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Shannon’s Guide to Nashville

Shannon

Shannon’s Guide to Nashville

Live music
This is a Nashville staple located in an unassuming strip mall in what looks like suburbia. You’ll need tickets for a show on the weekend, but you can often get in to an “in the round” show on weeknights. Those are first come first served, so get there early for a spot. Order sweet potato fries.
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The Bluebird Cafe
4104 Hillsboro Pike
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This is a Nashville staple located in an unassuming strip mall in what looks like suburbia. You’ll need tickets for a show on the weekend, but you can often get in to an “in the round” show on weeknights. Those are first come first served, so get there early for a spot. Order sweet potato fries.
I highly recommend taking in a show at the mother church of country music. However, if what’s playing during your visit doesn’t interest you, you can still tour the Ryman without a ticket.
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Ryman Auditorium
116 5th Avenue North
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I highly recommend taking in a show at the mother church of country music. However, if what’s playing during your visit doesn’t interest you, you can still tour the Ryman without a ticket.
A must see in Nashville. You also never know what stars might pop up at the show. Get tickets in advance.
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Grand Ole Opry
2804 Opryland Drive
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A must see in Nashville. You also never know what stars might pop up at the show. Get tickets in advance.
If you want true blue, non-touristy Nashville music, this is the spot. It is located in the Gulch in its original location which is now surrounded with shiny high rises and yuppie shops. The station inn is not any of that. It is great music with a great vibe. No advance tickets. Just show up.
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The Station Inn
402 12th Avenue South
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If you want true blue, non-touristy Nashville music, this is the spot. It is located in the Gulch in its original location which is now surrounded with shiny high rises and yuppie shops. The station inn is not any of that. It is great music with a great vibe. No advance tickets. Just show up.
Think of this as like the Bluebird without the hype. It's also downtown, so a bit more convenient if that's where you're spending most of your time.
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Listening Room Cafe
618 4th Avenue South
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Think of this as like the Bluebird without the hype. It's also downtown, so a bit more convenient if that's where you're spending most of your time.
A Nashville tradition and a must do. If you only got to one bar on Broadway, make it this one.
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Tootsies Orchid Lounge
422 Broadway
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A Nashville tradition and a must do. If you only got to one bar on Broadway, make it this one.
Sightseeing
I’m really not into country music but this is worth seeing. It can be a little pricey for a museum but ask about discounts (they often have some promotion going on).
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Country Music Hall of Fame
222 5th Avenue South
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I’m really not into country music but this is worth seeing. It can be a little pricey for a museum but ask about discounts (they often have some promotion going on).
This is Nashville's replica of the Parthenon in Greece. It even includes our very own giant Athena Statue. There's a museum inside and a lot of cool art that's worth seeing. The entrance fee is very minimal. It's located in Centennial Park just across from Vandy's campus and is a lovely way to spend an afternoon if you're visiting during good weather.
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Parthénon de Nashville
2500 West End Avenue
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This is Nashville's replica of the Parthenon in Greece. It even includes our very own giant Athena Statue. There's a museum inside and a lot of cool art that's worth seeing. The entrance fee is very minimal. It's located in Centennial Park just across from Vandy's campus and is a lovely way to spend an afternoon if you're visiting during good weather.
Neighborhoods
Germantown is Nashville's oldest neighborhood (and my favorite). It is just north of the state capitol and now is home to the Sounds baseball stadium. It has lots of great restaurants and night spots. It's also great for a stroll, especially if you walk through bicentennial mall and stop in at the Farmer's market (open 364 days a year).
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Germantown
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Germantown is Nashville's oldest neighborhood (and my favorite). It is just north of the state capitol and now is home to the Sounds baseball stadium. It has lots of great restaurants and night spots. It's also great for a stroll, especially if you walk through bicentennial mall and stop in at the Farmer's market (open 364 days a year).
This is the spot everyone comes to Nashville to see (and all the locals avoid). It is certainly a must do if you're coming to music city. Expect lots of people and loud music and a honky tonking good time.
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Broadway
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This is the spot everyone comes to Nashville to see (and all the locals avoid). It is certainly a must do if you're coming to music city. Expect lots of people and loud music and a honky tonking good time.
