Cupboard Restaurant

Bakery | Meat-and-Three | Vegetarian
Memorable
One of the best
Save

Opened in 1943, The Cupboard Restaurant built a reputation for great vegetables. Now located in a former Shoney’s on Union Ave., it has gone from ramshackle charm to corporate efficiency with plenty of parking and a comfortable dining room with broad enough aisles for waitresses to tote plates overflowing with good things to eat.

Vegetables remain the foundation — none of them prepared using any sort of animal fat. The Cupboard’s printed menu, which is different for each day of the week, lists a choice of eighteen to twenty vegetables, along with about five entrees and desserts. Among the main courses are such plate-lunch paradigms as baked chicken and dressing, beef tips with noodles, and a fried veal cutlet. One entrée plus three vegetables – served on an unbreakable partitioned plate, so buttered squash doesn’t mingle with rutabaga turnips – costs under $15.

Many customers skip the entrée altogether and get a four-vegetable plate, sweet tea on the side, plus blackberry cobbler or lemon ice box pie for dessert. All meals come with a basket that holds creamy-centered cornbread gem muffins and yeast rolls.

Of special note among the veggies are plain sliced fresh tomatoes (and we do mean fresh, in season!) as well as tangy fried green tomatoes. The sweet potato is one whole one, baked in its skin until marshmallow-soft. And we love the luxurious corn pudding.

Cupboard cookbooks are available for sale near the cash register, and they contain excellent recipes, many of which depend on the freshness of seasonal produce.

What to Eat
Cupboard Restaurant, Vegetables
Vegetables
Must-Try
Steamed cabbage, eggplant casserole, crowder peas, and fried green tomatoes.
Cupboard Restaurant, Yeast Rolls
Yeast Rolls
Must-Try
Tiny cornbread gem muffins with puffy yeast rolls. Both arrive oven-hot.
Cupboard Restaurant, Lemon Icebox Pie
Lemon Icebox Pie
Must-Try
Lemon ice box pie is silk-smooth and cool, a precise balance of sweetness and citrus tang.
Cupboard Restaurant, Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
Must-Try
Dessert tour de force: lemon meringue pie that is taller than it is wide
Directions and Hours
open now
Sunday7am - 8pm
Monday7am - 8pm
Tuesday7am - 8pm
Wednesday7am - 8pm
Thursday7am - 8pm
Friday7am - 8pm
Saturday7am - 8pm
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No
Website

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • 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.

  • Bryant’s Breakfast

    Memphis, Tennessee

    Excellent biscuits star at Bryant’s Breakfast in Memphis, along with every kind of pork there is, from ham and bacon to thick-sliced grilled bologna.