...because home doesn't happen overnight.

tn kitchen 5

Steve and I are headed to Nashville this weekend for a much needed adults-only getaway. We try to take a trip just the two of us once a year. Sometimes it’s a big deal, and other times we visit far-flung friends (and ogle their kitchen). I get a little anxious leading up to trips like this. Who will watch the kids? Who will feed Cheetah? What if something happens to our kids/house/pet while we’re away? Is it really worth the effort just for three days? The planning is the hardest part.

nashville living room

nashville den

It’s always worth it though. Once we’re on the road without kids whining and making demands in the back seat, we both agree the quiet drive is a vacation in itself.

Now for the big question: What do we do/eat/drink/see while we’re in Nashville? You guys always have the best suggestions!

P.S. – A new kitchen in an old Nashville house and a fun Nashville house tour. I love the patterned sofas!

images: 1) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 2) Leslee Mitchell for One Kings Lane

63 Comments

26.July.2016

I love Nashville! I was just there a few months ago and definitely recommend Taco Mamacita for dinner or drinks (amazing fresh fruit margaritas), Jackson’s Bar and Bistro for brunch, and Greenhouse Bar/Food Co for lunch (or for dinner you can apparently eat in the Greenhouse but I’ve never done that!). Enjoy!

reply )

26.July.2016

Must do…The Pancake Pantry on the west end…yum. There is usually a line, but it goes fast.

reply )

26.July.2016

Hi-

I’ve become a reader in the past several months and really love your blog. I’m happy to help out with recs for our awesome city! The best honky-tonk is Roberts Western World. So fun to go there to dance or just people watch. My favorite restaurant is Rolf and Daughters. SO, so good but get a reservation in advance or go early and sit at the bar. It can be tough to get a table if you go at 7. You never know who you might see there. The last time I was there, I sat at a table next to Christy Turlington! The 15 year old in me was freaking out because I loved that who gaggle of super models back in the day. Best BBQ is Edley’s. Best ice cream is Jenis and I’d suggest that you head to 12 South area for lunch at either Edleys or Burger UP (awesome burger joint) then walk down to Jeni’s for dessert. There are several cute shops in that neighborhood along the way. Holly Williams- Hank Jrs granddaughter owns Whites Mercantile and it’s pretty fun to browse in. You can have custom jeans made at Imogene and Willy’s. Bar Taco (also in 12 South) is fun, as is Hattie Bs for hot chicken. Pinewood Social is beautiful and fun for drinks, dinner and bowling. Everyone LOVES Barista Parlor for coffee but it’s a bit pretentious for me. If you are a coffee snob like my husband, my guess is you’ll like it too. If you want a truly unique dinner experience, Catbird Seat is excellent but it’s easily a 3 hour dinner so you’d only want to go if you have the whole evening available. Oh, and drinks at Patterson House are amazing, as is the atmosphere. On the east side, Pharmacy Burger and Holland House are great. I just realized that I mostly just told you where to eat. Oh well, I guess we know where my heart is.

reply )

26.July.2016

Nashville local here! I’ve been here about 10 years. I live in what some would call “trendy” East Nashville. I just call it home. Some areas are transitioning but my experience has shown me that my neighbors and community are filled with good folks. I’m not sure of your dining preferences so I’ll just list some places that I love. Brunch: Sinema ($$$), SkyBlue Cafe, Marche, Biscuit Love (go early or late or stand in line for a bit during peak time) Lunch/Dinner: Desanno’s Pizza, Five Points Pizza, Mas Tacos por Favor, Chauhan Ale and Masala House, Wild Cow + Graze, TwoTenJack, Dino’s, Pharmacy Burger, Saint Anejo, Moto. If you’ve never seen the Honky Tonks it’s worth spending a little time there. My favorites: Robert’s Western World and Acme Feed and Seed (cool spot on the Broadway strip with tasty food to boot). I would urge you to get out and see other areas outside of Broadway because the locals rarely spend time there. Some cool neigborhoods + areas: Five Points, 12South, Edgehill, Gulch, and Germantown. These websites have a lot of good info: http://nashvilleguru.com/ and http://do615.com/. If you can swing it check out the Porter Flea. It happens twice a year and this coming weekend is it! If you do go, go EARLY. Last year the lines were crazy. If you like the outdoors there’s a ton of parks in the area. Hope you have a fantastic time and welcome to our city :)

reply )

