I get private messages several time a week with requests on what to do while y’all visit our wild & crazy city. With the CMA Festival in town this weekend, this is the perfect time to fill you 85,000-plus suit-case packin’, Nashville-bound travelers in on where to go & what to eat!
Wether you want to do “the typical touristy Nashville” or do what us locals prefer, below are some of the go-to spots as far as restaurants & bars are concerned.
|| DO NASHVILLE LIKE A TOURIST ||
Broadway. That’s the answer! Up & down the street that is Broadway, you’ll find the heart of old town Nashville, live music, & streets filled with tourists cocktailing & having the time of their lives. Nashville really does come to life around here & there are so many options within walking distance of each other, that you can’t possibly get bored or have a bad time down here.
Acme Feed & Seed ($) This restaurant is located at the end of Broadway & is a great spot for lunch, dinner, sushi, etc. They have an awesome rooftop which is definitely a Nashville hot spot.
Honky Tonk Central ($) – This multi-level bar offers live music on every floor. It’s a great open air vibe with views over looking downtown & Broadway.
Tootsie’s Orchard Lounge ($) – If you’re visiting Nashville, this is a must. It’s a world famous lounge where the likes of Willie Nelson & Kris Kristofferson got their start as young musicians. The main bar downstairs is the original & very small. The energy in there is electric! Upstairs, they’ve recently added a new addition where there’s a little bit more room to move & a nice rooftop.
The Pedal Tavern – SAVE YOURSELF. Take it from a girl who’s done it. Now… I love to workout & I equally love to have cocktails when I’m not preggy. Just because I love both of these things does not mean I love them together & I believe in no shape or form should working out while drinking go together. I did the pedal tavern with my coworkers in Minneapolis one year in the middle of FEBRUARY. I was layered in cold-weather clothes & about 10 minutes into the dang “bike ride” I was stripped down to my tank top. Ask me when I caught my buzz… essentially never. You’re too busy sweating your ass off trying to get the damn pedal tavern to move that the alcohol doesn’t even do it’s job properly & if you’re friends are lazy, they don’t pedal & you’re on your own. Needless to say, I don’t envy anyone on a pedal tavern & prefer to have my drinks on a stationary bar stool. Added side note: One of my readers let me know that Sprocket Rocket Party Bike is a company in Nashville that have motorized taverns! That sounds like a much better plan to me – Thanks, Diana!
|| DO NASHVILLE LIKE A LOCAL ||
This essentially means that you avoid Broadway at all costs. On the opposite side of Interstate 65, there’s an area known as Mid-Town. Here, you’ll find Demonbreun Hill, where Tin Roof, South, Winners, Losers & a wide variety of bars are located. This is where you’ll have a better chance of running into a country musician than anywhere downtown proper. Don’t get me wrong, this side of town still gets wild but compared to Broadway, you don’t get the cowboy boot, cowboy hat wearing crowd that most people think “Nashville” is.
Note: I don’t known a pair of cowboy boots OR a cowboy hat & I actually don’t think any of my girlfriend’s in Nashville do either. Shockingly enough, we don’t wear that stuff around here although visitors think “that’s what we do here.” Pretty interesting!
Restaurants that I highly recommend:
5th & Taylor ($$$) This restaurant is GORGEOUS & located in Germantown. I’ve been here several times for girl’s nights & it’s stunning. I recommend getting there early for a cocktail at the bar & enjoying the atmosphere or their excellent patio. Trust me when I tell you to order the beer can chicken. I know it sounds like a simple meal but I can honestly say it’s the BEST chicken I have ever eaten. They know what they’re doing there, FOR REAL.
Tavern ($$) Tavern is in Mid-Town & is an M Street restaurant. Complimentary valet parking located out front during busier hours. They have an amazing brunch on Sunday’s but be prepared to wait. Their buffalo cauliflower appetizer is amaze & I love the chicken skewers here (ask for the sauce on the side because sometimes the chef has a heavy hand & the sauce is extremely thick.) Their kale salad is also my favorite salad in Nashville. Order it the way it’s served. It’s excellent.
St. Anejo ($$) There’s a little area downtown where in this single block, you will find St. Anejo (Mexican style with a modern twist), Kayne Prime ($$$ – high-end steak house), Virago ($$$ – the best sushi in Nashville), & Whiskey Kitchen ($$ – American style eatery with a great happy hour.) All of these restaurants are owned by the same restaurant group, M Street & the rumor around Nashville is that Justin Timberlake is part owner of St. Anejo but I hear that rumor is exactly that… a rumor. A girl can dream. St. Anejo is my favorite of these restaurants for a lunch or dinner because their patio & open-air concept is just perfect for cocktails with friends. I love the food here & I recommend drinking your margarita with George Clooney’s tequila, Casamigos. It’s smooth as hell! #Dangerous
Adele’s ($$$) This adorable restaurant is located just across the street from Virago & they do take reservations (I recommend making one.) They have a small menu but great variety. Get the pizzette appetizer, it’s SO flavorful. Drinks are poured pretty strong here so keep that in mind! I like this place for girl’s nights or date nights as well.
|| GETTING AROUND ||
Public transportation isn’t really what Nashville is known for so don’t expect to need to learn the downtown bus system. If you can’t get there on foot, just Uber anywhere you go. It’s so much easier to Uber (& cheaper!) Parking downtown is typically $20 anywhere, anytime & Uber’s are just so much cheaper. It’s about $5 from Broadway to Mid-Town & we all know this is the only route if you’re drinking anyway. If you don’t have Uber or even know what it is, it’s an app you can download to your smart phone to call for driver’s in their personal vehicles to pick you up & take you where you need to go. You safely link your debit or credit card number to the app. The tip is included & no cash has to ever be exchanged. You can rate your driver & keep in mind, they rate you so, be respectful.
|| P. S. ||
The CMT Awards are downtown tomorrow at the Bridgestone Arena. Expect road closures & traffic but a hell of a good time. After the awards, my hubby is playing his official CMA Fest After Party at Loser’s Bar & Grill in Mid-Town. Everyone is invited so come & say hi! I’ll post Thursday with details on the night & how I ended up dressing my almost-7-month bump (Eek! It’s happening so fast!) Have an amazing week!
Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.