famous “Smoked Memphis Ribs.” These succulent ribs are a testament to the art of slow-cooking and the passion for barbecue that runs in the veins of the family behind the restaurant. The ribs are carefully seasoned with a blend of secret spices, then smoked to perfection over hickory wood, infusing them with a mouthwatering smoky flavor. Glazed with a choice of tangy barbecue sauce – either sweet or spicy – these Smoked Memphis Ribs are tender, juicy, and downright irresistible.
Main Menu Items:
1. “Memphis Pulled Pork Sandwich” – This classic Southern delight features tender pulled pork generously piled on a soft bun. The pork is slow-cooked to achieve maximum tenderness and is infused with a delectable smoky essence from the barbecue pit. Served with a side of coleslaw, pickles, and a drizzle of the signature barbecue sauce, this sandwich is a true representation of Memphis barbecue at its finest.
2. “Southern Fried Catfish Platter” – Tom’s Bar-B-Q pays homage to the flavors of the South with their Southern Fried Catfish Platter. Crispy, golden-brown catfish fillets are served with a side of hushpuppies, creamy coleslaw, and seasoned fries. The catfish is perfectly seasoned and fried to a delightful crunch, making it a popular choice for those seeking a taste of traditional Southern cuisine.
3. “Memphis Barbecue Nachos” – A delightful twist on a classic snack, the Memphis Barbecue Nachos at Tom’s Bar-B-Q are a must-try. Freshly fried tortilla chips are generously topped with smoked pulled pork, melted cheese, tangy barbecue sauce, jalapeños, and a dollop of creamy sour cream. These nachos are a delicious blend of flavors and textures that showcase the restaurant’s dedication to elevating traditional barbecue dishes.
“Tom’s Bar-B-Q is a hidden gem! Their Smoked Memphis Ribs are out of this world – so tender and flavorful. The family atmosphere inside makes you feel right at home, and the service is always friendly. I’ll be coming back for more!”
“I had the Memphis Pulled Pork Sandwich, and it was fantastic! The pork was so well-seasoned and juicy, and the barbecue sauce just brought everything together. A true taste of Memphis in every bite!”
“The Southern Fried Catfish Platter was everything I hoped for and more. The catfish was perfectly fried, and the hushpuppies were delightful. I can see why this place is a local favorite!”
Tom’s Bar-B-Q stands proudly as one of the top hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants, nestled in the vibrant Midtown area. As a family-owned and operated establishment, they have preserved the essence of Memphis barbecue and Southern cuisine for generations. Their signature Smoked Memphis Ribs, slow-cooked to perfection and glazed with a choice of barbecue sauce, are a testament to their dedication to the craft. They are one of the popular hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants.
From the classic Memphis Pulled Pork Sandwich to the delightful twist of Memphis Barbecue Nachos, each dish on their menu captures the authentic flavors of the city. Tom’s Bar-B-Q is a must-visit for anyone seeking an unforgettable taste of Memphis’s rich culinary heritage. They stand out among the popular hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants.
3) Evelyn & Olive
Evelyn & Olive is one of the top hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants, specializing in Jamaican cuisine. Tucked away in the heart of the city’s vibrant Midtown neighborhood, this family-owned and operated gem exudes a warm and inviting atmosphere. The restaurant is a hidden treasure that has been serving up authentic Jamaican flavors and hospitality for years, delighting both locals and tourists alike.
Evelyn & Olive is renowned for its mouthwatering “Jerk Chicken.” This signature dish embodies the true essence of Jamaican cooking with its bold and aromatic flavors. The chicken is marinated in a secret blend of spices and herbs, including the famous Scotch bonnet pepper, which lends a distinctive heat to the dish. The chicken is then grilled to perfection, resulting in tender, smoky, and perfectly charred pieces. Served with traditional Jamaican sides like rice and peas, fried plantains, and a refreshing cucumber salad, the Jerk Chicken at Evelyn & Olive is a delightful explosion of Caribbean flavors.
Main Menu Items:
1. “Oxtail Stew” – Evelyn & Olive’s Oxtail Stew is a hearty and comforting dish that is a true favorite among regulars. The oxtail is slow-cooked to achieve fork-tender perfection, and it’s braised in a rich and savory sauce that combines a medley of spices and vegetables. Served with rice and beans, steamed cabbage, and fried sweet plantains, this dish provides a soulful taste of Jamaica’s culinary heritage.
