Hello, hello! In this week’s mini-episode, we’re giving you a mini city guide to Nashville, Tennessee. All the businesses mentioned in this episode are linked below.
A big thank you to Spoonflower for sponsoring this episode! You know we’re big fans of Spoonflower and we’re thrilled they’re sponsoring this week’s mini episode! Right now, they’re having a special yard sale where you can get 20% off fabric yardage sitewide. If you miss out on this promo, our listeners can take advantage of 15% off sitewide anytime by using our exclusive code ‘ABMINTRO15′ at Spoonflower.com.
Here are the restaurants and shops we talk about in the episode. I will also share even more below because it was tough narrowing these down (we probably should have made it an hour long episode, haha)
(heartbroken to share this has permanently closed)
-So, Broadway. If you’re interested in a honky-tonk experience, we recommend Robert’s Western World. Keely recommends Little Red Corvette which is in the basement of FGL House. They have ’90s music nights.
Other personal faves to check out: Plaza Mariachi, Emmy Squared, Five Points Pizza, Cafe Roze, Sperry’s, Five Daughter’s Donuts, Loveless Cafe, Rolf and Daughters and Hunter’s Station. I also can’t believe I forgot to mention my absolute number one, Nicoletto’s Pasta.
Would you all love a Nashville part 2 episode??? If so, what kinds of spots would you want to hear more about?
Thanks so much!!
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Episode 95 Transcript
Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast, we love Nashville and we’re extremely proud of our local gems here. This week’s mini-episode is all about how to spend 48 hours in Nashville. We know a lot of people come here for the weekend, not just for bachelorette parties, but sometimes for bachelorette parties. So we’ll give you ideas for food, shopping, treats, and where to stay. My part will be somewhat kid-friendly because I’m coming from that mom zone and Keely is here with me as well. She loves Nashville as well. And we both love food.
Keely: Hi, everyone.
Elsie: Do you want to say the disclaimer?
Keely: Yes, I would love to say a disclaimer. I feel like if you didn’t know, I edit the podcast every week. And so I’ve edited so many disclaimers. So it is a true honor to be saying a disclaimer right now. We are not snobs. We can’t wait to go to Chicken Guy, which is the Guy Fieri Chicken Restaurant. We love The Cheesecake Factory with a passion. How many business meetings have we had at the Cheesecake Factory?
Elsie: We mostly go to the Cheesecake Factory.
Keely: I think we’ve like gone to the mall to do business things with the sole intention of going to the Cheesecake Factory. But for this episode, we’re going to focus on our local gems here in Nashville. So first up, we’re going to talk about where we love to eat Elsie. You want to kick it off with your favorite brunch?
Elsie: Yes. OK, so there’s so many good brunch restaurants in Nashville and our special special special place closed during covid. So I feel like it’s more like more than ever. I want to support restaurants now that I have my vaccine. And anyway, so this is where I take guests from out of town, usually because it is really special and it’s really a treat for the eyes. It’s Pinewood Social. Yeah, so it is just a visitor staple. So it has a bowling alley in the back of the restaurant. They do serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I kind of prefer it for brunch or breakfast. You can eat in the back like in the bowling alley. Sorry, you can like get a Bloody Mary like that’s all possible. You do have to reserve that part in advance. And they also have our like favorite coffee shop is like sort of a part of it. So it’s just a special place. It has a cool vibe. And when we first moved to Nashville, it was kind of new. It was kind of like at that time, like it was like one of the new cool places. And it’s not anymore at all. But I still think it’s cool.
Keely: It’s so cool. And during the summer you can also reserve their little pools. They’re little…
Elsie: I forgot about the pool!
Keely: …plunge pools. That’s what I’m trying to say. But they are so cute. And I think on the weekends, like, if you don’t reserve one, they’re open to the public. Like as far as you can go out there, there just may be other people in them.
Elsie: Yeah they have like bocce ball and stuff out there. And we’ve sat out there a bunch of times and they have sort of like a little trailer out there that you can buy drinks from and they have like froze and stuff like that. So it is just your cute hipster restaurant. But I swear to God, Nashville is full of cute hipster restaurants. That’s like the main cuisine, right?
