Blues City Cafe

4.0
151 reviews
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$30 and under
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Barbecue
Enjoy the Best Meal on Beale at the Blues City Cafe in beautiful Memphis, Tennessee.

The Blues City menu includes such favorites as our Famous BBQ Ribs, Southern Fried Catfish, Broiled Steaks, and the World's Best Homemade Tamales. Our friendly staff and world famous menu has drawn the attention of presidents and celebrities alike.

We have been featured nationally on Travel Channel's "A Taste of America", Food Network's "Bobby Flay Show", Bon Apetit Magazine's "BBQ Issue", and HDNET's "Drinking Made Easy".

Blues City Cafe also features nightly live entertainment in The Band Box; everything from Blues with Earl "the Pearl" Banks and Blind Mississippi Morris to Rock-A-Billy with Hillbilly Casino and Brad Birkedahl. Come on down to Blues City Cafe and have a great meal and dance the night away on Beale Street.
What 151 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
4.0
food
4.3
service
3.8
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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D
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

We came here for the music, not the food. That said the food was fine. The music was great. Service was good too. We really enjoyed our visit.

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AB
Atlanta
10 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The gumbo cheese fries were amazing! Ribs and catfish were also very good. Tamales just so-so. We were seated in the back with the bar and live music so the ambience was a great Memphis vibe

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A
Atlantic City
4 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food, great atmosphere! Our server was very efficient, but he wasn't very friendly. He didn't "fit" with the atmosphere! But I would recommend going here anyway....you won't regret it. Good southern cooking.

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JM
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Great service. Great Music!!! The ribs were some of the best I have ever had.

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PC
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It had been a few years since my last visit but it was as good as always. Already looking forward to next time.

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RC
Toronto
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Very nice ribs and beans... wasn’t too sold on the cat fish. I would like more fresh cut fries in places like this.

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OT
St. Louis
6 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Average at best

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OT
Memphis
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Waitress was awful. Had just one refill and it was put in a to-go cup in an effort to get us out in a hurry. She disappeared for 10 minutes at a time. Very off-putting and disappointing. I had high hopes for this place. The tamales and chili were both average.

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OT
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

On our way to Florida. Stopped on Beale street per tradition. First time to eat at Blues City Cafe. Made a reservation on Open Table. Too easy. Best ribs in my lifetime.

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AB
Memphis
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 1

The service was great, however, the food was very poor. I will be going to other places in Memphis going forward.

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OT
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Outstanding. Best ribs I’ve ever had

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JG
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Best barbeque we had in Memphis. We made reservations for New Year's Eve and were seated promptly.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was incredible and the waiter was very attentive and personable. We were there New Year’s Eve, so it was extremely busy. Our order was out to us within 10 minutes. Overall it was a great experience!

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AS
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 2

The food was tasty but we were less than impressed with our seating and table experience. After making a reservation on this website, we were told by the hostess than other guests came in and they don't hold tables for anything. I was disappointed to hear this but it turns out we were seated fairly quickly but just be informed that your reservation may mean very little.
The reason I booked the restaurant was to hear music. Our table was a high top in the back bar area that is very away from the main dining area and even further from the live music. It was more like being in a sports bar than a music restaurant.
Overall the food was awesome and plentiful but be advised that this may not be the experience the restaurant leads you to believe it will be.

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OT
Cincinnati
9 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Scared to eat when we saw how gross the kitchen was - garbage all over, including a huge piece of fish. The ribs were good though and the bad was great - although we couldn't see them as we were seated far away.

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E
Memphis
11 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Always a winner!

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AR
Mississippi
7 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a great meal! The ribs were the best I’ve ever had-meaty, smoky, and falling off the bone.

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2
Tampa
358 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Be sure to get the catfish. Very fresh, served piping hot and mild tasting fish.

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l
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Bbq cheese fries were to die for!!

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JB
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The greens were spectacular and we met the man who made them. Our waitress was so friendly she made our dining experience fun. Thank you for a great lunch!!

