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5 Top Memphis Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants

5 Top Memphis Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants

5 Top Memphis Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants

These five top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants are part of a treasure trove of culinary delights waiting to be explored. As we’ve delved into the stories and flavors of five top hole-in-the-wall restaurants, including The Cottage Restaurant, Brother Juniper’s, Blues City Cafe, El Mezcal, and The Majestic Grille, it’s clear that these establishments embody the heart and soul of the city’s diverse culinary heritage.

From The Cottage Restaurant’s family warmth to Brother Juniper’s nostalgic charm, each restaurant has carved out its unique niche, offering signature dishes that resonate with both locals and visitors. Blues City Cafe’s marriage of music and flavors, El Mezcal’s authentic Mexican fare, and The Majestic Grille’s fusion of history and innovation further illustrate the rich tapestry of Memphis’s food culture.

However, it’s important to remember that these five top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants are just a glimpse into the world of Memphis’s hole-in-the-wall gems. There are countless more hidden culinary treasures waiting to be discovered around every corner. Whether it’s a tucked-away barbecue joint, a cozy soul food spot, or an unassuming eatery with a flair for global cuisine, the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants offers a great deal of options for those seeking authentic and unforgettable dining experiences. This is why these are some of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are waiting for you to discover them. This list is in no particular order.


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5 Best Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in Memphis

1) The Cottage Restaurant

The Cottage Restaurant, truly one of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants, beckons diners with its unassuming exterior that belies the culinary delights within. This popular gem is a family-owned and operated establishment that has been serving Memphians and visitors alike for over three decades. Nestled away from the bustling streets, The Cottage Restaurant is a quaint and cozy eatery that exudes a warm and welcoming ambiance, making every guest feel like they’ve stepped into a popular family gathering.

At the heart of The Cottage Restaurant’s menu lies their iconic signature dish – the “Fried Catfish Platter.” This dish exemplifies Southern comfort food at its finest. The catfish is delicately seasoned, coated in a perfectly crispy cornmeal batter, and fried to a golden-brown perfection. Served alongside hushpuppies, coleslaw, and a generous helping of hand-cut fries, this dish captures the essence of Southern cuisine with every bite.

Main Menu Items:

1. Country Fried Steak: A popular classic, the Country Fried Steak at The Cottage Restaurant is a tender and juicy steak cut, battered and fried until it boasts a delectably crunchy exterior. Served with creamy mashed potatoes, country-style white gravy, and buttery green beans, this dish embodies hearty Southern flavors that never fail to satisfy.

2. Shrimp and Grits: Combining coastal influences with Southern flair, the Shrimp and Grits dish is a harmonious blend of succulent sautéed shrimp and creamy stone-ground grits. The rich flavors are elevated with a savory gravy and a sprinkle of smoky bacon bits, creating a symphony of taste and texture that lingers on the palate.

3. Pulled Pork Sandwich: The Pulled Pork Sandwich is a testament to The Cottage Restaurant’s mastery of barbecue. Slow-cooked to tender perfection, the pulled pork is generously piled onto a toasted bun and accompanied by tangy coleslaw. A drizzle of the restaurant’s signature barbecue sauce adds the final touch, resulting in a sandwich that embodies the essence of Memphis-style barbecue.

Customer Reviews:

“I stumbled upon The Cottage Restaurant while exploring Memphis, and I’m so glad I did! The Fried Catfish Platter was beyond delicious – crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. The cozy atmosphere and friendly service made it a memorable dining experience.”

“A true hidden gem! The Country Fried Steak melted in my mouth, and the gravy was just like my grandma used to make. This place captures the essence of Southern comfort food in every dish.”

“The Shrimp and Grits at The Cottage Restaurant are a revelation. The combination of flavors and textures was extraordinary. It’s evident that the chefs put their heart and soul into every dish.”

