Today’s post might seem a bit off-topic compared to my usual beauty and business posts, but I am looking to flavor in more localized, community stories since it’s another subject I’m very passionate about.
I’ve lived in the Nashville area since 2005 and have completely fallen in love with Middle Tennessee! I get A LOT of Facebook messages and emails from friends, family, and even not so familiar acquaintances who want to know what shops, restaurants, and landmarks they should check out during a weekend visit or weeklong vacation in Nashville. I find myself copy/pasting the same recommendations over and over, so I thought, I need to blog about this!
I may not be a native Nashvillian, but I’ve discovered some of the most popular places in Music City and I’ve even stumbled over a few gems off the beaten path.
Here are some of my favorite places, in no particular order:
**MY FAVORITE NASHVILLE FOOD AND DRINK STOPS**
- Taco Mamacita – Their sangria is amazing and so is their queso! I always order the same thing – two tacos with a side – general homeboy and baja fish with sweet potato fries (ask for a side of honey mustard to dip those yummy fries).
- Virago – Delicious Asian/American fusion restaurant. Anything you order will be delicious!
- Las Paletas Gourmet Popsicles – Gourmet popsicles? Need I say more? These are the best popsicles you’ll ever find! Unique flavors include rose petal, pineapple chili, chocolate chip cookie, Mexican caramel, strawberry chocolate chip – just to name a few! It’s the perfect summer treat!
- Sinema – They have a unique artisan cocktail menu that changes seasonally and my drink choices have always been very tasty. My favorite part? It’s a restaurant that used to be an old movie theatre. You feel like you’ve walked back in time as soon as you step inside. This place makes the history and architectural geek in me squeal with joy.
- Monell’s – Don’t go here unless you’ve brought your big appetite and you’re ready to be social. Monell’s is a down-home restaurant where everything is served family style. You’ll sit down with a handful of strangers, but will part as friends. It’s a lovely atmosphere and the food is just like your momma (or grandmomma) fixed it!
- Pinewood Social – Another historical and architectural treasure, this restaurant is set inside one of Nashville’s old trolley barns. There is a retro bowling alley and an astroturf patio with an old Airstream that serves up tacos. Make sure you try the fried broccoli, order an adult beverage from their tasty cocktail menu, and try the lemon lavender icebox pie if it’s still on the menu!
- I Dream of Weenie – It’s a fun hot dog stand in East Nashville that serves up a unique offering of dogs out of an old VW van! Check their menu here.
- Loveless Cafe – This one is off the beaten path, but it’s worth the drive. All meals are served with their signature biscuits and jam. It’s a charming location and their menu is chock full of Southern fare. They’ve been featured in numerous publications and on several TV shows.
- Puckett’s Grocery – Located on Church Street in downtown Nashville, there’s also a location in Franklin, Leiper’s Fork, Columbia, and they’re currently opening their Chattanooga location. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. They always have incredible musical entertainment too!
- Mafioza’s – My favorite pizza place in town!
- Pancake Pantry – Get there early and be ready to wait in line, especially if you’re there on a Saturday morning. It’s often worth the wait, though. 🙂 Their pancakes, hashbrowns, and bacon are a great way to start the day!
- The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden – Burgers are spot on and the specialty drinks are fabulous! Try the orange cream drink!
**MY FAVORITE ATTRACTIONS IN NASHVILLE**
- Belle Meade Plantation – Come learn about the Harding family and their contribution to the world of thoroughbred breeding and racing. I can’t get enough of this beautiful home built in 1820. Visiting Belle Meade is a great way to learn about the City of Nashville and prominent individuals from Middle Tennessee and U.S. history. Make sure you visit the winery tasting room!
- Cheekwood – This stunning historic mansion was completed in 1932 and is connected with The Cheek Family who was one of Nashville’s early entrepreneurial families. They were apart of the founding of The Maxwell House Coffee Company. Today the expansive home and acres of surrounding gardens offer stunning year-round exhibits. I recommend visiting in spring or fall.
- Yazoo Brewery tour and Corsair Distillery tour – Do you enjoy the fine crafts of brewing beer or distilling spirits? Tour the facilities of these locally crafted adult beverages. I enjoy Yazoo’s Hefeweizen and Corsair’s Spiced Rum.
- The Hermitage – Beautiful home and final resting place of Andrew Jackson, the 7th U.S. President.
- The Frist Center for Visual Arts – I’ve seen several incredible art and cultural attractions here – the Dead Sea scrolls, artifacts from the pyramids in Egypt, French couture fashion, antique cars, and more. It was originally built during the Art Deco era in the early 1930s and was previously home to the Nashville Post Office.
- Tennessee State Museum – This is a great place to visit if you’ve got time on your hands and are on a budget. Not only is this a free museum, but it takes several hours to tour the whole place. Great for children and families too!
- Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum – Take a walk through the history of Country Music…hey, you are in Music City! 🙂
- The Ryman Auditorium – The original home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman is known as The Mother Church of Country Music. Take the backstage tour and snap a photo onstage where numerous musical legends have wowed audiences.
- The Grand Ole Opry – The radio broadcast that started in 1925 continues to entertain audiences on its world-famous stage. I recommend taking the backstage tour here too! And definitely make sure you check the schedule and buy tickets for a night your favorite Country legend or rising star is performing.
- The Parthenon in Centennial Park – Originally built in 1897 for Nashville’s Centennial Exposition, this true to life replica of the original parthenon in Athens is a must-see on your visit to Nashville! Check the park site for more info!
This is a fairly comprehensive list of my favorite places in Nashville, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of all you can see and do in Middle Tennessee. Stay tuned for future posts on other local attractions and areas of interest. Our home is in Franklin and I plan to do an overview of my favorite places here in Williamson County, TN – just 10 miles south of Nashville.