Below are some of my favorite spots in Nashville. They're established local places that I visit frequently and highly recommend. Obviously, I couldn't include everything the city has to offer, but if you think I've missed something amazing, feel free to email me.
(Coffee shops, brunch spots and bakeries)
Marché Artisan Foods / 1000 Main St
Terrific brunch in the Five Points area of East Nashville
Dose. / 3431 Murphy Rd
Bagels, baked goods (zucchini muffins!) and delicious coffee (2nd location in Riverside area)
Crema / 15 Hermitage Ave
Downtown coffee shop with great specialty drinks (Crema Cuban is so good)
Barista Parlor / 519 Gallatin Ave
Great coffee and artisan breakfast biscuits (2 other locations in the Gulch and Germantown)
Five Daughters Bakery / 1110 Caruthers Ave
Get ready for a sugar rush with these decadent donuts (2nd location on east side)
Proper Bagel / 2011 Belmont Blvd
Bagels, bagels, bagels
Box / 2229 10th Ave S
Avocado toast, basic breakfast and delicious espresso drinks
Fido / 1812 21st Ave S
Hillsboro Village coffee shop (a bit of a ‘90s vibe) with great breakfast and lunch
(or casual dinner)
Mas Tacos Por Favor / 732 Mcferrin Ave
Best tacos around (tilapia and pork are my favorites) – cash only in East Nashville
DeSano Pizza Bakery / 115 16th Ave S
Casual, delicious pizza (San Gennaro is terrific) and you can BYOB wine
Pinewood Social / 33 Peabody St
Fun downtown spot with great food, drinks and bowling (and #cantopia)
Epice / 2902 12th Ave S
Great, casual spot with upscale Mediterranean food in 12 South
Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack / 123 Ewing Dr
Hot chicken is a Nashville must and this is the original!!
Martin’s BBQ / 3108 Belmont Blvd
Delicious barbecue (I love the chicken tray) – the downtown location on 4th Ave is super fun
Mitchell Deli / 1306 McGavock
Great deli sandwiches!
12 South Taproom / 2318 12th Ave S
Great beer selection and upscale bar food (Cuban sandwich!) in 12 South
City House / 1222 4th Ave N
My Favorite! Tandy Wilson recently won the James Beard best chef southeast
Rolf & Daughters / 700 Taylor St
Wonderful food (pasta!) and close second favorite to City House
Bastion / 434 Houston St
5 delicious courses - I prefer sitting at the chef's counter to watch all the action
404 Kitchen / 404 12th Ave S
Cute, little restaurant with great, comforting food in the Gulch
Chauhan Ale & Masala House / 123 12th Ave N
Incredible and unique Indian food (start with kale pakora chaat, then desi fare)
Catbird Seat / 1711 Division St
Tasting menu at the chef’s counter – no choice needed
Etch / 303 Demonbreun St
Solid downtown choice
Margot Café & Bar / 1017 Woodland St
Cute and cozy spot in in 5 Points
Other Places of note
Olive & Sinclair / Local artisan chocolate
Dozen Bakery / Great breads and pastries and lunch
Coffee / Bongo Java, Steadfast, Revelator and Frothy Monkey
Burger Up / Great burgers and cocktails
BBQ / Peg Leg Porker, B&C and Edley's
Hot Chicken / Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish and Hattie B's
Loveless Cafe / Fried chicken and famous biscuits
Etc. / Etch's sister restaurant in Green Hills
Josephine / Comforting farmhouse food in 12S
Lockeland Table / Cute and charming neighborhood bistro
Holland House / Good food and a great patio for drinks
Downtown + Germantown + The Gulch
Honky Tonks Broadway / Robert's is my favorite!
Acme Feed & Seed / Live music and good bar bites and sushi
Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar / Printer's Alley fun
LA Jackson / Rooftop views from the Gulch
5th and Taylor / Perfect for outdoor cocktails
5 Points / Several fun spots (3 Crow, Red Door, Treehouse) within walking distance
No 308 / Artisan drinks and a diorama
Rumours East / Good wine and outdoor seating
Village Pub / Delicious mules and board games
Midtown + Hillsboro + 12 South
Broadway Brewhouse / Large beer selection, bushwhackers and smoked wings
SATCO / Buckets of cheap beer and cheese dip on a sunny day
Patterson House / Fancy cocktails below Catbird Seat
Le Sel / French bistro with nice bar to lounge downstairs
Demonbreun & Division Streets / Younger crowds and walkable options
Villager Tavern / Dive bar with pitchers of lite beer and darts
Sylvan Park + Charlotte Ave + The Nations
Local Breweries + Distilleries
Czann's Brewing Co / IPA / Great location downtown
Jackalope / Rompo Red Rye Ale / The first female-founded brewery in TN!
