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Memphis Cafe

4.1
346 reviews
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$30 and under
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Southern
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Great for Lunch

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About

Memphis Café is a Costa Mesa neighborhood mainstay in the heart of the SOBECA district.
Soon after opening in 1995, Memphis Café received a 5 star review from LA Times food critic, Irene Virbilla, and has continued to earn critical acclaim and a loyal following ever since.
Classically trained Chef and co-founder Diego Velasco has created a distinctive gourmet interpretation of Southern comfort classics with signature dishes such as the Down Home Gumbo, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Seafood Jambalaya and seasonal specials sourced locally with naturally raised meats, seafood, poultry and produce.
The roadhouse style bar at Memphis offers both classic call and crafted cocktails along with carefully curated beer and wine list.
Open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Memphis Café also offers vibrant late night entertainment Thursday through Saturday.
Complimentary valet parking is available Thursday through Saturday night.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Southern, American, Comfort Food
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Hours of operation
BREAKFAST
Monday- Friday: 8am-11:30am

LUNCH
Monday- Friday: 11:00am - 3:00pm

DINNER
Monday- Wednesday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Thursday- Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm

BRUNCH
Saturday & Sunday: 8am- 3:00pm

HAPPY HOUR
Daily: 3:00-6:00
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Phone number
(714) 432-7685
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Diego Velasco
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Catering
Already acclaimed for its artful twists on traditional Southern fare, the Memphis Group's three Southern California restaurants, Memphis Catering & Events aims to bring the unique Memphis experience to events throughout Southern California.

As a full-service catering and events service, Memphis Catering & Events consistently provides the highest level of service and quality to Southern California's most discerning catering clients. From start to finish, Memphis Catering & Events professional staff provides the casually elegant service the Memphis restaurants are known for.

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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Randolph Avenue
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 346 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on all time ratings
4.2
food
4.1
service
3.6
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on November 14, 2015

We found this restaurant online no decided to try it when we were in town. We just got small plates and appetizers. The brussel sprouts, and barbecued mushrooms were delicious. Hush puppies with the sauce were exceptional. Loved the chocolate cake- very light and refreshing. Will go there again next time we are in town.....

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3.0Dined on November 8, 2015

This is a very down-home place with so-so food that suggests creole influence. I felt the prices were high for the quality of the food. The portions were reasonable.

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4.0Dined on November 8, 2015

Dined here once before, service was good, food awesome. Ignore the building and décor unless you love the '70s in some rural area. I personally didn't mind it-sorta cool and quaint. Having spent many years in the restaurant industry I am a harsh critic. The open kitchen could conduct itself better for appearance sake. I would dine there again when I am in that area.

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4.0Dined on November 1, 2015

The 4 of us went with a reservation to Brunch ....2 Chicken and waffles with the gravy on the side - the boneless chicken was breaded nicely and not over cooked...the waffles on the other hand were cold and tough like they were made hours before anticipating the rush....
The Club sandwich was amazing - fresh and stacked high , the fried potatoes with the eggs were unusual - like a pile of mashed potatoes and bunch of home fries all rolled into a log and crispy on all sides...although strange to look at was flavorful.
The service was great - from the arrival to the seating to the service - they all seemed to work well together and make sure we had everything we needed - including the Mimosa and hibiscus drinks for the adults !

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4.0Dined on October 31, 2015

So glad we ordered the special as it was a delectable brisket with beans and mac 'n cheese. We also got the fried catfish. Loved the tasty greens and yummy rice. Just recently spent some time in Memphis, TN and was so glad we didn't have to drive too far for that awesome Memphis experience!

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4.0Dined on October 30, 2015

My family and I love the food, the staff and the atmosphere. It's just the right blend of casual and special. The food is flavorful (and authentic) and the drinks are fun. We have become regulars and a week without going to Memphis is becoming rare.

We look forward to the next visit.

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2.0Dined on October 27, 2015

Customer service was okay, not great, not bad. Food was just okay, not very flavorful. I just tasted salt mostly. We ordered the seafood risotto, I think that was supposed to be the best dish we ordered that night, but I wasn't impressed at all. It tasted like the shrimp and scallop soup we had for the appetizer, but with rice. We also tried the meat loaf, which people on Yelp raved about. To be honest, I did not like it even with an open mind; I could not like it. I mean... it wasn't bad, but it wasn't good. It tasted kind of like regular hamburger meat from Carl's Jr. to me. (My first time having meat loaf.)
I did like the sliders and the fries we ordered for appetizer, though. That dinner was pricey, too. I won't be coming back.

