Remaining much the same as it was when it opened in 1876, A. Schwab's is the kind of store where farmers would have gone every six months to stock up on supplies. The sacks of flour and seed have been replaced with Elvis souvenirs and voodoo accessories, but the wooden floors still squeak under your feet, while the dusty tables hold overalls and an eclectic assortment of merchandise. Not always open in the evening when Beale Street is crowded, this store alone is worth a daytime visit.
Looking for recordings from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s? Look no further, especially for vintage blues, soul and R&B, along with newer music on tape and CD. You will also find some unusual souvenir items here, such as the bricks from the original Stax recording studio. If you are in Memphis on Labor Day (the first Monday in September), check out the Shangri-La Shindig, one of the best parties in town.
If you're looking for designer duds on a budget, visit Celery Ladies Upscale Resale. This consignment shop carries brands such as Prada, Jimmy Choo, J.Crew, and Kate Spade. You'll find a selection of beautiful, shoes, handbags and apparel for a fraction of their original cost. The selection is well-curated, featuring only items that are currently in style. So if you feel like revamping your closet without spending too much, this is the place to come to.
Burke's has been on the Memphis scene for over 125 years, and it is still a favorite, especially when John Grisham pays a visit to sign his latest best-seller. Though not as large as the super-stores, it features a carefully selected assortment of new books, as well as first editions and "previously loved" volumes. This is the kind of shop book lovers will browse for hours. Burke's is now creating a presence online as well, with collectible and autographed copies available to those who prefer to browse the Web.
Whether you're looking for a poodle skirt from the 1950s or a lava lamp from the 1970s, this exciting shop is the place to start. Both kitsch and designer goods from the past century are featured in this store, which stands by itself on Central Avenue near the Mid-South Fairgrounds. The best finds at Flashback are the European Deco items from the first half of the 1900s. You really never know what you might find, and that's a lot of the fun.
Maggie's Pharm is the go-to destination for natural products for the body and home in Memphis. They have an assortment of essential oils, herbs, spices, candles, and other items that are hard to find. Whether you're looking for medicinal herbs, or luxurious, natural bath products, you'll find what you're looking for at this store. It's a great place to go for gifts, or just to experience some amazing scents!
This location is the original Mr. Peanut, complete with glasses and cane. Look for him in the window of this shop along the trolley line—he's been here since 1951, when the shop opened. Inside, you will find peanuts in every form you can imagine—in chocolate candy, peanut brittle, in the shell—as well as in some forms you have probably never encountered. You can also buy other kinds of nuts at The Peanut Shoppe, from pecans to pistachios. If you are not in the mood for nuts, try some of the popcorn from the old-time movie popcorn machine.
Located in a the historic Pinch District of downtown Memphis, this mall is the most convenient antique shop for visitors staying downtown, situated just north of the Convention Center and directly opposite The Pyramid. It can be reached by taking the trolley to the Convention Center.Pinch Antique Mall consists of booths run by individual owners, so there is a wide variety of true antiques, secondhand furniture items and collectibles. Combine a trip to the mall with a visit to one of the restaurants or bars in the neighborhood.
One of the few boutique type shops in the downtown area, Carabella's seems determined to fill the gap by offering all sorts of charming merchandise. Souvenir items such as the "grow-your-own" Cotton Plantation sit side by side with garden fountains, birthday cards and cigar humidors. Buy anything and the staff will find a way to package it for you, cheerfully and efficiently. This store demonstrates what "Southern hospitality" is all about and its location on Second makes it a great place to stop on your way to or from Beale Street.
Find a gift for yourself, your favorite chef or learn how to make new and exciting dishes. Viking Culinary Arts Center offers cooking demonstrations and classes for everyone. Sign up for a class in which you can participate or watch professional chefs demonstrate different techniques and products. Guest chefs come in from all over to demonstrate different styles of cooking from various regions. The store also sells a variety of professional products for any kitchen, from pots and pans to special spices and sauces.
Catering to folks on their way to and from the nightclubs on Beale Street, the crowded, eclectic little shop, Strange Cargo, carries gifts and souvenirs with an adult slant. This is a good place to buy humorous cards to send to friends at home. You can also find gag gift items here, as well as T-shirts with messages that might make some people blush. If you bring the kids, you might have some explaining to do.
This funky shop on Beale Street has all the CDs and cassettes by the great blues and jazz artists who made the Memphis music scene great, such as B.B King and Rufus Thomas. Memphis Music is also a good place to buy blues-related souvenirs, posters, T-shirts and more. Be sure to go all the way to the back of the store, where some great, unusual items can be found. So if you are looking for a quirky gift for a friend, this is the place to shop.