Keely: Absolutely. Yeah.
Elsie: Something with, like, fancy mac and cheese.
Elsie: Mm hmm. OK, what’s your favorite brunch
Keely: For this brunch I’m going to also say the place that I like to take people, which is the Sutler Saloon it is near the twelve south area, it has a bluegrass brunch on Sundays. So it’s just very quintessential Nashville. And the food is good and it’s just like it’s just so Nashville.
Elsie: People have a perception that there is going to be live music playing at every restaurant. So that’s why we like to take people where there’s live music, because it’s like expected of you and there’s a lot of it…the live music in the airport, Keely!
Keely: Yes. Oh, my God. It’s like you’re coming out of the airport. You’re haggard from your flight and you see some precious musician singing their heart out on this stage.
Elsie: It’s right next to, like, there’s like a little like bar. And I used to always go there. Drinking in an airport is one of my hobbies. OK, let’s move.
Keely: I love that
Elsie: Next up. We’re going to do lunch. So this is definitely one of my favorite local spots. And it’s also very kid-friendly. It’s the Mockingbird. So we became friends with the owners, which I feel like that sounds like a name drop. But I guess if my worst name drop is like restaurant owners, which it definitely is, is OK to do in life, like I love the restaurant owners, I just think they’re so cool. And it’s sort of, you know, it’s a job that I would never do, but I just, like, love the hell out of it. So anyway, the Mockingbird, it’s decorated, beautiful. They have delicious food. It’s a really eclectic menu. They have great drinks. And the thing that’s really special is they’re super kid-friendly, like they are just the sweetest ever to our daughter. We used to go there pretty much every Sunday for a while, and it was just like this really, really special thing. They always brought her a cookie. So I love that because a lot of fancier…like, it’s a nice restaurant, a lot of places like they’re not mean to you when you bring in a kid, but they’re also not like cool about it. So whenever someone takes the extra mile to do something nice for my kid, I really take note of that, and it means a lot.
Keely: That’s sweet. I love Mockingbird.
Elsie: And people with little kids still need to go to fancy restaurants sometimes. Like if we don’t go at like peak time, which we never do, I feel like we should still be welcome there.
Keely: Yeah, the Mockingbird is amazing and I would have probably picked it as my lunch or dinner spot.
Elsie: What’s your lunch?
Keely: So my lunch spot is the Redheaded Stranger.
Elsie: Oh, I did get their crunch wrap and it was so good!
Keely: Ooh, the crunch wrap! I have never had their crunch wrap before, but they have the most incredible queso. So they serve it with fresh tortillas instead of chips. And all their tacos are incredible. It’s very like Tex Mex kind of vibe. It’s really, really cute inside and I just highly recommend.
Elsie: Love it. Ok, for dinner. This was really hard, but I had to go with my number one and this is probably like the restaurant I’m the most excited to go back to now that we’re starting to go to restaurants again. I just made my kids their restaurant backpack, so we’re ready with our activities. And that is Two Ten Jack. It is delicious. It’s sort of like a Japanese-inspired menu. It’s a ramen restaurant. But I actually don’t get the ramen. I get like everything else on the menu. And it’s delicious. It’s amazing that the best cocktails, the best little sides. And yeah, my kids love it. They have indoor and outdoor seating. It is pretty small. So I suggest going kind of right when they open. I don’t think they take reservations for small groups. So it is amazing. Yeah. Everyone has to go to Two Ten Jack.
Keely: So my dinner I’ve got I’ve got two things for you. I’ve got a fancy place and the place that we go the most often.
Keely: So Liberty Common is an absolutely beautiful restaurant and the food is incredible. It is right by the Ascend Ampitheater. And I went for my birthday a couple of years ago and it was Billy Eilish concert night. And the whole restaurant was filled with like little teenage girls and their dads. It was adorable. It was so cute.
