Sample the World's Best BBQ for the World's Best Prices in Memphis

Posted March 1, 2010 by Amy Westervelt

Memphis May is arguably the best time of the year to visit Memphis. The summer humidity hasn't kicked in yet, plus the month-long Memphis in May festival is underway, the highlight of which is the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. And once you've had your fill of barbecue, you can experience all things Elvis or visit any of the amazing venues that introduced blues, soul, and rock 'n' roll to the world.


World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest: Thanks to the annual World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, the city is wrapped in the smell of grilled pork and chock-full of barbecue lovers from May 13 through 15 this year. After sampling some barbecue, head to any one of the clubs on Memphis' famous Beale Street, the birthplace of the blues. On Fridays for just $10, you can get a wristband at the Handy Bar at W.C. Handy Park that will let you bounce between the Beale Street clubs the way Elvis once did.


Bar-B-Q Shop: The tiny, funky Bar-B-Q Shop (1782 Madison Avenue) has built a reputation for serving the best barbecue in the city. In addition to classics such as barbecue pork shoulder with the shop's infamous Dancing Pigs sauce, it also serves Italian dishes such as barbecue spaghetti. Although this spot won't win any awards for its decor, the food coming out of the kitchen more than makes up for it, especially given the huge portions and rock-bottom prices.


Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel: What is Memphis without an Elvis experience? If you don't have the time or the patience for Graceland, consider booking a night at Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel right across the street. Decked out with Elvis photos, memorabilia, and pieces of Elvis kitsch, it's hard to walk through the lobby without doing an Elvis impression. Rooms start at $112 per night.

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(Photo:  Memphis in May International Festival)

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Reader Comments

Memphis in May is one of the few family-fun, it makes a great couple's retreat, we've done both!

Colors abound in the wild array of BBQ booths, contestant's uniforms, and the happy crowds of well-fed attendees. Miles of cable are underfoot, delivering electricity to these booths which allow them to become works of art in their own standing categories.

A short walk brought us to Beale Street, one of the most exciting streets in the country! Here you will always find someone performing for you -- whether it's in a club or on the streets. More brilliant colors, horrible driving conditions because Beale Street is closed each evening. Here are shops, clubs and the location of the recording studios of the past.

Surprise the kids with a visit to Peabody's to watch the royal duck parade each day.

My favorite BBQ joint has a shady alley entry, a little place who's pulled pork and ribs put full size resturants to shame! Reandeview is sure to please all!

Take the family across to Mudd Island where the kids and play in a topographically correct replication of the Mississippi while you find a shady spot under the apple trees to read.

Best suggestion, get there early to get a parking space, or park away from Beale street and the Riverwalk and attend via shuttle or bus.

Memphis in May has always been a pleasure of my family and now their own families.

Thanks for all the great memories, Memphis!

Posted on April 14, 2010 at 08:37 AM by Linda Bush

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