Memphis, TN is known for it’s BBQ and soul food, but those aren’t necessarily inline with the current trends leaning towards health and nutrition. After two years of living here and seeking out delicious, light, and fresh restaurants, I’ve found that this city is not only full of healthy dining, but it’s also very progressive in the farm to table movement.
Memphis is lucky enough to have a restaurant that makes paleo specific meals right in the heart of downtown. They make their menus weekly so there’s always something new to try and they have everything from savory pot-roast to lightly sweetened coconut macaroons.
Located on Mud Island, this doubles as a delicious healthy cafe and a small grocery store. Yes, you can find some of the best pie in the city, but there are also lighter options of soup, salads, and sandwiches.
This casual deli is a bit pricey, but well worth it for a delicious and healthy meal. They have an option to build a salad, but they also offer sandwiches, juices, soups, and smoothies. (Second location in Midtown).
There are three Cafe Eclectic locations, but if you want great food, you go to the one in Midtown. They have something for everyone including in-house made donuts and rich coffee drinks, but they also serve healthy and vegan dishes for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner.
Belly Acres is relatively new to Memphis and is located in the back of Overton Square. It’s a cool, quick, and casual restaurant that has the best grass-fed burgers in town. Their creative and quirky menu has something for the meat lovers, vegetarians, and even the health enthusiasts like you and me.
Fuel is one of the leaders behind farm to table in Memphis. These people use only the best local ingredients and specialize in vegan and grass-fed. There restaurant is pricey, but well worth it if you’re looking for quality and a casual environment. You can find the restaurant location right past Overton Square or all around Memphis in their food truck.
Located next to the University of Memphis campus, you might expect this restaurant to have the usual bar food that reflects it’s atmosphere and draft selection, but this place will surprise you with it’s vegan and healthy food with a Mexican flare.
Cheffies is a gem tucked away in High Point Terrace. It’s a large and relaxing venue with wine, draft beer, gelato, and of course a build your own salad bar. They have all types of lettuce, meat, veggies, homemade dressings, and all the topping you could ever dream of. They also have an ample amount of outdoor seating with TV’s both inside and out.
This healthy grocery store is also one of the most popular lunch places in Memphis. In both their East Memphis and Germantown locations, there are salad and hot plate bars as well as actual sit down restaurants right there in the store. They also have an espresso bar, juice bar, and gelato as well as hot or cold ready-to go meals of many different varieties.
A fairly new restaurant in the heart of Memphis that is made for all healthy eaters that are tired of the mundane. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with both a coffee and full liquor bar. Their menu is full of variety of low calorie, high flavor options like stir fry or flatbread pizzas. Their East Memphis location opened last August, but the downtown location is opening today!
This Mediterranean chain restaurant is known for it’s gyros, but also has meat and veggie plates along with fantastic salads. It’s perfect for a light lunch, quick weeknight dinner, or takeout for your colleagues or family.
This is by far my favorite restaurant in Memphis. Yes, that’s a very bold statement, but The Farmer is a clear winner. They specialize in farm fresh food resourced locally. Their elevated comfort food is equally healthy and delicious. They usually have a great special every night with a healthy protein and veggies. They also pair with Buster’s Liquor to host an event once a month on Monday nights to give you a delcious 3 course meal with 4 glasses of wine for only $35.
Seasons 52 is an upscale fusion of a lot of different cuisines, but above all, it’s light, elevated, and a great healthy restaurant for a special occasion. It’s somewhat expensive, but a favorite both locally and in other large cities.
What’s your favorite local restaurant?
What’s your favorite restaurant chain?
Is your city known for being healthy?