College students need three things to survive: oxygen, water and sweets. That’s why finding the best dessert options close to campus is critical.
Luckily, I’ve done the work for you and found the best desserts on the Highland Strip, which is located just west of campus between Popular Avenue and the railroad tracks.
Here are my top five:
Insomnia Cookies are always served warm out of the oven. They come as traditional cookies or sandwich style with buttercream frosting or even ice cream in the middle.
A fan favorite is the classic chocolate chunk cookie, but a personal favorite of mine is the Snickerdoodle. This soft cookie offers a blend of cinnamon and sugar that’s perfect for getting into the holiday spirit.
Even though they specialize in cookies, Insomnia Cookie also offers brownies and ice cream. They even deliver, meaning you can get cookies sent straight to your dorm whenever you have the craving. The Highland Strip location delivers Sunday through Wednesday until midnight and until 1 a.m. the rest of the week.
545 S. Highland St., Memphis TN, 38111. 901.254.8587. Classic individual cookies are $2. Deluxe cookies are $3.25. The cookie sandwiches start at $6.25, but depending on what you get, prices may vary.
Ubee’s is a sports bar known for its love of the University of Memphis, and while it’s fun to grab a drink and watch a football game, Ubee’s is even better for indulging in the deep fried chocolate goodness that the restaurant has to offer.
One popular dessert at Ubee’s is the deep-fried Snickers bar. Bathed in cake batter and deep fried until golden brown, the deep fried Snickers is also served with a chocolate sauce for dipping.
If you don’t like Snickers, Ubee’s also offers a New York-style cheesecake, a chocolate cobbler or your choice of chocolate chip, white chocolate or M&M cookies.
521 S. Highland St., Memphis TN, 38111. 901.323.0900. Deep fried Snickers sell for $5.
The Bluff is a bar and grill that features live music. And while options on the restaurant's dessert menu are limited, itss Devo’s Jameson Bread Pudding is exceptional.
Bread pudding is a dessert with a stale bread base that's been soaked in a mix of milk, eggs and butter. Typically, the bread base is sprinkled with seasoning and each recipe differs on the mixture the bread is soaked in. The Bluff’s take is warm and syrupy sweet with just a hint of cinnamon.
For other options to satisfy your sweet tooth, try the Butterfinger poke cake or the chocolate cake that’s topped with a fluffy whipped icing and drowned in chocolate syrup and caramel.
535 S. Highland St., Memphis TN, 38111. 901.454.7771. The Bluff’s Bread Pudding is $6.
Happy Greek Cafe
If you’re feeling adventurous, try the baklava at Happy Greek Cafe.
While baklava can typically be found in Greek-style restaurants, this dessert actually has its origins in the Middle East. The layered, flakey pastry is sweetened with honey or syrup and filled with chopped nuts.
Made in a traditional style, Happy Greek’s baklava comes with walnuts and is surprisingly sweet and nutty. It’s perfect for anyone willing to go out of their comfort zone to satisfy their sweet tooth.
547 S. Highland St., Memphis TN, 38111. 901.249.8325. Happy Greek Cafe’s baklava is $4.99.
Char is that fancy restaurant students might typically take their parents to when they come to visit them. And while their menu might be a bit pricey for some, the restaurant’s dessert selection is just what you need when you want to treat yourself.
I recommend the pecan pie. Sprinkled with powdered sugar, topped with caramel and served with house made vanilla bean ice cream, Char’s pecan pie is a simple and classic dish that’s equal parts gooey and crunchy.
And if pecan pie isn’t your thing, Char also offers brownies, blueberry bread pudding, gelato and sherbet, and a dish called, Pecan Butter Crunch, a slice of cake topped with vanilla bean ice cream and a cinnamon Granny Smith apple sauce.
431 S. Highland St., #120 Memphis TN, 38111. 901.249.3533. Char’s pecan pie is $10.