THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:
Road trips during COVID are the best.
10/10 would recommend jumping in a car, rolling the windows down, and belting the blues all the way to Memphis!
I tried to stay away from the typical places, so hopefully if you’ve never been to Memphis before I captured a bit of the city’s charm that keeps me coming back! 🙂 Without further ado, I give you some of my favorite spots in Memphis, Tennessee.
If you’re looking for some fairytale charm with the old, worn book smell then you’ve found your favorite spot in town. From the second I walked in, I knew I would be in love by the time I walked out.
I could have spent hours here just sitting in the chairs at each section finding books I’d read before, and discovering new ones. It honestly felt so peaceful! One of my favorite things about Burke’s is Fairfield Press! The manager of Burke’s Books owns her own company that hand makes journals, sketchbooks and poetry books. Here is her Instagram so you can check them out! @fairfieldpress Here’s a picture of the journal I picked up for myself (below).
The blue book with a gold leaf is it! I also found a children’s book version of Little Women for $2, and found a new poet to read! The staff were also very kind and helpful. Burke’s was the perfect place to start exploring.
Next to Burke’s is one of my favorite places to grab drinks and a few laughs with friends: Alchemy. I didn’t stop in this time, but if you’re in the area, you might as well drop in during Happy Hour! Across the street was House of Mews, and it took everything in me not to go and befriend the cats in the windows. If you’re in search of a friendly cat to adopt, that would be a fun place to rescue!
If you are a fan of Korean/Mediterranean food LEMME PUT YOU ON THIS. This was my FAVORITE meal I’ve ever had in Memphis!
I got what’s called the “Bi Bim Bop,” which is veggies, chicken, an egg, and rice with sauce all in a bowl. Kwik chek used to be a gas station. It’s been converted into a restaurant, but there are still lots of leftover gas station memorabilia that made me feel like I had really found a good hole-in-the-wall place. I recommend going at least once even if you’re unsure if you like any sort of Korean/mediterranean food!
GET THE BI BIM BOP!
This is a really fun place to just park and walk to visit all the shops! I had never been here before this trip, and I felt like it was definitely less of a tourist hotspot, and more of a local find. Luckily one of my best friends was my guide. 🙂 Most of the places were closed the day we went (on a Monday), but I was told to come back for pizza and the other shops who had similar, but unique items.
I had a raging headache that I knew could only be cured by caffeine, so that was the first order of business on that hot Memphis afternoon. City & State provided just that for me! I recommend the Cappuccino with Oat milk! It hit the spot!
Connected to the cafe is a cute little store that had the most adorable mugs (above)! They had a lot of local goodies around the store to check out, and it was an absolutely picturesque place – very Instagram worthy!
Okay, okay – this is not off the beaten path! I realized that I had never really ventured here because I was either going to see a show at the Orpheum or it was dark and crowded on Beale. With the COVID pandemic still going on, Beale Street was wide open, and it was during the day when we ventured to that part of town.
On a hot summer day, it seemed appropriate to grab a milkshake from A. Schwab and look around for any souvenirs. I intentionally sought out the cheesy, touristy Memphis things here. They had everything from Elvis Presley shirts to homemade butters and jams on the far left wall toward the windows. I picked up some Sweet Potato Butter with Honey, an Elvis shirt and a magnet or two.
I really recommend A. Schwab if you aren’t interested in going to Graceland, or the typical Jerry’s trip, but want to see the parts of Memphis that everyone talks about! Beale has a lot to offer, especially at night. In fact, this place turns into a bar by night!
There were a couple other things I got to do while in Memphis, but these were the highlights! What would be your first stop?
Aaaaaaand…ken we go now?