a (new) local’s guide to nashville

October means we’ve officially lived in Nashville for one year! I’m certainly still new here, but definitely have our favorite spots to eat, drink and explore around Nashville. I get asked about my go-to spots, so wanted to finally compile into one blog post for you! I did share a Nashville guide a few years ago (when we were visiting for work all the time) but this is an updated, more local-ish guide to Nashville. We are prettttty obsessed with our own neighborhood of East Nashville and spend a majority of our time here, which is reflected in my recommendations below. I’m probably a little biased, but I think it’s overall the best neighborhood for doing just about everything. ✨

Here’s a list of our favorite places to eat and drink, things to do, and our go-to kid-friendly spots! 💛

Casual Food:

  • Mitchell’s Deli – great spot for sandwiches!
  • Redheaded Stranger – new taco spot! I looove their egg breakfast taco and of course, the queso  🧀
  • 51st Kitchen and Deli – order-at-the-counter deli/convenience store. We love their breakfast burrito
  • Five Points Pizza – my favorite pizza in Nashville! at east nashville location, you can order slices to go or sit in at restaurant
  • Mas Tacos – great taco spot in EN 🌮
  • Burger Up – casual burger + fries joint located in The Gulch + East Nashville. I love their fried pickles and fry trio 🍟
  • Proper Bagel – my favorite spot for bagels in Nashville. go early on weekends – it gets busy!
  • Hattie B’s – I don’t eat meat, but when in Nashville, you have to get hot chicken! This place is everyone’s favorite
  • Edleys – BBQ spot with surprisingly a lot of vegetarian options (hello mac + cheese!)
  • bartaco – hip, sort of scene-y but cute taco spot — a lot of times you can see TV celebs like Bachelorette candidates here if that’s your thing (LOL)
  • The Wild Cow – local, vegetarian spot
  • Las Paletas – homemade popsicle spot…I love the fruit ones!
  • Otaku Ramen – hip ramen spot
  • Graze – vegan, plant-based spot and everything is SO good

Fancy-ish/Nicer Food:

  • Lockeland Table – our go-to neighborhood spot. Everything is so good on the menu and their ‘community hour’ has great prices for food + drinks, plus is super kid friendly!
  • Pinewood Social – you’ve probably seen the photos on Instagram 🎳. you can rent a bowling lane, play lawn games outside or just enjoy all-day dining. definitely worth swinging by!
  • Two Ten Jack – super yummy ramen/Japanese spot in East Nashville
  • Rolf & Daughters – delicious pasta in Germantown
  • Butcher & Bee – love love love this place. We usually order all of the small plates (a lot of veggies, hummus, feta dip) and the avocado fried rice. Delish!
  • Folk – upscale pizza spot
  • Husk – upscale Southern food – so good!
  • 5th & Taylor – American cuisine with gorgeous patio and interior
  • Lyra –  newish Mediterranean spot with a nice outdoor patio
  • Adele’s – New American spot; only been once but it was soo good!
  • Henrietta Red – trendy seafood spot. I’ve heard amazing things about their brunch, too!

Breakfast/Coffee:

  • Slowhand Coffee – cute spot for coffee, pastries and biscuit breakfast sandwiches
  • Five Daughters – super yummy donuts + pastries! 🥐
  • Cafe Rose – cute and Instagrammable spot for healthy breakfast
  • Dozen – my favorite place to pick up bread! They also have great breakfast/lunch options.
  • Pancake Pantry – touristy but yummy! They have every type of pancake imaginable. gets busy so make sure to go early! 🥞
  • Monell’s – a Nashville institution! Family-style Southern dining in a big old historic house.
  • Pucketts – all-day Southern dining but I usually go for brunch! They often have live music, too.
  • Dose – coffee shop/all day dining. Almost everything on their menu I love!
  • Sweet 16th – the BEST breakfast sandwich in Nashville for ~$3.
  • Marche – one of my favorite breakfast places! get the bread basket🥖
  • Frothy Monkey – a few locations (The Nations, downtown, The Gulch)
  • Stay Golden – v cute, Instagrammable all day dining spot
  • Barista Parlor – probably the most popular coffee spot in town with multiple locations (although it’s a bit too strong for my personal taste ☕️)

Drinks:

