The Nashville List



Cumberland Park on the East Nashville side of the Shelby Pedestrian Bridge right next to Nissan Stadium, is really great — especially with kids, but even without them. Walking paths, splash pad, climbing walls, and activities for littles. Best park view of downtown.

Shelby Bottoms Greenway is a stunning spot in East Nashville for hiking, walking, biking, running, and soaking in some nature… 5 miles of paved trail through some of the most gorgeous scenery imaginable so close to the city.

Bicentennial Mall is a great urban park, fashioned after the Mall in DC — at one end is the TN capitol building up on a hill, with a long narrow park that runs to a bell tower memorial on the opposite end. If you find yourself at the bells on the hour, you’ll hear some music. Also, look for a small circular marker in the dead center of the bells… and say something out loud. *surprise!*

Bicentennial Mall runs parallel with the large Nashville Farmers Market that’s really fun to explore too. (Great lunch options there!) 

Centennial Park in West Nashville has a full-size exact replica of the Parthenon from Greece. Crazy, I know, but so picturesque. This park has great trails and paths for longer walks, and often has events going on with live music and food trucks. 

If you want to go full-on hiking, hit Radnor Lake State Park. It’s absolutely STUNNING! Also, Cheekwood Botanical Garden usually has art exhibits in addition to their beautiful natural scenery. 

The Shelby Pedestrian Bridge crosses the Cumberland River, making it really easy to walk from East Nashville to downtown. Some of the best views of the skyline you can get! Also, if there are no events at Nissan Stadium, it’s the best way to score free parking for going downtown. Park on the East Nash side and walk over the bridge to get to Broadway, Country Music Hall of Fame, etc. 

About 45 minutes south of Nashville is Arrington Vineyard — beautifully tucked away in the rolling hills of gorgeous Tennessee countryside. Pack some snacks and make the drive — you can do wine tastings or buy a bottle (or two) for drinking while you’re there (and to take home with you). (Antebellum is my favorite red; Firefly Rosé is my fav on a hot day…)

Go for a scenic road trip on the gorgeous Natchez Trace Parkway for some stunning views and great places to get out and explore along the way. You could drive it all the way down to Leiper’s Fork, a quaint town with great shops and the original Puckett’s (home-cooking and live music). 

Into sports? Catch a Nashville Sounds minor-league baseball game at First Tennessee Park or watch the Titans get creamed at Nissan Stadium

The Country Music Hall of Fame is supposed to be really great (I sadly still haven’t been). Even if you’re not into country music, it’s probably still worth hitting up — I’ve heard amazing things.

The Frist (center for the visual arts), tours of the Ryman and/or Grand Ole Opry, and a visit to Hatch Show Print (one of America’s longest-running letterpress printers) are always great options too. 

Some of my fav local boutiques and shops: Anderson Design Group (gorgeous prints as well as a myriad of locally sourced goods), Shoppes on Fatherland (a fun smattering of shops on the east side), Welcome Home (you guessed it, home goodies), Hey Rooster (cutest general store you’ve ever seen), Fuselage (vintage finds and goodies), Two Old Hippies (boutique clothing, gifts, instruments), and 12 South (a whole stretch of unique shops, good food, and coffee places). 

You can also cheer on the Predators at Bridgestone Arena during hockey season, 

You’ve gotta go honky tonkin’ one night, for sure. It’s crazy touristy, but definitely worth experiencing. The music and people watching make it a lot of fun. :) Hit up Broadway downtown: pretty much any bar you go into will have good tunes, but don’t miss classics like Tootsie's and Robert's Western World. One of my favorites is Big Bang (dueling piano bar) — not for the easily offended (a.k.a. be prepared for crude humor), but the musical talent is unreal, and it’s always a fun late-night hang.

At the end of the street, where Broadway meets 1st Avenue at the riverfront, is Acme Feed & Seed — a multi-storied restaurant, cocktail bar, and live music venue that attracts locals as well as tourists. Fun live music on the first floor, hit the second floor for cocktails and nicer food, and then definitely spend time on the rooftop bar for a fantastic view of Broadway and the river. 

More live music places that are off the beaten path from the typical tourist stuff (check their calendars online): The Listening Room (singer/songwriter) and Station Inn (great bluegrass!). If you’re in Nash over a Monday evening, the Time Jumpers (Vince Gill and a whole crew of unbelievably talented and award-winning studio and old-timey musicians) play most Mondays at 3rd and Lindsley. These guys will blow your mind, and are hands down the best $20 you can spend on live music in the city. 

If you can make it to a show at the Ryman, it’s absolutely worth it. Every single time. 

Bluebird Café can be tricky get into (thanks to the TV show, Nashville), but if you can score tickets, the talent in there is usually pretty amazing.

Musicians Corner (May/June/September in Centennial Park) and Live on the Green (August/September downtown in front of the courthouse) bring awesome free concerts. Pack some snacks, or plan to eat from the incredible food trucks that will be there. Check the schedule online to see who’s playing, but there’s usually some big names — and you may be pleasantly surprised to discover some great music even with unfamiliar names.

Spring through fall you can enjoy one of the most Nashvilliest things you could ever hope for: Full Moon Pickin’ Parties. Held at Percy Warner Park, you can bring chairs, blankets, snacks, and other goodies and enjoy some amazing bluegrass. Beer and food trucks on site. New last year is an East Nashville version: Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party is definitely worth checking out as well.