26.July.2016

We went in June:

BlueBird Cafe – if you can still get tickets (they sell out in minutes) DO IT!!! Best night of live music we had

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken – yum and worth the wait in line, outside in the heat

Biscuit Love – best brunch! And again worth the wait in line, ouside (must be a Nashville thing)

reply )

26.July.2016

Eat at Husk, Roth & Daughter, Catbird Seat. Mitchell’s deli has a great ban-mi. You’ll never go wrong having hot chicken (Hattie B’s is my fav even though Prince’s is the most authentic and hottest).

reply )

Ah, Nashville… It’s practically down the road from me! I wish you were coming for a bit longer, I would’ve loved the chance to meet for coffee and pick your brain on all things renovating and decorating and, of course, IKEA! :)

reply )

26.July.2016

Definitely grab brunch at Fido. The wait can be long on the weekends but the food is totally worth it!

reply )

26.July.2016

Glad you are coming to town! There is a great car exhibit at the Frist right now called Bellissima! Definitely worth checking out, though be forewarned that there is some fitness conference this weekend so it will be extra packed downtown.

I would also recommend taking some time to wander downtown Franklin. It’s adorable, there’s great food and shopping and a slew of antique shops to find treasures in. If you want to hit up the antique shops in Nashville, I recommend starting with Gaslamp and Gaslamp, Too.

As far as restaurants, there are so many it’s hard to pick a recommendation, but hot chicken is kind of a thing here. Go to Hattie B’s if you want to try it and are not used to hot food, Prince’s if you want the real deal and feel brave. For brunch, hit up Biscuit Love – always crowded, really good. For burgers, check out Burger Up (though there are a bunch of great burger places in town). If you want something light, check out Avo, which is a vegetarian place (possibly vegan?) that serves killer avocado margaritas. And check out Jeni’s Ice Cream – not a Nashville thing, but it’s SO good. You can barely throw a rock without hitting good food in Nashville ;)

reply )

26.July.2016

Drinks are fancy and fabulous at Patterson House (it’s a speakeasy style bar that’s gotten a ton of national attention). A perfect place to start your evening- it’s best to get there when they open as it gets busy fast. Plus, their decor is spectacular! Above PH is the famous Catbird Seat, though I don’t know if I’d recommend due to some recent mixed reviews.
One of the more recent stand-out dinner experiences I’ve had was at Etch. Rarely do I not want to change a thing about a dinner, but I didn’t want to change a thing at Etch. It’s top-notch.
If you’d be interested in trying a ramen house, I’d highly recommend Two Ten Jack (This is in East Nashville- aka “across the river.” It only take a second to reach.) Their menu is eclectic (they have a lot more than just ramen) and I’ve never heard any person do anything less than rave about the food. Interestingly, they also have cocktails on tap. Yep, on tap!And they are delish.
Some general areas that you might want to peruse which are walking friendly also have a lot of dining and drinking options are East Nashville/Five Points, Lower Broadway (tourist mecca, but a necessary stop) and 12 South.
I’d also recommend trying a bushwacker drink while you are in town (the alcoholic Frosty that you will love even if you typically only drink frozen drinks in the tropics). There are multiple places to get one but they are not all the same. Based on the areas mentioned above for exploring, you could try one in East Nashville at Five Points at 3 Crow Bar (but it’s smoky inside so sit out back on the deck) or at Broadway Brewhouse downtown on Lower Broad.

reply )

replied on July 27th, 2016

Ditto on Two Ten Jack. So good.

reply )

replied on July 28th, 2016

So going.

reply )

26.July.2016

Hi!

