Last weekend we packed our bags and hopped on a plane to Nashville, TN to spend our long weekend in the Music City! Neither of us had been to the Nashville before and we had such an awesome time. The flight was only an hour from Pittsburgh, so we're already itching to go back and check off more things from our huge Nashville to-do list. For now, we'll stick to recapping this visit - enjoy!
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the Hotel Preston, which was located between the airport and downtown. It's an affordable boutique hotel that had fun and interesting offerings, like lava lamps and pet fish that you could borrow for your room.
We actually didn't spend any time in the hotel other than to sleep, but it was a quick Uber to and from downtown, so it worked out well for us!
What We Ate (and Drank)
Barista Parlor - Our first stop of the trip! Barista Parlor is a well-known coffee shop in Nashville with a few locations around the city. We visited the East Nashville shop and sipped our coffees until it was time to meet friends for brunch later that morning. The atmosphere of Barista Parlor is pretty hipster-y and cool. It looked like they had some bomb breakfast sandwiches, but we sadly didn't get any. -S
Five Daughters Bakery - I'll admit I was mostly drawn to Five Daughters Bakery for their pink neon sign, but we picked up two of their '100 Layer Donuts' to have for breakfast the next day and they were so stinkin' delicious. I wish we'd gone back to get more. -S
The Wild Cow - We were really excited to meet our friends Jordan and Bethany for our first meal in town at an all-vegetarian restaurant in East Nashville. The food at this small space was seriously good and the menu was huge. We all got some sort of sandwich, (reuben, Philly cheese steak, buffalo) but I'd love to go back and try some of their incredible sounding soups, salads, and other entrees. If you decide to go, be sure to pet all the friendly cats you possibly can. -N
Crema - Another well-known coffee shop! Crema was small and cozy with a very clean and minimalistic interior. It was pretty packed inside and we were just getting coffee to go, so unfortunately we didn't get to sit and take in more of the atmosphere. I did particularly enjoy my almond milk iced latte on a rainy afternoon. -S
Burger Up - After walking down 12 South and poking our heads into a few of the shops, we decided to grab dinner before Jordan and Bethany headed back to Atlanta. After one peek at Burger Up's menu, we knew we had to eat there. Everything was SO good - the veggie burgers, mac and cheese bites, truffle fries, sauces, and even beers. 10/10 would go again, even though the place is rumored to be haunted. -S
Biscuit Love - Trying southern biscuits was really important to me on this trip, so I'm glad we got to visit Biscuit Love. We had to wait in a really long line to get inside, but we weren't in a rush so we didn't mind. Nick had the decadent biscuit French toast topped with lemon mascarpone and blueberry compote, while I stuck with my savory breakfast of vegetarian grits topped with dippy eggs and a biscuit on the side. Delish. -S
Tennessee Brew Works - Anytime we visit a new city, it's important to us to try some local beers. The best and easiest way to do this is to head straight to the breweries. Tennessee Brew Works was our first stop after breakfast Sunday morning, and no part of me regrets these delicious morning beers. All 5 of the samples we got in a flight were incredible. The atmosphere was this sort of new rustic meets industrial, hipster meets country that A LOT of Nashville seems to be. This place looked like a fun nighttime spot, but it was totally worth it for the great beers. -N
Jackalope Brewing Company - Next on our brewery stop, Jackalope didn't disappoint. The atmosphere here was a lot more modern coffee shop/lounge space, and the beers were top notch. Overall, the vibe here was more of my speed, and I loved the beer names (like the Coffee, Stills, and Mash)! -N
Nelson's Green Brier Distillery - When you're looking for breweries to visit, distilleries count as two! Nelson's Green Brier Distillery was a pretty cool place with some great whiskey. Whiskey is generally my spirit of choice when reaching for the bar cart, so I was really happy to have some true Tennessee Whiskey right from the source. -N
312 Pizza Company - After our day of brewery and distillery hopping, we were in a pizza mood. We wanted to get pizza at the Nashville Farmer's Market, but sadly it was closed. The next closest pizza place happened to be 312 Pizza Company, which did not disappoint. You know we love our Chicago deep-dish pizza. This was so good and exactly what we needed after our long day. -S
Piranha's Bar and Grille - The best thing about being a Pittsburgh fan is that no matter where you go, you're in Steelers Country. Last winter we watched the playoffs at a Steelers bar in Chicago, and this year, we had a blast watching the game at Prianha's Bar and Grille. Its so great to be in a strange city, and still have a spot to watch the game. -N
What We Did
When we first arrived in Nashville, we headed right from the airport to Barista Parlor and spent the rest of the morning walking around East Nashville. We found a few colorful walls and murals to take photos of and enjoyed just looking at all of the pretty houses in the area. After breakfast with Jordan and Bethany, the four of us walked around Five Points and checked out the different shops. None of us bought anything, but it was a fun way to get to know the area, and to meet the local cats.
Visiting Pinewood Social and seeing the totally Instagram-able bowling alley was high on my list of things to do, but didn't seem very practical since we weren't planning on bowling at all during the trip. I didn't realize that Pinewood is actually a bar/hangout/social space that happens to have a bowling alley in it, so luckily we had the opportunity to just poke our heads in, snap some photos, and head out.
Third Man Records - This place was awesome. Part music history museum, part record store, part music store, part collection of the coolest stuff. Jack White owns this place, and it is riddled with platinum records hanging on the walls, rare guitars and collectables, books for sale, and a make your own record machine (to name a few of the cool things in there). It was also pretty exciting to seeing 3 of White's Grammys in the display case (no big deal...)
After Third Man, we headed to 12 South, which was home to so many cute shops and colorful walls. Standouts were Craft South, the blue and white striped wall outside Draper James (Reese Witherspoon's store), Sprinkles cupcake ATM, White's Mercantile, and Burger Up.
We ended our first day in Nashville on Broadway. Broadway is pretty much what it looks like. It's an insane strip of neon lights, mega-bars, and constant live music. Every floor of every bar has a band playing, every night. It's truly awesome to realize how central music is to this community, and the level of talent that tends to generate. It's so great to have such quality live music wherever you look. Though the bands were incredible, Sarah and I were still backpacking it at this point of our trip, since we hadn't yet been to the hotel. Because of this, most of the bars we tried to get into wouldn't let us in with our bags. So, we just hopped around and found places that didn't have a security guard checking people at the door. Pro tip: don't wear a backpack and try to bar hop.
To escape the craziness of Broadway and find a more peaceful spot to catch an Uber, we walked across the Pedestrian Bridge to the other side of the river. Though I'm sure its an awesome view in the daylight, the night time view isn't half bad either.
Carter Vintage Guitars - This place came as a recommendation from some friends, and I'm so glad we spoke with them before we left or we would have missed this place. I had no idea that a guitar store could be this awesome. And I love guitar stores! This place has some of the coolest, rarest guitars around and it is so much fun browsing through them. Carter Vintage Guitars is PACKED with hundreds and hundreds of guitars, banjos, mandolins, basses, amplifiers, you name it. I was thiiiiiis close to walking away with a 1955 Fender Stratocaster, but I was $28,500 short on cash.
And that's pretty much it for this trip! Don't worry, Nashville... we'll be back.
Sarah & Nick