By: Ezra Wheeler
While Thanksgiving in Memphis has many things in its favor (reuniting with friends and family, throwing dietary concerns to the wind, drinking wine at noon), it also comes with plenty of headaches, such as a grueling cooking schedule and even more burdensome after-meal cleaning. With that in mind, there are plenty of Memphis food options and fantastic restaurants who are willing to do the dirty work for you.
So whether you’re looking for comfort food or something a little fancier, here are seven of our favorite local restaurants that you can rely on this holiday season, leaving you more time to focus on the things that really matter (like arguing with your drunk uncle about canned versus homemade cranberry sauce).
*Be warned – you’ll need to plan ahead, so be sure to check out each restaurant’s deadline for reservations or placing pick-up orders.
545 S. Main St. (Inside Central Station)
If you’re a foodie residing in Memphis, it’s almost inevitable that you’ve eaten at one of Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman’s many excellent restaurants. Their newest venture, a trendy French Brasserie called Bishop residing inside Central Station, proves once again that this culinary duo might just be the Bluff City’s most talented restaurateurs.
This year, Bishop will be open on Thanksgiving day!
149 Union Ave. (Inside The Peabody)
Known as one of the finest steakhouses in Memphis, the Capriccio Grill at the Peabody will be serving a special three-course meal between noon and 10pm on Thanksgiving day.
Prefer a nice, medium rare steak over turkey? They’ve got a filet mignon with lobster mornay sauce on the menu that’s to die for. From its warm and elegant dining room outfitted to host everything from intimate gatherings to a large Thanksgiving feast, let the Capriccio Grill be your home away from home this holiday season.
The Complicated Pilgrim
21 S. Cooper Street (Inside The Memphian)
If we were basing our Thanksgiving meal location on name alone, then it would be hard to find a more fitting restaurant than The Complicated Pilgrim, the beautiful and inviting restaurant located in Midtown’s The Memphian hotel.
The restaurant will be offering a specialty four course meal from noon to 8pm on Thanksgiving Day. With scrumptious fare ranging from lemon braised chicken thighs to red velvet cheesecake, there’s nothing complicated about a holiday feast at the Complicated Pilgrim.
Main Street, between Monroe & Madison Ave.
Few restaurants are able to blend Southern comfort food with fine dining better than long-time Memphis restaurant staple Felicia Suzanne’s, which makes this local eatery an ideal source for an elegant yet familiar Thanksgiving dinner.
Their annual “Operation Turkey Day” menu is back yet again, featuring delectable twists on traditional favorites such as gulf oyster dressing and deviled eggs topped with salmon, caviar and bacon.
NOTE: Felicia Suzanne’s has temporarily closed their restaurant and will be re-opening their brand new location at 383 South Main Street in 2023!
50 Harbor Town Square
For nearly 50 years, Paulette’s has been one of the most celebrated fine dining restaurants in Memphis, garnering a stellar reputation for their service, food, and atmosphere.
If you’re feeling a bit bougie this year, then head to Harbor Town and treat yourself to a three-course meal that includes uniquely delicious options such as lobster bisque, filet mignon, fresh baked pumpkin pie, or the tried-and-true turkey and dressing that’s hearty enough to round out any holiday dinner with family and friends.
Once gathered together in their classically Southern dining room and indulging in the beautifully presented entrees coupled with an impressive selection of fine wines, Paulette’s will quickly become your new home for the holidays.
Muddy’s Bake Shop
2497 Broad Ave.
It’s easy to think about Thanksgiving and immediately taste the turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, before you’ve even unfolded your napkin. But no Thanksgiving is truly complete until the dessert hits the table, and that’s where Muddy’s Bake Shop officially takes the cake.
Just get in close proximity to this old school, neighborhood bakery, and you’ll begin to sense the sweet and sugary aromas in the air. One step through the door and you’ll be elated by the sight of their always fresh, always made from scratch, homestyle southern classics.
Whether your gathering is in need of cookies, cakes, pies, or cupcakes, all of their soulful Memphis treats are made from high quality, locally sourced ingredients. Every delicious morsel is an explosion of flavor, guaranteed to liven up your Thanksgiving feast.
Memphis Toddy – Old Dominick Distillery
305 S. Front St.
Take a journey deep into the history of Memphis food and drink heritage, with a quick stop or a curated tour of the Old Dominick Distillery.
Just steps away from their original building, the now state-of-the-art facility and classic Memphis bar is steeped in the brand’s 150-year-old story. You’ll experience firsthand the dedication and passion this iconic Memphis distillery pours into every bottle.
Whether you’re looking to pick up a few local spirits for your Thanksgiving dinner or gather with friends and family to enjoy the sensory-infused tour and curated tasting experience, your time at the elevated, yet relaxed atmosphere will make for an unforgettable holiday excursion.
Riko’s Kickin’ Chickin
1329 Madison Avenue
What started back in 2014 as a flourishing Memphis food truck, Riko’s Kickin Chickin now a popular local eatery built on a love story so delicious you can taste it in every bite.
Known for its fiery sauces and uniquely Southern menu, this downtown Memphis hotspot has been kickin’ it big-time for years, thanks to a husband and wife duo so dedicated to perfection that they still hand-check every dish before it ever leaves the kitchen.
Stop in daily for some of the city’s best seasoned wings, available in flavors like Honey Garlic, BBQ, Lemon Pepper, and Jamaican Jerk. For a real Thanksgiving treat, you can’t go wrong with their one-of-a-kind Honey Gold Deep Fried Turkey.
Get your order in now, because you don’t want to miss this flavorful new take on a holiday classic!
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