Elsie: I really love that restaurant. It’s if I had to pick one, I would say it’s maybe the most beautiful restaurant in Nashville? It’s very like photo-worthy. And I would say they also serve brunch and it’s really good brunch too so and they have outdoor seating as well.
Keely: Oh yeah. They do have a really cute patio area, my other restaurant that we go to the most. And I feel like I have to shout this out because it’s a very small family-owned business and I absolutely love it. It is Soy Bistro in Brentwood. It is Korean inspired food. It is so delicious, so consistent. And if you’re looking for something off the beaten path, that’s quick and you don’t have to wait. Soy Bistro is where it’s at. It’s so, so good.
Elsie: Hell yeah!
Keely: Alright Elsie, tell us about some shopping that you like to do in Nashville.
Elsie: Ok, so I’m just going to name my top two. I think a lot of times when I do like city guides, I focus too much on food and I like forget to do other things. And I know not everyone only cares about food. So the first one is Apple and Oak, so my friend Alison owns this business, which I think everyone knows that she was like one of my best friends. It’s such a cute shop. It’s in East Nashville. If you go there, it’s right next to HiFi cookies, which I’m about to mention next, so you can do a twofer. So she sells rugs. She has a website online I will link in the show notes you can buy vintage rugs from her. And she also sells kind of like fun, novelty things like she has like a ton of like Schitt’s Creek merchandise…
Keely: Gifty, fun things. Cute Mugs.
Elsie: Yeah. It’s a great place to go to get like a housewarming gift or something like that. I bought quite a bit of, like, glassware from her. So just kind of like
Keely: Cute doormats, too.
Elsie: Yes. Yeah. Right now she’s selling adorable pool floaties.
Keely: Oh yes. The Barbie ones?!
Elsie: I love Apple and Oak and the other — my number one other store is Arcade, which is a kids store in Hillsboro Village. And it is it’s kind of like the ultimate kids store of all time. If you’re already going to the street, there’s a Jeni’s on the street and you can do some other things, too. There’s a lot of cute shops, but yeah, it’s the ultimate kids store. It’s also where they have a photo booth and we — my kids love to get their photo booth picture taken. So that is one of the main things we’ve been missing and can’t wait to go back to do again is go to arcade.
Keely: Ok, so my first place is the Golden Slipper, which is owned by my friend Abby, and it is in Germantown.
Elsie: I haven’t been there!
Keely: Oh my gosh, you’re going to love it, Elsie. It’s so it’s such a beautiful place. They have dried florals that you can buy. They have a whole, like, kitchen and hosting section. They have a charcuterie grocery section where you can like put together a really amazing charcuterie or cheeseboard. And then there’s just lots of really beautiful gift items, home items, it’s just kind of a one-stop shop. I really loved it. I bought a lot of Christmas gifts from there this year.
Keely: And then they also have an adjacent wreath like crafting space where they do workshops that they just opened up. That’s really beautiful. So love Golden Slipper. And I also love Lemon Laine, which is a clean beauty slash wellness shop in East Nashville. They just kind of have all my favorite brands of skincare and makeup. And it’s really incredible to be able to go there and try things and just grab things from a small business instead of ordering online, which is kind of what you have to do a lot if you’re into clean beauty and clean skincare.
Elsie: It’s one of the most beautiful shops I’ve ever seen. It’s so beautiful. And yeah, the other thing I will say about it is if you’re going if you’re just starting off in clean skincare, it is really expensive. So having like a place where you can go and ask questions or like try like sample foundations, you get the right color, like things like that is really great. So, yeah, it’s a really, really cute spot and it’s right next to a Jeni’s!
Keely: So great. And they also have a location in Austin?
Elsie: In Houston!
Keely: Houston. So if you’re in Houston, you can check it out there too. Elsie. I know you were talking about HiFi cookies, so bring us into the treats section of the episode here.
Elsie: Ok, there are so many good treats in Nashville and I love I love my treats. So, HiFi cookies is amazing. So they have cookies. They’re all named after musicians. Like you can get like the Dolly and like the Bowie and like things like that. And then they also have different various like other kinds of treats, like when I went last time they had like Rice Krispies bars that were fancy. And then I’ve seen, like lots of other things.
