Worthy of waking up early on vacation.
Don’t sleep on the Memphis food scene. While the Bluff City has gone through its share of ups and downs, there’s never been a better time to see its restaurant renaissance. But you don’t have to make a slew of dinner reservations to experience it. Here are five breakfast spots that highlight new additions and long-standing favorites.
The next door neighbor to Southern-Italian Chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman’s Hog + Hominy pizzeria, Porcellino’s meat moniker doesn’t scream breakfast joint. But because this coffee shop-bistro hybrid also doubles as a butcher shop, they have hands-down the best bacon in town. Don’t miss the fried chicken biscuit drizzled with spicy calabrian chile honey or the granola served with house-made yogurt.
Like the Beverly Hills Hotel mixed with an old-school diner, recently opened The Liquor Store is an Instagram dream, but the menu is considerably less trendy with more classic breakfast offerings like egg plates and pancakes. Anchoring the west end of Broad Avenue, The Liquor Store’s sister coffee shop, City & State, is just down the street along with Wiseacre Brewing, dive bar The Cove, and workshop-boutique Five-in-One Social Club.
For those that wake up later on weekends, try the 11 a.m. call time for brunch at Railgarten. A sprawling combination of a ping pong-parlor-themed bar, outdoor music venue, and cream shop, Railgarten’s diner component serves crowd-pleasing breakfast favorites. Bonus: there’s a volleyball court and cornhole in the yard out back.
Another new addition to the city’s restaurant scene, Sunrise Memphis bases its model around efficiency, but the service and menu are a far cry from the Starbucks case. Co-opened by one of the owners of Central Barbecue, the menu makes a meaty emphasis with dishes like CBQ Biscuit Slider with smoked pork shoulder, fried egg, slaw, and BBQ sauce.
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A longtime locals’ favorite, the Barksdale’s walls are covered in Memphis memorabilia like autographed photos of Cybill Shepherd and Grizzlies stars. The food is no-frills, but the service and sense of community more than make up for it.