East Nashville is where a lot of artists (both music and otherwise) live. It's an eclectic mix of people. 5 points is the most well known part and offers lots of options for bars and restaurants and also funky independent shops. It is just over the bridge from downtown Nashville.
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East Nashville
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East Nashville is where a lot of artists (both music and otherwise) live. It's an eclectic mix of people. 5 points is the most well known part and offers lots of options for bars and restaurants and also funky independent shops. It is just over the bridge from downtown Nashville.
12th South is a midtown neighborhood close to Vanderbilt's campus. It is very walkable and offer lots of dining and shopping options.
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12 South
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12th South is a midtown neighborhood close to Vanderbilt's campus. It is very walkable and offer lots of dining and shopping options.
The Gulch is a former rock quarry turned yuppie paradise. It is mostly shiny high rises and trendy shops and restaurants, but right in the middle of it all is the Station Inn, one of my recommendations for live music, that is not shiny at all. It is old school Nashville and very much worth a visit. Warning, if you're fancy, it's not for you. Also, if you're looking to get a photo in front of one of Nashville's mural, you can find the angel wings mural in the Gulch.
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The Gulch
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The Gulch is a former rock quarry turned yuppie paradise. It is mostly shiny high rises and trendy shops and restaurants, but right in the middle of it all is the Station Inn, one of my recommendations for live music, that is not shiny at all. It is old school Nashville and very much worth a visit. Warning, if you're fancy, it's not for you. Also, if you're looking to get a photo in front of one of Nashville's mural, you can find the angel wings mural in the Gulch.
Food scene
This is my favorite restaurant in Nashville. It’s not cheap but not super expensive either. The coconut curry salmon is unbelievable as is the French onion soup. They also have a great (and inexpensive) brunch with the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever had in my life (including in New Orleans). If you’ve never had grits or don’t know what they are, these would be a great first taste.
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Germantown Café
1200 5th Avenue North
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This is my favorite restaurant in Nashville. It’s not cheap but not super expensive either. The coconut curry salmon is unbelievable as is the French onion soup. They also have a great (and inexpensive) brunch with the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever had in my life (including in New Orleans). If you’ve never had grits or don’t know what they are, these would be a great first taste.
Monell’s is southern food at its best. Everything is served family style. They bring out tons of food and you eat as much as you like. It’s a set price ($14.95 I think). The fried chicken is just amazing. I highly recommend breakfast (that also includes fried chicken!).
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Monell's
1235 6th Avenue North
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Monell’s is southern food at its best. Everything is served family style. They bring out tons of food and you eat as much as you like. It’s a set price ($14.95 I think). The fried chicken is just amazing. I highly recommend breakfast (that also includes fried chicken!).
Absolutely the best cupcake you’ll ever have. If you don't agree, you're wrong. Get the sweet potato cupcake. Just do it.
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The Cupcake Collection
1213 6th Avenue North
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Absolutely the best cupcake you’ll ever have. If you don't agree, you're wrong. Get the sweet potato cupcake. Just do it.
Steak house that pays as much attention to the sides as the steak. Definitely a splurge but worth the money if you’re looking for a truly decadent experience.
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Kayne Prime Steakhouse
1103 McGavock Street
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Steak house that pays as much attention to the sides as the steak. Definitely a splurge but worth the money if you’re looking for a truly decadent experience.
Really great rustic Italian. This is not the type of thing you get at a chain restaurant. The food is perfectly prepared and in the perfect amounts so you feel satisfied but not uncomfortably full. Moderately priced.
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Moto
1120 McGavock Street
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Really great rustic Italian. This is not the type of thing you get at a chain restaurant. The food is perfectly prepared and in the perfect amounts so you feel satisfied but not uncomfortably full. Moderately priced.
If you have to eat on lower Broadway, this is my pick. Great food. Great atmosphere (there will likely be live music). You can usually get a reservation if you book online via opentable. Biscuits are delicious.
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The Southern Steak & Oyster
150 3rd Ave S
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If you have to eat on lower Broadway, this is my pick. Great food. Great atmosphere (there will likely be live music). You can usually get a reservation if you book online via opentable. Biscuits are delicious.
A cocktail bar that has the feel of a speak easy. Cute bartenders and fantastic cocktails. Food is also really good.
