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City Guide: Favorite Places in Nashville

by Amelia Greenhall - 11/30/2019

I lived in Nashville for 4 years while I went to Vanderbilt University, and spent a lot of time listening to live music, taking walks and bike rides, and roaming around. I go back every couple years to see friends or meet up with nearby family. Here are my favorite spots.

Music Venues

  • Bluebird Cafe - get reservations way in advance for a singer songwriter 'in the round'
  • Station Inn - low key bluegrass venue (tickets may be needed for shows) with free jams on Sunday evenings (no tickets needed)
  • 5-Spot - Monday night dancing
  • Exit Inn
  • Marathon
  • The End
  • Third & Lindsley
  • Demonbreun Street / The Gulch: various bars and restaurants

Honky Tonks

These are the Broadway bars: Robert’s, Tootsie’s, Stage, Lonnie’s (Printer’s Alley), etc. Don't miss:

  • Robert's - My favorite honky-tonk. Get PBR tallboys and sweet potato fries, and dance on the little floor up front. It's a spot to start the night.
  • Tootsie's

This scene has changed quite a lot since I lived in Nashville - the 'tonks are now a bachelorette destination (I keep thinking about this article from the Nashville Scene) - and a lot of them have gotten less shitty and added third floors and roof decks. I like getting to Nashville from the west coast and going straight to the honky tonks for the evening, because with the time change staying out dancing til everything shuts down at 2am is easy.

Food and Drink

  • International Market in Bellmont
  • Margot Cafe - fancy
  • Las Paletas (great mexican popsicles with nice 12 South park nearby - eat them in the park across the street)
  • Cafe Coco - 24 hour coffeeshop near Vanderbilt
  • San Antonio Taco Co (Satco): fun place for bucket of beers and tacos across from Vanderbilt campus
  • Frothy Monkey
  • The Pharmacy - Burgers and homemade soda in a beer garden
  • Fido
  • Barista Parlor
  • Crema
  • Woodlands - amazing vegetarian indian
  • Fat Bottom
  • Yazoo
  • Jackelope
  • Fill Station (12 South)
  • Rolf and Daughters - fancy new south
  • Husk
  • Bobbi's Dairy Dip - the one on Charlotte, combined with a thrifting trip, more for the ambiance than the food
  • JJ's
  • The Family Wash


  • Local Honey
  • Katy Kay's
  • Cumberland Transit - gear store
  • MacKay's used books
  • Southern Thrift - and others along Charlotte

Bike Rides

  • Shelby Bottoms
  • To the Farmer's Market at Centennial Park


  • Climb Nashville - one of the best climbing gyms in the country
  • The Belcourt - indie movies
  • Walk around Vanderbilt Campus
  • Hatch Show Print
  • Centennial Park: park with Parthenon replica
  • Grimey’s Music: long-standing record store

— Amelia Greenhall