Without a doubt, The Cottage Restaurant stands as one of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Family-owned and operated, this charming establishment embraces its visitors with an inviting atmosphere and a menu brimming with authentic Southern flavors. From the iconic Fried Catfish Platter to the indulgent Shrimp and Grits, each dish tells a story of tradition and passion.

They are one of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants. If you’re seeking a genuine taste of Memphis cuisine in a cozy setting, The Cottage Restaurant is an experience that should not be missed. They rank high among the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants for good reasons.


2) Brother Juniper’s

Brother Juniper’s is undoubtedly one of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants that captures the essence of comfort and community in its unpretentious setting. This family-owned and operated establishment has been a popular fixture in Memphis for decades, drawing locals and tourists alike to experience its wholesome and welcoming atmosphere.

The “Grits a Ya-Ya” dish at Brother Juniper’s is the epitome of comfort food with a Southern twist. This renowned dish features a bed of creamy stone-ground grits topped with sautéed shrimp, mushrooms, and green onions in a rich and flavorful sauce. The combination of textures and flavors, from the velvety grits to the succulent shrimp, creates a culinary masterpiece that leaves a lasting impression.

Main Menu Items:

1. Biscuits and Gravy: A breakfast classic elevated to perfection, Brother Juniper’s Biscuits and Gravy dish features fluffy homemade biscuits smothered in a hearty sausage gravy. The savory-sweet balance and comforting flavors make this dish a must-try for visitors seeking an authentic Southern breakfast experience.

2. Pancakes with Banana and Pecans: Brother Juniper’s takes pancakes to new heights with this delightful creation. Fluffy pancakes are adorned with slices of ripe banana and toasted pecans, creating a symphony of flavors and textures that is both indulgent and satisfying.

3. Stuffed French Toast: Indulgence knows no bounds with the Stuffed French Toast at Brother Juniper’s. Thick slices of French toast are generously filled with a luscious mixture of cream cheese and fresh fruit. Topped with powdered sugar and served with a side of warm maple syrup, this dish exemplifies the restaurant’s dedication to decadence.

Customer Reviews:

“Brother Juniper’s captures the heart of Memphis hospitality. The Grits a Ya-Ya dish was a revelation – the shrimp, mushrooms, and rich sauce over velvety grits created a flavor combination that I’ll be dreaming about. A true gem!”

“I was blown away by the Biscuits and Gravy here. The biscuits were melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the gravy was the perfect blend of savory and creamy. This place radiates warmth and authenticity.”

“The Stuffed French Toast was a breakfast dream come true. Each bite was a burst of creamy goodness and the fresh fruit added a refreshing touch. Brother Juniper’s is a true hidden treasure in Memphis.”

Brother Juniper’s stands as one of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants, embodying the spirit of family, comfort, and exceptional Southern cuisine. From the iconic Grits a Ya-Ya to the indulgent Stuffed French Toast, each dish showcases the restaurant’s commitment to quality and flavor. As a family-owned and operated establishment, Brother Juniper’s radiates genuine hospitality and a welcoming atmosphere.

They are one of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants. For those seeking an unforgettable dining experience that captures the heart of Memphis, this restaurant is a must-visit destination. They stand out among the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants.


3) Blues City Cafe

Blues City Cafe stands out as one of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants, capturing the heart and soul of the city’s vibrant music and culinary scene. This family-owned and operated establishment has become a legendary destination for both locals and visitors, offering an authentic Memphis experience that melds good food and great music.

The “BBQ Ribs” at Blues City Cafe are a testament to the restaurant’s commitment to delivering mouthwatering Southern barbecue. These ribs are a true masterpiece – slow-cooked to perfection and generously slathered in a tangy and savory barbecue sauce. The tender meat practically falls off the bone, delivering an explosion of flavor that keeps patrons coming back for more.

