The student voice of St. George's Independent School.

The Lodge

The student voice of St. George's Independent School.

The Lodge

The student voice of St. George's Independent School.

The Lodge

Top 6 Best Study Places in the Memphis Area

Photo: Sienna Lightman

As the semester seems to be getting harder and harder and assignments are piling in, students may find themselves struggling to find motivation to get work done. I especially struggle with doing homework at home, so here are my go-to places where I can actually get homework or studying done.

Before we begin, I have a few things to note about my possible bias towards this topic. When I am studying, I absolutely need some sort of food and caffeine, so all of these places have that to offer. I also like a cozy chair and somewhere to set down my computer. Also, noise does not matter to me too much, but I do not enjoy it when it is crazily loud and crowded. For rankings, I will rate each place out of ten based on the descriptions below.

Starbucks: 6/10 (5048 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN)
Starting nice and simple, Starbucks is a very popular place to go and get some work done. They have a wide variety of coffees, teas and treats. The thing about Starbucks is that each location has a different arrangement of seating, making some locations easier to study than others.

My personal favorite Starbucks is located on Poplar in East Memphis (address above), by Whole Foods. It has lots of comfortable seating areas and has a nice open arrangement as opposed to other locations, like the ones on Houston Levee and Winchester, which both get claustrophobic. This is because they get very busy and do not have a lot of comfortable seating to get work done.

The food and drinks at Starbucks are good but somewhat expensive and not locally made. Every location can get loud during busy hours with lots of mobile orders coming through, and sometimes angry customers are waiting for their orders. Also, as a fan of supporting local businesses, I would definitely prefer to go to other places in the Memphis area that have even better coffee to offer and more comfortable seating.

Jojo’s Expresso: 8.5/10 (1730 S Germantown Rd, Unit 114, Germantown, TN)
Jojo’s is a lesser-known local business that has truly some of the best drinks and food I have ever had. Jojo’s Expresso is located in a somewhat new shopping center off of South Germantown Road alongside TCBY, Moondance Grill and Bella Vita.

When I first discovered this coffee shop last fall, I walked in astonished by a fully packed little space with Harry Potter themed decor and a fall Harry Potter drink menu. I loved their Butterbeer and wide arrangement of muffins. They have very comfortable chairs and couches with desk space for a computer and a notebook, but it can be crowded at certain times and seating fills up fast.

The staff is friendly and makes orders quickly. I have gotten a lot of calculus homework done here. The only negative is that they are closed on Sundays and close at six at night, but it is perfect for a Saturday study day or a quick after-school homework and coffee time.

Panera: 9/10 (7850 Poplar Ave, Germantown, TN)
You can never go wrong with Panera. They have such a wide variety of food and drink selections that it is almost impossible to choose what you want. They have options ranging from lattes to pizzas to bowls to even their infamous charged lemonades (don’t drink these, they have a lot of health risks and do not taste good).

If you are planning on going to Panera, I recommend their Germantown location (address shown above) because, from past experience, their East Memphis location tends to be very crowded most of the time, and sometimes I cannot find seating.

I have probably spent half of my time studying at Panera this year. This led to the point where I refused to leave one weekend until I had written eight college supplemental essay drafts (I also wrote my college essay at Panera).

The combination of being able to eat any meal there with so many options and comfortable seating makes you never want to leave. You can put in a mobile order for more food on your phone and when you hear your name, go get what you ordered. Also, at the Germantown location, I love the little nook on the side that usually has fewer people. Another plus is their very long hours. They are open seven days a week! You could be there from 6 am to 9 pm (don’t actually do that).

Aside from not being a small local business and sometimes being busy, especially during exam season, Panera is a perfect place to get lots of study and homework hours in, especially with a study group.

Levee Creamery: 9.5/10 (2059 S Houston Levee Rd, Collierville, TN)
After a long day at school or practice, Levee Creamery is a perfect place to get some work done with their very unique menu: ice cream and coffee. Why exactly? Because it is right next to St. George’s. This is the only place in Memphis where I have seen this combination, and it is amazing. I mean coffee and ice cream? There is not a better combo than that. They have many different flavors to choose from of both ice cream and coffee and have very quick and friendly service. Personally, I think their coffee is better than Starbucks because it is locally brewed.

Because I live in East Memphis, I tend to get to school way too early in order to avoid traffic, so I will sometimes go to Levee and get a coffee and a muffin and do some last-minute studying before school starts. The only downside I can think of is that they do not have many food options so you can unfortunately not have a meal there unless you plan to eat ice cream for dinner.

A big pro for me is that when I leave school during rush hour after traffic, I can drive over to Levee and do homework to avoid the traffic while also blessing myself with some mint chocolate chip ice cream.

On top of all of this, they are usually not too busy, have very comfortable seating options and have a great music playlist playing most of the time. It is such a great place to get work done with friends, and they are a local business!

Belltower Coffee: 9.8/10 (6903 Great View Dr N, Memphis, TN)
For this review, I am specifically talking about the location at Shelby Farms. This location can be found in the Shelby Farms Visitor Center looking over the lake. The store has lots of windows with sunlight flowing through and has beautiful scenery of the park everywhere you look.

There is both indoor and outdoor seating with chairs and tables, and there are many different food and drink options. They have coffees, teas, bakery items such as scones and bagels and food such as wraps and hummus. My favorite options are their apple cider and macarons.

The staff is friendly and so is every single person I have ever seen in the shop. People are having work interviews, doing work or just spending quality time with each other. Though it can get a little loud, the open format of the space and the windows help. I also wish they had couches or cushions, but it is a smaller space so it makes sense why they do not. Belltower is the perfect place for a group study session or just a place for you to do some homework.

Congregation Coffee (10/10) (3060 Forest Hill Irene Rd, Germantown, TN)
If you are like me, you love newly opened local businesses, especially coffee shops. Although I have only been to Congregation Coffee once, it blew me away. The building itself is beautiful, located off of Forest Hill Irene by the Germantown Target.

It has an upstairs loft area with a spiral staircase for more seating and has a lot of downstairs seating options as well. They also have a quiet office space for people wanting to work in silence.

Their coffee is incredible due to it being freshly brewed with so many flavors, and they have so many options for a sweet treat, including cinnamon rolls and

cronuts, which I cannot wait to try. Most people in this coffee shop are working together on projects and assignments but there are also a lot of people working alone. Everyone is kind and it is one of those places where you feel comfortable sitting next to a stranger when there are no other places to sit.

You may be thinking that it cannot get any better, but it does. If you order coffee or food, you get an actual mug or plate that you can put up when you are done. As someone who is a big fan of reusable products, this makes me so happy.


Now that you know the best places in Memphis to get work done, I hope you try a few of these places out yourself! Sometimes, getting yourself out of your house and getting work done is the best way to clear your head and feel refreshed. Remember to take care of yourself during these cold and busy months and if you feel like you are struggling, reach out for help or ask your classmates if they want to have a study group!

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