Memphis is more substance than style, with friendly people, fantastic music, and food that won’t disappoint. Read on for more details about my recent girl’s trip to Memphis!
Sometimes on this blog, I talk about my high school girlfriends. We call ourselves the “hot mamas,” which is a misnomer because only 5 of the 7 of us are mothers, but names just stick sometimes.
We mostly went our separate ways during college and the early years of adulthood, but in recent years have reunited in a real way. Like, talking on a chat group all day, every day. Although we talk online daily, we hardly ever see each other in person. The 7 of us are spread all throughout the continental U.S, from Seattle to D.C. A few months back, we started about taking a girl’s trip. I was up for it, but was skeptical that we could pull it off. Well, we did it! Six of us were able to meet up for one fun-filled weekend.
Where did we go? Memphis, Tennessee!
We chose Memphis for it’s central destination and party vibes. Three of us were able to drive there, and the rest flew in. We rented the COOLEST loft on VRBO that had a bed for almost everyone and we split the cost. I would highly recommend this approach. It allows you a kitchen and a living room to lounge around in. We spent many hours of the trip in the living room, eating snacks, drinking wine and talking. That would have been hard to do if we were split up across a hotel! And, the loft was way fancier than any hotel we could afford.
Nightlife, Bars and Late Night Eats
There’s no denying that Memphis is a party town! The first night we got there, we sprinted out the door to Beale Street.We aimlessly wandered up and down Beale, stopping at the door of each bar to listen to the band and check out the crowds inside. People have strong opinions about which Beale Street bars are the best, but I’d highly recommend roaming the streets and popping your head in the door of any bar with appealing music streaming out of it. Plus, you can take your drinks with you when you leave, so you’re never stuck anywhere for long.
We found a rocking blues band at Blues Hall, then mosied over to Blues City Cafe for some awesome late night munchies. At the end of the night, we found ourselves at Flynn’s Restaurant and Bar for karaoke night, which I think is actually every night at Flynn’s. Why on earth were we at a karaoke bar in a city that’s known for it’s incredible live music? I only have beer to blame, but the karaoke situation at Flynn’s was super fun and the perfect diversion for a group of ladies. One song, the singer would have a fantastic voice. The next singer would sound like the worst possible reject from American Idol Season 8. It was very extreme karaoke, but it was confusing, and glorious, and I loved every second of it.
The second evening we didn’t go out on Beale Street, but we did visit what quickly became our collective favorite stop of the entire trip, Mollie Fontaine’s. To me, this bar is right up there with Manifesto (a reservation only, dark-as-night cellar bar in KC) as one of the coolest places I’ve ever enjoyed a cocktail. It’s in an old Victorian house, which has been outfitted with several bars and some of the funkiest furniture and lighting I’ve seen. Go early and walk around Victorian Village to see the historical homes. It feels like a step back in time! You can reserve space at Mollie Fontaine’s if you’re going during prime hours. We LOVED the custom cocktail menu and the servers were so friendly.
I need to start by saying that I am fully aware that Memphis is known for their barbecue. We did not partake. I know that we missed out, but the stars just did not align with our schedule. But, I eat barbecue weekly here in KC, and I’m a tough crowd when I visit other cities and eat their ‘que. So, maybe it was for the best.
We did however have awesome Southern and New American food. We were not disappointed!
For a casual lunch or dinner with a slightly hipster vibe, check out South of Beale (S.O.B.). We really enjoyed the patio on a nice afternoon and the menu had a lot of progressive, interesting choices. I loved my Grilled Salmon with Bacon Maple Brussels Sprouts. Great local craft beer selection, too!
For a mimosa brunch, I’d recommend The Majestic Grille, which is super close to Beale Street. The atmosphere here is energetic, and it was absolutely packed for a Saturday brunch. Old time movies play on a projector, and there are two stories of dining combined with gorgeous crown molding and an exposed ceiling. We all shared a bottle of champagne for mimosas, which was actually a super affordable option. I ordered Shrimp and Grits, my favorite Southern dish, and it was scrumptious. Great spot!
And you must, must, must have dinner at Flight.
This isn’t negotiable. Reservations are required, it’s a bit fancy, but not stuffy. The experience is worth the splurge. Flight organizes their menus in “flights” of similar items. I’ve had wine flights, and beer flights, but I’ve never had a flight of salad, or soup, or seafood dishes. That’s exactly what Flight does.
I ordered a wine flight, and a soup and salad flight (corn chowder, lobster chowder, and the harvest salad), then I just ordered ONE single small plate of an entree. I had my eyes on the real prize: dessert. For my small entree, I ate a Lobster Gnocchi, which was fab. I watched my friends struggle through their entree flights, which are three good-sized entree portions. When our waitress came and asked if anyone wants dessert, almost everyone passed. I was still ready and raring to go. I ordered the Southern Flight, which included a delightful Bananas Foster Bread Pudding. Please be aware that these are basically full-sized dessert portions for a very reasonable price. So, I’d recommend splitting because I didn’t even get close to finishing my dessert flight! Hands down, one of the better dining experiences I’ve had in my lifetime. I’d travel back to Memphis just to come back to Flight!
A little side note on wardrobe
I can’t emphasize this enough that with the exception of our night at Mollie Fontaine and Flight, we were overdressed. Memphis is a casual city. Bring your comfy clothes, your jeans, your Tom’s, maybe a hoodie, and call it good.
To wrap up our trip, I asked everyone what their absolute favorite part of Memphis was! Here’s the resounding favorites: Flight Restaurant, Mollie Fontaine Lounge, and catching up over wine with friends!
We had a great time in Memphis! Where should we go next?