Where to Eat, Sleep & Shop in Nashville, Tennessee
This is what I knew about Nashville before actually having been to Nashville: it’s the #1 bachelorette destination, a ton of bloggers I follow either visit the city frequently or call it home, Aziz had an entire episode of Master of None based in Nashville, it’s the home of hot chicken, and there’s a huge music scene. And here’s what I discovered from visiting Nashville: the food is incredible, the city is unbelievably green, the people are nice, and the shopping isn’t really for me. All in all, Nashville is a beautiful city that we’d visit again just to eat another meal at Folk.
The Best Restaurants in Nashville
Folk - Folk was the best meal of the trip. If this restaurant was in LA it would have a 3-month waiting list and we would be on it. Folks menu is based on seasonality so it’s always changing. We had a grain and seed salad that might’ve been my favorite bite the whole trip, an incredible mushroom pizza, and the chicken milanesa, a flattened, panko-crusted chicken served bao style with lettuce to wrap it in. They also make their own gelato. When we were visiting the flavor was chocolate huckleberry and it was so good Matty and I fought for the last bite. Oh, and food aside, this place is decorated to perfection.
Rolf & Daughters - Same owners as Folk, R&D is a seasonal menu but a bit more high end. They’re known for their pastas and sourdough.. Their cacio e pepe pasta is made with sourdough stater and they offer a couple bread starters. We had both and neither disappointed.
Mas Tacos - I live in LA, so I know tacos, and these tacos were some of the best I’ve ever had. The fried avocado was my favorite but they’re all good. And they have elote, you just can’t go wrong with elote.
Hattie B’s - The only hot chicken we tried and it was hot, sweat-inducing hot, but oh so good. Go early, wait in the line and go down a level in heat.
Five Points Pizza - We didn’t actually eat here but I heard so many good things about this pizza I had to put it on the list.
Slow Hand Coffee + Bakeshop - Tried to go here but they were closed, but it’s cute and what’s not to like about coffee and baked goods.
Five Daughters Bakery - Seriously delicious donuts. Like for real. They call them 100 layer donuts and if you peep their instagram account, you’ll see why.
Baked on 8th - Baked goodies + neon sign + plants = who cares if it’s good, it’s cute. I care actually, it was good, a little sweet and that’s saying something coming from me, but cute and good. Glowing review, amiright?
Greenhouse Bar - A bar… in a greenhouse!! I saw it on instagram AFTER our trip. How dare you hold out on me Nashville. Someone go and tell me if it’s as cute as it looks.
What to do in Nashville
Downtown bar scene / live music / drunken debauchery - Our first night in Nashville we drove to the downtown area and let me tell you, that was a mistake! It was drunk women as far as the eye could see singing Skater Boy, aka, my own personal hell. Downtown is bachelorette mayhem with trucks named things like Cock Pit driving drunk women up and down the street. But hey, if you’re into that sorta thing, you found your destination. Look no further. This is also where all the bars and live music are. We heard great things about Robert’s Western World on Broadway. Apparently they play classic country and it’s not as sceney as the other bars but I can’t really expand on it because like I said, my own personal hell.
Plants - So, if you’re like me and enjoy a day in a greenhouse looking at and posing alongside plants you can’t buy because you flew, then you should drive the 20 minutes out of town to Hewitt Garden & Design Center, a family-owned nursery. This place is massive with greenhouses dedicated to cacti and plants AND they sell planters that I’m assuming are made by local ceramists. I bought two here and I think it was the only thing I bought to bring home from the trip.
Hipster bowling - Do you want to drink frosé while playing bocce ball? Bowl on one of six lanes alongside the other hipsters? Well, you’re in luck, I have just the spot for you! All joking aside, Pinewood is very cute. I saw Venue Report post about them and cemented it as a must-go-to stop in Nashville. When we arrived, ready to bowl our butts off, they said they were closing early for a private event but we could get a drink in the 30 minutes before they closed. I needed my instagram shot, so we went in. I paid $16 for honestly the best frosé I’ve ever had and to stand in front of the lingering bowling group to get the shot. Worth it. And really people in Nashville aren’t so much hipsters as they are frat boy bros and Legally Blonde lookalikes.
