Honky tonks, hipster hangouts, and a hell of a good time!
The sisters and I went to Nashville for a long weekend, and to many's surprise, it was my very first time there. With it being only a little over 4 hour drive from Cincinnati, you'd think it would be a place I visited often; after this weekend, it just may be that!
Here are some places we visited during the weekend, which I must also add is not nearly enough time to even scratch the surface of everything there!
We stayed at an AirBnB across from Belmont University (definitely recommend the area). Our first night there it was quite chilly and rainy out, so we looked for somewhere close to grab food. BBQ it was! Edley's is an order at the counter and seat yourself kind of joint. That being said, if you see a line out the door, it's really not too long of a wait. The menu has fantastic selections from pulled pork sandwiches, brisket platters, and tacos! The only little gripe I have is that there is a separate walk-up bar to order alcohol, so you would be making multiple transactions if you want an adult beverage. I ordered the pork platter with sides of coleslaw and baked beans. The pork was excellent and the beans had a bit of a kick, the coleslaw could have used a little more in the flavor department, but all in all the food was delicious and filling!
Sprinkles Cupcake ATM
I love sweets, a lot. So if I'm walking past an ATM that will dispense me cupcakes, I'm going to stop and get a cupcake! No rain or amount of BBQ will stop me! A Sprinkles Cupcake ATM is a short walk down the street from Edley's BBQ. The ATM is outside of the actual cupcake storefront (which was open when we walked past, but it's all about the experience, right?). It's literally exactly what it sounds like, you select your cupcake from a touchscreen and a panel slides up filled with a bright light that you question whether it's heaven or not, and a simply boxed cupcake. If you like cupcakes, just go do it, because it's fun and the cupcakes are delicious!
12 South Taproom & Grill
So we had something savory, something sweet, we just needed some beers to top it off! A little walk down from Sprinkles is 12 South Taproom. With a plethora of beers on tap and a chill environment (even when the music bounced back and forth from rap to heavy metal, which I kind of dug), it's definitely a good local spot to checkout if you're looking to avoid super crowded bars. Not to mention they have a wall covered in prints from Hatch Print Show that I could have spent a good hour just staring at that alone. Cheers!
Yep, we did it. We really waited in line for an hour to eat at Pancake Pantry. It wasn't too painful of a wait since it was beautiful outside, but if you go, expect to wait at least an hour. Word on the street is that Pancake Pantry has become a tourist must-do in Nashville, so much so that they have live camera footage on their website for patrons to see the line before they go! Once you get seated, you should be really hungry from waiting, but even then it's so difficult to choose which pancakes to get! The selection of pancakes is mouthwatering, and they definitely do not disappoint in the taste department. Worth an hour wait? I'd say do it if you have the time and really want some pancakes. P.S. there is a juice bar across the street, appropriately named, Juice Bar, that is easy to run to for a fresh juice or smoothie to sip on while you wait in line.
Three Brothers Coffee
These three sisters had to stop at Three Brothers. A coffee shop and outdoor gear store meet in one place?! Swoon! Definitely a spot for the lover of both adventure and coffee. Also, a hot spot for those that love a good Instagram backdrop. The abstract black and white alleyway next to the entrance has become a popular spot for a quick photo shoot.
Once you've snapped the perfect picture at Three Brothers, grab your coffee and cross the street to Centennial Park. Depending on when you go to Nashville, there's bound to be something going on in the park; music or art festival, rugby game, market, etc. Stroll through the park to see the replica sized Parthenon.
Downtown Antique Mall
Oh, man, was this a gem for me! If you love antiques or weird finds, this is a must for you! I love a good rusty sign or dusty old book with tattered pages. I could have spent hours in the Downtown Antique Mall. It was literally filled from floor to ceiling with every antique you could think of. Even if antiques aren't your thing, it's still fun to walk through and wonder where half of the stuff came from and have some fun trying on some of the wild clothes you'll find.
Down the street from the Antique Mall, Jackalope Brewery will help quench your post-thrifting thirst. Laid back environment that translates into a great place to grab a good beer (or a coffee at the adjacent coffee shop) and even play a board game or two from the selection on hand.
Ah, the infamous wing mural. Where all my Instagrammers at?! We walked down to get that infamous shot in front of the wings (and so did every other girl in Nashville). There was a line of about 30+ people wrapped around the corner waiting for their turn to take that perfect IG shot in front of the wings. I had a good giggle at the reality of it and went on with the day. I get that it's a well-known mural, but seeing that line made it lose its authenticity for me.