Main Menu Items:

1. Catfish Platter: A staple of Southern cuisine, the Catfish Platter at Blues City Cafe showcases crispy fried catfish fillets that are both flavorful and satisfying. Served with hushpuppies, coleslaw, and a side of tartar sauce, this dish embodies the essence of Southern comfort food.

2. Tamales: Reflecting the influence of Memphis’s multicultural heritage, the Tamales at Blues City Cafe are a delightful departure from the expected. These savory bundles of masa and meat are wrapped in corn husks and served with a hearty chili sauce, offering a taste of both Southern and Mexican flavors.

3. Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich: The Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich redefines handheld comfort food. Juicy and crispy fried chicken is served on a soft bun, accompanied by pickles and a touch of mayonnaise. This sandwich pays homage to classic Southern flavors while offering a modern twist.

Customer Reviews:

“Blues City Cafe is a true Memphis gem. The BBQ Ribs were a revelation – smoky, tender, and packed with flavor. The atmosphere and live music transport you to the heart of the blues scene.”

“The Catfish Platter was a taste of the South at its finest. Crispy catfish, hushpuppies, and coleslaw – it’s a true comfort food experience. Blues City Cafe captures the essence of Memphis.”

“I can’t get enough of the Tamales here. The combination of flavors and textures is unique and delicious. This place is a must-visit for anyone seeking authentic Memphis cuisine.”

Blues City Cafe stands as one of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants, seamlessly fusing the city’s rich musical heritage with its culinary excellence. As a family-owned and operated establishment, it radiates a warm and welcoming atmosphere. From the legendary BBQ Ribs to the fusion-inspired Tamales, each dish reflects the diverse tapestry of Southern cuisine.

They are one of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants. This iconic restaurant embodies the spirit of Memphis, offering not only exceptional food but also an unforgettable experience that immerses patrons in the soulful heart of the city. They have earned the rank of being one of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants.


4) El Mezcal

El Mezcal shines as one of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants, bringing the vibrant flavors of authentic Mexican cuisine to the heart of the city. This family-owned and operated establishment is a hidden gem that offers a genuine taste of Mexico in an unassuming setting.

The “Molcajete” at El Mezcal is a culinary masterpiece that highlights the restaurant’s dedication to traditional Mexican fare. Served in a volcanic stone mortar, the Molcajete is a sizzling dish that combines grilled steak, chicken, shrimp, and chorizo with sautéed onions, bell peppers, and a flavorful red sauce. The presentation and medley of ingredients capture the essence of Mexican cuisine, making it a standout dish.

Main Menu Items:

1. Tacos al Pastor: The Tacos al Pastor at El Mezcal are a symphony of flavors. Marinated and grilled pork is thinly sliced and served on soft corn tortillas, garnished with fresh cilantro, onions, and a squeeze of lime. The dish pays homage to traditional street food found in Mexico’s vibrant markets.

2. Chiles Rellenos: A dish that reflects the depth of Mexican culinary heritage, the Chiles Rellenos at El Mezcal feature roasted poblano peppers stuffed with a savory mixture of cheese, then battered and fried to golden perfection. Served with a rich tomato-based sauce, rice, and beans, this dish showcases the artistry of Mexican cuisine.

3. Enchiladas Verdes: The Enchiladas Verdes are a popular classic that never disappoints. Soft corn tortillas are filled with shredded chicken, rolled, and smothered in a vibrant green tomatillo sauce. Topped with a sprinkle of cheese, diced onions, and sour cream, these enchiladas offer a harmonious blend of flavors.

Customer Reviews:

“El Mezcal is a hidden treasure! The Molcajete blew me away – the combination of meats, vegetables, and that red sauce was out of this world. A true taste of Mexico right here in Memphis.”

“The Tacos al Pastor took me back to the streets of Mexico City. The marinated pork was so flavorful, and the simplicity of the toppings allowed the ingredients to shine. El Mezcal is a must-visit.”