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5.0Dined on October 25, 2015

This place has been here for 20 years, though it was our first time. We do not live in the OC or I would say I will definitely be back. I will say that it is absolutely worth seeking out for a meal though! Food was good, pleasant atmosphere, and terrific, pleasant service. We were extremely happy.

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5.0Dined on October 25, 2015

Delicious food and a bottle of champagne on the menu for $12, not bad.

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4.0Dined on October 9, 2015

Food was great and so was the service! We went in a Friday night and there was a live DJ...it was so loud we couldn't conversate but otherwise we enjoyed it!

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3.0Dined on October 9, 2015

I've been here a few times on Friday nights and really enjoyed the bar. Restaurant space turns into a dance floor and the DJ plays a good mix of classic hip hop, and people are always dancing but it's a small space so it stays intimate. When I put 2 and 2 together that this bar was Memphis Café during the day time, my wife and I took her parents there for dinner. It was all good, but nothing was a WOW. The hush puppies were kind of soggy and not that tasty, the shrimp in the po'boy was fried just right but it was missing the zing of a good cajun remoulade. The crab cakes were good, with avocado and a kind of Mexican-spiced twist. The server was very friendly and on top of her game. I would definitely come back without complaints, but won't be going out of my way for it.

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4.0Dined on October 9, 2015

Food was pretty good except the frybread. The toppings were good but the bread itself was very bland. Love the mix salad. Drink were good too. Will come back.

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5.0Dined on September 26, 2015

Love the staff. The food is always delicious. Always recommend a reservation for Sunday's since it can get quite busy. Parking can be annoying but it's worth it overall.

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5.0Dined on September 20, 2015

We always have good brunch experiences here. Today they had Loco Moco, Memphis Style. Rice, gumbo, burger patty and eggs. Amazing.

Berry margarita was pretty amazing too.

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4.0Dined on September 18, 2015

As always, my family loves this place. Delicious home-style food served by a friendly staff. Good drinks backup a good vibe in the restaurant. These nights we prefer to eat in the patio to enjoy the last light of the summer. We will be back soon.

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3.0Dined on September 14, 2015

Gumbo was room temperature and served far too cold. The fried catfish sandwich saved the meal, however and I confess, I haven't had this problem on previous visits. Service was just fine other than the gumbo. Still a good lunch overall. I would go back again and send back the gumbo if it's cold again . . .

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2.0Dined on September 6, 2015

Incompetent hostess.
Reservation made and "couldn't" be found after full name was given. Asked to go to the bar til a table was available in approximately 20 min. After a round of drinks were ordered at the bar she approached us asking if the reservation was for the name we gave her. Seriously? No duh! We were seated at a table marked reserved.
Food was blah. Nothing noteworthy.
Waitress was rude.

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4.0Dined on August 29, 2015

I have been to Memphis a couple of times and am never disappointed. The atmosphere is rustic, cozy, casual, but the food is fantastic.

The food is comfort food elevated. You will be surprised what they accomplish in such a tiny kitchen. Great happy hour, drinks are fantastic and the bar is a fun place to hang out and get a drink. One of my favorites.

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5.0Dined on August 21, 2015

Thanks Memphis. See you next week. Please a couple of vodka daisies ready to go. This little restaurant become our family's place to unwind.

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5.0Dined on August 20, 2015

Really liked the buttermilk fried chicken with mashed potatoes and collard greens. Perfect combination of flavors. Would have liked one more teaspoon of potatoes and greens and other chicken parts. A bit pricey for the amount served but Thursday nights are 1/2 price.
Very good service and liked the simple atmosphere.

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4.0Dined on August 15, 2015

Overall dining experience was awesome! The only hiccup was the Open Table snafu - I checked in with the hostess with my Open Table reservation, however Open Table did not receive the check in and therefore did not reward me the points until I reached out to determine otherwise.

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5.0Dined on August 8, 2015

I came with a group of girls and we all liked our food!

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4.0Dined on August 2, 2015

We go to Memphis Cafe on a regular basis for the Fried Chicken but also for the ambiance. The team serving you is always pleasant and colorful. The food is great and consistent. They don't rush you out, you can eat and take your time. Very European mentality in that sense. I recommended to all my friends, it is a great local restaurant.

Happy 20.

