2146 Monroe Ave., Idlewild
Chef Kelly English is one of Memphis’s culinary celebrities, in part because he has such a strong handle on traditional French-Creole cuisine (he grew up cooking in Louisiana, and held his first restaurant jobs while studying at the University of Mississippi). Housed in a cozy home that feels simultaneously intimate and dressed-up, it’s perfect for a special occasion—call ahead and they’ll decorate your table in honor of an anniversary or birthday.
862 S. Cooper St., Idlewild
Catfish is a staple for many cities along the Mississippi, and for the best in Memphis, go to Soul Fish and order their fried catfish tacos (served with pico de gallo and fresh guacamole). The quintessentially Southern sides alone are worth the trip—think: hush puppies, pickled green tomatoes, collards, and fried okra.