Summer Avenue Time, and the Eatin' Is Easy

Summer Avenue Time, and the Eatin' Is Easy

Summer Avenue has some of the most diverse, affordable, and delicious food in Memphis. Here are a few spots to make sure you check out.

Bryant's Breakfast (3965 Summer Ave)

Bryant's Breakfast

Start off your day of Summer Avenue dining at one of the best breakfast joints in Memphis. If you're super hungry, get the breakfast sampler, but whatever you choose to order, a) make sure you figure it out before you get to the counter - things move fast at Bryant's - and b) make sure you order it with a delicious, crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside biscuit.

Elwood's Shack (4523 Summer Ave)

In the old Pizza Shack location, Elwood's Shack definitely falls into the "hidden gem" category. This no-frills restaurants is literally in a shack in the parking lot of a Lowe's home improvement store. You can get a loaded biscuit for breakfast, a plate of their famous steelhead trout fish tacos for lunch, or do like I did, and order the BBQ Slaw Dog for dinner.

The slaw is made from purple cabbage, with blue cheese (!) and jalapeños, add a side of potato salad, and you'll see why I've been craving this since I went.

La Guadulapana (4818 Summer Ave)

Summer Avenue is arguably the best place to find authentic Mexican food in Memphis, if you know where you're going. Taqueria La Guadulapana is good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I'd recommend ordering a couple of different tacos - and branching out from chicken and beef to try the goat, tongue, or Mexican sausage.

Jerusalem Market and Restaurant (4794 Summer Ave)

I recently tried Jerusalem Market for the first time. There's a Mediterranean market with lots of dry goods and spices, plus a meat counter on one side; the restaurant part was empty at 7 p.m., so we ordered our dinner to go.

We ordered two chicken shawarma plates with rice and toasted slivered almonds (such a huge portion that mine is going to last me three days, $10), baba ganoush (which was about two pounds of eggplant dip for just $4), and four pieces of falafel (25 cents each, can't beat that). The giant, heavy bag also contained tomato, cucumber, and pickle salads, and a couple pieces of pita. The whole meal for two people was less than $30, most everything was delicious, and will feed my friend and I for a few days. I'll definitely order the shawarma again.


There are probably a good 15 other places worth eating at on Summer Avenue. Which are your favorites?

Here are a few more to read about:

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The Panda Garden is a really great, family owned Chinese restaurant on Summer (at High Point Terrace) and is not to be missed. The service is great and the food is outstanding.
June 25, 2014 10:30am
Taqueria Los Picosos is amazing. It's closer to the Summer/Graham area. They've got good tacos, burritos, sopes, etc. Middle East Bakery and Grill near Summer/Perkins (shopping center with Aldi) is great too. I love their baklava. 
June 25, 2014 10:33am
I second the Panda Garden vote.  Best chinese in town, hands down.   La Michicoana for ice cream and the Taco Truck on Perkins in the Berclair area is top notch.  
June 25, 2014 10:36am
Donna Kuhn
Dont forget Lotus. Great Vietnamese/Asian cuisine for the last 25+ years. No frills, no atmosphere (unless you like kitschy), just great food.
June 25, 2014 10:42am
Bryants also has an outstanding Plate Lunch. Wonderful squash casserole. Can't beat La Michoacana for a sweet cold treat!  
June 25, 2014 11:07am
Josh Campbell
Time for  a Summer vacation.  
June 25, 2014 11:25am
I finally made it to Lotus after years of curiosity and well, anxious trepidation.  The place is solid! I recommend going once for the dine in experience and then becoming a regular to-go customer.  I also think Taqueria Express taco truck at Perkins, Edo, and Ryu are worth visiting.  I wish I could say the same for Central BBQ (Summer ave location, only), The Pancake Shop, and Nagagasaki Inn. I want them to be great, but they just aren't. 
June 25, 2014 11:27am
Nagasaki is yummy if u don't wana deal with the madness at Benihana. They always have two for one coupons in the paper too! 
June 25, 2014 11:35am
What about "Chinese Sub Shop" who recently moved to Summer, a little to the north of Highland?!
June 25, 2014 11:40am
Asian Palace in the old Perimeter Mall has great dim sum.
June 25, 2014 11:42am
The Pancake House for when Bryant's line is too long. Their pancakes are divine.
June 25, 2014 12:11pm
Shannon Little
Taqueria Express Food Truck at Summer and Graham. And DONT forget LA Michoacana!!
June 25, 2014 1:24pm
I second Chinese Sub Shop, but also Edo!
June 25, 2014 2:12pm
there is a new Japanese sushi place next door to aldi's, i think it is called Tokyo Grill. Really good sushi, friendly service, small place.  Across the parking lot is a new Mexican Restaurant, i cannot think of the name, also very good, some seafood.    And I second Jersusalem.  You can buy 10 loaves of freshly made pita for about 3 dollars.  Good selection of cheeses in the dairy case.  We love the foul in the restaurant, the shwarma is really good.  There is another good Mexican restaurant in the front of Charlie's meat market, i think it is called Los Comales?  We also love the dim sum at Asian Palace.  Will have to try Panda Garden. Tks for the recommendations  
June 25, 2014 6:39pm
Katie Dann
Tripe tacos at El Palmar. Ask for "well cooked". Yumm
June 25, 2014 9:05pm
Don't forget Baskin Robbins and a The Peanut Shop.  
June 25, 2014 9:32pm
Lauren Phelps
Looks delicious. I will have to try Elwood's!  
June 25, 2014 9:49pm
Yang's Deli!!  Their steak & cheese sandwich is awesome!! Best deli sandwich I've had since the old Pasquales Pizza had Hoagies!
June 25, 2014 10:03pm
Erica T
El Palmar also has great Mexican food! It's in the same shopping center as La Michoacana.
June 25, 2014 11:46pm
Yang's Deli - sandwiches, fried rice. 
June 26, 2014 12:50pm
Natural pasta
WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for food lion
July 7, 2014 7:03am
La Michoacana, definitely - they have elotes ("corn on the cob") which is a delicious mixture of hot corn, lime juice, mayo, chili powder/spices and cotija cheese.  They also have nachos and some other snack food in addition to ice cream and paletas.  And don't forget the Central BBQ location on Summer Ave...same great food, and you don't have to fight the line like at the Central Ave location!
September 30, 2014 8:48am