The Perks of Memphis: Coffee Houses Made for Studying

The Hogwarts-esque staircase, lounge chairs that feel like you’re sitting in a cloud, staring at the constellations on the ceiling of the apse—there is no place like Paul Barret, Jr. Library. But sometimes that Sunday morning comes when you just can’t handle another white mocha latte from the Middle Ground after you have already spent what feels like half of your week staring at the same library bookcase. At these points, it’s time to go beyond the Rhodes gates to take advantage of the numerous places to study in Memphis.

Java Cabana

2170 Young Avenue

Nestled in the Cooper-Young district, Java Cabana often hosts live, local music. One of the perks of Java Cabana is that it’s never too crowded. You can always find a place to sit on one of the pieces of mismatched furniture. Full of vintage clothing and random pieces of artwork, Java Cabana doesn’t feel like a typical coffee shop—so it’s perfect if you’re looking for something different.


641 South Cooper Street

Otherlands is considered one of the “hipster” coffee shops of Memphis. Composed of multiple rooms full of your grandfather’s furniture, it offers an eccentric environment to do your work. It also has spacious patio for those good-weathered days. Otherlands also serves beer along with great snack and lunch food. The “bagel sandwich thing,” which is surprisingly its official name, is an Otherlands staple.

The Republic

2512 Union Avenue

The Republic, though still a coffee shop, has a restaurant feel to it. The two-person and four-person booths give you plenty of space to spread out your work while ordering a pumpkin latte from the table-service wait staff. The greatest part of The Republic is the delicious menu, which changes according to the time of day—breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late night snacks.

Café Eclectic

603 N. McLean

Just a five-minute walk from campus, Café Eclectic is a Rhodes College institution, especially on a Sunday morning. The quaint brunch spot puts a spin on traditional breakfast food, including a bacon waffle with avocado and several variations of French toast. Sitting at a sidewalk table, drinking milkshakes or Crème Brülatte, will make any day of studying more pleasant.

Bluff City

505 S. Main District

Located in the South Main Historic District, Bluff City coffee shop is quite picturesque. Modeled after an Italian coffee shop, it serves fresh pastries and specializes in breakfast sandwiches. Bluff City doesn’t even have a pot of brewed coffee. All of their coffee drinks are espresso-based. If you’re up for a classic Memphis Saturday morning, grab a book, sit by the window, munch on a frittata, and watch the trolley pass by.