Restaurant and Menu Collection

“Grisanti’s on Main.” Restaurant and Menu Collection

About This Collection

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

The Restaurant and Menu Collection will include all things related to dining in Memphis, and it all starts with the menus of Fredric Koeppel.


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“Zinnie’s, 1992.” Restaurant and Menu Collection

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Luau Menu

“Luau, 1968.” Restaurant and Menu Collection

Food helps to bring us together, allowing us to share experiences and define ourselves as a community. The culinary history of Memphis is as strong and proud as the legacy of our musical heritage and as diverse as the sounds that have been recorded here.

For 20 years, Fredric Koeppel served as the restaurant critic for the Commercial Appeal. As he traveled  through the culinary landscapes of Memphis, he acquired an impressive collection of menus from the restaurants he visited. Often covered in handwritten notes and wine stains, the menus in the collection tell thousands of stories – of chefs moving and growing, of visionaries experimenting and inspiring, of Memphis’ notoriety as a foodie destination ever-growing, and of traditions enduring.

It is our hope that this collection will continue to grow as others add their materials related to the restaurants of Memphis.  If you would like to donate items for this collection, please contact the History Department at Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library.  The department can be reached at (901) 415-2742 or