I love visiting Nashville, so fun to walk down Broadway and pop in and hear all the good music in the huge selection of bars! You should check out this other blog I follow “A Beautiful Mess”. Elsie one of the two sisters who created the blog just moved to Nashville last year…she has all kinds of recommendations! http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2015/07/a-beautiful-mess-guide-to-nashville-vol-1-.html

reply )

26.July.2016

Two Ten Jack is an amazing Thai Food restaurant!

reply )

replied on July 28th, 2016

Except it’s a Japanese-style restaurant.

reply )

I used to live in Nashville.. here are my recs. Hope you have an awesome trip!

Food:
The Pharmacy (awesome burgers, old-fashioned sodas, fantastic outdoor patio)
Las Paletas (Mexican popsicles; so good and SO many flavors)
MafiaOza’s (legit Italian food)
Marché (go for brunch…best croissant French toast I’ve ever had)

To do:
Arrington Vineyards (about a 30 minute drive outside of Nashville, but absolutely worth it for the stunning views and free wine tasting. Bring a picnic and eat on the lawn!)
McKay (if you like massive used book stores)
Radnor Lake, and/or Percy Warner Park (beautiful scenery, easy hikes)
The Greenway (paved, multi-mile trail throughout Nashville, really pretty)
Grimey’s (iconic new/used record shop.. lots of big bands have played here)
Walk 21st Ave…tons of cool shops, restaurants, etc.

reply )

26.July.2016

I lived in Nashville in my 20s and would love to revisit someday with my husband. I can’t speak for anything new in the past 10 years but these are some classics that I would happily revisit:
– The Grand Ole Opry – when in Rome…
– Shopping for cowboy boots. I still pine after some of the beautiful leather cowboy boots I’d see down there. The best ones were a bit of an investment but gorgeous colors and stitching. I’d love to grab a pair someday.
– Wildhorse Saloon – free line dance lessons (and no cover before 6pm). Good, touristy fun.
– Hatch Show Print – print press that’s been making beautiful posters since the early 1900s. You can take a tour and make your own poster or just shop the store.

reply )

26.July.2016

Hattie B.’s Hot Chicken (wait in line!), Pharmacy Burger, Loveless Cafe, Edley’s BBQ… Enjoy!

reply )

26.July.2016

So dreamy!! Have fun!

http://www.cobblestonedg.com/blog

reply )

26.July.2016

Eat at City House.

reply )

26.July.2016

Have a great time! I lived in Nashville for three years, and I am not much of a country music fan, so I can speak more to the food than the music scene. Fido is a fun coffee shop, and it is located in Hillsboro Village, which is a fun strip right by Vanderbilt. Belmont is also an area which has really taken off, and it has a farmer’s market, fun shops and restaurants, and lots of old houses being made new again. I recommend Firefly, which is an incredibly funky restaurant in the Green Hills area, and Silly Goose and Marche, both in East Nashville, as dining options. Holland House is a great, casual place for drinks, and a much-beloved diner is right next door.

reply )

replied on July 26th, 2016

Silly Goose is unfortunately closed :/

reply )

replied on July 27th, 2016

Oh, no! I’m sad to hear that!

reply )

26.July.2016

We were in Nashville recently for the first time. Our favorite activity was the Walk Eat Nashville food tour of East Nashville, our favorite restaurants were dinner at Margot in East Nashville and Sunday brunch on the patio at The Southern downtown, and our favorite side trip was the Jack Daniels Distillery tour (and I don’t even like whiskey). We also did a show at the Grand Olde Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and RCA Studio B and a walking tour of downtown. NashTrash Tours was sold out. If we go back, I’d do some of other Walk Eat Nashville tours.

reply )

26.July.2016

We did a grown ups getaway to Nashville in April and loved it! We had tickets to a Ben Folds concert at the Ryman which was so cool to experience – such a beautiful building. These two guides were really helpful to us:
http://cupofjo.com/2016/03/best-things-to-do-nashville-tennessee/
http://www.bonappetit.com/restaurants-travel/article/nashville-tennessee-guide

Five Points Pizza was our favorite meal by far. It was packed by the time we got there but we sat at the bar and had the best pizza. Hope yall have fun!

reply )

