Memphis, Tennessee is known for its barbecue, and brisket is a staple of the local cuisine. Whether you're a lifelong resident or just visiting, you'll want to sample the best brisket the city has to offer.
But with so many restaurants and food trucks to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Thankfully, Memphis has no shortage of options when it comes to delicious brisket.
Whether you prefer your meat smoked low and slow or grilled to perfection, there's a place in the city that can satisfy your taste buds. From hole-in-the-wall joints to upscale restaurants, Memphis has it all.
But what makes a good brisket? Some might argue that it's all about the rub, while others swear by the wood used in the smoker.
Still, others might say that the quality of the meat is the most important factor. Whatever your preference, Memphis has plenty of options to choose from.
So, whether you're a die-hard barbecue fan or just looking to try something new, join me as we explore the best places for brisket in Memphis.
From the classic to the creative, we'll cover it all in this guide to the city's most mouth-watering brisket spots.
1. Cozy Corner Restaurant
Cozy Corner Restaurant is a hidden gem for brisket lovers. The flavorful brisket is a must-try and doesn't require any barbecue sauce.
The pork sandwich with coleslaw and hot sauce is also delicious.
The caramel cake is a great way to end the meal. The prices are reasonable and the portions are large.
The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is no-nonsense. Be sure to arrive early to avoid the long lines.
2. Arnold's BBQ and Grill
Arnold's BBQ and Grill is a hidden gem that serves up some of the best BBQ in the area.
The meats are smoked to perfection, with the brisket being a standout dish.
The slaw and beans are also delicious sides that complement the meat well.
The service is top-notch and the atmosphere is cozy. If you're looking for a great BBQ spot, Arnold's is definitely worth a visit.
3. Blues City Cafe
Blues City Cafe is a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious brisket. The fall-off-the-bone ribs and tender meat are sure to satisfy any BBQ lover.
The friendly and fast service adds to the dining experience. The atmosphere of the restaurant is perfect for a casual evening out with friends or a solo dining experience.
The prices are reasonable, and the portions are generous. The restaurant also offers live music, which adds to the overall ambiance.
Don't miss out on trying the gumbo and chili cheese fries, which are both highly recommended. Blues City Cafe is a great spot for anyone looking for a delicious and authentic Memphis BBQ experience.
4. Bain Barbecue
Bain Barbecue is a must-visit for brisket lovers. The focus on brisket, rather than pork, sets this place apart from others in the area.
The meats are tender and flavorful, with a variety of sauces available to suit any taste.
The atmosphere is inviting, with front and back patios perfect for dining and drinking. Don't miss out on the smoked sausage and be sure to try the brisket pinto beans as a side.
The service is friendly and the facilities are clean. Highly recommended for anyone in search of amazing BBQ.
5. The Bar-B-Q Shop
The Bar-B-Q Shop is a must-visit for anyone who loves brisket.
The meat is smoked to perfection and the portions are generous for the price. The sauce is a standout, finger-licking good.
The ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and the BBQ spaghetti is a unique twist on a classic dish.
The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is cozy. It's no wonder that The Bar-B-Q Shop is one of the top BBQ joints in town.
6. Central BBQ – Downtown
Central BBQ – Downtown is a go-to spot for brisket in the area. The slow-smoked meat is tender and flavorful, and the platters are generously portioned.
The staff is friendly and helpful, and the atmosphere is casual and relaxed.
In addition to brisket, there are plenty of other inventive meat dishes to try, including BBQ nachos and pork sandwiches.
It's no wonder why Central BBQ – Downtown is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
7. Smoky City BBQ
If you're on the hunt for some delicious brisket, Smoky City BBQ is the place to go. This barbecue joint offers a variety of mouth-watering meats and sides that are sure to satisfy any appetite.
The friendly staff provides excellent service, making sure that every customer is well taken care of.
The atmosphere is laid-back and comfortable, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a meal with friends or family.
Don't miss out on the chance to try the tangy vinegar-based sauce on the BBQ pork sandwiches – it's a must-try! Smoky City BBQ is definitely a spot worth checking out for some delicious, authentic barbecue.
8. Leonard's Pit Barbecue
Leonard's Pit Barbecue is a no-frills BBQ joint that has been serving up slow-cooked pork and ribs since 1922.
Their brisket sandwich is a must-try, featuring a well-balanced flavor and good sauce.
The buffet is also a great deal and offers a variety of BBQ meat options daily, along with several sides and dessert options. The service is top-notch, with friendly and knowledgeable staff.
If you're passing through Memphis and looking for a quick and delicious lunch, Leonard's Pit Barbecue is definitely worth a stop.
9. Pollard's Bar-B-Que
Pollard's Bar-B-Que is a no-frills BBQ joint that delivers on taste. Their brisket is lean, juicy, and perfectly sauced with a great combination of sweet and spicy flavors.
The pulled pork is tender and the ribs have a strong smoky taste.
The sides, such as the green beans, baked beans, and coleslaw, are also a hit. The staff is friendly and the service is fast.
If you're looking for great Memphis-style BBQ, Pollard's Bar-B-Que is the place to be.
10. A&R Bar-B-Que LLC
A&R Bar-B-Que LLC is a local chain that offers slow-smoked barbecue by plate or pound.
Their menu is focused on smoked meats, including beef brisket, pork shoulder, and ribs. The restaurant has a simple and unassuming atmosphere, but the food is incredible.
The meat is tender and flavorful, and the barbecue sauce is sweet and tangy. The sides, such as potato salad and green beans, are also delicious.
Whether you're dining in or taking out, A&R Bar-B-Que LLC is a must-visit for anyone who loves good barbecue.
11. Reese's Bar-B-Q
Reese's Bar-B-Q is a top-notch barbecue restaurant that serves some of the best brisket in town.
The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable. The BBQ sauce is a perfect blend of flavors, not too sweet or tangy.
The staff is friendly and the service is quick. Although the decor is not classy, the cozy atmosphere makes up for it.
The loaded baked potatoes and the ribtip plate are highly recommended. Reese's Bar-B-Q is a great spot for a chill meal with friends or family.
12. Corky's Ribs & BBQ
Corky's Ribs & BBQ is a local BBQ chain that serves hickory-smoked meats and comfort sides.
The brisket is a customer favorite, but it can be a little dry at times. The atmosphere is fun and folksy, with vintage decor.
The staff is friendly and attentive, although the service can be a little slow. Prices are fair for the amount of food you get.
If you're in the mood for some classic BBQ, Corky's is definitely worth a visit.
13. Neely's Interstate BBQ
Neely's Interstate BBQ is a must-visit for anyone craving delicious brisket. This barbecue restaurant offers a variety of flavorful meats, including tender ribs and juicy pulled pork.
The portions are generous and the service is friendly, making for a great dining experience.
The restaurant is clean and well-maintained, ensuring a comfortable atmosphere for guests.
Prices are reasonable, making it an affordable option for a satisfying meal. Don't miss out on the chance to try the mouth-watering brisket at Neely's Interstate BBQ.