11 Places to Carb Load For The St. Jude Memphis Marathon

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! Below the Discounts Section you'll find 11 places to carb load before the big race, in no particular order.

Discounts For Runners 2022:

  • Bedrock Eats & Sweets - 15 percent off your meal with your St. Jude Memphis Marathon bib.
  • Wiseacre Brewing - enjoy beer specials when you present your race bib
  • Amerigo Italian - 20 percent off three pasta specials plus $1 off beers on Friday, December 2nd. Just present your race bib. 
  • Mempops - $2 pops for runners with bibs all weekend at their two locations (1243 Ridgeway Rd. and in the Crosstown Concourse) Friday through Sunday. 
  • Bardog, Aldo’s, and Slider Inn -  all three of these downtown restaurants will offer a 20 percent discount on food for St. Jude race participants with a race bib or medal on Friday, Dec 2 and Saturday Dec. 3. Bardog will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning for the World Cup match and post-race brunch.
  • Memphis Made Brewing - your first beer is on the house if you present your bib or medal on Saturday


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 and dinner, plus they have a fabulous patio. 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

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. The garlic knots with vodka sauce will help you carb up with flavor! Bring your bib or medal and receive 20 percent off food on Friday Dec. 2 and Saturday Dec. 3 at Aldo's and their sister restaurants, Slider Inn Downtown and Bardog. 

Catherine & Mary's

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 and upscale atmosphere give it special occasion vibes, but it's not overly fancy. Reservations recommended!

bowl of pasta

Capriccio Grill

The Peabody Hotel's Capriccio Grill is an Italian steakhouse that serves all your classic pasta favorites, pizzas, and grilled meats. There's plenty to choose from and they have a bread basket, too. Capriccio is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Tamboli's Pasta & Pizza

This Midtown cafe serves up handmade pastas, plenty of pizzas, garlic bread, and lots of other delicious Italian favorites with fresh ingredients.  They're open for dinner for all your carbo-loading needs for dine-in (inside or on the outside patio) 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, noodles, and dumplings and you can enjoy traditional Thai entrees, sushi, and other specialities at The Nine downtown.


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.

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 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. 

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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
Dena Ferrell Nance

You definitely missed the best of the best….Pete & Sam’s!! 

December 2, 2022 5:43am