South Main Arts District, Memphis
Concierge.com's insider take:
Between Beale Street and G.E. Patterson Avenue, long-abandoned storefronts are steadily being repopulated with boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. Art Village Gallery showcases Nigeria-born—now Memphis local—Ephraim Urevbu's colorful Cubist depictions of African-American culture (410 S. Main St.; 901-521-0782; www.artvillagegallery.com; closed Sun and Mon). Zanzibar café is next door—go on the weekend for live jazz (412 S. Main St.; 901-543-9646; www.zanzibarmemphis.com). Flower and gift shop Gestures stocks silver trays, Memphis Mary Bloody Mary mix, and the inevitable Elvis paraphernalia (509 S. Main St.; 800-370-3023 or 901-525-4438; www.gesturesgifts.com; closed Sun), while you can pick up Emily Ray's freshwater pearl-, semiprecious stone–, and Swarovski crystal–studded jewelry and denim by Odyn and Delta Blues Jeans Co. at Mode du Jour (509 S. Main St.; 901-527-7970; www.modesomain.com). The area's culinary star is Spindini. Its industrial-chic decor—exposed pipes and bricks, chocolate-brown walls, and a prominent bar with blown-glass sculptures—doesn't exactly mesh with Judd Grisanti's homey Italian fare, but it's always packed, and the food (thin-crust pizzas cooked in the wood-burning oven, and Tuscan butter, Mascarpone, and goat cheese fondue) is divine (383 S. Main St.; 901-578-2767; www.spindinimemphis.com).