An afternoon on the cheap with the King of Memphis Thrift

Posted by Holly Whitfield | November 17th 2009 10016 0

Everyone, meet my friend David Nielsen.

David is one of the best thrift shoppers I’ve ever met. He can find hidden gems in second hand stores that will make any casual thrifter jealous. He chronicles (in words and pictures) all of his finds on his blog, Bitter Books.

He was kind enough to accompany me on an afternoon of budget food and shopping in Memphis.

First, we hit up the lunch buffet at Pho Hoa Binh on Madison. You can get all of the Vietnamese and Chinese food that you can handle for $4.50. Seriously.

Lunch at Pho Hoa Binh in Memphis

Lunch at Pho Hoa Binh in Memphis

For the price, the food is awesome. The buffet usually has two kinds of soup, fruit, veggies, chicken and veggies, chicken and pinapple, a few vegetarian dishes, spring rolls and rice.

After lunch, we went to the AmVets thrift store on Elvis Presley. The huge store is regarded as one of the best in Memphis. David said that it’s real strength is in its clothing selection, which is huge.

Clothing at the AmVets on Elvis Presley

Clothing at the AmVets on Elvis Presley

If you’re going to find anything worthwhile, though, it’s going to take some digging. The rows are packed full and the great vintage pieces are mixed in with all of the other clothes.

The AmVets Thirft Store is on Elvis Presley, just a little ways from Graceland. If you’ve got some time to dig around a bit, they have a huge selection and some really amazing sales.

Comfort at the Salvation Army on Danny Thomas

Comfort at the Salvation Army on Danny Thomas

As soon as we got to the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Danny Thomas, David flopped down into this squishy leather chair. It’s kind of a wonder he ever got up. I thought I was going to have to load him into my car with the chair.

The Salvation Army was a little smaller and a lot more organized than the AmVets. Everything was arranged by color, the furniture was arranged into pleasing little tableaus and there was a decent selection of clothing, shoes and church hats.

I only wound up buying one thing – a fancy little leopard print pillbox hat.

Classy Lady hat

Classy Lady hat

There’s plenty of great thrifting to be had in Memphis. David’s got reviews of just about every thrift store in Memphis if you’d like to check them out before you go.

Go There:

Pho Hoa Binh

1615 Madison Ave
Memphis, TN 38104


2526 Elvis Presley Blvd
Memphis, TN 38106

Salvation Army

130 N Danny Thomas Blvd
Memphis, TN 38103

Pho Hoa Binh on Urbanspoon

Show Comments


  1. Amy says:

    sounds awesome. i want david as a friend, hehe.

  2. Tracy says:

    Oh wow, awesome, this is exactly what I was looking for. I’m so subscribing to his blog. Thanks!

  3. Vanessa C says:

    We love this site!!! Great work!

  4. Robyn says:

    Hows your head feel, under that brand new leopard skin pillbox hat?

  5. […] I’ll keep you appraised whenever it arrives, marking the fifth time I’ve been mentioned in some local media outlet of note. One could get a big head with this kind of treatment. Oh, wait, […]

  6. […] a national Pho website. They have also been mentioned in the Memphis Flyer, Commercial Appeal, and I Love Memphis […]

  7. Treger says:

    Please visit us to find Memphis best sauces and spice. Thanks Wes

  8. Brit says:

    I'd love to see this post updated with some current thrift stores in Memphis. Especially others besides the typical Goodwill and Salvation Army. 

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