Every year The Commercial Appeal releases a list, the best that Memphis has to offer—staple institutions in Memphis. These institutions, selected by the readers of Memphis’ most historic newspaper, are the quintessential establishments that continue to make Memphis proud, year and year again. They will forever be recorded as victors in the annual Memphis Most.
If one is a true Memphian, they will frequent these locations; not because they are on some list, but because they truly are the best of the best in Memphis. However, there are so many wonderful restaurants, museums, clubs, and stores that sometimes you may miss one or two. I spent the last two weeks trying to surround myself in winners from The Commercial Appeal’s Memphis Most. Here are a few of my favorites.
While Memphis is known as the BBQ capital on the universe—yes, I went there—it has so much more to offer. One of my favorite restaurants is Huey’s. My favorite meal is Steak on a Stick, but it is no surprise that Huey’s won the award for the Best Burger. Speaking of Best Burger…block off September 22nd on your calendar. This month, the annual Memphis Burger Fest takes place. This is an event you do not want to miss out on.
I couldn’t sleep this past Thursday night. To make matters worse, I was hangry. (Hangry—to be so hungry that it affects one’s mood, making one angry.) I didn’t have much food at home and it was 3:00 a.m. There is only one option for a snack at this early in the morning—Gibson’s! Best Doughnuts victor Gibson’s Donuts is, and always will be, my saving grace. While I hate to admit it to the world, I am a big fan of the doughnuts with sprinkles.
The city of Memphis has recently succumbed to a sugar coma due to the explosion of delicious bakeries, however, there does not seem to be much competition in the Best Frozen Desserts category. Jerry’s Sno Cones has been a Memphis institution for decades; however, it did not become the city’s go-to spot until recently. When I first started going in 2001, it was not nearly as popular as it is now. When I first started going, it was only open during the summer season and still had a carwash. Now it is open all-year-round, carwash-less, and has added food to their menu. I went last week and got a Cherry Sno-cone Supreme. Pictures are worth a thousand words, right?
Shopping and Services
If you read my last post on the emergence of cyclist in the Memphis area, you know that Memphis is slowly becoming a bicycle-friendly city. Memphis Most’s award for the Best Bicycle Shop is the Peddler Bike Shop. If and when you decide to join in on the fun, there is nowhere better to shop than the Peddler Bike Shop. I’ll be honest; I didn’t buy my bike from there because I couldn’t afford it. That being said…I regret it. I purchased my most recent bike, a Schwinn Tourist, at Target, and it had problems within days. I took it to the Peddler Bike Shop and they fixed my issues and gave me a tune-up. It was like riding a completely different bike! (Fast-forwarding several months…) I went in last week and their staff helped me—without pressuring me—to make several accessory-type purchases. The guys at Peddler are very friendly, very helpful.
If you got ahold of my monthly American Express statement, based on the amount of money spent there, you would think that I was heavily invested in Sephora. The citizens of Memphis selected Sephora as the Best Cosmetics Store. Luckily for you, I have the exclusive rights to an interview with one of Sephora’s biggest fans—my wife. When asked why she shopped at Sephora, she stated that “it’s a hair and makeup Mecca, and you can return anything even if you’ve already used the product and don’t like it.”
I would say that I am an experienced mover; not because I’ve done it for a living, but because I have moved so many times. Since 2005, I have moved eight times. Once I got married, however, now having twice as much to move, I was unable to handle it myself and I had to hire help. Having now used Big League Movers, twice, I will never move without them again. They are great! In fact, last time they moved us on New Year’s Eve—at no additional cost.
The award for the Best Neighborhood Bar is Local Gastropub. Their newest location, built in Overton Square, has taken Midtown Memphis by storm. Their food is delicious, staff friendly, and atmosphere fun. I, myself, am not much of a “hanging out in a bar” kind of guy; however, I enjoy every moment spent at Local Gastropub. As their website tagline says, “Whether it’s Happy Hour, Sunday Brunch, or one of our famous Beer Dinners, there’s always a reason to stop in and see what’s happening at Local.”
Sadly, I feel like I have failed as a Memphian in regards to music. Don’t get me wrong, I have been to Sun Studios, the Rock n’ Soul Museum, and even Graceland Too; however, I have never set foot in B.B. King’s Blues Club. Memphis Most ranked B.B. King’s Blues Club not only as the Best Bar for House Music, but as the Best Bar for Music and the Best Blues Club. Sweeping all three of these categories is no small feat. That is why I’ve placed visiting B.B. King’s Blues Club, on Beale Street, at the top of my “To-do” list.
I end my week or start my week (depending on whether I go to Saturday night or Sunday morning service) with Hope Presbyterian. The winner of the Best Place of Worship celebrated their 25th anniversary this past weekend. I started attending Hope, in 2003, and recently joined a newlyweds group that meets on Wednesdays. Hope isn’t your typical, stuffy church. It has a relaxed atmosphere and some of the best coffee in Memphis.