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a
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Had a wonderful evening enjoying the ribs and the music. This is a great choice for someone from out-of-town to enjoy an pretty intimate experience on Beale Street in Memphis. We both had a half rack of ribs, and the portions were generous, the beer and wine choices relatively limited but good, and the music outstanding!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ribs
Friendly people
Great location

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JB
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Warm, friendly, welcoming while professional.
Great evening of Blind Mississippi Morris on harmonica. Enjoyed our catfish meal.

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G
Philadelphia
319 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Good food and service. A very famous and cool restaurant located right on Beale Street. We got the ribs and they were very tasty and well prepared. We highly recommend.

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EY
Memphis
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere...a must do in Memphis. Get there early as the wait can be long to get a table.

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RK
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

This restaurant was rated almost 5 star. Definitely not. At most 2 star. I made reservation as requested. Not needed. People walked in off the street. This was for my anniversary. Very disappointed. No atmosphere as stated in advertising. Rated higher than BB Kings Restaurant. Just an off the street café. Sorry but this is what I observed.

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ST
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The ribs and beans were very good. However, we specifically chose this restaurant because of the band that was scheduled to play that night. When we arrived for our dinner reservations, we were told that we would not be able to enjoy the band because the restaurant had booked a private party for the entire room where the band would play. I honestly would not have chosen this restaurant for the food alone and gave up the chance to eat at the top of the pyramid that night so that I could hear the band play. This was very disappointing and not at all what I expected. If a restaurant advertises live music, they should not make it off limits to paying customers. There are lots of places in Memphis to get BBQ ribs that don't have live music.

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b
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had the half rack of ribs and luckily added the catfish filet and both were delightful. And the beans were so good I almost ordered another bowl. My wife ordered the chicken filet's and added the catfish and she agreed it was the best catfish we ever had. The coleslaw and texas toast really topped off the dish and I was full. Great value and they really know how to cook their meat. I saw a huge porterhouse go by so I might have to try that next time.

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i
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ribs, Great Catfish, and oh, don't ever forget the apple dumpling - SO good. The service was excellent and prompt. It was fun to be able to watch the excellent kitchen staff prepare the food and get it out. Great experience on Beale Street!

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G
Memphis
5 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious. Prices and quantity were of value.

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CK
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The ribs are amazing!! Meaty and great BBQ flavor. I don't like my ribs with too much sauce so these were perfect however, I'm sure if you like them "saucy", you can request more BBQ sauce.

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HG
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing! The bartender was also our waiter, server and took our bill and the place was busy! He suggested how we should order and what to order and we loved our food.

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TS
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Don't know why they offer reservations since they take first come, first served (depending on the size of your group).
We weren't cramped, but the sun shown directly in the face of one of us as it set...no effort to shade it.
Generally clean, but the hubcaps used as lampshades overhead were filthy.
Only one gentleman to serve our section; he did ok, but rarely checked on us which meant we had to flag him down a couple times for butter, water, etc. Food arrived in a reasonable time.
Enjoyed the meal with the Beale Street music/festivities right outside before walking the short distance to the Orpheum Theater. BBQ ribs and the shrimp were very good, and the sirloin steak was great!
They validate parking, supposedly where there is an attendant. However, which parking places those may be is a mystery. It's certainly not the Central Parking garage right next door (which had an attendant).

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OT
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 3ambience 5

The band was awesome

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We went there the first time to hear some blues and found the acoustics pretty good for a restaurant/bar/ with live music and no cover! What we found was awesome music and great fair priced food and drinks. Went there 3 times in one week because if it ain't broke don't fix it! Never were disappointed all the music was different but excellent

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DH
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The ribs were very tender, but not smokey like I like them. My husband had the shrimp and they were very good. It's a fun atmosphere right on Biehl Street in Memphis.

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OT
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We reserved for 6 but more showed. No problem, more chairs. Very friendly service and food was great.

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IF
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

This place was hopping but then again there were 25,000 ISU fans in town for the liberty bowl. We were seated promptly, had great service and excellent food.

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OT
Birmingham
5 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

In town for St Jude marathon. From the moment we walked in, I knew we had made a great choice. Best ribs that I’ve ever had, wonderful catfish fillet, and honestly the best baked beans I have ever had! Our waiter, Matt, was awesome. All around, a great experience.

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m
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great food. Great service. Great entertainment. The Brad Birkedahl Band was amazing!!

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