Like New Orleans, I was excited about Nashville for a few reasons. I was expecting amazing food (tick), Honky Tonks (tick), & cowboy boots (tick). I was not expecting Nashville to be so beautiful – we were there in Spring, and to say Nashville was in bloom would be an understatement. So damn pretty & colourful. I also did not expect to run into the cast of this season’s American ‘Survivor’ whilst out in a bar on Broadway, so Nashville certainly had a few surprises up it’s fringed and bedazzled sleeve.
We were lucky to have a personal tour guide in the form of my very dear friend Kko, who last year decided to pack up and desert me move to the City of Music to start a new adventure, so it’s safe to say we nailed it when it came to eating well, going out, and experiencing as much of Nashville as possible in our way-too-short visit.
Food. Like I said, we ate well. Here are a few of my favourites from our trip:
Virago – We had dinner here on our first night. Modern Japanese & delicious cocktails.
Pancake Pantry – Nashville’s best pancakes. There is always a line here, rain, hail, shine, or snow! But the service is quick, and the pancakes amazing. Worth the wait in the queue.
The Soda Parlour – My husband wanted to go here because he is a fan of Olan Rogers who owns this place. It’s a cute little soda bar in a cool industrial warehousey type space, which is home to a range of arts vendors (The Soda Parlour also sells a range of cool illustrative shirts and caps). Get yourself a soda float, and maybe a t-shirt with a cat version of Hans Solo on it and you’ll be pretty happy with yourself.
Tavern – We went here for a recovery brunch after a big night out on Broadway and I’d like to request that whoever owns Tavern opens one in Melbourne please. I can and will recommend the Bloody Mary’s.
Chick-fil-A – I’m actually still dreaming about these chicken sandwiches. If someone could please also open a Chick-fil-A in Melbourne that would be great. Thanks.
What to do in Nashville besides eating everything in sight…
Go out on Broadway. All of the bars are amazing – there’s live music every night, so many great places to choose from, and neon signage lining the street – hello Nashvegas! A couple of my favourites were The Stage, Honky Tonk Central, & the George Jones Rooftop Bar which overlooks the river and made some pretty mean fireballs.
Explore 12 South – a cute little area of Nashville, with great restaurants, cafes, the ‘I Believe in Nashville’ mural, Jeni’s Icecreamery (the riesling poached pear sorbet is next level), and when we were there, a pop up flower market.
Don’t turn your nose up at the Pedal Tavern – a mobile bar connected to a 15 person bicycle. You literally have to pedal to move anywhere. At first I was skeptical. I don’t enjoy riding bikes at the best of times so I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it. But after we made it up the first few hills and started coasting down Broadway with all the lights ahead of us, country music blaring, and penis shaped straws in our drinks courtesy of our new best friends from the hens weekend who were on our tour, I changed my tune. A silly touristy thing to do. But SO MUCH FUN.
Nashville exceeded all of my expectations. Great food, great music, great times. I was sad to leave.
Next stop: San Francisco.