Little Tea Shop

One of the best

We love the do-it-yourself ordering process at the Little Tea Shop. Every customer gets a one-page printed menu of the day – there is a different menu for each day of the week – with a little box next to each item. Like voting with an old-fashioned ballot, you put a check mark in the box next to each dish you want to elect for your lunch.

We vote for the everyday Tea Shop special of turnip greens. These are big-time greens, whole-leaf heaps of heavy vegetable goodness, soft and dark, with a commanding tonic flavor. They are served with corn sticks on the side; a common custom is to crumble the corn into the greens as one eats.

Many of the downtown crowd who have made the Little Tea Shop their mid-day home for decades come to eat nothing more than a chicken salad sandwich, but if you are looking for a (non-barbecue) taste of Memphis, look to the top of the menu for such once-a-week treats as fried chicken on Tuesday, chicken and dressing Wednesday, and fried catfish Friday. Good as such entrees are, this kitchen’s vegetables are their equal: creamed potatoes or sliced candied yams, fried corn, baked squash, black-eyed peas, or scalloped tomatoes … plus, of course, those lovely little corn sticks to munch alongside.

The dessert list is short and wonderful: apple cobbler, cobbler with ice cream or – our choice – a frozen pecan ball with hot fudge.

What to Eat
Little Tea Shop, Turnip Greens
Turnip Greens
Here's a meal to make you feel strong as Popeye. The intense vegetable flavor of the greens and their likker is brilliantly haloed by the sharp taste of onion and the sweetness of the tomato on top. Several years ago, proprietor Suhair Lauck eliminated pork from the recipe (and from the Little Tea Shop kitchen), but the taste of these greens is, if anything, even more luxurious than before.
Little Tea Shop, corn sticks
corn sticks
Corn sticks come with every meal. They are warm, crunchy, and earthy-flavored.
Little Tea Shop, Lacey Special
Lacey Special
The immemorial Lacey Special: chicken and dressing topped with corn sticks and gravy. At the top: clove-scented sweet potato; bottom: a timbale of rice.
Little Tea Shop, Pecan Ball
Pecan Ball
The must-eat dessert on Memphis's Cotton Row: a Little Tea Shop ice cream pecan ball shrouded in chocolate.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Monday11 am - 2 am
Tuesday11 am - 2 am
Wednesday11 am - 2 am
Thursday11 am - 2 am
Friday11 am - 12 am
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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