Share with your friends!

The words “eclectic” and “unique” immediately come to mind when you ask Memphis locals to describe the Cooper-Young neighborhood. The tight-knit community is home to century-old houses, family-owned businesses, local bars, and innovative eateries. If you haven’t experienced this vibrant Memphis neighborhood, you’re overdue! Read on for some of our favorite places to eat, drink, and play in Cooper-Young.

I love Memphis!

Known as one of the more famous murals in Memphis, this is a true Cooper-Young staple. You can find this mural, painted by Brandon Marshall, at the corner of Cooper and York.

EAT

Cooper-Young is known for its delicious dining spots, and some are ranked among the most well-known restaurants in the Memphis area. Cooper-Young has a little something for everyone from Korean BBQ to pizza and sandwiches to fine dining.

  • Alchemy: Known for tasty cocktails and memorable small plates, this casual restaurant and bar is a local gem. They also offer an extensive bourbon and local craft beer list to accompany a round of shared plates.
  • Aldo’s Pizza Pies: Great pizza and craft beer — what more can you ask for? With seating outside, Aldo’s is a fantastic place to take out-of-town guests.
  • Beauty Shop Restaurant and Lounge: “Look Good, Eat Good” is the name of the game. This trendy restaurant is housed in the former Atkins Beauty Salon — rumor has it Priscilla Presley was a regular!
  • Cafe Ole: Tacos and a huge patio … yes, please! While you’re there, grab one of their famous margaritas, and don’t miss the bacon-wrapped shrimp.
  • Cafe Palladio: Cafe Palladio’s lunch menu features hearty sandwiches, salads, and soups. They also offer freshly brewed coffee, teas, and a lineup of desserts to soothe your sweet tooth.
  • Central BBQ: Ranked one of the top three BBQ restaurants since 2003, there’s no denying this joint is delicious. Our recommendation? Go for the nachos and an order of smoked hot wings.
  • Chef Tam’s Underground Cafe: Think of Cajun staples with a Southern twist and a little bit of love sprinkled on for good measure — that’s Chef Tam’s Underground Cafe. A comfort food haven.
  • DWJ Korean BBQ: Cooper-Young’s is the second DWJ location in Memphis serving up authentic Korean BBQ and dishes.
  • Farm & Fig: Not only is Farm & Fig a catering company, but you can also grab “take and bake” dishes from their shop. All you have to do is pop it in the oven, and it’s ready!
  • Hazel’s Lucky Dice Deli: Hazel’s Lucky Dice Deli is now located inside The Beauty Shop for dine-in and takeout. They’ve got delicious sandwiches and salads.
  • Imagine Vegan Cafe: Owned and operated by a husband and wife duo, this vegan cafe brings compassionate food choices with a Southern flair.
  • Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos: If you’re in the mood for authentic tacos, tamales, soups, and fajitas, then this is the spot for you!
  • Mulan Bistro: In the mood for Chinese food? Mulan is your spot in Cooper-Young.
  • Parish Grocery: Get a little glimpse of New Orleans right here in Memphis! Parish Grocery has po’boys, fried shrimp, catfish, crawfish, and more.
  • Soul Fish Cafe: This is the place for soul food. They’re serving up tasty fried catfish, po’boys, smoked chicken, and so many more of your favorites. Ah, sweet Southern comfort.
  • Stone Soup Cafe & Market: Home-style breakfast all day, lunch, and dinner with a market of baked goods — this is your place to go to when you want something like your mama’s cooking.
  • Sweet Grass & Next Door: Sweet Grass specializes in Lowcountry cuisine. Reservations are requested here. Next Door is more of a casual neighborhood hangout bar. Choose your own adventure!
  • Tsunami: Tsunami has a small plate menu that rotates every single day, allowing guests the opportunity to take advantage of the freshest seafood and seasonal offerings.
  • I Love Waffle Cream: Waffle Cream has ice cream waffle cones, shakes, and other tasty treats! You can find the eatery behind the Johnny Cash statue on Cooper Street.
  • Young Avenue Deli: Grab a delicious bite to eat, listen to some live music, and catch up with friends here. They have 36 draft beer selections and 130 can and bottle options. Cheers!
Aldo's Pizza Pies

Get a load of this show-stopping pie from Aldo’s pizza! Image: Aldo’s Pizza Pies

RELATED: Only in Memphis: 10 Things That Make Us Who We Are

DRINK

Are you looking to unwind after a long day or toast to a special occasion with friends? With so many different places to grab a cocktail or a beer, you can change up your scenery every time you visit Cooper-Young.

