13 Places to Carb Load For Your Run In Memphis

13 Places to Carb Load For Your Run In Memphis

It's all about the carbs! This guide is for runners fueling up for Memphis races—and for people who just like to eat all the breads.

Coming in town for St. Jude Memphis Marathon and need to carb load before the race? Memphis has you covered.

And if you're not running in the half marathon or 5K or any other race, but you're looking for delicious pasta or pizza in Memphis, this list is also for you. I've focused on downtown and midtown Memphis, but put a few other great area spots too. Keep in mind, this is just a sampling!

We have tons of options. Got a favorite for pasta or other vehicles for carbs? Just leave it in the comments! Here are 13 places to carb load before the big race, in no particular order.

A FEW DISCOUNTS for runners:

  • MEMPOPS $2 pops Friday through Sunday for runners with bibs (two locations; 1243 Ridgeway Rd. and Crosstown Concourse)
  • WynnBET Sports Bar FedExForum's new sports bar will open early on Saturday for free coffee or hot chocolate and have post-race vouchers for free Pretzel Bites w/ bar purchase. 
  • Grecian Gourmet is offering 10% off for runners showing their bib, all day Saturday. 
  • Amerigo is offering some specials and deals. Details here.
  • Maciel's is reportedly offering a discount. All I know is here.

Majestic Grill

Want to eat flatbreads, pastas, and more in a 1920s Art Deco style theater? Majestic Grill on Main Street is your place. They serve lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, plus have a fabulous patio. They're offering two pasta specials (Sausage & Broccoli Rigatoni and Spinach Manicotti) plus they have two pasta dishes on the regular menu. Reservations recommended! 


Head to the no-frills Dino's in midtown for Italian classics and comfort food. Expect pasta, including stuffed shells (pasta pockets filled to the brim with creamy cheese and spinach, topped with a meat sauce and served with a side of spaghetti "like mama made it"). 

plate of spaghetti

Grecian Gourmet

Fast casual Greek favorites like spanikopita, pastitso, moussaka, soups, orzo pasta salad, and pita chips 'n' dip. Stop by on Friday night to the downtown spot—or head over after the race. Grecian Gourmet is offering 10 percent off to runners showing their bibs all day on Saturday! 

Aldo's Pizza Pies

For New York inspired pies with every kind of topping -  plus a local beer selection - head to Aldo's downtown or midtown locations.

Catherine & Mary's

bowl of pasta

From James Beard nominated chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman comes this upscale Italian eatery on the ground level of the historic Chisca Hotel. Their handmade pastas are worth every penny.

Capriccio Grill

The Peabody Hotel's Capriccio Grill is an Italian steakhouse that serves all your classic pasta favorites, pizzas, and grilled meats. 

Tamboli's Pasta & Pizza

This Midtown cafe serves up handmade pastas and pizzas for all your carbo-loading needs for dine-in or takeout.

Little Italy

If you need to carb up before your race in Memphis, but don't feel like getting out, Little Italy offers their beloved New York style pizza and other Italian delicacies. They have locations in downtown Memphis (South Main area) and in midtown, and they deliver.


This is not downtown, but it's a Memphis institution so I'm putting it on the list. Coletta's is heavy on the carbs and very, very Memphis. Order the barbecue pizza, just like regular pizza but covered in pulled pork.

The Nine Thai & Sushi

You don't have to do Italian when you're carb loading, you know. Asian cuisine is full of tasty rice and noodles, and you can enjoy traditional Thai entrees, sushi, and other specialities at The Nine.

Ferraro's Pizzeria & Pub

A downtown staple, Ferraro's serves up affordable pizzas, pastas, and plenty of hearty sandwiches in a neighborhood pub atmosphere.


Another non-Italian option, Fam on Monroe downtown is perfect for a quick pre-race meal. They have sushi, rice bowls, and noodle bowls and offer online ordering and delivery through all the usual food delivery apps.


If you don't require literal pasta for your carb-loading, I highly recommend the upscale casual Southern spot Rizzo's in South Main. You can load up on chicken pot pie, cheese grits, garlic mashed potatoes, and their award-winning white chocolate blueberry bread pudding.

Energy Famous Pasta

All the pasta you can think of—especially with Cajun flavors and proteins added— call it in, and it will ready to go for takeout meals (so you can pick up enough for post-race leftovers!) It's takeout only and less than 10 minutes from downtown Memphis.

Again, this is only a sampling! There are tons more places to carb load in Memphis, so leave your suggestions in the comments.

For more pasta and pizzas in Memphis, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Pete & Sam's Italian, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Ciao Bella, and Amerigo— which are all in East Memphis. In midtown, check out Bari for delicious pastas and southern Italian cuisine. 

Comments Make Us Happy

Leave a Comment
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Janice Taff
Rock & Dough on Ridgeway or the Trolley Stop on Madison... great pizza!
December 3, 2013 5:35pm
Rockin Dough has THE best pizza in town!
December 4, 2013 11:08am
Amerigo is offering 20% off select pasta specials to runners who show their race bib on Thursday and Friday.
December 4, 2013 5:20pm