Keely: They have ice cream sandwiches in the summer.
Elsie: Yes, they show a lot on Instagram. So we’ll link their…actually, we should link all of these Instagrams in the show notes. Yeah, it is just an adorable shop. I will say it has a line. So you need to get there right when they open, which I feel like was like 10:00 a.m. or something. It wasn’t too early, but you have to get there and get in line, get your treats.
Keely: Because they sell out, yeah.
Elsie: Yeah, they sell out. And I think you can also order them. But I haven’t tried that. I just did the line thing, but my kids loved it and it was fun. And after, you know, so long of like not going places when we went there, it was so special and exciting. The other thing I have to mention is Jeni’s ice cream. So I know Jenny’s is not really like a Nashville business per say, like she has locations all around, but it is the best ice cream in the world. I will die on that hill like brown butter almond brittle is kind of like the only ice cream I need for the rest of my life.
Keely: I support that. I really do. And yeah, even though Jenni’s is like several locations nationwide, it definitely for some reason still feels so quintessentially Nashville. They’re everywhere.
Elsie: There’s so many in Nashville.
Keely: The presence is felt and it’s just, yeah, it’s kind of a must
Elsie: It’s kind of like my real estate joke is that a cool house in Nashville means you can walk to a Jeni’s.
Keely: Yes! What a rule. Yeah, that’s that’s for sure. My favorite treat in Nashville is Baked on 8th, which is an amazing bakery where you can get cake by the slice, you can get cookies, you can get pop tarts, you can get pound cake, you can get literally like any bakery item that you can think of. And it’s adorable. They have the cute icing cookies, the royal icing cookies and the cake is my absolute favorite thing. They have a peanut butter chocolate ganache cake that is out of this world and the owners are super sweet and yeah, just really, really love Baked on 8th. Very Instagrammable, too!
Elsie: Yes. All right. Let’s take a quick pause for a sponsor break.
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Elsie: So I do have to do my obligatory very Nashville things to-do list. Because there are certain things that people expect when they come to Nashville, one of them is hot chicken.
Keely: Hot chicken, baby.
Elsie: So everyone wants to try hot chicken. I personally, we we usually get it from Dinos, which is a really cute little dive bar. I don’t even think it’s like a total dive bar. Like, I think people use that term very liberally. It’s a cute little cozy bar, lots of hygge, and they serve hot chicke there. Princes is probably the most purest version. If you’re, like, going to be pretentious about hot chicken, which I don’t necessarily support. Oh, and then the most sort of like accessible hot chicken is Hattie B’s because there’s a lot of locations, there’s kind of kind of like Jeni’s like there’s a location in every cool neighborhood. So it’s easy to find. And now that there’s so many locations, there’s not like as long of lines. Hot chicken is like a thing where there can be like a very long line. My brother actually used to call it Hottie B’s, which I think is so much better of a name like Hottie, Hot Chicken? It’s adorable, right? So I like to call it Hottie B’s. The other thing that people sometimes want to do when they come to Nashville is go to Broadway. So Broadway is our special like Honky Tonk District, and it’s where all of the honky-tonk bars are. It’s also like at the very end of it is like our, what do you what’s it called?
Keely: Oh, Bridgestone Arena, which is where we have like our it’s like our big concert venue.
Elsie: Yeah. So the Bridgestone Arena is like where if like Elton John comes to town he’ll perform there and like really famous people will perform there and then like medium famous people will perform at the outdoor arena called Ascend, which I think is like I actually like love it so much because it’s outdoors and they usually start the concert right as the sun is setting. And it’s just like really beautiful and like picnic-y.
Keely: Ooh, you also have the Ryman, which is on Broadway, and it is like they call it the Mother Church. It’s like a very sacred place in Nashville.
Elsie: The Ryman is the coolest place. And if someone you really love has a show there will probably be really hard to get tickets. But give it your all do your damndest.
Keely: I’ve seen a couple shows there and it’s a very special place.
