540 S Main St
Memphis, TN 38103-4810

The Arcade

Neighborhoods: South Main Historic District Association
Cuisine: Southern, Greek, Catering

The Arcade is a Southern, Greek, and Catering restaurant where most Menuism users paid less than $10 and tipped more than 18%.

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12 / 20
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 Memphis, TN

Fun place to have lunch.

We’ve been twice to The Arcade for lunch since moving to Memphis in August. It’s one of the closest eating establishments to our apartment, but we don’t have occasion to go to breakfast-and-lunch-only restaurants very often.

We’ve been charmed by the looks and history of the place both times we’ve gone. It’s not designed to look like an old-time diner… it IS one. Everything feels authentic, old, and worn-in, without feeling dilapidated or worn-out. The diner-style eating bar even has places at each seat where the surface finish is worn right through, showing the layer underneath. It brings to mind the thousands of busnessmen, police officers, trolley drivers, and other Memphians and tourists that have sat in those very same seats over the years. Eating in a restaurant that still has the same booth that Elvis sat in is just kind of a neat experience.

I will appologize in advance for not remembering the names of the sandwiches I have eaten there. Many of them have fun, unique names like “The Downtowner” and “The Usual,” but I wasn’t thinking “review” as I ordered, so I don’t remember which is which.

On our first trip, I had a sandwich with melted brie and, I believe, ham (But it may have been turkey). I think it had garlic aioli, or perhaps dijon mustard. What I can say for certain is it was fabulous! I think I made “yummy” noises with each bite of at least the first half of the sandwich. A little messy, but who wants a hot sandwich that doesn’t drop some of its fillings onto the plate?

This last time, it was a sandwich of artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, and a pesto aioli. Again, a fantastic filling that was messy and delicious. Unfortunately, this time it was served on a bun that must have been sitting in a slit-open bag, because about half of the bottom of the bun was too stale to eat. It didn’t ruin the entire sandwich, but it really took away from the experiene of an otherwise well-put-together meal.

On our most recent trip, my fiancee had a pancake breakfast. It included hash browns and bacon. Everything was quite good. She had craved some pancakes, and these satisfied. They were light and fluffy, but large enough to fill her up.

Really the only negative thing I could say was that one time I had a bun that was partially very stale, and I’ve had buns at my own house suffer the same fate of a slit in the bread bag. I could have sent the sandwich back, and I’m sure I would have gotten courteous service and an apology, but it just wasn’t that big a deal.

Overall summary: nice wait staff, quick kitchen, fun menu, and delicious food. It’s a super example of a historic diner, but with a menu that adds some savvy sandwich selections to its tradtional “diner” food. If you live here and haven’t eaten here, you really must. And if you’re lucky enough to be visiting downtown Memphis before 2:00 pm, I highly suggest you stop by here for lunch.

Southern Reservations Takeout
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The Arcade  Restaurant Reviews

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