It's just not possible to say you have visited Memphis without eating barbecue food. There seems to be BBQ restaurants on every corner. So...stops at a number of the more famous restaurants in the downtown area was "mandatory";
* Silky O'Sullivans on Beale Street is where the "Father of Barbecue" (Silky) reigned. He was the originator of BBQ contests in Ireland, Bankok, Russia, and Cuba.
*Central Barbecue, located just behind the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, is one of the best places in Memphis for slow cooked BBQ ribs. The owner, Craig Blondis, has been on the "competition style" BBQ circuit since the early 1980's. The "wet" or "dry" ribs (i.e. With or without sauce) are really good. We just had to eat here twice in order to eat the ribs and BBQ chicken.
*The Rendezvous Charcoal Ribs restaurant is down an alleyway opposite the Peabody hotel. Its motto is "Not since Adam has a rib been this famous." Opened in 1948, it now serves several thousand patrons on an average Saturday night.
* The other famous southern food is fried chicken. Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken is located on Front Street, just a block from South Main Street's Orpheum Theater and Beale Street. Gus's began in a roadside shack in a tiny town east of Memphis over sixty years ago. It has attained worldwide recognition as having some of the best fried chicken ever eaten.