Cumberland Park has a splash pad and climbing activities for younger kids.

Bicentennial Mall Park also has fountains children can play in. Any of the other parks mentioned above are great for kids as well. 

Nashville Zoo is always a fun option. Check their website for special events, like “Zoovie nights” (movies at the zoo) during the warmer months. 

Nashville Shores (water park), Treetop Adventure Park (zip-lines), and Nashville Paddle Company (Stand-Up Paddleboarding) could be a blast as well!

Local parks host outdoor movies from spring through fall. Check the schedules and locations: 

For indoor/rainy day fun: Adventure Science CenterNashville Children’s Theater, story time at the main downtown Nashville Public Library branch, and trampolining at Sky High Sports.


Now onto the important stuff...

  • Steadfast — My absolute favorite coffee shop right now. Get their coffee soda. Trust me.
  • Barista Parlor — The original BP is here in East Nashville, but they now have multiple locations around the city (each with its own unique style and vibe). It's hipstery, but the space and coffee are great!
  • Frothy Monkey — Cozy. Good coffee. Great sandwiches.
  • The Post — Coffee, smoothies, juice, & baked treats {traditional, vegan, & gluten-free}; fun vibe; great place to hang
  • The Family Wash — Coffee, breakfast, lunch — also has a full bar with live music at night
  • Marché — Definitely a fav for weekend brunch; there’s often a wait, but you can drink mimosas as you pass the time. 
  • Sky Blue Café —You pretty much can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. Casual local fav.
  • Tavern — One of the best brunches in town. The wait can be ridiculous, but get there right when it opens and you’re golden. 
  • The Southern — Fantastic brunch menu + live music + they take reservations = a regular go-to for me
  • Marché — If you don’t make it in for weekend brunch, at least grab a weekday brunch there. Healthy + delicious.
  • Mitchell’s Deli — Great outdoor patio, beer available, great deli sandwiches.
  • Mas Tacos Por Favor — Tiny mexican joint that is unbelievably good; cash only (ATM on site).
  • Nashville Farmers Market — Lots of great international food options.
  • Pinewood Social — This place is so unique: coffee shop, restaurant, bar, and bowling alley in one — definitely a place not to miss.
  • Otaku Ramen — If you haven't yet experienced the wonder that is real ramen, I think it's time. (And their hot chicken biscuit will change your life.)
  • Five Points Pizza — Feels like a NY pizzeria (which says a lot coming from a New Yorker). Garlic knots, beer, and large pies of fold-it-in-half pizza, with a walk-up window for late-night slices. 
  • Hattie B’s — Nashville is known for “hot chicken” — if you like spicy food, you should definitely try it! There are plenty of hot chicken places, but Hattie B’s is one of my favs. 
  • Rolf & Daughters — Pricey, but worth every cent. Order a bunch of things and eat family-style so you can try as much as possible! Fills up fast so make reservations if you can; they do always keep tables open for walk-ups, so if you’re willing to wait, you can usually still get in without a reservation. 
  • Butcher & Bee — Small plates for sharing; lots of vegetarian and gluten free options; I'm in love with this place.
  • Husk — Delicious Southern fare from acclaimed chef Sean Brock.
  • The Pharmacy — Burgers and beer garden.
  • Virago — Sushi, rooftop patio with a great view of the skyline.
  • Two Ten Jack — Small plates, ramen, Asian with a twist, plenty of Japanese whiskey, craft cocktails, and a beautiful bar... 
  • Chauhan Ale & Masala House — Incredible Indian restaurant; great happy hour deals too.
  • Holland House — Great craft cocktails… sit at the bar (although they do have a fabulous patio too). (Closed Sundays.)
  • Patterson House — Speakeasy style, nondescript building with no windows and no visible sign. and their craft cocktails are to die for! I’m a huge fan of sitting at the bar here too, because it’s amazing to watch them work their magic.
  • No. 308 — East Nashville late-night hang spot; loud music, eclectic crowd, and ridiculously good craft cocktails. (They also have great happy hour deals for earlier in the evening, and the place has a much quieter/chill vibe during that time.)
  • Pinewood Social — Lots of different seating options: booths, couches, bar, patio; great cocktails
  • Bar Luca — Wine bar with craft beers and cocktails as well; small plates for snacking
  • Dino's — Classic East Nashville dive bar; local fav
  • Jeni’s Ice Cream — The most delicious & creative flavor combos... This is a local fav for sure (the long line is evidence). But if you like ice cream, you should go. Trust me. Your tastebuds will thank you. 
  • Olive & Sinclair Chocolate — Slow-roasted, stone ground, small batch chocolate, handcrafted right here in East Nashville… 
  • Dozen Bakery — These guys make delicious pastries and cookies with high-quality local and organic ingredients. And their space is beautiful and bright (with tasty light lunch options too). 
  • Sweet 16th — Scones, muffins, coffee cakes, cookies, cakes, and more, baked fresh daily right here on the east side.
  • City House — The best restaurant dessert menu in the city (made by their extraordinary pastry chef)!

Here’s an additional list of my favorites
within 2 miles from my house —


Got anything you would add to the list? Or any other categories/specific things you'd like suggestions for?