Elsie: Ok, if you’re going to go to Broadway, like first of all, like no shame to honky tonk, but like a lot of people who live here, it’s like not the most exciting thing to us. There’s a lot of yeah.
Keely: There’s a lot we don’t love to go. We love that other people love to go.
Elsie: If you go, here’s what you can expect. Drunk people, people jumping into your pictures, people trying to touch you, people yelling at you, bachelorette parties. OK, so the bachelorette party culture in Nashville is very specific. So there’s like these wing murals and like these big murals where people stand in line to take pictures. And then also there is different kinds of — what are they called like with the little carts and stuff?
Keely: Oh pedal taverns.
Elsie: So there’s different kinds of pedal taverns. There’s ones that are like, like a hot tub, there’s ones that are like busses, there’s ones that you pedal. They basically are really, really loud and they if you’re, if you eat outdoors at like a place like Liberty Common they’ll drive right by you and you’re like just drunk people screaming at you. So anyways, I don’t hate drunk people like it’s fun, like whatever.
Keely: You want to be in the right headspace to do it.
Elsie: Yeah. So if you’re in the headspace to go to Broadway, we recommend Robert’s Western World. I think it’s the cutest.
Keely: It’s the place.
Elsie: But it’s they have like kind of like cozy bar food and they have like the classical country music. So it’s very cute. Like I wouldn’t send you to like the Kid Rock one. I would send you to Robert’s Western World.
Keely: I have a little tip about places to go dance. So this is just one place on Broadway. If I have to go to Broadway, I always try to talk whoever I’m with into going to Little Red Corvette, which is in the bottom of FGL house, the Florida Georgia line bar. But it’s in the basement and it’s a 90s dance bar. They have the lighted floor.
Elsie: Oh, my God, that’s so cool.
Keely: It’s really cute and fun. I would say they start off with 90s and 2000s hits to begin the night and then once more people come in, it’s more top forty. So I will give that disclaimer, but it’s really, really fun. It’s my favorite place to go on Broadway if I have to go like to a, to a club bar, you know,
Elsie: Let’s go there someday. That sounds fun. I feel like I shouldn’t be such a scrooge about it and I should go like once every two years or something.
Keely: Yeah. (laughs) We end up having to go because like my parents love to go. Oh, my God, that’s so cute.
Elsie: Yeah, I’m not in a party zone in my life right now. If you are, you’ll love Broadway. It’s fun, like whatever, it’s a guilty pleasure treasure. OK, so let’s give you a few honorable mentions. So these are like outliers, but I just have to mention them. And also I will say, like, I think we probably will have to do a part two of this at some point because there’s just so many good restaurants in Nashville. And I’m afraid I’m going to get hate mail after this for leaving someone out. And I am leaving out a lot of things, like it’s it’s scary. OK, I think Nashville has like more good restaurants per capita than a lot of cities.
Keely: I would agree.
Elsie: Because it’s not that big of a city. But the restaurants are like woo!
Keely: Very concentrated on that.
Elsie: And there’s a few new ones that I’m really excited to try that opened over this past year. They haven’t tried yet. So, OK, we’ll do a part two at some point. But the honorable mentions Plaza Mariachi…
Keely: Hell yes!
Elsie: Which is a total OK, so it’s like mariachi music and then it’s like a food court with a lot, lots of different Mexican food, but also like random stuff like bubble tea. I always like I go for the burrito and, you know, stay for the mariachi because Nova loves dancing like in front of everyone with the mariachi. It’s it’s just a wonderful place to go with kids.
Keely: Yeah. They also have, like, people that do aerial silks and like plate spinning. (laughs) It’s it’s a really fun entertainment place to go. And I really good for kids. Yeah. It’s it’s really fun. It used to be an old grocery store and they converted it into this really cool place. And if you ever been to like Epcot at Disney World, it definitely — they make it look like it’s the courtyard of like outside somewhere. It’s really, really cool.