Where to Shop in Nashville
So overall, the shopping in Nashville is not for me. I seek out mom and pop home decor shops and the style I found in Nashville, and really all of the south, is very… shabby chic. Think phrases on signs to hang in your kitchen. Throwing no shade, it’s just not my thing. But that being said, I found some gems and listed them below. If you know of any I missed, leave them in the comments.
The Getalong - Plants and home goods and baby things. This was one of the shops that I vibed with, cute pillows and ceramics with plants but sadly none came home with me.
Amelia’s Flower Truck - You’re on vacation, so why would you visit a flower truck. Is that what you’re thinking? Well because it is cute and do it for the gram! See pictures above. I waited, on the street, for 10 minutes for them to open to get that shot. Was it worth it? You tell me.
Imogene + Willie - Really can’t even remember what this shop sold but it’s the white building with the plus sign that the flower truck stops in front of making for the perfect instagram shot. You know the one. We went, it was crowded, maybe they sold denim? Not sure. But up and down the street it’s on (12th) are a TON of shops and the art murals Nashville is known for. Reese’s shop Draper James is on this street, a Madewell, and a bunch of other shops we didn’t go into.
White’s Mercantile - Candles, home goods, some beauty products, Goo Goo Clusters (the candy made in Nashville that has a huge store you can actually make them at but it’s downtown so you don’t go), yeah they have all that here and the shop is cute.
Lemon Laine - Ok, this shop I was very into. A health and wellness boutique that’s all about natural, clean beauty products. It’s cute a hell, they have the door that says girls on it (it’s a thing) AND they have an oil bar. You make an appointment, pop in, tell them your skin concerns and right before your eyes they make you your very own custom oil blend. I loved the whole experience.
Plant shops in Nashville - Because one plant stop just isn’t enough, here are the other beautiful plant shops we visited that I 10/10 recommend: Flora Plant Shop, Nashville Farmer’s Market, and Lawrence & Clarke Cacti Co.
Best Airbnb’s in Nashville
I should start by saying that Airbnb hunting is one of my favorite things to do. When I’m bored or day dreaming about a place I’ve never been to, I comb Airbnb for home listings and create lists for every possible city. I seriously look through every, single page, adjust filters and dates and look until I find one that works for us. The rest I save. Below are some of the best Nashville Airbnb’s I found.
East Nashville Airbnb perfect for a couple - This is the Airbnb we stayed at. Super cute with a private bed / bath / living room / dining room and kitchen that’s attached to a larger home that the couple who runs the Airbnb lives in. I love the way the space is decorated and we really enjoyed our stay. This is actually the first Airbnb we ever stayed in where the hosts met us! They walked us through the space and then wrote recommendations for us based on what we like. This space was perfect for us and ended up being in our favorite area, East Nashville.
Gorgeous guesthouse with a pool - Look through the pictures on this listing and you’ll see why I’ve included it here. The space is immaculate, decorated to perfection AND there’s a pool. Looks like it’s perfect for a couple and maybe a couch crasher.
Five Points attic apartment - Another gorgeous space perfect for a couple. I love the arched doorways and breezy boho design, and that clawfoot tub.
East Nashville home perfect for a family - I don’t have kids, but I can picture them fighting over the cabin-looking room. This space has ample sleeping quarters and is beautiful to boot.
The home I’d book for a girls trip - This is the home I really wanted to book but didn’t because it didn’t make sense with just Matty and I staying there. That being said, it’s perfect for one of those bachelorette trips I mentioned with 3 queen beds and 2 full bathrooms.
Side-by-side Airbnb’s perfect for couples and kids - Do you follow @abeautifulmess or @acolorstory on instagram? these two listings were made by the sister creators of those apps / blogs and they’re beautiful. Elsie’s home looks perfect for a group of friends with a king and 2 queen sized beds, while Emma’s seems more family friendly with a king, queen and full double beds. Both are beautifully decorated with thoughtful touches and the two listings are side by side.