Black Abbey Brewing Co / Check out the monastery inspired taproom
Tennessee Brew Works / Southern Wit / Fun two-story deck
Little Harpeth Brewing / All Lagers / Live music and close to Titan's Stadium
Smith & Lentz Brewing / Tropical, fruity IPAs and Pale Ales / Eastside
East Nashville Beer Works / Miro Miel / Beer and pizza in East Nashville
Southern Grist Brewing / Tropical Train Ride / Great staff and beer near Vinyl Tap
Yazoo Brewing Co / Dos Perros / Great location close to the Gulch and Midtown
Corsair Distillery / Distillery and Taproom / Marathon Village (great for bros)
Green Brier Distillery / Belle Meade Bourbon / Marathon Village whiskey
Thompson / 401 11th Ave S
This boutique hotel in the middle of the Gulch neighborhood. The property is new and modern with mid-century touches and a relaxed luxury. The rooftop bar, LA Jackson, offers great views of the city, and John Besh's Marsh House serves seafood and Southern cuisine.
21C Museum Hotel / 221 2nd Avenue N
If you're looking to stay downtown and want a cool vibe, 21c is a great option. The hotel, just a few blocks from lower Broadway, is not just a place to stay - it's also a curated art exhibition. The rooftop suites with outdoor terraces are a great place to hang out and Gray & Dudley offers seasonal comfort food.
Hutton Hotel / 1808 West End Ave
This midtown hotel is centrally located, so you can be anywhere in the city in a matter of minutes (traffic permitting, of course). As a member of Virtuoso, I (or any of my Smartflyer colleagues) can offer you some added amenities at the Hutton, including daily breakfast and a lunch for two at 1808 Grille. (Note: currently undergoing renovations)
Hermitage Hotel / 231 6th Avenue N
If you want a bit of old-world glamour, the Hermitage is Nashville's oldest hotel. It's certainly more traditional but the downtown location has great views of the state Capitol. Booking a stay with a Virtuoso agent (me!), you will get a $100 credit to spend on property, and daily breakfast in the Capitol Grille (check out the art deco men's room).
Omni / 250 5th Ave S
This is probably the most well located hotel for exploring downtown Nashville. It's a mere two blocks from Broadway, across the street from the convention center and connected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Union Station Hotel / 1001 Broadway
Part of the Autograph Collection, Union Station Hotel is housed in an historic stone building that was once a train station. The hotel is conveniently located next to the First Center for Visual Arts and is a quick walk or cab ride to lower Broadway, the Gulch and Midtown.
Germantown Inn / 1218 6th Avenue North
For a small, local experience, book a room at the cute and charming Germantown Inn. The old meets modern aesthetic works perfectly in this six room hotel and the location is perfectly situated on a quiet neighborhood street.
Ryman Auditorium / 116 Fifth Ave N
Music lovers call it the Mother Church for a reason! Seeing a show at the former home of the Grand Ole Opry is a must.
Honky Tonks / Lower Broadway
The best thing about music in Nashville is that you can find it for free any day or night of the week. My favorite Honky Tonk is Robert's, but Tootsie's, The Stage, Legends Corner and Second Fiddle are all fun.
Station Inn / 402 12th Ave S
The Station Inn is a legendary Bluegrass venue in the Gulch that has survived the modern expansion of the area.
Bluebird Cafe / 4104 Hillsboro Pike
This famous singer/songwriter venue is unassuming in a Green Hills strip mall. But don't let location fool you - it gets its fair share of powerhouse musicians.
Third Man Records / 623 7th Avenue South
Jack White's record store is also a live music venue worth visiting.
Schermerhorn Symphony Center / 1 Symphony Pl
The home of the Nashville Symphony is not only a great place to hear classical music, but also a great venue for contemporary musicians, comedians and movies accompanied by the orchestra.