  • Bar DKDC: This is an intimate music club where you can let loose and drink local beers. If beer isn’t your thing, they also have a huge rum selection and a craft cocktail menu. Hungry? They’ve got international street food that you can grab at the bar.
  • Bluff City Coffee: Whether you prefer an Italian-style espresso, hot tea, or a fruit-filled smoothie, Bluff City Coffee has you covered. They also offer a selection of sweet pastries, breakfast options, and sandwiches for lunch.
  • Celtic Crossing: Grab a pint, listen to great music, and catch up with friends at this local pub. Their drinks aren’t the only good thing — be sure to try out one of their authentic Irish dishes.
  • Hammer and Ale: Hammer and Ale has an ever-changing selection of 24 draft taps and limited-release brews — this spot is ideal for beer enthusiasts.
  • Java Cabana Coffeehouse: This retro coffeehouse has fair trade coffee, espresso drinks, and milkshakes. They even have live music, poetry, and art exhibits. Just check their website to see what’s happening.
  • Knifebird: This neighborhood wine bar has an extensive selection of curated wines, cocktails, and beer. They also offer shareable snacks, cured meats, and artisan cheeses. Perfect for a girls’ night out.
  • Memphis Made Brewing Company: This small independent brewery produces three year-round beers along with seasonal and limited brews.
  • Memphis Whistle: In the mood for local cocktails? Check out the new hot spot, Memphis Whistle.
  • Railgarten: Railgarten is a great place to grab a drink, but it’s so much more than that. Read on for more on this local favorite!
  • Coming Soon: Cooper House Project

Cheese, charcuterie, and wine. What more do you need? Image: Knifebird

PLAY

The most popular place in the Cooper-Young area to hang out and play is Railgarten — it offers 1.5 acres of pure fun. Enjoy pong, live music, games, volleyball, swings, and tasty libations (including frozen rosé). If your mood is more mellow, you can just as easily pull up a chair to relax and people watch. Either way, this is the perfect place to spend a sunny weekend!

So much fun to be had at Railgarten!

Need weekend plans? Railgarten is THE spot in Cooper-Young. Image: Railgarten

SHOP

With a variety of retail in Cooper-Young, you can get everything from books to handmade soaps to vintage clothing. Our suggestion? Make a day of it! You never know what you might find.

