When you hear about the best types of food that Memphis has to offer, they might not be the healthiest of options. First off, we all know that Memphis is known for its BBQ, which does not scream “bikini body” in any way. I’m psyched to say, however, that Memphis does have some hidden healthy gems that will leave you satisfied and guilt-free. With all these healthy food options, we deserve to love ourselves — cue Justin Bieber.
Here is the first tip to nutritious eating: most restaurants will always have healthy options. I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, she wants me to order the salad.” Well, yes. That is what I’m saying. But have no fear because there are many places in Memphis that serve more than just your ordinary house salad.
Belly Acres is best known for its burgers, but they have also put together some amazing and hearty salads. The ingredients in The Acre salad will make you go nuts. Literally. It includes spring mix lettuce, romaine leaves, feta cheese, tomatoes, shaved red onions, roasted pecans, house-made croutons, avocado, and your choice of dressing. You hit all the important food groups and can leave without a stomach ache.
Another hidden gem of Memphis is located in the famous Overton Square. This little place is called Deli on the Square (changed from its previous name: Bogie’s Delicatessen Midtown). The menu includes healthy deli sandwiches, salads, and daily soups. Their special house dressing is light; it includes olive oil and tangy spices that will spruce up your leaves. Pictured above is the Greek salad and the homemade chicken enchilada soup. The atmosphere of this restaurant will also make you feel like you came home for lunch, and if you come back enough, there’s no doubt they’ll remember your name.
There is no need to skip Sunday brunch when you are sticking to a diet. One of the best-known brunch restaurants in Memphis is called The Beauty Shop, which has unique egg dishes and salad options great to start off any day. The Beauty Shop is also known to have incredible lunch and dinner options, but for our purpose here, we’ll stick to brunch. The Hacked Crispy Duck Thai Cobb Salad includes romaine, tomato, snaps, beef jerky, avocado, mango, cheese, hardboiled eggs, and green goddess dressing. After brunch, you can definitely live by The Beauty Shop motto: “Look good. Eat good.”
In contrast to the hidden menu, there are also places in Memphis that truly specialize in salads and are geared towards helping you stay healthy. Cheffies is the number one build-your-own salad restaurant in Memphis.
You can pick from the signature salads or choose to be the chef and get creative. The options are endless, and you wouldn’t believe how much delicious potential a salad could have. One of their signature salads is the Cobb, which includes crunchy romaine, sliced chicken, hard-boiled eggs, applewood smoked bacon, cherry tomatoes, and crumbled blue cheese.
Another of the many options is a Chicken Caesar, which includes crunchy romaine, crunchy croutons, parmesan, and sliced chicken. You can also choose to turn your salad into a sandwich because please, bread is not all that bad for you, or you can choose to exclude the meat for all those vegetarians out there.
Now you don’t always have to turn to the salad section of the menu to feel healthy. Say what?! Yes, it’s true. Real ingredients in your food are sometimes all you need to feel good about yourself and look good, too. Skipping the processed ingredients and watching your portion sizes are crucial to staying healthy. Please, don’t skip out on going out to dinner with friends because you’re afraid that you’ll break your diet. Live a little! Healthy food comes in all forms.
One of the best restaurants in Memphis called South of Beale has incredible classic food options that are the perfect portion sizes. Pictured above is the grilled salmon with maple bacon braised Brussels sprouts. Now that is a savory sweet combination that you have to try.
The last place I’ll mention for all those health addicts out there is the Juice Bar. You can’t experience the healthy life in Memphis without following the trend of juices, smoothies, and açaí bowls. Plenty of fresh greens added to your fruit smoothies will give you the health kick that you need, and their yogurt cups will encourage you to stay healthy throughout your entire day. The popular açaí bowl includes strawberries, blueberries, gogi berries, earthy peanut butter, oats, honey, pistachios, coconut, and cacau nibs all on top of a refreshing blended yogurt smoothie.