My first trip to the Music City lived up to all the hype! The music is overflowing from every direction, the food so satisfying and the southern hospitality so warm and welcoming. Unfortunately it rained the 2 full days I was there, but that didn’t ruin any of the fun…
Live Music: The amount of talent everywhere is unbelievable…on every stage and at every hour of the day.
After stopping in just about every bar on Broadway, my favorite spots were Tootsie’s, Robert’s Western World, and Layla’s, which seem to be the holy trinity of famous honky tonks, all lined up in a row on the same block. For two solid afternoons, we bounced back and forth between all three, listening to everything from traditional to current country music from bands just like you’d picture: amazing guitar players, expert fiddlers and southernly charming lead singers.Here’s Jake Maurer, who asked us to “Cheers!” between every song to something like “his 87 year old grandma who still doesn’t use glasses…she drinks straight from the bottle!”
Seeing a concert at the Ryman Auditorium our last night was SO worth it and a major highlight of the trip! We experienced a whole other level of musicianship that left you walking away trying to comprehend just how much musical talent is in this city! The Ryman is right downtown and steeped in history, as it was first built as a church in the 1880’s (you sit in the original pews) and then housed the original Grand Ole’ Opry.
A night at Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar in Printer’s Alley proves that country isn’t the only talent in town! This spot is the perfect break from the rowdiness on Broadway that sets in after dark on the weekends. The 8-piece band we danced to brought the funk!
My only regret was not being able to eat more! The food groups I hoped to eat were hot chicken, biscuits, tacos, and BBQ. II only knocked out 2 of the 4 – there just wasn’t enough time!
Hattie B’s is the infamous spot for hot chicken and absolutely worth the wait in line! When in Nashville, you’ve gotta eat hot chicken. Even the locals said this was the place you have to go. You pick white meat, dark meat, or a chicken sandwich and then a heat level from Southern, Mild, and all the way up to “SHUT THE CLUCK UP!”
Biscuit Love started in an air-stream trailer and grew into its own adorable restaurant. The bonuts (biscuit donuts) were unreal, as were the actual biscuits themselves. Do yourself a favor and wait in line for this place too…I ordered the Princess, their sweet and spicy take on hot chicken with a fried egg on a biscuit:
Five Daughter’s Bakery is known for the 100 layer donuts (their take on a cronut) and it’s 100% worth the additional calories you might think you don’t need! This bakery is so cute and the donuts are so memorable!
ACME Feed & Seed is a great place to kick-off your weekend in Nashville. Listen to live music, order a local beer and enjoy a hot chicken grilled cheese sandwich with peppercorn aioli and pickles on it! Sensing a hot chicken theme here?! After you eat on the first or second floor, make your way up to the rooftop for views of the whole city.
Drinks: The bourbon and beer just tastes SO right with country music and southern food!
Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery is one of several choices close to town to experience the Tennessee Whickey Trail. It’s got a fascinating and unique history, dating back to pre-Prohibition times. The tour was endearing and the tasting delicious.
Pinewood Social Club has excellent cocktails and such a hip vibe! It’s full of people dining, cocktailing, studying, bowling…basically, anything goes! There’s no wrong time or reason to be there. Easily my favorite drink of the weekend.
We stay in The Gulch, which bumps right up on the south side of downtown. It’s a trendy, fun area full of lots of action and a little whimsical inspiration:
12south has an adorable main drag to walk around and stop at some of the places you’ve surely heard of in one Nashville recommendation or another, such as Frothy Monkey for a rosemary latte, Five Daughter’s Bakery for donuts, Bartaco, Jeni’s Ice Cream, Edley’s BBQ, and a photo-op to affirm your love for the city:
Nashville, you were SO much fun! I can’t wait to see you again!