Blues City Cafe

4.2
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164 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Barbecue

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Casual
Fun
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 164 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.0
service
3.9
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The atmosphere is laid back. The beans were the bomb!

SS
Austin
18 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Had a reservation. Was sat in the hallway. No Bueno.

Hostess was s but rude.

Nevertheless received my Opentable points because she never checked us in.

Fried Catfish was excellent. Ribs were So-So.

OT
Dallas
7 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

The food & service was just OK! If you are going for the best ribs in Memphis you will be disappointed. The thing our table of 11 had was the grilled chicken.

Would not return.

KS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Fantastic ribs! Chicken like you make at home! Good food.

RT
Austin
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Best ribs we ever had. Fast service. Classic Beale St. atmosphere.

MH
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

Had a reservation but they seated us before we could tell them. When I did tell host, she wanted the name, but that did not effect where were seated. We asked for another table and server refused. They forgot our salads entirely. Food was ok but very overpriced. Band had an obnoxious singer. Neighborhood was very dangerous. Never again!!

OT
Birmingham
7 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome. Though I visited there alone, I really enjoyed great ribs and gumbo with fun music live!

EP
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. The ribs and catfish are amazing! The service was excellent. The beers were cold. The music was awesome. Was it too loud? Hell no, it's supposed to be loud!

AC
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Food was good, but wasn't as warm as I expect . I didn't ask for them to warm it up, but I think it would have been much better if warmer. The service was quick, though and the dessert was very good and large. The entertainment was Ok, but could have used more music and less chit chat.

OH
Columbus
22 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

As always the ribs are to die for. Best baked beans ever. The place to be on Beale Street.

L
1 review
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Food especially the ribs were delicious. Definitely need to book at popular times but will need to show booking on phone to get in. Otherwise will be told to stand in line.

RA
Memphis
3 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

We came here specifically to see Brad Berkedahl. Enjoyed his show very much. The food was mediocre, and the drinks were OK. We happen to have a very good waitress, but we witnessed another waitress being extremely rude to a visitor from Denmark. She chased him out of the business and continued to stomp around for quite some time after the event. I don't know if there was no member of management around to witness this behavior, or they just didn't care. We travel frequently overseas and alway try to represent the United States in the best possible way. We are sorry that a visitor to our country had to experience what he went through.

CB
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Yes, I had a GREAT time at Blues City Cafe! Not only was the food delicious, but the service and atmosphere was perfect! Blind Mississippi Morris was a OUTSTANDING musician! I would recommend this stop for anyone that is in the area!!

D
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Average at best

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.

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.

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.

OT
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Outstanding. Best ribs I’ve ever had

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

Always a winner!

AR
Mississippi
8 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.

2
Tampa
367 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.

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

Bbq cheese fries were to die for!!

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!!

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!

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

Great ribs
Friendly people
Great location

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.

G
Philadelphia
333 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.

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.

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.

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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