Dining Along Beale Street

Little Tea Shop: For a traditional Memphis meal that focuses on a traditional Southern cooking, the Little Tea Shop is the perfect place to stop for a meal. Don't be fooled by the name, because there is nothing little about the large portions that get sent out from the kitchen. The restaurant is owned by a friendly family, and the staff is attentive and friendly. Enjoy a typical Southern meal featuring meat and three sides, choosing from fun meats like chicken fried steak, fried chicken or pork chops. The sides encompass everything from beans to fries, so choose whatever looks tasty to you. Dessert is the main attraction, but be prepared to share with the entire table, as the sweet offerings are giant.

The Rendezvous: Although there are plenty of Memphis restaurants in the Downtown area that claim to have the best ribs, The Rendezvous is actually routinely ranked as the top pick by restaurant critics and foodies from around the world. Although the decor and the building may not look like much, the dry rub ribs and the attentive staff make up for that. Dinner is always busy as the crowds migrate to and from the nightlife on Beale Street, but the wait will be worth it.

Blues City Cafe: Many tourists to the Memphis downtown area are torn between spending time in a quality restaurant in the area and finding a local bar for great music and a friendly atmosphere. The Blues City Cafe is the best of both worlds. Start with a hearty meal of barbecue or seared shrimp, two specialties in the eatery. Stick around for a drink or two and then migrate to the bar area, known as Jean Paul's Last Call. Servers and bartenders from Beale Street regularly head here on their breaks, making it one of the best local places to spend time and get a real feel for Memphis.

The Half Shell: For those willing to walk for a few minutes to get to the East Memphis section of the city, The Half Shell is the ultimate dinner location for seafood lovers. Few places in Memphis offer the fresh, varied selection that The Half Shell does, all while still coming in at a reasonable price. Although the atmosphere is quite sophisticated during dinner, around 10pm the mood shifts and the live music begins, creating a fun and rowdy place to have a few drinks.