You wanted it, so here it is!
We’ve lived in Nashville for 7 1/2 years, and the amount it has grown since 2011 has been incredible to watch. Naturally, we’ve had plenty of time to figure out the good, the bad, and the “you need to try its.” Here we go!
☆ Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar – Edgehill
This is hands down my absolute favorite restaurant in Nashville. Not only is their wine selection incredible, but the food. It’s all tapas style, but every time I’ve gone, I order my own. Not big on sharing my Barcelona food. It can be either very affordable, or very not-as-affordable. (Depending on how hungry you are, keep track of how many things you order.) The menu is always changing.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Penalolen
Vegetable Paella* to share
Chicken Pimientos* to share
The menu is always changing, but they will always give you the Brussel Sprouts if you ask. I dream about them, they’re so good!)
☆ 5th & Taylor – Germantown
If you’re looking for a fancier dinner/brunch spot, this is your place. I can honestly say that everything I’ve ever ordered from here has been incredible. I go here every chance I get!
Literally anything is amazing. I have never been disappointed. BUT I will say, make sure someone at your table orders something with mashed potatoes. They’re dreamy.
☆ Kayne Prime – The Gulch
This is on the fancier side as well. One of the priciest spots in Nashville, but my goodness, it’s truly incredible. It’s considered a “boutique steakhouse”.
Belle Glos Pinot Noir
Canoes of Beef
☆ Virago – The Gulch
If you’re looking for yummy sushi in a trendy spot, this is your place.
I’m not going to recommend sushi because I feel like sushi is one of those foods that everyone has different opinions on. (Hehe). BUT, I will say anything spicy tuna related I’ve had there was awesome.
☆ Bar Taco – 12 South
Do not come here if you don’t want a margarita, because they’re the best in the world. A great lunch spot! Always call 40-60 mins ahead of time if you’re going on the weekend and have your name “put on the list.” You can’t make reservations, but this strategy has always worked well for Liz & me.
Margaritas, of course. I’m serious, they’re life-changing.
The chips & guac
Pork Belly Tacos
Any of the bowls
☆ Cafe Roze
This place is so trendy in every way a place can be trendy. Inside it is absolutely stunning, with baby pink and marble everywhere. The food is super trendy too – super healthy but always extremely delicious. In true cafe fashion, they have coffee! Fun, trendy coffee like you’ve never had.
The “Mandy” – its a Miller High Life… with grapefruit ice!
For non alcoholic try the Turmeric Cooler.
Avocado Hummus toast! Because avocado…. hummus…. toast….
☆ The Mockingbird
This place has the most “you gotta be there” brunch. The space is a very “old Hollywood” vibe – but 2018 version. The food is absolutely incredible, very comfort food done RIGHT. It’s also located in the Gulch, but not the super packed part!
The seasonal fruit punch served in a “punching bag” (get it?!) But really an actual plastic bag. So cute.
The “Flock Yes” – this a fancy chicken, biscuits and gravy. CHORIZO gravy! And yes, all of the names of the dishes are that creative and cool.
☆ Tiff’s Treats
Warm fresh cookies. That you can have delivered to your hotel room OR go to one of their locations! Located in the Gulch and West End.
☆ Pinewood Social
Great for coffee and breakfast or lunch/dinner! This place is great to go if you want to eat, drink, AND do an activity. But be prepared, the bowling is not automatic, so you have to count the pins down every time you bowl, and keep track on an app. Gets a little foggy when drinks are involved, so don’t take it too seriously.
☆ Top Golf
If you have a Top Golf in your area, you know what this is about. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s fun! Really great food and drinks, and of course having an activity is always fun. Be prepared to wait in line, though. ALWAYS.
- LA Jackson – Top of the Thompson Hotel in The Gulch
This place is and has always been cool. There’s an inside and an outside, so weather doesn’t need to be a worry. Very chill vibe and always a fun time.
- Rarebird – Top of the Noelle Hotel downtown
This place has the best view of the classic “Batman building.” Pricey drinks, but SO yummy.
- L27 – Top of the Westin Hotel
Such a beautiful view of the entire Nashville skyline. Your classic rooftop bar, but with the best “bar food”.
- The Rooftop Lounge of The Bobby Hotel
This rooftop is one of my favorites because it has a vintage Greyhound bus that they hollowed out and put couches in! It provides some shade, but also just the coolest scene, and the view is amazing! It is still one of the newer spots so it doesn’t get too crazy…. Yet!
- Crazy Town – on Broadway
This bar has three levels, and they’re all fun. Definitely my favorite bar located on Broadway.
- Ole Red – on Broadway
You know, Blake Shelton’s bar!! Brand new and really fun. Also a must-hit on Broadway.
- FGL House – just off Broadway
This is hands down my favorite downtown bar. Also three levels, FGL sure know how to make a bar fun.
- Tootsies – on Broadway
Go here towards the end of the night, or in the day. Not a great place to start your night, but a great place to day-drink.
- Honky Tonk – on Broadway
This bar needs to come with the disclamer of “only come here after yu’re very intoxicated.” Always an interesting/entertaining crowd, but definitely not one you want to be sober in.
*These bars are all usually very college-kid based. So if you’re college aged, this is the place for you.*
I have literally always had a fun time at this bar. They have darts and room to dance. 10/10 would recommend.
- Winners/Losers – yes, they’re next door to each other.
Both your standard bar, but always fun.
- Red Door
It’s literally actually red from all the red lights. If you’re a smoker, you can smoke on the patio at this bar. If you can’t stand the smell of cigarette smoke, stay inside. Also make sure you look for the skeleton under the floor through a hole in the floor board. 😉
Stores are all over in Nashville, but here are some places to find cute clothes!
- American Threads
- Green Hills Mall (yes, there’s a Nordstrom)
- Lizard Thicket Boutique
Where to Stay:
Try to stay as close to town as possible, as this will make for cheaper Ubers everywhere you go. West End area, 12 South area, or downtown are best. Don’t be fooled by cheap Air Bnbs in East Nashville. East Nashville is definitely fun and some parts are ok to stay in, but some of the nice, newer houses were built in East specifically for Air Bnbs. Some of those areas aren’t exactly safe yet, especially if you’re staying with a group of girls or by yourself. Not saying all parts of East Nashville are unsafe, but do your research on the area before you book!
- The Nail Bar (Enrich & CO)
- Signature Nails Spa
- Cured (this place is great for all the fancy, cool manicures)
- Live Skin Nashville (ask for Olivia, she’ll change your life!)
- The Westin Hotel Spa
We hope y’all have the best time on your visit to Nashville, if you’re visiting. If you live here, hey! Maybe we will see you around! 😉
Xo Megan & Liz