26.July.2016
26.July.2016

enjoy nashville! my friends live there and it is one of my favorite places to visit! a must go is burger up! it’s in 12 south and they have fun stores to walk around. Frothy monkey is a fun casual breakfast place and franklin juice company has the most amazing acai bowls that even my husband loved. bar taco is great mexican. Really nice restaurants – josephines, edge (one of the best i’ve ever been too!), the southern. If you go to the honky tonks, acme and lengends are the best. I hear pinewood social is cool but have never been. Percy warner park is beautiful and has great trails and a historic stone steps that are good for running. Fido has good breakfast and lunch and is on a really fun street with shops and restaurants. The gulch is another really cool area to check out. there are so many more places but this is becoming too long :) have a great get away!

reply )

26.July.2016

I LOVE Monelle’s. It’s a fun family style place that has delicious brunch. Since I’ve never spent a lot of time in the south, it’s a fun place to go. Also, the pancake place was delicious and there’s a lot of cute shopping around there. I can’t remember what it’s called, but there’s really only one pancake place to mention in Nashville.

reply )

26.July.2016

Acme Feed & Seed- amazing food and drinks- love the atmosphere

Rosepepper Catina

Edley’s Barbecue- — take a picture with the I believe in Nashville mural on the side of the building!

Hattie B’s hot chicken- woo!

The Trailer Perk

Frist Art Museum

The Parthenon

Pinewood Social

Have fun!

Live in Nashville all my life!

reply )

26.July.2016

Urban Grub- everything is amazing- especially the Crab Spaghetti…I know but trust me

reply )

26.July.2016

The Union Station Hotel is a cool building to see and The Patterson House is a really neat experience for drinks.

reply )

26.July.2016

The Southern downtown (you will need reservations)

reply )

26.July.2016

Check out A Beautiful Mess! Elsie just moved to Nashville and there are several posts with ideas of where to go/what to do! :-)

reply )

I love love LOVE the lunch buffet at Ellendale’s. It’s a mansion on Old Elm Hill Pike that was converted into a restaurant. You’ll love exploring. The chef cooks with locally sourced ingredients. The buffet is incredible – there’s always several entrees and a ton of sides, as well as a well-stocked salad bar. The lunch buffet runs from I think 11-2pm and is around $13. Saturdays they have a terrific brunch bar, and Sundays they have a breakfast bar that I hear is the best thing ever, but I haven’t tried it yet.

Monell’s at the Manor is another great local restaurant. It’s near the airport and they do family-style dining (you and a bunch of strangers bond over massive heaps of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and banana pudding). Delicious southern-style food. And again, the manor is absolutely gorgeous – I imagine you’d really enjoy exploring it and checking out the decor. I think it used to be an old plantation? There are several different Monells, but I’ve only been to the one at the Manor. I think some of the others may be cafe-style rather than family-style.

As far as sightseeing goes, take a walk through Centennial Park and check out the Parthenon!

reply )

26.July.2016

12 South is a must: Edley’s, Jeni’s, Las Paletas, White’s Mercantile, Draper James. For a nice dinner, Husk, Sinema, or Rolf & Daughters (Husk and Sinema have great brunches too).

The Nashville Farmer’s Market is cool, Robert’s Western World for Honky Tonks, Acme Feed n’ Seed for view of the river, Paradise Park for late night munchies. There are several rooftop bars that are fun–Pub 5 is a good one for that.

Downtown Franklin is cute and quaint, the Percy Warner Park is gorgeous for walking/hiking, and the Country Music Hall of Fame is a fun museum. The Opry or the Ryman are great for shows too. Loveless Cafe is famous and always has a wait, but it’s very fun.

reply )

26.July.2016

grew up in nashville/franklin….but if you have time i suggest shopping on the franklin square and driving out to leipers fork…eat at pucketts grocery and listen to live music. you will fall in love!

reply )

26.July.2016

I live in Toronto and am waiting to hear what you did here.

reply )

replied on July 27th, 2016

Coming soon!

reply )

replied on July 29th, 2016

Yes! I’m planning a trip in early October and need to hear all about your experience.

reply )

26.July.2016

Pancake Pantry is over-rated
Five Daughters Bakery is a donut shop that will blow your mind. There is always a ridiculous line, but it’s well worth the wait.

reply )

