WanderrunwaychefUSA

A Long Weekend in Nashville

WanderrunwaychefUSA
A Long Weekend in Nashville
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Ah, Nashville. In the word’s of one of country music’s greatest, “I like it, I love it, I want some more of it!”. Truly, Nashville was all that it was cracked up to be….and so much more! I’m already itching to go back and experience more of the good food, great people, Southern charm and bohemian vibes. But before I get ahead of myself and start living in some future trip, let’s talk about this trip y’all!

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WEAR

Keep it casual & cool. While you’ll find plenty of cowboy boots and denim cut-offs on Broadway, everywhere else is a sweet mix of casual ,cool hipster style and a good dose of classic Southern charm. Also, it’s pretty hot and humid, so keep that in mind. Dresses, bright colors, denim and flats all came in handy.

My Nashville Packing List

A White & Denim Shorts Look

Off-the-Shoulder Black Dress

Simple Red Dress

Souther Style via Draper James

A Boots & Double Denim Pairing

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EAT

The food scene is so good here that I had at least another 2 months worth of meals planned out that I, obviously, never got to. Guess I’ll just have to go back….but in the mean time, let’s talk about the eats.

Frothy Monkey || A fun little low-key coffee shop that has several locations around Nashville (we went to the one that was farther out as we wanted to check out Grimey', the record shop that is located in the same space). Some locations serve more extensive lunch and dinner menus, as well as alcoholic beverages. They have a huge coffee and tea menu with all kinds of cool sounded beverages like orange lavender lattes or coconut cream lattes. They also have a bakery so their baked goods are all made in-house. What we ordered: Turtle Latte (which we loved) and Chocolate Banana Cappuccino (I'm not a fan of bananas and I thought this was pretty good, but not good enough to order again) and one of their speciality loaded cookies.

Barista Parlor || Speciality coffee shop and coffee bean roaster with several locations all around the city. What we ordered: Iced bourbon Vanilla Latte ($6) Whiskey Caramel Cappuccino ($5.75)

Biscuit Love Cafe || Cute and very popular breakfast spot in The Gulch. Known for their Bonuts (cream filled biscuit holes fried like donuts). Food was delicious; the Bonuts were served in a dish with a blueberry compote and a lemon mascarpone cream. The Southern Benny was their take on classic eggs benedict. One biscuit cut open face and served with locally sourced ham. Topped with two poached eggs and smothered in house made chicken gravy. Be prepared to wait, even during the week. What we ordered: Bonuts ($7) Southern Benny ($10) Americano Coffee ($3.50)

5th & Taylor || A beautiful space located in the Germantown area, serving up dinner and Sunday brunch.While the popular super popular brunch spot, Tavern, was our first pick, I'm so glad it was too busy and we ended up at 5th & Taylor instead. The space was nice and open and beautifully decorated and our waitress was literally the nicest person. We mentioned we were visiting and, without us even asking, she literally gave us a whole written listen of recommendations. Amazing, right?! And the food was so delicious, too! I gladly would have come back for dinner if we had more time. What we ordered: Monkey bread ($12) Chicken Sausage Scramble ($14) Breakfast Potatoes ($7) 

Hattie B’s Nashville Hot Chicken ||Renowned hot chicken eatery located a block away from our hotel in Midtown.  Though the not original birthplace of hot chicken, Hattie B’s does not disappoint. We tried both the mild and medium and both offered enough heat where it didn’t spoil the flavors of the chicken and other spices. Definitely one of the best pieces of fried chicken we have ever come across. One of the other surprises was the black-eyed pea salad as a side. Full of flavor and a touch of spice from hot peppers, it complemented the chicken nicely. The banana pudding for dessert was a must as no southern dinner should ever have dessert skimped on. Classic and simple the pudding was a nice sweet treat to indulge in after our spicy entrees. What we ordered: Tender Plate x 2 (3 Tenders each, sides were pimento mac & cheese, fries, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, black eyed pea salad) ($9 ea) Banana Pudding ($3) Sweet Tea x 2 ($2 ea)

Rolf & Daughters|| Rolf & Daughters is not only one the most popular restaurants in the Germantown neighborhood, but probably one of the most popular in all of Nashville. What drew us to Rolf & Daughters, besides the countless recommendations, was the atmosphere, menu and industrial decor. Definitely make reservations as a walk-in could be an upwards of an hour-long wait. They have a communal table in the middle of the space, single tables along the wall and an outdoor patio for those who wish to dine al fresco. The menu is not huge, but easy enough to navigate and the service was friendly and attentive, so don’t be afraid to ask if you need something. Another great feature is that the menu is seasonal, so it is definitely worth a return trip or two to see what new items pop up. In fact, their menu has changed already since we were there (only Dave's dish is still available) but here's whatwe ordered: Roasted Carrots, Squid Ink Tajarin ($19) Corn Agnolotti (If this is on the menu when you go, whatever you do, GET IT!)

