When you come to Memphis to visit the world's only full-fledged soul music museum, you should really get in the groove and have some Memphis soul food! All within a short distance of the Stax Museum, these four are a great place to start - all locally owned and all famous in their own right: THE FOURWAY RESTARUANT, where Martin Luther King Jr. and many other Civil Rights leaders have eaten, has been a Memphis institution since the 1940s. Check out their salmon patties, fried and bakced catfish, fried and baked chicken, neckbones, yams, boiled okra, greens, pickled tomatoes, baked and fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, homemade turkey and dressing every day, pinto beans, smothered cabbage, sweet potato pie, lemon meringue pie, peach cobbler, and a whole lot more. This iconic American restaurant in the heart of Soulsville, USA is still a gathering spot for locals, politicians, Civil Rights leaders, tourism industry folks, CEOs, ministers, college professors, and just everyday people from the neighborhood who call it home away from home. Owned by Mr. Willie Bates, this is the place to eat when your soul has been filled with music and it's ready for some homeade turkey and dressing! Seriously, don't miss a meal at the Fourway if you come to Memphis.
At Alcenia's, which was recently featured on the Today show on NBC, you will first get hug and kiss on the cheek from owner B.J. Chester-Tomayo (pictured here) and then settie in for some of the best food you'll ever have - fried chicken, spicy smothered cabbage, rich macaroni and cheese, fresh turnip greens, hotwater cornbread, and fried green tomatoes. She has a great Saturday morning brunch,. sells awesome chow-chow and has a cookbook you just may have to have.
Chef owner Gary Williams broke the mold with DEJA VU, his tiny restuarant just five minutes from the Stax Museum, where he serves up soul food, Creole food, and even vegan food! A longtime resident of New Orleans, his Creole dishes are the best in the city and some of the best in the country. Shrimp Creole (pictured here), seafood gumbo, crawfish etouffe, jambalaya, po-boys and other Louisiana favorites are just some of the reason you have get here early or late or wait. Oh, and his collard greens, to-die-for smothered okra, fried catfish and grilled cabbage (!!) aren't bad either!
THE GAY HAWK
Not to far from there is The Gay Hawk, another culinary fixture that's been around for more than half a century. It has an all-you-can-eat soul food lunch buffet that regularly features really crispy fried chicken, ribs, blackeyed peas, greens, yams, spaghetti, baked chicken, pork chops and, well, you just never know until you get there. Ambience is dark wood, low lighting, and very comfortable.