Cozy Corner

Bar-b-q | Smoke House
Worth driving from anywhere!

If you have time for just one barbecue meal in Memphis (or anywhere on planet earth), go to Cozy Corner. It is a hazy storefront shop with a self-service counter, a smoker in the vestibule and blues music playing in the small dining room to the side. Presiding over this small, sweet-smelling empire is Desiree Robinson, widow of the founder, Raymond Robinson, who had been the city’s supreme pitmaster for more than two decades until his passing in 2001. Mrs. Robinson and her children are maintaining the Cozy Corner as it was when Raymond was boss, and it remains THE place to go for unsurpassed barbecue in a city that is full of great barbecue parlors.

Virtually everything you can order off the wall-mounted menu is ecstatically wonderful, but we like the sliced pork shoulder best of all. Blanketed with spice, it develops a devilish blackened crust that seals in the meat’s juices, yielding nuggets that are lip-tingling hot and downright voluptuous. Spare ribs are roasted over charcoal until tender enough to eat with pleasure (but not too tender the way mass-cooked baby back ribs can be). The rib meat is lush and peppery, infused with flavor and yet surprisingly lean. The house specialty is barbecued Cornish hen – a small bird with burnished skin and dripping-moist meat inside. The best-selling dish in the house is barbecued boloney. Baloney is big in Memphis, and it’s on virtually every good smokehouse menu, even though most tourists bypass it for ribs or pulled pork shoulder. Understand that this is no paper-thin slice of pre-cut baloney like you buy in a pack from the cold cut rack of the supermarket. It is a thick slab that gets dry-rubbed with pepper and spice, charcoal-cooked, then sauced and put into a bun with cole slaw: a delicious, piggy mess.

One surprise winner when the 2013 Roadfood eating tour passed through Memphis was Cozy Corner’s smoked beef sausage. It is juicy and radiant with spice.

Among the not-to-be-missed side dishes is barbecued spaghetti: soft noodles bathed in Cozy Corner’s lip-tingling-hot barbecue sauce.

What to Eat
Cozy Corner, BBQ Cornish Hen
BBQ Cornish Hen
Specialty of the house: BBQ Cornish hen
Cozy Corner, Ribs
You won't find better ribs anywhere than those served by Cozy Corner.
Cozy Corner, Baloney
When it's properly barbecued, as it is in many Memphis smoke houses, baloney transcends its status as "lunchmeat" and becomes a whole other category of food. Here it is served in typical local style, with cole slaw piled in the bun. The slaw and sauce pool together on the plate to make a wonderful sweet 'n' hot gravy.
Cozy Corner, BBQ Spaghetti
BBQ Spaghetti
One of the unusual Memphis side dishes for barbecued meat is barbecued spaghetti: noodles dressed with soulful sweet/tangy sauce totally unlike marinara or bolognese.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Tuesday11 am - 6 pm
Wednesday11 am - 6 pm
Thursday11 am - 6 pm
Friday11 am - 6 pm
Saturday11 am - 6 pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
7 stops | 41 MILES | 1 hr 14 min

Memphis is a bonanza of world-class barbecue, smoked and served in humble storefront shops as well as booming dinner halls. Anything and everything can be had barbecued in this city, from such oddities as barbecue salad and barbecue bologna to the delicate wonder of a Cozy Corner cornish hen. Ribs are the star attraction in…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Cupboard Restaurant

    Memphis, Tennessee

    The Cupboard of Memphis is all about fresh vegetables, well over a dozen of which are on the menu daily. For dessert: some of the best cream pies anywhere.

  • Alex’s Tavern

    Memphis, Tennessee

    Alex’s is a smoky dive where the chef-bartender lumbers back to the kitchen to cook Greek Burgers, some of the best bar burgers anywhere.

  • Helen’s BBQ

    Brownsville, Tennessee

    Real Tennessee pit barbecue still can be found at Helen’s, an out-of-the-way, smoke-worn shack serving sandwiches worth any detour.

  • Four Way Restaurant

    Memphis, Tennessee

    Legendary home for true Southern soul food since 1946, Four Way has been through many changes, but it remains a worthy Memphis destination.

  • Earnestine and Hazel’s

    Memphis, Tennessee

    A former infamous bordello and haunted bar, Earnestine and Hazel’s is home of the Soul Burger, one of Memphis’ best bites between buns.

  • Gibson’s Donuts

    Memphis, Tennessee

    Gibson’s is a friendly, high-quality, round-the-clock donut shop. Its World’s Fair donuts are tasty curiosities. Red velvet and Oreo donuts are must-tries.