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4.0Dined on July 31, 2015

The food was great! Breakfast is so far my favorite time to eat at Memphis Cafe. I've recommended this place to all my friends! 😀

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3.0Dined on July 19, 2015

my happy hour salad was wonderful. The mussels and clams themselves had no flavor at all. the sauce was spicy but with little flavor

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4.0Dined on July 12, 2015

Love the home style comfort food at Memphis...always good, new breakfast menu yum yum!

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3.0Dined on July 6, 2015

I ate fish on that evening. It may have been Yellow Fin? At any rate, I broke out in a rash. I have no known fish allergies, so I think the fish may have been improperly handled. This was not my first visit, and I would return again.

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3.0Dined on July 2, 2015

Good food and service were as expected. A bit crowded and loud but worth it.

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5.0Dined on June 28, 2015

Very good selection for brunch. Great bloody mary'a for brunch. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

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5.0Dined on June 21, 2015

First time for breakfast/brunch. Was delicious and our server was awesome!

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5.0Dined on June 12, 2015

Food was great, very courteous staff, my food was delicious. The waitress had a superb attitude, I'll definitely go back

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4.0Dined on June 7, 2015

We went with friends who have a 2 year old and everyone was happy, food was good and service was excellent. We didn't have to wait, we made an Open Table reservation which I recommend since this place gets very busy. Good experience!

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3.0Dined on May 28, 2015

This restaurant has great potential to be a wonderful southern BBQ joint and perhaps once was, but alas, it has become enamoured with its own success. At our recent experience the help seemed rushed and either unwilling or unable to accommodate our needs. For example, I asked if they could substitute a different vegetable for the mashed potatoes that came with my chicken (too much simple carbs for my diet). No can do! No apologies, and no time to explain. But the bus staff were genuinely gracious. Perhaps they should have trained the table servers?
Will I return? Probably. In Costa Mesa this is about the only game in town for for southern cuisine. But I'll keep an eye out for a competitor.

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5.0Dined on May 17, 2015

First time having chicken and waffles, and they ROCKED!

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4.0Dined on May 14, 2015

was looking for an inexpensive place to take my brother & his gf out for his bday, when they were in town...memphis cafe & their 1/2 price fried chicken, thurs night was the right choice!

they were very accommodating for our party which included my 4 my old son...4 adults got out for less than $100 w/drinks & appetizers. our chicken was some of the best we'd each had and their was live music on the patio.

anytime I've got friends or family in town, Memphis Cafe will be an option!

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5.0Dined on May 10, 2015

They always have the best daily specials… From fish to BBQ. Check out this cool, funky, hip place…And, always try their gumbo! The bartender also makes great drinks, too!

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4.0Dined on May 10, 2015

We had reservations a confirmation # and got a call but when we got there they did not have us down. Hey did seat us but we felt hassled.

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5.0Dined on May 10, 2015

Took my mom and my girlfriend's mom here for mother's day. We sat on the patio, which has room for about 12 tables, decent decor/vibe going on. The only downside to our table was being right next to the electrical box, but I quickly forgot about that once the aroma from the kitchen started wafting out. The food was excellent! I had the pulled pork eggs Benedict, it was de-freaking-licious!! The red pepper hollandaise sauce was perfect with the runny egg yolk and pulled pork...and the potato hash at the bottom was a great surprise. The GF's mom had the southern Benedict and enjoyed that, while my mom had the southern breakfast with the Applewood smoked bacon, the place must make good bloody mary's, so good they had to have 2!! The GF had the pulled pork breakfast burrfito, which has a green chile sauce smothered on top, I "had to" help finish it, fortunately it was delicious. My dad had the chicken and waffles, which he said was the chicken cooked perfectly and was great with the gravy. Overall, it was a great meal and their service was excellent, drinks were flowing for the moms and coffee was refilled a few times. I will definitely be back to try the more southern style dishes!

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4.0Dined on April 11, 2015

The food is always great at Memphis! I had the buttermilk chicken and she had the BBQ of some sort. Both our plates were wiped clean. The Creole Old Fashioned was tasty.

My wife and I had a dinner date this evening. We had a great romantic evening for the two of us.

Although, I've taken a small group of friends there to eat. Unfortunately, the place is really small so taking large parties is not advisable. On the weekends, they have valet service. Otherwise, parking can be a beast.

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5.0Dined on April 3, 2015

Whenever I'm in town i make a point of coming in. If I'm with friends or family that want great food in Costa Mesa it's always my go
To.

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