Yes, there is an actual treehouse that you can dine in! The only downfall is that they only take reservations for parties of 6 or more for the treehouse part. BUT I still highly recommend having Treehouse on a must place to eat while in Nashville. The vibe of the entire place is really cool, so even if you aren't in the actual treehouse, you'll still get a treehouse-like ambiance. The menu here changes almost daily by the chef, but whatever you order will be nothing short of delicious with phenomenal presentation.
So we popped into Duke's for a drink to kill some time before our reservation at The Treehouse. Duke's is a hidden little bar caddy corner to a tattoo shop. It comes off a little rough around the edges at first, which means it must be a good place. With walls splattered with records and shelves stocked with dusty, old record players, we knew we found a good spot. If you're looking for a local bar off the beaten path a bit, Duke's is where you need to be!
B r o a d w a y
Ah, the infamous Nashville Broadway St. All the honky tonks, cowboy boots, and bachelorette parties your heart could ever desire! We kicked it off at the infamous Tootsies, which seems like it's never ending levels of live music from good ol' country to rock to 90's cover bands. The rooftop is a great place to get a birds eye view of the debauchery on Broadway. Tootsies is a must-visit in Nashville, especially during a night out!
Robert's Western World was next for honky tonking and beer drinking! Similar to Tootsies, Robert's is a Nashville staple. We stumbled in just as they were changing bands so we didn't get too much live music here. One drink and a few new friends later, we meandered to our next spot, ACME Feed & Seed. This place was a good time! The inside is very spacious, which can be harder to come by at some of the original bars. ACME has three levels to it that each serve a different purpose. At night, your first level has a live band, the second level is a more laid back drinking area, and the third level (rooftop) has a DJ and gives more of a club atmosphere. We ended up on the rooftop...and didn't leave until the lights came on. And at this point I would like to say a praise for Mellow Mushroom having a walk-up window open after 2:00am. God Bless that pizza slice the size of my head!
In a failed attempt to go to Proper Bagel because of the long line and being short on time, we popped into Bongo Java next door instead for a quick breakfast and sweet caffeinated nectar. Bongo Java just so happens to be the oldest coffee shop in Nashville! They craft some unique lattes and have a substantial menu for breakfast.
Hatch Show Print
Book. This. Tour. Even if you're not obsessed with the letterpress process like I am, there is so much history at Hatch Show Print. I promise that it is enjoyable for everyone and the story behind the shop and it's development are a Nashville staple! You even get to make your own print at the end of the tour ;)
This place is a hipster/Instagrammer/blogger's dream! Well, all of Nashville is really, but Pinewood Social is a top spot. A full Creama coffee bar to greet you when you first walk in only to develop into a casual, but so thoughtfully designed dining area with a large bar in the middle staffed with cocktail connoisseurs crafting each drink to perfection. Making your way to the back of the dining area is the impressive six lane bowling alley. What more could you need? How about an Airstream and a pool to dip your feet in? Making your way outside feels like you're stepping out of Nashville and into a California backyard. The hipster dream wouldn't be complete without an Airstream trailer serving up it's own menu of food and cocktails. For those hot Nashville days (or nights), you'll have not one, but two "dipping pools" to lounge in or next too, if you so happen to forget to wear your swimsuit to the bar. But wait, there's more! A full Bocce ball court and a lawn of couches, lounge chairs, and tables for your eating and drinking needs. It would be very easy to spend majority of your day here, and if you have the time, why not?!
The Patterson House
A speakeasy at its finest! Not clearly marked and tucked behind a curtain once inside, The Patterson House is a must for those that appreciate a well crafted cocktail. I recommend going earlier rather than later to avoid the wait that can stack up here. Because it's a speakeasy, I don't want to delve into too much, it's got character, it'll make you wish you wore your best Gatsby attire, and you'll drink some damn good cocktails.
It was our last night in Nashville and we came here not looking for anything fancy, no crazy night out, and that's exactly what we got. Two Bits is your standard barcade, with games outside and inside. Giant Jenga and ConnectFour on the patio tables and arcade games, board/card games, video games, and more inside. A great place for a laid back night of a couple drinks and fun games for entertainment.
For the official Nashville sendoff, we had brunch at Biscuit Love to REALLY fill us up before that drive back home. I guarantee there will be a line at any Biscuit Love location you visit, and yes, it is worth it. I also recommend sharing food; it is so good, but so filling. And lastly, order the Bonuts...and another order to go.
While we did a lot for a weekend in Nashville, we barely scratched the surface of everything there. You will not be short on food, drinks, entertainment, or fun, no matter what your plans entail. Cheers, ya'll!
P.S. Check out the videos below to see sneak peeks of some places highlighted in this post!