27.July.2016

My husband and I went to Nashville last summer and it was absolutely amazing! We went to a concert downtown at the Ascend Amphitheatre (we saw Old Crow Medicine Show in their hometown, it was awesome!). Had an amazing dinner at Rolf and Daughters. More casual dinner at Five Points Pizza. Drinks at Pinewood Social. Hit up every little coffee shop that was recommended (frothy monkey, barista parlour, etc.) And for an amazing raw meal (this suggestion might be more for Steve, but AVO was insanely good!)
Enjoy your stay, the hospitality is unlike anywhere else!

reply )

replied on July 27th, 2016

I’m so jealous you saw OCMS in Nashville!

reply )

27.July.2016

I can actually give a suggestion!! I tagged along with my husband for a business trip and we added some days to explore. To be perfectly honest, I loved Nashville more once we got out of the city. One of our favorites was franklin, Tennessee! There were several historical tours including the Carter House if that interests you? Great civil war history in Franklin. Afterwards, we are at Greys on Main, awesome building, awesome service, awesome food. You MUST go for a hike to Short Springs Natural Area!!! (Tullahoma, TN). If nothing else, do this only, beautiful water falls!! On your way back you can stop at The Jack Daniels Distillery, it’s free! Beautiful property too. Don’t forget to eat at the Barrel House BBQ when you’re done!!! Enjoy!!

reply )

27.July.2016

Some of my favorite places to eat are Hattie B’s for hot chicken, Monelle’s for comfort, southern food, and Kayne Prime for a fancy date night. Mas Tacos has good tacos, and I love the queso dip at Rosepepper’s in East Nashville. For brunch, I love Tavern Midtown.

I love Centennial Park for picnics and walks/runs, and Percy Werner Park is great for the same along with some hiking trails. I’m a big fan of just piddling around the Farmer’s Market. I’m sure there will be a live outdoor concert somewhere to check out, no matter which night you’re here.

Downtown Franklin is a short drive and is quaint and lovely with some great old architecture and good shopping. I could go on and on, but if I had guests to entertain for a weekend, those are the high points I’d hit.

reply )

27.July.2016

Hi there, a little late here with a recommendation, but if you are near The Stillery you have to give it a try! My son went to Nashville for the Gin Wigmore concert and a girlfriend of mine had recommended it to him. He said it was the bomb!!! Hope you have a great trip!

reply )

27.July.2016

Go to pucket’s grocery which is an awesome restaurant……they have a few different ones in case you don’t have a car. I live here and always send people there…..never had a bad review. GO NOW

reply )

replied on July 29th, 2016

Agreed! I visited the city last year and stopped in there for breakfast the morning I left. Best decision ever!

reply )

27.July.2016

Nashville native, born and raised here. Most people have covered the places to eat/drink. I would say that yeah the Bluebird Cafe is cool…but its in a strip mall in one of the most congested parts of the city (Green Hills). I personally think the Station Inn is a better place for live music (especially if you love bluegrass!) and you never know who will pop in to play a set. Its in the Gulch so there are also a lot of great restaurants within walking distance.

And one last food recommendation: City House in Germantown. Their head chef is this year’s James Beard winner and all the food is fantastic. Make sure you order the belly ham pizza with an egg on top. Reservations are best if you can get them, but if not go early and sit at either the chef’s bar or the regular bar.

Hope you enjoy Nashville. It really is a gem of a city!

reply )

27.July.2016

I was “Born in the Nash” and love your blog! The recent explosion of the city’s popularity has been an exciting experience. My family grew up in East Nashville before it became the Hipster center that it is now. Here is what I would recommend:

Eats:
Five Daughters Bakery in 12 South for some delicious donuts. You could then walk off the calories and enjoy 12th South afterwards.
Hattie B’s – The Midtown location is insane as far as the line, so I would recommend the West Nashville location unless you want the whole experience with everyone else in town. :)
Butcher town Hall if you have a meat loving husband
Pinewood Social for the atmosphere
Le Sel is really pretty too
BBQ – Either Peg Leg Porker or Edleys IMO
Nice dinner options: Silo, Husk, Margots, Etch (I find these places difficult to get into if you are being spontaneous though. So I rarely go there)

Coffee- All the Barista Parlor locations are unique and make for great Instagram moments. It may be pretentious, but it is an experience none the less.
Crema is probably my favorite for flavor. (There is also a crema inside Pinewood Social, so you could kill two birds with one stone there)

Drinks – Patterson House

Do – Someone else mentioned Porter Flea. Definitely do that if you can. Also walk around 12th South, Five Points, and do the Honky Tonks if you haven’t.