2. “Curry Goat” – For those seeking a burst of flavor, the Curry Goat is a top-notch choice. The tender pieces of goat meat are simmered in a fragrant curry sauce, infused with turmeric, coriander, and other exotic spices. The dish is complemented by traditional rice and peas, fried dumplings, and a side of tangy Jamaican coleslaw. This dish exemplifies the diverse and vibrant taste of Jamaica’s culinary traditions.
3. “Ackee and Saltfish” – A popular Jamaican breakfast dish, Ackee and Saltfish, is available all day at Evelyn & Olive. The ackee fruit is sautéed with salted cod, onions, tomatoes, and various seasonings, creating a unique and delightful combination of flavors. Served with boiled green bananas and a side of fried Johnny cakes, this dish is a cultural treasure that brings the essence of Jamaica to the heart of Memphis.
“Evelyn & Olive is an incredible find! Their Jerk Chicken is the best I’ve ever had – bursting with flavor and perfectly spiced. The ambiance is so cozy, and the staff treated us like family. We’ll definitely be back!”
“The Oxtail Stew was simply divine! The meat was tender and fell off the bone, and the sauce was rich and flavorful. It’s clear that they put love and care into their dishes.”
“I had never tried Jamaican cuisine before, but the Curry Goat at Evelyn & Olive blew me away! The curry was so aromatic, and the goat was tender and delicious. This place is a true hidden gem.”
Evelyn & Olive stands proudly as one of the top hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants, offering an authentic taste of Jamaica in the heart of Midtown. This family-owned and operated establishment takes diners on a culinary journey through the vibrant flavors of the Caribbean. They are another of the great hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants.
From their renowned Jerk Chicken to the hearty Oxtail Stew and the delightful Ackee and Saltfish, each dish on their menu is a celebration of Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage. Evelyn & Olive is a must-visit for anyone seeking a warm and welcoming atmosphere and a true taste of Jamaican cuisine in Memphis. They deserve to be ranked high among the great hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants.
4) The Green Beetle
The Green Beetle is one of the top hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants, renowned for its history and charm. Located in the historic downtown area of the city, this family-owned and operated restaurant has been a local favorite since its inception. Stepping inside The Green Beetle is like taking a journey back in time, as it holds the distinction of being Memphis’s oldest tavern, serving up delicious food and drinks for generations.
The Green Beetle is famous for its iconic “Beetle Burger.” This mouthwatering burger has won the hearts of countless patrons with its simple yet incredibly flavorful combination. The patty is made from high-quality beef, seasoned to perfection, and grilled to a juicy perfection. Topped with melted cheese, crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, ripe tomatoes, and pickles, and served on a toasted bun, the Beetle Burger is a classic delight that keeps customers coming back for more.
Main Menu Items:
1. “Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich” – The Green Beetle’s Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich is a true taste of the South. The chicken is marinated in a special blend of herbs and spices, then fried to a crispy golden brown. Served on a soft bun with a spread of tangy mayo and pickles, this sandwich is a mouthwatering fusion of crunchy and succulent flavors. With a side of hand-cut fries or coleslaw, it’s a comforting and satisfying meal.
2. “Memphis BBQ Ribs” – The Memphis BBQ Ribs at The Green Beetle are a delightful representation of the city’s rich barbecue heritage. Slow-cooked to perfection, the tender ribs are slathered with a smoky and tangy barbecue sauce that brings out the best in the meat. Served with a side of cornbread and classic barbecue beans, this dish is a finger-licking experience that embodies the essence of Memphis barbecue.
3. “Shrimp Po’ Boy” – For seafood lovers, The Green Beetle offers a delectable Shrimp Po’ Boy. The plump and juicy shrimp are coated in a seasoned cornmeal batter and fried until golden. Nestled in a French roll and dressed with shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and a zesty remoulade sauce, this Po’ Boy is a taste of New Orleans right in the heart of Memphis.
“The Green Beetle is a gem! The Beetle Burger was pure perfection – the patty was juicy and packed with flavor. The atmosphere inside was cozy and full of character. I’ll definitely be back for more!”
“Their Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich was heavenly! The chicken was crispy on the outside and so tender on the inside. It was the ultimate comfort food experience.”