Elsie: So for pizza and or if you’re going to like order carry out and you’re in Nashville for the weekend, I would suggest Emmy Squared, which is like thick Detroit style pizza and Five Points pizza, which is so I guess it’s like sort of like in the New York pizza category. But I want to say that because it’ll make people from New York hate it. But it is — they’re both so good. And I am embarrassed how many times we’ve ordered from both those places, like a horrifying number of times. Um, OK. Another cute brunch spot that I had to mention is Cafe Roze in East Nashville. It’s just like charming as hell. It’s small. It’s like a cute little like coffee shop with a nice little hipster brunch.
Keely: And amazing fries. They have really good fries.
Elsie: We love the tiny fries. Sperry’s, which is a classic old man restaurant, which there’s almost nothing I love more than a place where you can get like a Caesar salad and a steak and an old fashioned.
Keely: Oh my god. Yes.
Elsie: Um, let’s see, oh, Five Daughters donuts is definitely special. And they do the cronuts. A lot of them have fillings. It’s very indulgent, but like amazing.
Keely: It’s a Nashville must, yeah.
Elsie: Loveless Cafe is we don’t have that many diners or like cute like old people restaurants as much as I wish we did. But Loveless Cafe is very charming and it’s all about the biscuits. If you’re going to get like everyone from your, like your parents or whatever a Nashville gift, it’s like a great gift because they sell like biscuit mixes and stuff. And you can I got my dad a hat from there.
Elsie: Yeah. OK, for a fancy restaurant, I do have to say Rolf and daughters, it is so fucking good.
Elsie: It’s incredible. Yeah. It’s definitely like the reservation type of restaurant. And then one last little shout out. I love Hunter’s Station, so it’s kind of like a food court thing they opened in East Nashville. Have you been there?
Keely: I have, yeah. It’s cute.
Elsie: I really like it for kids and also for like if you’re dining with another family, with kids, they actually have like a little play area, which is really cool. It’s definitely like a fun little place and very casual.
Elsie: Like there’s certain places where…
Keely: It’s a good place to go. If you’re with a group and everybody’s hungry and nobody wants to decide what they want to eat.
Elsie: Ok, so before we go, this is like probably the longest mini-episode ever, but we’re just going to let it be, let’s just quickly say, where to stay. Do you want to say them?
Keely: Yeah. Yeah. So The Graduate is a newer hotel in Nashville and the notes say the Dolly Parton Hotel, because it really is so eclectic and fun and cool, like everybody takes pictures at The Graduate because the interiors are amazing. And then at the top, the rooftop bar is called White Limozeen, and it is truly a Dolly Parton themed bar. They have a pool, they have pink umbrellas. It’s just it’s the most. It’s really, really something. I love it. And then the. Russell, do you want to talk about the Russell?
Elsie: Yeah. So the Russell is in East Nashville and it is a really it’s an AirBnB like it has different rooms in it, but it’s made — it’s originally it was an old church and because…one of my friends designed it, she is she’s so talented, so it’s very like a rainbow. It’s very cool looking. I think we have some pictures on the blog so I’ll link to those. And I think it’s pretty affordable, too. And I will say that the downside is maybe that they don’t have a restaurant or a bar in there, because I think it was made out of an old church. They — it was like a part of the agreement that they wouldn’t serve alcohol or whatever and they don’t serve anything in there. It’s just a place to stay. And it’s really cute. And you can walk to different places in East Nashville. So I know you can walk to Joyland from there, which is a cute little like burger spot.
Keely: And great for gluten free people, too. They have like gluten-free fried chicken, gluten-free bread like the whole nine.
Elsie: Yeah. And there’s probably depending on how far you would walk, there’s a lot of things you can walk to from staying at the Russell. So I would definitely recommend that. And we used to we used to have an AirBnB. We don’t have our AirBnB anymore. So I’ll just like point to the Russell with a gun finger.
Keely: I love it. (laughs)
Elsie: Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you have stayed in Nashville recently, I would love to hear your suggestions. The show notes are on our blog, abeautifulmess.com/podcast. Yeah, I want to hear what you guys love and what you think that we missed. You have a good week.