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Food Fit for A King - Elvis Presley's Memphis Restaurants and Favourite Feasts

Updated: Mar 29


Elvis Presley Memphis Restaurants

**Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Regardless of this, please be advised that all opinions expressed in this blog post are genuine and authentically my own.**

Author: Barry Pickard

Contents


In our previous blog, I kicked off our Elvis series with a trip to the iconic Graceland. Certainly, this mansion should be top of the list to visit for any fan of Elvis, but Memphis has so much more for fans to see and experience. Indeed, you don’t even need to be an Elvis aficionado to enjoy yourself.


During my research into Elvis related attractions, I realised that food played an important part in the life of the King. His appetite in later life may have been legendary, but it seems to me that throughout his life he liked nothing better than having good, wholesome meals, in down to earth local restaurants with his friends.

So in my Memphis itinerary I included meals at two restaurants that had strong connections with Elvis – indeed, I was to have delicious meals ‘fit for a King’! Enjoy my culinary journey to the legendary Coletta's and Arcade restaurants.


Don’t forget that Tailor-Made Itineraries delights in creating bespoke self-guided tours. So, if visiting these restaurants appeals to you, reach out to me by email. I would be more than happy to design a self-guided tour around your requirements incorporating the Elvis Presley Memphis restaurants, or indeed, a general tour of the exciting city of Memphis.


Elvis Presley's Memphis Restaurants

Coletta's Restaurant

Address: 1063 S Pkwy E, Memphis, TN 38106


First up was a late lunch at Coletta’s Restaurant. This Italian eatery first opened its doors in 1923 and judging by the food, it is easy to see why it has remained open for so long and has become the oldest restaurant in Memphis. I sat in the backroom of the restaurant, right next to the table that Elvis himself would sit at. Obviously this photo opportunity could not be missed!

Please note that Coletta's have two restaurants in Memphis, with the one you want to visit being near Graceland, on South Parkway.


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Coletta's Restaurant Elvis Presley Memphis Restaurants
Coletta's Restaurant - Elvis' favourite table


According to local legend, Elvis’ favourite meal at Coletta’s was their barbecue pizza, even though it was said that he wasn’t actually fond of barbecue itself! There was only one thing to do, and that was to order the pizza. What was presented to me was an impressive 12” pizza stacked thick with BBQ pork and mozzarella. The pizza was so stacked that you couldn’t begin to lift up a slice before it collapsed. A knife and fork were the order of the day.

Coletta's barbecue pizza Elvis Presley Memphis Restaurants
Coletta's Restaurant - Menu


In the man versus food competition that I had embarked on, I lost horribly, getting through perhaps only two thirds of the pizza before having to concede defeat. Thankfully Coletta’s boxed up the remainder for me to have later.

Read on to discover the favourite breakfast spot of Elvis.


Coletta's Restaurant
Coletta's Restaurant


Arcade Restaurant

Address: 540 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103


The next morning, I had an early date at the Arcade Restaurant. I booked 3 months ahead on their website, as I wanted to occupy the Elvis booth, which can be found at the back of the restaurant and was his regular spot. I was unsure what his favourite breakfast was, but, according to their menu, their specialty was the classic southern breakfast treat of sweet potato pancakes, so this was the order of the day for me.

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Arcade Restaurant Elvis Presley Memphis Restaurants
Breakfast at Arcade Restaurant Elvis Presley Memphis Restaurants
More breakfast at Arcade Restaurant


I found the Arcade to be busy, friendly and a retro classic. It is said to be the oldest café in Memphis, having been opened by Spero Zepatos in 1919, and is still family owned today. Interestingly, the Arcade has been featured in a number of Hollywood films – including Mystery Train, Great Balls of Fire, The Client, The Firm and Walk the Line. I couldn’t say that I recognised it from the films, but it certainly has a great atmosphere and look and well worth going to just for the food.

Arcade Restaurant Elvis Presley Memphis Restaurants
Arcade Restaurant


Where to Stay


If you are looking to stay near Graceland, there are a couple of excellent choices, such as The Guest House at Graceland, and the Holiday Inn Express. There are also budget options, such as the Super 7 Inn, and the Comfort Inn Airport.


If you are looking to stay nearer the centre of Memphis, there are a number of luxury options, such as the MOXY Memphis Downtown, and the ARRIVE Memphis. As for a more budget option, you won't go far wrong with the Best Western Plus Gen X Inn, or the La Quinta by Wyndham Memphis Downtown.


Conclusion


I hope you enjoyed my journey following in the footsteps of the King of Rock and Roll as I savoured the flavours of Memphis at Coletta's Restaurant and The Arcade Restaurant. These two iconic establishments offer a magical taste of Memphis' rich culinary heritage and a glimpse into the life of the legendary musician.


Related Blog Posts

If you are interested in finding out more about Elvis, please view the Tailor-Made Itineraries posts below:


Comment below and let me know what was your favourite Elvis restaurant.

Don’t forget that Tailor-Made Itineraries delights in creating bespoke self-guided tours. So, if visiting these restaurants appeals to you, reach out to me by email. I would be more than happy to design a self-guided tour around your requirements incorporating the Elvis Presley Memphis restaurants, or indeed, a general tour of the exciting city of Memphis.

Tailor-Made Itineraries posts every two weeks, and you can subscribe to the latest blog and newsletter here. Until then, happy reading and safe travels.

Barry

Tailor-Made Itineraries creates one-of-a-kind bespoke self-guided travel itineraries for adventurous and curious travellers.

These self-guided tours deliver a personalised and exciting holiday experience that takes the effort out of trip planning.


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