  • Dino’s – amazing dive bar with cheap beer and a great grilled cheese
  • Vinyl Tap – record store slash bar with great beer selection!
  • Pearl Diver – cocktail tiki bar with really nice back patio
  • Urban Cowboy – v trendy, great spot for a pre-dinner drink
  • The Filling Station – great beer options (and they also have kombucha!). The 12 south one has outside seating which I love!
  • Patterson House – fancy spot for cocktails in Midtown
  • Santa’s Pub – divey, Christmas-themed bar/trailer. Hilarious and they also do karaoke!
  • Noelle – go to the hotel’s rooftop bar for a drink downtown! It’s cute (and a bit busy but still worth it)

Breweries: E and I love beer and breweries are our go-to on most weekends (well, less so now that I’m pregnant!). They are also a great family-friendly option and we’ve brought Lucy and Jack to all of the places below. All of the breweries below have patios so dogs are welcome, too! 🐾

  • Jackalope (The Gulch)
  • Southern Grist (I prefer the one in East Nashville over The Nations location)
  • Fat Bottom (The Nations)
  • East Nashville Beer Works (East Nashville)
  • Bearded Iris (Germantown) — one of my favorite beers ever is the Homestyle IPA!
  • Smith & Lentz (East Nashville)
  • Diskin Cider (Wedgewood-Houston)

Broadway Spots: Nashville is known for live music and most people visiting want to experience Broadway at least once. It’s very touristy, but still fun. I don’t go down there often (and when I do it’s always during day/afternoon NEVER nighttime!), but when I do, my go-to spots are Tootsies, Roberts, Laylas, and Acme.

Outdoors-y Things/Parks: Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, Shelby Park, Shelby Bottoms Nature Center/Trails, Centennial Park (walk around the lake to feed ducks + great playground), Bicentennial Mall (outdoor), Percy Warner Park, Harpeth River State Park, Eastland Church Playground (shaded + fenced – we love it!)

Kid-Friendly: all of the breweries + parks shared above, plus Nashville Farmers Market, Nashville Zoo,  The Getalong for Sunday story time + different workshops, Little Art House for art classes, downtown public library for weekday story time, The Frist art museum (amazing interactive kids area), Nashville Farmer’s Market. Here’s a shared Google Map (not my own) of kid-friendly Nashville spots!

Dog-Friendly: Nashville definitely isn’t as dog-friendly as SF, but it’s better than most cities! Most patios allow dogs, but they aren’t allowed inside anywhere, including breweries. *Most* parks allow dogs on a leash (and we don’t go to the ones that don’t allow dogs, period 🙀). Dog park wise, Two Rivers Dog Park and Centennial Park are the two best dog parks in my opinion. East Nashville Beer Works has the best dog-friendly outdoor/patio space out of the breweries I shared, but Jackalope has a nice area, too. Oh, and the Nashville Farmers Market allows dogs inside! 🤗Other places with good, dog-friendly patios are:

  • Urban Cowboy (for drinks)
  • Dozen, Stay Golden, and Five Daughters (for coffee/breakfast)
  • Mitchell’s Deli, Redheaded Stranger, 51st Kitchen and Deli, Burger Up, Proper Bagel, Edleys, bartaco, Las Paletas (for casual food)
  • Lockeland Table, Two Ten Jack, Lyra (for fancier food)

NEIGHBORHOOD BREAKDOWN

East Nashville: Mitchell’s Deli, Redheaded Stranger, Five Points Pizza* , Mas Tacos, Burger Up*, Edleys*, Wild Cow, Graze, Lockeland Table, Two Ten Jack, Butcher & Bee, Folk, Slowhand Coffee, Dose*, Sweet 16th, Marche, Stay Golden, Barista Parlor*, Dino’s, Pearl Diver, Urban Cowboy, Southern Grist*, East Nashville Beer Works, Smith & Lentz, Cafe Rose, Vinyl Tap

Germantown: Rolf & Daughters, 5th & Taylor, Henrietta Red, Monell’s, Barista Parlor*, Bearded Iris

Midtown: Hattie B’s*, Patterson House

Belmont: Proper Bagel

12 South: Las Paletas, Five Daughters*, Burger Up*, Edleys*, Frothy Monkey*, The Filling Station*

Hillsboro Village: Pancake Pantry

The Gulch: Jackalope, Otaku Ramen, Adele’s

The Nations: 51st Kitchen and Deli, Frothy Monkey*, Fat Bottom

Wedgewood-Houston: Dozen, Diskin Cider, Santa’s Pub

Downtown/Broadway: Noelle, Pucketts, Tootsies, Roberts, Laylas, and Acme

Rutledge Hill: Pinewood Social, Husk

*indicates multiple locations

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