  • Arrow Creative: At Arrow Creative, you can explore and shop from various local makers and artists under one roof. Plus, you can take one of their classes to embrace your own creativity!
  • Burke’s Book Store: Burke’s is a nationally known bookstore where you can buy, sell, and trade new, used, and rare books.
  • Buff City Soap: Each bar of soap at Buff City is handcrafted in-store. Made with all-natural ingredients, every single product includes only good-for-you materials like petals, lemon zest, hemp seed oil, shea butter, and more. No harsh chemicals here!
  • Coco and Lola’s: Coca and Lola’s is Memphis’ top lingerie shop, winning the Best of Memphis Award several years running! They offer a wide array of sizes and styles for all occasions.
  • Cooper-Young Gallery and Gift Shop: This may be the ultimate stop for Memphis gifts. Find one-of-a-kind items from local makers at Cooper-Young Gallery & Gift Shop.
  • FOX+CATVINTAGE: This unique vintage store, mainly featuring women’s clothing and accessories, has everything from the early 1900s to the 1990s. Shop shoes, gowns, designer pieces, and other unique items.
  • Flashback: Here, you’ll find items dating back to the 1920s through the ’80s. From funky ’50s to modern art, you’ll have a ball.
  • Graham’s Lighting: From charming chandeliers to the perfect lighting for your kitchen, Graham’s Lighting is a great local spot to upgrade your home.
  • Grivet Outdoors: Ready for your next adventure? Grivet Outdoors has everything you need!
  • Goner Records: This is your spot if you’re into collecting records. Their vintage and collectible selection spans soul, blues, funk, and more.
  • Loudean’s: Loudean’s is a ladies’ boutique carrying vintage finds like handbags, jewelry, scarves, and hats.
  • Memphis Drum Shop: Memphis Drum Shop offers beginners, semi-pros, and pro drummers everything from acoustic drums, electronic drums, hand percussion instruments, and more. Plus, there’s a repair department!
  • Midtown Nursery: This shop has an outdoor nursery with everything from vegetables to houseplants for all your floral and garden needs. They also sell gift items, assorted plant containers, and landscape services.
  • Palladio Home and Garden: Whether you’re shopping for interior or exterior decor, Palladio has you covered. With a blend of antique finds and current trends, this is your one-stop-shop for garden and home amenities.
  • Revolutions Bike Co-Op: This nonprofit organization sells refurbished bikes and memberships to its workshop to fund education and outreach programs for riders of all ages and skill levels, creating a cycle of exploration (pun intended).
Shop 'till you drop!

Stop in for gifts and amazing art! Image: Cooper-Young Gallery & Gift Shop

SPAS

When it comes to pampering yourself, Cooper-Young is the place to be. Whether you’re in the market for a massage, manicure, or a fresh haircut, it’s all available within walking distance.

  • Glo Medical Aesthetics & Hair Spa: This is a luxury medical aesthetics practice and hair spa. They offer injectables, medical-grade skincare, laser treatments, full hair services, expert makeup applications, and bridal and event hair services.
  • Midtown Massage and Bodywork: Whether it be barefoot, therapeutic, or Thai, Midtown Massage offers a variety of options for relaxing and refreshing tired muscles.
  • Pavo Salon: An Aveda Lifestyle Salon, Pavo offers the latest cuts, styling, and color. They also offer facial and body waxing. Be sure to make an appointment before stopping by!
  • The Polish Bottle: The Polish Bottle offers nail care, eyebrow waxing, lash extensions, and more. Unwind with a glass of wine and your best gals, or even host a private party.
Treat yourself!

Pamper yourself at Pavo Salon. Image: Pavo Salon Spa

RELATED: Your Ultimate Guide to South Main: A Hot Spot with Rich History 

SWEAT

Yes, there are even places to get your sweat on in Cooper-Young. It doesn’t matter if you’re into kickboxing, yoga, or you’re looking for a one-on-one workout with a personal trainer, you can pick and choose your desired fitness activity in this bustling Memphis neighborhood that really seems to have it all.

  • Inbalance Fitness: If group fitness settings aren’t your thing, Inbalance Fitness may be the option you’re looking for. This facility is dedicated to personal training.
  • Memphis Fitness Kickboxing: This kickboxing class is a 50- to a 60-minute interval training session that includes plyometric exercises, yoga poses, resistance, and cardiovascular training. Each class starts with a warm-up followed by several rounds of combinations with the heavy bag and finishes with abdominal exercises.
  • Mind/body HAUS: mind/body HAUS is a yoga and fitness studio that offers heated and non-heated power flow, vinyasa yoga, and fitness classes like boot camp and cardio dance. Their objective? Move your body, clear your mind, and share in love and health.
Connect your mind, body and soul while breaking a little sweat at mind/body HAUS.

Connect your mind, body, and soul while breaking a sweat at mind/body HAUS. Image: mind/body HAUS

 

Don't miss out on the Cooper-Young Fest!

Don’t forget about the Cooper-Young Festival that happens every year. Hosted by the Cooper-Young Business Association, Memphis’ favorite outdoor party is a true celebration of people, culture, arts, and Memphis heritage.

Happy exploring!

**********

For more neighborhood highlights, click here!

Share with your friends!