Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Things To Take Back to College To Keep Memphis Close To You

Photo: Jake Ruth

If you’re like me, you love Memphis. For the past two years, I’ve returned to Memphis after the school year finishes and have been reminded how awesome this place is. But inevitably, the leaves start to change colors and it’s time to head back to school, wherever that may be. If you’re looking to keep Memphis close to you when you head back to school, here are a few things you should take back with you.

A Grizzlies Growl Towel

The Grizzlies aren’t just your local basketball team. They have grown to be a part of who the city is. They identify with us and we identify with them. The Growl Towel is an easy piece of memorabilia to hang up in a door room or apartment or even on the dash of your car. It’s simple and easy, but definitely a great reminder of our grit and our grind.


Memphis has many food staples. While I don’t recommend grabbing a fresh order of Ching’s Wings and packing them for an eight-hour car drive, there are ways to pay homage to the unmatched food scene in Memphis.

  • Pancho’s

    In case you didn’t know, Pancho’s Cheese Dip is awesome and, luckily, it travels well. Head over to their website and send some cheesy-goodness right to your dorm-room mailbox. Throw it in the fridge and you’ve always got some top-tier cheese dip for your mid-afternoon (late night) snacking. Let’s be honest, it’s going to be better than the cheese dip you get anywhere else.

  • BBQ Sauce

    BBQ is a staple in Memphis, but it would be tough to stuff pulled pork in a suitcase. However, grabbing a bottle of Central BBQ, Rendezvous, or Corky’s (or insert your favorite BBQ joint) BBQ sauce is much more feasible. Keep it sealed and it can easily make the back-to-school trek. Now you have some great BBQ sauce to improve that dry chicken breast you will inevitably get at every college cafeteria across the country.


Adding to your t-shirt collection is a must. If you didn’t get a t-shirt, did it really happen? Let’s talk about some t-shirts to take back to school so that no one can challenge your Memphis legitimacy.

  • Your Favorite Grizzlies Player

    Allow me to introduce you to the shirt jersey, or the “shersey”. The shersey presents an opportunity to rep your favorite Grizzly without the financial burden of purchasing a premium game jersey. Instead, stop by the Grizz Den at the FedExForum and pick up the shersey of your dreams.

  • Any BBQ Joint

    Everywhere you go, you’re probably going to run into someone who knows something about Memphis BBQ. It’s probably gonna be Rendezvous, and you might get an enthusiastic response from a fellow college student. If nothing else, you’ll get a daily reminder of the exquisite BBQ scene in the 901.

  • Choose901 Stuff

    What better way to rep Memphis and keep it close to you than rocking some Choose901 Apparel? No better way. That’s the answer. Lucky for you, Choose901 is hosting the annual Back 2 School Pop Up Shop on August 3-4 at Ballet Memphis for all your Choose901 gear needs. Stop on by, grab a t-shirt, stickers, or a Choose901 bag to take back to school. 

Now that I’ve shared some of my faves, check out these additional picks from the Choose901 team:

Hit the Gift Shops

Our museums and other arts orgs, our Zoo, and even the Lake’s Edge Gift Shop at Shelby Farms Park are clutch for grabbing something small like a key chain, mug, pen, stickers, or postcards to keep your favorite beautiful places top of mind while you’re away:

Brooks Museum Store

Burke’s Books

Dixon Gallery & Gardens Museum Shop

Memphis Botanic Garden

Pink Palace Museum Stores

Shelby Farms Park Lake’s Edge Gift Shop

On top of that, there’s been an explosion of cool Memphis wares everywhere you turn. We’re not talking about your grandma’s last-minute airport souvenirs. These are unique, art-driven items and whatnot for your walls, shelves, and body.

Babcock Gifts

Cooper-Young Gallery + Gift Shop

City & State


Five In One Social Club


Falling Into Place



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Our sweatshirts are super cozy and cute!!! $40 available in grey and navy sizes S-XL #fallingintoplace #choose901 #ilovememphis

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Stock + Belle


Know of another great place for Memphis merch? Share it in the comments!

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