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The Patterson House
1711 Division Street
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A cocktail bar that has the feel of a speak easy. Cute bartenders and fantastic cocktails. Food is also really good.
It’s super crowded on weekends and they don’t take reservations but a little known secret is that they do call ahead seating, so you can get your name on the list before arriving. This is a trek about 30 minutes west but is absolutely worth it. Breakfast is beyond awesome.
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Loveless Cafe
8400 Tennessee 100
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It’s super crowded on weekends and they don’t take reservations but a little known secret is that they do call ahead seating, so you can get your name on the list before arriving. This is a trek about 30 minutes west but is absolutely worth it. Breakfast is beyond awesome.
If you drive through Hillsboro Village on the weekends (and sometimes on the weekdays) you’ll see a line of people wrapped around the building on the corner of 21st Ave S and Blakemore. This is the line for pancake pantry. There’s a reason people stand in line for this place. The sweet potato pancakes are my favorite (so so good) but all the pancakes are perfection. If you want to try it out, I suggest a late arrival (They close at 3:00, so maybe around 1:30) or a weekday visit to minimize wait times. Their only downfall is that the coffee sucks. You’ve been warned.
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Pancake Pantry
1796 21st Avenue South
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If you drive through Hillsboro Village on the weekends (and sometimes on the weekdays) you’ll see a line of people wrapped around the building on the corner of 21st Ave S and Blakemore. This is the line for pancake pantry. There’s a reason people stand in line for this place. The sweet potato pancakes are my favorite (so so good) but all the pancakes are perfection. If you want to try it out, I suggest a late arrival (They close at 3:00, so maybe around 1:30) or a weekday visit to minimize wait times. Their only downfall is that the coffee sucks. You’ve been warned.
If you drive through Hillsboro Village on the weekends (and sometimes on the weekdays) you’ll see a line of people wrapped around the building on the corner of 21st Ave S and Blakemore. This is the line for pancake pantry. There’s a reason people stand in line for this place. The sweet potato pancakes are my favorite (so so good) but all the pancakes are perfection. If you want to try it out, I suggest a late arrival (They close at 3:00, so maybe around 1:30) or a weekday visit to minimize wait times. Their only downfall is that the coffee sucks. You’ve been warned.
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Fido
1812 21st Avenue South
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If you drive through Hillsboro Village on the weekends (and sometimes on the weekdays) you’ll see a line of people wrapped around the building on the corner of 21st Ave S and Blakemore. This is the line for pancake pantry. There’s a reason people stand in line for this place. The sweet potato pancakes are my favorite (so so good) but all the pancakes are perfection. If you want to try it out, I suggest a late arrival (They close at 3:00, so maybe around 1:30) or a weekday visit to minimize wait times. Their only downfall is that the coffee sucks. You’ve been warned.
Best bbq in town. Made fresh every day. No freezers. No microwaves. All the meat is fantastic. Really great sides as well. I love the broccoli salad.
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Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint
3108 Belmont Boulevard
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Best bbq in town. Made fresh every day. No freezers. No microwaves. All the meat is fantastic. Really great sides as well. I love the broccoli salad.
Hot chicken is a Nashville thing. There are quite a lot of places to get it around town. But, if you ask me, Prince’s is the only way to go. It’s a little east but still only a 10-minute drive. If you go, do not, I repeat do not, order chicken any hotter than medium. Just don’t do it.
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Prince's Hot Chicken Shack South
5814 Nolensville Pike
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Hot chicken is a Nashville thing. There are quite a lot of places to get it around town. But, if you ask me, Prince’s is the only way to go. It’s a little east but still only a 10-minute drive. If you go, do not, I repeat do not, order chicken any hotter than medium. Just don’t do it.

Conseils aux voyageurs

Se déplacer dans les environs
Don't try to park in downtown Nashville. You will regret it.
Uber and Lyft both operate in Nashville. These apps are downloadable from the app store on iPhone or android. I recommend these over taxis as it’s often much faster to get an uber or lyft. They are abundant and inexpensive.
Que faut-il apporter ?
Check the weather!
Welcome to the South. Just because it was hot last week doesn't mean it will be hot this week (unless it's August, then it will definitely be miserably hot). Our weather often changes from day to day (think 30 degree temperature swings). Layers tend to be a good idea. Plan accordingly.
À ne pas manquer
You must catch live music.
I offer a number of suggestions in the places to see as to where to catch some live music while in music city. However, pretty much any bar in Nashville (and a lot of restaurants) will have live music if you don’t want to spring for show tickets. Wander around until you hear something you like.
Coutumes et culture
Southern hospitality is a real thing!
People in Nashville are kind and always happy to lend a hand. Whether you're lost or just need a recommendation on what to do next, if you need help, just ask!