Other Local Spots
Mercy Lounge, Cannery Ballroom and High Watt / Local and world-famous talent
The Basement / Tiny venue below Grimey's (East location has a lot of fun events)
The Five Spot / Small East Nashville bar and venue with a lot on the calendar
Marathon Music Works / Event space in Marathon Village
Exit/In / Tiny venue near Vandy
Ms Kelli's / 207 Printers Alley
Basement karaoke in Printers Alley
Lonnie's Western Room / 308 Church St
Buckets of beer and karaoke fun
Santa's Pub / 2225 Bransford Ave
Cash only karaoke in a trailer
Clubs and Bars / Church St
Lipstick Lounge / 1400 Woodland St
Fun bar and lounge offering great karaoke and people watching on the East side.
QDP / Varying locations but usually the Basement East
This monthly Queer Dance Party brings great dance music from La Force.
Ascend Amphitheater / 301 1st Ave S
Directly downtown, this outdoor venue is the perfect spot to sit on the lawn and listen to great bands.
Bridgestone Arena / 501 Broadway
Home of the Nashville Predators (and occasionally a big show)!
Nissan Stadium / 1 Titans Way
Home of the Tennessee Titans (and occasionally a big show)!
Museums + tours + Shows
Frist Center for the Visual Arts / 919 Broadway
The museum of art is located in an historic Art Deco building that was once home to Nashville’s main post office.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum / 222 Fifth Avenue S
While in Music City, you should definitely visit the exhibitions at the Country Music Hall of Fame, which also offers fun educational programs.
The Parthenon / 2500 West End Ave
Yes, Nashville has a full-scale replica of the ancient Greek Parthenon as the centerpiece of Centennial Park. The building also houses an art museum and a 42-foot statue of Athena.
Ryman Auditorium / 116 Fifth Ave N
If you don't get a chance to catch a show at the Ryman, you can still get a backstage tour to see where legends like Johnny Cash have played.
NashTrash Tour / Nashville Farmers Market on 7th Ave Side
The Jugg Sisters take you on a musical tour of Nashville in the comfort of their hot pink bus. It’s tacky in the best possible way!
The Doyle & Debbie Show at Station Inn / 402 12th Ave S
This intentionally kitschy show at the Station Inn is a great parody of country music duos.
Johnny Cash & Patsy Cline Museums / 119 Third Avenue S
If you're a fan of Johnny & Patsy, you should visit these two museums that chronicle their lives and careers. Though housed in the same building, the tours are separate and take about 45 min each.
Nashville Zoo / 3777 Nolensville Pike
The rapidly expanding zoo has a focus on conservation and features threatened species like the clouded leopard.
Cheekwood / 1200 Forrest Park Dr
The botanical gardens and rolling grounds are a great setting for guest sculpture installations from the likes of Dale Chihuly and Jaume Plensa.
Pedestrian Bridge / 3rd Ave S to S 1st St
The best view of the Nashville skyline. It’s also a great way to get from downtown to Nissan Stadium for a Titans game.
The hills of Percy Warner Park are great for hiking and cycling (park at the Allee at the end of Belle Meade Blvd) and the typically flat greenways throughout the city are nice for a casual stroll or run.
Natchez Trace Parkway / Nashville, TN to Natchez, MS
The Parkway is part of the National Park Service and is a favorite route for cyclists and motorists alike. The north end of the Parkway is on Hwy 100 near the Loveless Cafe.
Hatch Show Print / 224 5th Ave S
Located in the Country Music Hall of Fame, this letterpress shop is famous for its music posters.
Isle of Printing / 620 Ewing Ave
Cute, quirky and affordable prints. You should also check out their other art related services and public art projects like Our Town.
Country Music Garb / Broadway
If you want a rhinestone cowboy ensemble, look no further than Manuel. For cowboy boots, the shops on lower Broadway almost always have a special offering.
Parnassus Books / 3900 Hillsboro Pike
Ann Patchett's independent bookstore in Green Hills is a great reason to pick up an actual, physical book.
12 South Neighborhood
Peter Nappi / 1308 Adams St
Handmade leather goods and (not cowboy) boots in East Nashville.
Visit Music City / Tourism and Visitors Guide