“The Chiles Rellenos were a revelation. The crispy exterior, the gooey cheese inside, and that sauce – everything was perfectly balanced. This restaurant is a testament to the authentic flavors of Mexico.”

El Mezcal stands as one of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants, offering an authentic and immersive journey into the world of Mexican cuisine. Family-owned and operated, it embodies the spirit of Mexico with every dish. From the sizzling Molcajete to the classic Enchiladas Verdes, each menu item reflects the richness of Mexican culinary traditions.

They are another of the popular Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants. For those seeking a genuine Mexican dining experience in the heart of Memphis, El Mezcal is a must-visit destination that captures the essence of true flavors and family warmth. They deserve to be ranked high among the popular Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants.


5) The Majestic Grille

The Majestic Grille stands tall as one of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants, seamlessly blending historical charm with culinary excellence. This family-owned and operated gem embodies the essence of Memphis in a unique and inviting atmosphere.

The “Majestic Burger” at The Majestic Grille is a true testament to their dedication to crafting exceptional dishes. This signature burger features a juicy, hand-formed patty cooked to perfection and topped with melted cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and bacon. Served on a toasted bun with a side of hand-cut fries, this burger is a symphony of flavors that captures the essence of American comfort food.

Main Menu Items:

1. Shrimp & Grits: A popular Southern classic, The Majestic Grille’s Shrimp & Grits is a dish that marries elegance and comfort. Plump shrimp are sautéed with smoked sausage and served over a bed of creamy stone-ground grits, creating a harmonious blend of flavors that delights the palate.

2. Grilled Chicken Salad: The Grilled Chicken Salad offers a fresh and wholesome option that doesn’t skimp on flavor. Grilled chicken breast is served over a bed of mixed greens, accompanied by a medley of colorful vegetables, crumbled goat cheese, and candied pecans. Tossed in a tangy vinaigrette, this salad is a refreshing delight.

3. Salmon BLT: A creative twist on a classic, the Salmon BLT takes the traditional bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich to a whole new level. Grilled salmon is nestled between slices of toasted bread, along with crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a zesty dill aioli, resulting in a sandwich that is both satisfying and sophisticated.

Customer Reviews:

“The Majestic Grille is a hidden gem in Memphis. The Majestic Burger was an explosion of flavors – perfectly cooked patty, savory toppings, and those hand-cut fries were addictive. A true delight!”

“I can’t get enough of their Shrimp & Grits. The combination of shrimp, smoked sausage, and creamy grits is comfort food at its finest. The restaurant’s ambiance adds to the overall experience.”

“The Grilled Chicken Salad was a refreshing surprise. The quality of ingredients and the balance of flavors were exceptional. The Majestic Grille is a standout among Memphis restaurants.”

The Majestic Grille shines as one of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants, offering a blend of historical charm and culinary excellence. As a family-owned and operated establishment, it radiates authenticity and warmth. From the signature Majestic Burger to the creative Salmon BLT, each dish showcases the restaurant’s dedication to quality and innovation.

They are one of the leading Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants. For those seeking a unique dining experience that captures the spirit of Memphis, The Majestic Grille is a must-visit destination that blends history, flavors, and family hospitality. They deserve to be ranked among the leading Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants.


Now you know why these are some of the top Memphis hole-in-the-wall 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 top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants and that this list is in no particular order.

These top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants not only tantalize taste buds but also tell stories of tradition, family, and community. As you explore the city’s culinary landscape, keep in mind that there’s always more top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants waiting to surprise and delight. So, venture beyond the well-trodden path and allow yourself to be enchanted by the flavors, aromas, and stories that define Memphis’s remarkable dining scene.

In the heart of the city, where history, music, and food converge, these five top Memphis hole-in-the-wall restaurants are a testament to the city’s soulful spirit and culinary passion. Embrace the adventure of discovering new favorites and continue your journey through the countless other hidden treasures that make Memphis one of the top destinations for remarkable and authentic dining experiences.


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