What an awesome city Nashville is. It’s a refined southern city that loves music and art with just the right amount of country and even then it’s a funky kind of country. When you have art you have creative people and where you have creative people you have amazing shopping, restaurants, and nightlife.
Creative people make amazing things
not just art to look at but art you listen to and literally consume.
Support Art in your own town, even if you don’t “get” art
I bet you “get” good food, artisanal beers, bakeries, markets, and homegrown music.
Let’s Start with Breakfast
The Barista Parlor has 2 locations the original in East Nashville and the new location in the Gulch both are awesome and they take their coffee very seriously (they don’t have decaf) and the mocha’s are made from shaved local artisanal 70% dark chocolate. It’s slightly bitter but so smooth. They have breakfast sandwiches and pastries from scratch – like buttermilk biscuits with sage sausage peach jam and eggs or country ham with chili infused maple. Peach granola. Skillet cornbread with cheddar eggs sausage and honey drizzle.
I think just about every restaurant in Nashville does brunch – they take if very seriously. We went to The Tavern in Mid-town they have a long wait time every Sunday but honestly I wasn’t that impressed. It was fine but it felt like a chain and the food was just fine and in Nashville don’t ever settle for fine. The white trash hash was a keeper – tater tots with cheese bacon and green onions.
Another awesome breakfast (or lunch) place was Biscuit Love also in the Gulch. They have biscuit donuts filled with blueberries and topped with lemon custard. Nashville’s famous hot chicken and biscuits with homemade pickles and everything is from scratch.
Breakfast Lunch or Dinner
Didn’t get a chance to try The Southern but it’s on the list for next time. It’s right downtown it has everything from house made granola to a hillbilly wrap with greens, black-eyed peas, chow-chow, eggs, cheddar and pulled pork – What?!
We did hit Pinewood Social I can’t imagine going to Nashville and not going there at least once. Located in SoBro They have a bowling alley they salvaged and an outside area that overlooks the river and has bocce ball and little cozy pools that you have to make a reservation for – plus a super cool airstream they serve delicious snacks from. The bar is run by the Patterson House a really cool speakeasy in Mid-town, the coffee is by Crema which is just a few blocks from Pinewood and the menu was created by a former Catbird Seat chef (have not been there yet – tough to get a reservation). The menu at Pinewood is ever-changing and always amazing. Various bruschetta, peaches with burrata, and bacon wrapped meatloaf with mac and cheese.
Fidos in the Belmont Village near Vanderbilt. Really cute area that feels like a small college town right in Nashville. The main street is 21st Ave and there are tons of cute shops, restaurants, and coffee shops there. Fidos is a great breakfast or lunch spot. Craft beers and homemade everything – lots of comfort food.
It’s Dinner Time!
Butchertown Hall in Germantown, apparently Nashville’s first suburb. Beautifully restored little Victorian homes, old brick warehouses converted to apartments and restaurants, and cute little shops. We had the trinity (brisket, ribs, and sausage) with pickles and tortillas, a creamy slightly spicy cheese dip with sausage, tomato salad and roasted brussels spouts.
Rolf and Daughters another great place in Germantown, just a few blocks from Butchertown Hall. Great dining experience. I wish I could remember our waitress’ name because she was awesome. The menu has a lot of crazy items so I had to ask a lot of questions and not only was she not rushed or annoyed she was happy to explain everything in great detail and give her recommendations. Really laid back vibe. If I lived there I’d be there all the time. We had agretti, a grain that looks like pine needles that only grows in the Mediterranean but a local farmer figured out how to grow it for them. Sauteed with benny seeds it was so good! Pig head – meh. it was kind of gross. Just bits and pieces of the jowls ears etc. Was not a fan. Little beignets stuffed with cheese and herbs. Would love to go again.
Who wants a Snack?
In the same neighborhood as Fidos on 21st Ave is Hot and Cold a coffee shop with fresh popsicles and flavored shaved ice. I had strawberry topped with fresh strawberries, cucumber, and mint and these little marshmallowie things. Carly had mango and matcha topped with fresh mango and cereal. Crazy. Crazy good!
Oh and there are other things to do besides eat…
The Sounds AAA Baseball Team play in Nashville. Really nice stadium with (sorry I know this is more food) the best ballpark food I’ve ever eaten. Corn and jalapeno fritters, nachos with pulled pork and pickled veggies, hot dogs with spicy peach ketchup just to name what I can remember. The game was fun too with lots of entertainment in between innings and a beautiful sunset over the stadium.
There are historic sites and museums:
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, Antique Archaeology Nashville, Belle Meade Plantation, Belmont Mansion, Bicentennial Capital Mall State Park (with a really great farmers market and restaurants), Tennessee State Museum, the Parthenon at Centennial Park and tons of historic tours.
There are too many cultural sites to name,
galleries, museums, theaters, and music halls.
There are distilleries, brewing companies, vineyards and wineries.
Check out the website Visit Music City to see the very long list of attractions. Scroll to the top of the page and you’ll see a link Nashville Neighborhoods – great way to understand where everything is. At the top there are also links for events, tours, sports, food, shopping, everything.
If you want to try to stay somewhere in the middle aim for mid-town but everything is pretty spread out. We used Uber a lot and most of the trips for 4 people were $5. Can’t beat Uber!
Just Outside the City…
Lieper’s Fork is a tiny town about 20 minutes outside of Nashville. The entire shopping and eating portion of the town is about 2 blocks of a country road but it’s really worth it. The shops are far from a Cracker Barrel, no kitschy country knickknacks here. Beautiful galleries and antiques. Like at Serenite Maison, the David Arms gallery, and one of my favorites The Copper Fox Gallery
The food it pure farm to table. Joe’s Farm Store and Café has produce and homemade items up front and a café with amazing bread baskets, sandwiches, salad plates, and desserts in the back. As soon as you pull into this little downtown and get out of your car you’ll smell Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant – the BBQ is amazing and so are all the typical homemade country cooking sides you get with it. This little store is an unassuming country store with a bunch of mismatched tables scattered about and a little stage in the corner. But the music is apparently famous and so are some of the musicians that stop by to jam with whoever happens to be on stage. It’s a really great place to spend a Sunday afternoon. Check out their website to see the events they have scheduled.
Just north of Nashville about an hour on your way to Kentucky is Clarksville, we stopped by Miss Lucille’s Marketplace and Café. Again, great home-made food with a twist and the booth’s have a nice mix of unique homemade items and antiques. They just added a coffee shop as well. Do not leave there without having the brisket sliders on pretzel rolls or the loaded potato salad. Crazy good.