Acme Feed and Seed|| Located at the end of Broadway (across the street from the waterfront). Southern soul food was on the menu and the place was massive. Three floors including a rooftop overlooking Broadway, the skyline and the Cumberland River. Live music played while we at dinner. Prices were reasonable especially for being in a tourist location like Broadway. Food was good, but nothing noteworthy. Delicious selection of sauces, especially the Texas Ketchup and the Southern Belle hot sauce. What we ordered: Catfish platter (came with sides like hush puppies, which were really yummy, and fries) Side of Mac & Cheese ($3) Fried Green Tomatoes ($10)

Las Paletas|| Located in 12South, the popsicles were tasty and refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. Not sure if there would be a return trip planned as they were not anything to write home about, but definitely worth a try if you’re in the neighborhood and looking for an alternative to ice cream. What we ordered: Pineapple Chili ($3.50) Pineapple Blackberry ($3.50)

Pinewood Social || Pinewood Social is definitely on the list to stop by if you find yourself in Nashville. It is a huge converted warehouse space that houses a bar, a barista bar, tables for food service, a six lane bowling alley, and an outdoor bocce court and wading pool. We came for lunch and though we didn't have too much trouble getting a table, as it was a Monday, there were still many spots booked up with people that are coming for work and meetings. Consequently, I'd make reservations before you go. What we ordered: Chicken Torta with Fries ($13) Curried Duck Sandwich with Cauliflower Salad (Special sandwich of the day, $11) Symbolic Self ($13) Mouth Full of Gold ($13)

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DO

Browse records at Grimey’s Record Shop(and stay for a concert in the basement because it’s basically the new Bluebird Café)

Shop at Draper James (Reese Witherspoon's charming and inviting boutique that you can read more about here) and imogene + willie(denim speciality store that makes jeans right there in Nashville)

Catch the sunset on the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge

Hang out at Pinewood Social (see above for reasons why)

Walk around and look at all of the incredible wall art

Peek into Savant Vintagefor some old treasures

Stop at the 12 South Farmer's Market to pick up local produce (We picked up peaches for a snack, but if you were staying in an Airbnb this would be a great spot to get some items for a meal!)

Pop into White’s Mercantile for a cool and modern take on a general store

Check out Third Man Records and hop into a booth to record your own record while you're there (Note- If you really want to see this spot or make a record, then come here, but if you're looking for more used and vintage records then I would go to Grimey's instead.)

Head out of the city and into nature for a hike around Radnor Lake(It was so peaceful and calm and we saw tons of baby turkeys the day we went!)

Hear live music at a number of spots around town (3rd & Lindsley is a popular one as is Printer's Alley area and I also thought the music at Honky Tonk Central was amazing {The night I went, the band playing was leaving the next week to go open for Zack Brown Band!}, but it was insanely barely-able-to-move-or-breath packed, granted it was a Friday night but still...).

Speaking of music, going to the Opryfor a concert is a classic Nashville must-do

Treehouse is fun outdoor spot for drinks (although, because the cocktails are each made by hand, service can be a bit slow but on the plus side, you're getting a handmade cocktail, so there's that...) and Old Glory is a unique spot serving up innovative cocktails 

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DWELL

We stayed at the lovely Hutton Hotel, which I’m sure you already know if you caught my post about it last month. If not hop on over, read all the deets and book yourself a room ASAP!

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TIPS

Plan to rent a car (or have lots of Lyft discounts, like this one, ALYSSA843150....and yes, that is my code #noshameinmygame). While the various neighborhoods are all walkable (and they all seem relatively close together), the overall city itself is not very walkable.

If you are using car services to get around, I would recommend Lyft. Their prices seemed better and their drivers also seemed more reliable (Don't even get me started an the awful probably-almost-lost-my-life-and-overcharged-me-by-50% Uber driver!).

Nashville is a hot spot for bachelor/bachelorette parties so if you’re trying to avoid excessive crowds, I recommend going at the beginning of the week/midweek. There’s still a ton of live music options, just minus the crowds.

I came in early for a bachelorette party and then Dave met me on Sunday. Here's a rough itinerary from the entire trip-

Friday (I came early for a bachelorette party)

  • Went out downtown (Went to a few places but settled on Honky Tonk because their live music was really, really good)

Saturday

  • Hiked at Lake Radnor
  • Saw a show at the Grand ol' Opry
  • Went to Treehouse for cocktails
  • Sunday
  • Went to Mass then said goodbye to the bachelorette party and met up with Dave
  • Brunch at 5th & Taylor
  • Afternoon coffee at Barista Parlor
  • Checked into the Hutton Hotel
  • Dinner at Rolf & Daughters
  • After-dinner, wandered & got drinks

Monday

  • Breakfast/Coffee at Frothy Monkey + exploring Grimey's, the record shop located in the same space
  • Lunch/Drinks/Afternoon Hang at Pinewood Social
  • Walked to 3rd Man Records
  • Popped back to the hotel to refresh
  • Took the hotel shuttle downtown to catch the sunset while walking over the pedestrian bridge
  • Dinner & rooftop drinks at Acme Feed & Seed

Tuesday

  • Breakfast at Biscuit Love
  • Walked around 12 south, starting with Savant Vintage, then working our way down to imogene + willie, stopped for peaches at the farmer's market, then continued on to Draper Jame's and White’s Mercantile before grabbing a popsicle at  Las Palatas and wandering around the park across the street (which also had a cute little farmer's market set up in it)
  • Back to the hotel to refresh and grab a glass of wine in the lobby
  • Grabbed dinner around the corner from our hotel at Hattie B’s
  • Went downtown to walk around and popped into Printer's Alley area for drinks and live music
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