Only in Memphis: Lit Restaurant Supply

Posted by Holly Whitfield | April 26th 2010 16191 0

Lit Restaurant Supplies, Memphis, Tenn.

Lit Restaurant Supplies, Memphis, Tenn.

Remember the first time you saw a teacher outside of school as a kid, and how weird and disconcerting it was to see them outside of their normal environment? That’s kind of what’s it’s like to walk into Lit Restaurant Supply on Union Ave. Those red pizza delivery bags that you usually only see at your front door? They’re shrink wrapped in plastic and stacked on a shelf. Those small brown bowls that all Mexican restaurants use for salsa? They’re called “monkeys” and stacked fifteen high. The same goes for high chairs, red plastic tumblers, napkin holders and pitchers.

Pitchers, Lit Restaurant Supply, Memphis, Tenn.

Pitchers, Lit Restaurant Supply, Memphis, Tenn

Lit is a kitchen wonderland. It’s two giant rooms filled with chafing dishes, deep fryers, chairs, bottle openers, giant bottles of spices, and ice sculpture molds. They’ve also got food. You can pick up a six pound can of tomatoes, a massive bag of raw pasta and those square pizzas that I thought were only available in school cafeterias.

Freezer section, Lit Restaurant Supply, Memphis, Tenn.

Freezer section, Lit Restaurant Supply, Memphis, Tenn.

Lit has been open downtown for 60 years. While the store is geared towards restaurant owners, it’s open to the public and there’s no minimum purchase. It’s a great place to stock up on party supplies – they’ve got disposable shot glasses, paper plates and napkins. (It’s worth mentioning that there’s a second store, Lit Junior, on Summer Ave. that’s carries more food and is geared more towards the non-commercial shopper.)

When I stopped in today, I picked up a glass bottle with a pour spout (perfect for olive oil), a wall-mounted bottle opener, a bag of tootsie rolls, and a glass mug shaped like a boot.

Go There:

Lit Restaurant Supply

309 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103-5203

(901) 527-8445

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

Show Comments


  1. Rachel says:

    My husband and I love Lit! We like to go on Saturday mornings and go up and down every aisle. On our first trip my husband also bought the glass shaped like a boot and it is his absolute favorite!

  2. […] I Love Memphis » Only in Memphis: Lit Restaurant Supply […]

  3. LaTasha says:

    I LOVE this place… a real treasure 🙂

  4. Mindy says:

    I have always wanted to go in there and that’s now my goal this week!
    Also, you can get those square/rectangle pizza’s at Charlie’s Meat Market on Summer.
    I am a firm beleiver that you can find anything you “need” on Summer Avenue!

  5. Kathy Sims says:

    I fbought 4 school trays there for my dad. He takes them to church dinners and cook outs. He uses one and if you are nice he will loan out the other three. No collapsed paper plate for him.

  6. Lance Renzi says:

    We love Lit! All of our restaurant supplies were bought there. And the quality of their products is just excellent. I have no worries when we lack supplies because its all in there that you're looking for in shopping for restaurant supplies.

  7. Dana Caffrey says:

    I'm looking forward to every weekend because that's the time when I get to go with my aunt shopping for her restaurant supplies. I love driving her to Lit Restaurant Supply. I always had fun to see good stuffs there, not to mention the treat I get from her before we get home 🙂

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