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Most unique/ecclectic restaurant downtown?

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Memphis
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Most unique/ecclectic restaurant downtown?

Looking for a recommendation for a restaurant downtown within walking distance of the main hotel/bar area by the river. I don't want to take a cab, but I don't mind walking a bit.

Would like something rather unique that I can't find anywhere else...price doesn't matter, but I would prefer something fun over something quiet and upscale. However - no country-western themes. Just a cool place to eat, good food, something that locals might go to with friends on a weekend night.

I know it's a pretty general question, but any suggestions welcome.

Tn
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1. Re: Most unique/ecclectic restaurant downtown?

My favorite is the Old Spaghetti Factory on 2nd Street.

Is a train caboose in the middle of the place unique enough? You really do have to see the inside of this place and have the cheese garlic bread!

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Nashville, Tennessee
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2. Re: Most unique/ecclectic restaurant downtown?

I like the Old Spaghetti Factory as well but is the steakhouse that you cook your own steak still on 2nd ave. It is good and its fun. The Spaghetti Factory is just a unique place to see! What about Bebe Kings?

Nashville, TN
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for Nashville
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3. Re: Most unique/ecclectic restaurant downtown?

You're talking about a pretty touristy area by the river. I'm not sure there is much local activity in thew Lower Broad area.

If you're willing to branch out, try Germantown Cafe, Watermark, Radius10. Or cross the river to Margot.

Gainesville, Georgia
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4. Re: Most unique/ecclectic restaurant downtown?

what about rotiers or the white trash cafe or a world class chili dog at brown's diner?

Nashville, Tennessee
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5. Re: Most unique/ecclectic restaurant downtown?

Second to what NashPam said - pretty much all the restaurants aong 1st, 2nd, and lower Broadway are tourist-focused. There are a couple of chains (joe's crab shack, melting pot, spaghetti factory) and plenty of country music-shtick, but nothing that really meets your description. Sole Mio is in that area, but is mid- to upscale, as is Arpeggio in the Symphony building.

I'd recommend a short cab ride up RuSan's sushi or one of the restaurants in the Gulch (12th ave. S.), Flyte on Division St., or maybe Mad Platter or Germantown Cafe up in Germantown. If you're ok with bar food, you could try sandwiches at Piranha's on 2nd. ave. You're from Memphis, so I won't insult you by recommending any of the tourist BBQ places...

Memphis
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6. Re: Most unique/ecclectic restaurant downtown?

Thank you for the replies! In Memphis, our downtown has a large touristy theme on Beale St, but also has a huge locals area as well with lots of nice restaurants and bars that are mainly filled with local residents who live downtown.

I have seen the area by RuSan's, and it was after dark and of course I am not familiar with the area.. but it looked sort of creepy. Do I have a totally wrong impression? The area looked empty and dark except for that place. Maybe I was asleep at the wheel and wasn't paying attention though. I am not completely against taking a cab, but I am always hesitant to take a cab somewhere isolated. I know the restaurant is extremely popular.

Nashville, Tennessee
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7. Re: Most unique/ecclectic restaurant downtown?

The Gulch area has improved over the last couple of years - that's mostly been spurred on by a rush to build bunches of swanky condos. There are a couple good music venues (Station Inn & City Hall) and in addition to RuSan’s there's Watermark and Sambuca for restaurants, and Bar Twenty3 (which closes for good Oct 31). All of these are within about a 1-block radius of the intersections of 11th ave S, 12th ave S, and Pine St. There are always people coming & going from these places, and it's easy to get a cab called.

The area immediately surrounding gets a little bit shady - not dangerous per se, but poorly lit & not much traffic at night.

Nashville, Tennessee
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8. Re: Most unique/ecclectic restaurant downtown?

There is absolutely nothing unique about the Germantown cafe. it is good but not that different. What about Monell's, it is pretty unique in that you sit with a bunch of people and the food is served family style. They have a website you can look at.

Memphis
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9. Re: Most unique/ecclectic restaurant downtown?

Wallace63 - thank you! That is exactly the info I needed. Downtown Memphis is like that as well; an area might be sort of dark and empty, but not necessarily dangerous. Hard to see the difference though if you are not familiar with the area. Thanks to everyone for the help!

St. Augustine...
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10. Re: Most unique/ecclectic restaurant downtown?

Another great place to visit is South Street great location wonderful crowd tons of fun and good food. If you go see if you can sit in the treehouse tons of fun