“I couldn’t resist trying the Memphis BBQ Ribs, and they did not disappoint! The meat was falling off the bone, and the barbecue sauce was divine. A true taste of Memphis in every bite!”
The Green Beetle truly lives up to its reputation as one of the top hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants. As a family-owned and operated establishment, it has stood the test of time and remains a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. From their iconic Beetle Burger to the Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich and the mouthwatering Memphis BBQ Ribs, each dish on their menu is a celebration of the city’s rich culinary heritage. They are one of the leading hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants.
The Green Beetle continues to charm patrons with its historic ambiance, friendly service, and delicious food, making it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an authentic Memphis dining experience. They have earned the rank of being one of the leading hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants.
5) Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos
Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos is one of the top hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants, offering a delightful blend of Mexican flavors. Situated in the heart of the city, this family-owned and operated eatery has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike. With its unassuming exterior and warm ambiance, Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos provides an authentic taste of Mexico right in the heart of Memphis.
The signature dish at Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos is their mouthwatering “Torta Ahogada.” This traditional Mexican sandwich originates from the state of Jalisco and is a popular specialty at the restaurant. The Torta Ahogada features a soft and crusty bolillo roll filled with tender, slow-cooked pork carnitas, black beans, and avocado slices. The sandwich is then generously smothered in a rich and spicy tomato-chili sauce, creating a flavorful and satisfying culinary experience.
Main Menu Items:
1. “Street Tacos” – Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos offers an array of delicious Street Tacos, each packed with authentic Mexican flavors. From succulent carne asada to savory al pastor and zesty grilled chicken, the tacos are served on small, soft corn tortillas and topped with diced onions, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. These tacos are a true representation of Mexico’s vibrant street food culture.
2. “Enchiladas Verdes” – The Enchiladas Verdes at Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos are a delightful treat for enchilada enthusiasts. Soft corn tortillas are rolled and filled with tender shredded chicken, then topped with a tangy and bright green tomatillo sauce. Garnished with crumbled queso fresco and a drizzle of Mexican crema, these enchiladas are a delicious balance of flavors and textures.
3. “Chiles Rellenos” – For a taste of authentic Mexican comfort food, the Chiles Rellenos is a must-try. Poblano peppers are roasted and stuffed with a savory blend of ground beef, diced vegetables, and melted cheese. Lightly battered and fried to a golden brown, the peppers are served with a side of rice and refried beans, creating a satisfying and hearty meal.
“Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos is a hidden gem! Their Torta Ahogada is a burst of flavors – the sauce is spicy and addictive, and the carnitas are tender and flavorful. It’s like a taste of Mexico in every bite!”
“The Street Tacos here are amazing! The meat is always grilled to perfection, and the toppings are fresh and delicious. This place has become my go-to spot for authentic Mexican tacos in Memphis.”
“The Enchiladas Verdes were a delightful surprise! The tomatillo sauce was so flavorful, and the chicken was tender. This restaurant has a warm and inviting atmosphere that makes you feel like family.”
Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos stands proudly as one of the top hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants, offering an authentic taste of Mexico to its patrons. This family-owned and operated eatery exudes warmth and charm, welcoming guests to indulge in a delightful array of Mexican delights. They are one of the favorite hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants.
From their signature Torta Ahogada to the flavorful Street Tacos and comforting Chiles Rellenos, each dish on their menu showcases the vibrant and diverse flavors of Mexican cuisine. Whether you’re a local looking for a taste of home or a visitor seeking an authentic culinary experience, Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos is a true gem in the heart of Memphis. They are one of the favorite hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants.
Now you know why these are some of the great hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants just waiting for you to discover them. However, it’s important to let you know that this is not an exhaustive list of the great hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants and that this list is in no particular order.
So, while this article has highlighted some of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Memphis, it’s important to remember that there is so much more to explore. The city’s culinary scene is a melting pot of cultures, traditions, and flavors, waiting to be savored one bite at a time. Venture off the beaten path, seek out the hidden gems, and embark on a culinary journey that will leave you enchanted with the spirit of Memphis. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the hole-in-the-wall Memphis restaurants promise to deliver unforgettable dining experiences that will keep you coming back for more. So, let your taste buds guide you, and immerse yourself in the true soul of Memphis through its thriving hole-in-the-wall dining scene.
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