City Guides

We ventured to Nashville for a few days in September to celebrate Matt’s 30th and our wedding anniversary. As always, we like to live like locals do when we travel. We do some research ahead of time and choose an airbnb in a neighborhood that has culture. The goal is a neighborhood that is authentic and a little trendy. In this case we chose East Nashville.

For finding local establishments — I like to research a few places to start with and then ask for recs from our airbnb host and check some online resources (instagram friends that live in the town and DESIGN LOVE FEST’s + Design Sponge travel guides – Nashville 1 2). I also like to keep track of spots in a SIMPLENOTE note as I see spots tagged online for cities I’m interested in visiting and upcoming trips. When we arrive I check trip advisor and/or yelp to find cool local spots that are close to us. And whenever I encounter a friendly local, whether a restaurant server or a shop girl, I ask about their favorite spots.

For scheduling, we have a general idea of what we’d like to do/see during our trip and try to go at a comfortable pace that strikes a balance between new experiences and rest. We also spend a lot of time wandering around on foot which allows us to stumble on places and walk off the inherent anxieties that come with travel and unfamiliar places (and allows us to enjoy food indulgences more).

Favorite stops:

Food

MARCHÉ – A cute, quaint cafe. Food was really good, atmosphere was A+.

What we got: American breakfast and the breakfast sandwich

PINEWOOD SOCIAL – Cool, trendy spot for lunch, drinks, a meeting, or hanging out.

What we got: Chicken sandwich + bloody mary, hanger steak + elderflower iced tea

THE 404 KITCHEN – Excellent food and excellent execution in an intimate restaurant

What we got: bottle of la chiara gavi to share, shishito peppers to start,

swordfish entree, halibut entree, okra to share with entree.

HUSK – Southern staple that is 100% worth a visit.

What we got: bloody mary’s (excellent), shared sweet potato donuts and deviled eggs to start.

Steak and eggs with sausage gravy and biscuit, breakfast plate.

BUTCHERTOWN HALL – Very cool restaurant/bar to grab dinner and hang.

What we got: Czann’s pale ale + Montramarte brut. Guacamole to start. Main: brisket nachos,

1/2 rack of pork spare ribs, smokey turkey, brussel sprouts, and barracho beans.

MAS TACOS – As an Austinite I was skeptical about how good the tacos would be.

I was pleasantly surprised. Definitely worth a trip.

What we got: Pulled pork taco, friend avocado taco, cast iron chicken taco

and spicy carne molida taco. Shared plantains.

Coffee/Hang out

PINEWOOD SOCIAL – Maybe my favorite spot in Nashville. I loved the vibe, food + drinks are excellent — it felt like a micro community. We came here for lunch one day and then came back a few hours before our flight so we could hang out before heading to the airport.

CREMA – From what I’ve heard and read, Crema arguably has the best coffee in Nashville (so I’ve heard –

I don’t drink coffee). Very good tea and a cool spot to sit and people watch.

 

Drinks

RUMOURS EAST – Cute, quaint wine/cocktail lounge in a craftsman style home. Great for happy hour or having a nightcap.

What we got: Paddy Wagon cocktail, glass of Pinot Gris

BAR LUCA – A nice, hipster-y bar in East Nashville. Great for a nightcap.

Reminded me of a quaint little bar you’d find in France.

What we got: split a bottle of champagne + few glasses of the Grüner Vetliner on tap.

 

Shops

TWO SON – Beautiful shop in East Nashville. Very minimal vibe, friendly staff + very cool brands.

PETER NAPPI – An Italian leather company that focuses primarily on shoes and also makes leather clutches, belts, etc. If you’re into interiors then you should stop – it is beautiful inside and is a beautiful collection of old goods. And definitely ogle the Italian shoes + craftsmanship that goes into each object. (I’d add that their shop is in a random location near Germantown. It seems like it’s in the middle of nowhere and it kind of is and it’s still worth a stop).

ELIZABETH SUZANN – Stopping by this studio was a trip highlight for me. I admire Elizabeth Suzann clothing and very much look up to them as a growing independent brand. Our trip coincided with their sample sale and I was pretty much beside myself excited to add a few pieces to my collection. Liz and her staff were really friendly, welcoming, and kind. I was impressed all around and seeing their growing studio in person deeply inspired me.

 

Etc.:

Do

RYMAN AUDITORIUM – We saw a show at the Ryman and I 100% recommend it! It is a very cool,

very historical venue. It was an intimate set up and it felt special to be there.

 

Food

THE PHARMACY – Dive-y burger place. Good for a casual lunch/dinner + beers. Great spot in East Nashville.

What we got: two farm burgers with tater tots + beer

YEAST NASHVILLE – Small bakery that lives up to it’s good reviews. The pastries looked

delicious and it was a great, easy breakfast spot.

What we got: bacon biscuit sandwich + iced coffee, bacon taco bowl + hot tea

AMOT – An entirely gluten free restaurant. Great for lunch + food sensitivities.

What we got: chiliquiles, gluten free blt with deviled egg mayo

ADELE’S – Trendy restaurant by Jonathan Waxman. [Food was good, service was ok. We’d go back but I think we both felt a bit underwhelmed.]

What we got: Old fashioned+ Grüner Vetliner wine. Recommend trying:

cauliflower salad (A+), pork loin with cannelloni beans.

Coffee

BARISTA PARLOR in Germantown + on Gallatin Ave – really good coffee,

a bit pricey, slight hipster ‘tudes. Worth a visit.

 

Wish we’d had time for:

STEADFAST COFFEE, HIGH GARDEN, back to MARCHÉ, BISCUIT LOVE, PARNASSUS BOOKS, NISOLO, LOCKLAND TABLE, LAKE RADNER, MITCHELL’S DELI.

Nashville

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