Shop – Two Sons in East Nashville, Imogene + Willie (12th South), Elizabeth Suzann Warehouse (If you want the local but expensive stuff these are the best stores for that) Green Hills area if you just want to shop for regular stuff. :)

I can’t wait to see what you decide.
Have fun! Welcome!

reply )

27.July.2016

Bar taco in East Nashville for lunch!! It’s a great spot to sit outside and the indoor area is really great too. Amazing fresh lime margarita’s and the taco’s are to die for. The east nashville strip is a great place to walk and shop too.

reply )

27.July.2016

Bluebird Café and Cheekwood Gardens! Had the nicest time with a group of friends!!!

reply )

27.July.2016

From a native Nashvillian – hope you enjoy your visit! This place has changed exponentially over the past 10 years, but I wouldn’t want to call anyplace else home! The recommendations above have been largely excellent.

reply )

27.July.2016

Girlfriends Go on Pinterest (a side project of mine) aims to put together boards for places around the world for this very reason! My Nashville board is still pretty small, but you might get an idea or two. Have a great time!

reply )

replied on July 27th, 2016

Thought to URL would show up… Here it is: https://www.pinterest.com/mygirlfriendsgo/girlgo-nashville/

reply )

27.July.2016

Nashville: Hattie B’s, Pancake Pantry, Loveless Cafe… (ethnic) Korea House, Bombay Palace, Ms Saigon… Franklin: (downtown Franklin is worth the drive!!!) Puckett’s, Merridees, 5 Daughters Bakery, Henpeck Market (best fried green tomato sandwiches)…and if you drive a little further south, Thompsons Station: Homestead Manor,(antebellum mansion), and Circa Grill in the old train station Enjoy your stay!! Nashville is the best! Here’s a couple more up and coming: http://nashville.eater.com/maps/best-new-nashville-restaurants-heatmap

reply )

28.July.2016

Love your blog! Have lived in Nashville for 5 years and Natasha and Christina’s recs are on point. And my personal favorite is strolling through downtown Franklin and eating at Red Pony. Have a great time!

reply )

28.July.2016

Road trip to Nashville in June – awesome city! Agree with restaurant recommendations- adding Proper Bagel as a casual breakfast – so delicious!! Have fun.

reply )

28.July.2016

So not to rain on your parade, because I know you love nature and being outdoors, but it the heat indexes are over 100 degrees this week in Nashville, and when it isn’t hot enough to make the pavement boil, it’s thunderstorming. So just consider that with all these lovely suggestions of parks and trails and walking around hip neighborhoods! Also, not sure if you are driving here or flying, but you will do best with a car. We do have Uber and Lyft and Taxis, but no reliable public transportation. You’ve already had plenty of great dining suggestions above. For my two cents on activities, you’d like poking around Marathon Village (home to Antique Archeology and more), a drive down Belle Meade Boulevard (and if you want a dose of southern history, the tours at Belle Meade Plantation and Winery are great), or get a cocktail upstairs at Sinema and a peek into Pre to Post Modern on 8th Ave. S. Enjoy your visit and don’t melt!

reply )

replied on July 28th, 2016

We’ve had much of the same weather here in Ohio :(

reply )

05.August.2016

I just got my IKEA family members email and saw you on it! I found myself excited, almost like something awesome happened to a good friend, haha! I wanted to tell someone, but my kids and husband have no idea what House Tweaking is. Anyway, just wanted you to know that was exciting!

reply )

replied on August 10th, 2016

Aw, thank you!

reply )

13.August.2016

I love Centennial Park for picnics and walks/runs, and Percy Werner Park is great for the same along with some hiking trails. I’m a big fan of just piddling around the Farmer’s Market

reply )




This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.