Since I never got to share about my recent trip to Nashville a little while back, I figured ain’t no time like the present (especially when its #tbt). I really loved getting to see this wonderful city again; I went once before and loved it! This time around, I tried to go to as many places as possible since all of us were over 21 this time and could take in the famed Music Row on Broadway.
First stop was Tavern Midtown, an amazing brunch place that I went to on my last trip and knew I needed to go back to again. Sadly, the weather was MUCH colder than last time so we didn’t get to sit out on their patio but the inside is really cool too. Last time I was here, they had REALLY good sangria and pretzel pancakes (see picture below) but since we had just missed the brunch time we opted for lunch instead.
YUM right?? Ok fast forward to this time around..mahi mahi tacos and Tuscan chili flake garlic parm fries courtesy of a nice sharing friend – wee!! Both were really good (the fries were a tad spicy but still tasty) and definitely made up for no brunch haha. I would say that for the tacos I would definitely recommend getting three versus two since I was still a little hungry after until the fries but I didn’t get a cocktail this time either so that might help too!
Next up, a little exploring around downtown. We went past the Country Music Hall of Fame; I went last time and the others didn’t really want to go so we skipped it – really cool if you’ve never been though, especially for a country music fan like me! We went up and down the streets taking it all in before the crazy night commenced later in the evening. We found a cute boots store, a candy & ice cream shop, and a great view of the skyline from the pedestrian bridge nearby (as well as a way for us to walk home later to our Airbnb!).
We decided to test out a little day-drinking on Broadway and made way to Tootsie’s – probably the most famous of the spots. It was a bit empty at first since it was before 5 (oops) but as it got closer and closer it picked up. We were also at the top of the bar since it was the only part that wasn’t reserved or overcrowded. At least we got to see the view from the rooftop; you could see all of Broadway as well as the old original Grand Ole Opry, now home to the Nashville Predators hockey team!
Quick shout out to Honky Tonk Central – we went twice during our stay and one night we managed to close it down woo!! This place was my favorite one as it had really great songs and a much younger crowd – if your a 20 or 30 something and love country music go here!!! Rippy’s was our second favorite along with Tin Roof – both were hoppin’ and we managed to dance for a while at each. We also had a really good raspberry beer too that managed to be served at a lot of the establishments in town. Acme Feed & Seed seemed pretty cool too but sadly it was too crowded for us to stay much longer and there was a private event going on with a few of the floors. Next time though! Before our next day, we visited the famous Printer’s Alley to see all the cool little hole-in-the-walls there – so pretty at night! Again, we struck more bad luck as the majority of it was under construction so we mostly just walked down and back again but next time hopefully we can go in!
The next day we went to this brunch place recommended by our Airbnb host and let me tell ya it was pretty darn good! The decor, the price and the food/beverages were all on point – 10/10 would go again. It was also relatively close to our place so walking distance was key for us hungover tourists. I got the croissant french toast and it was a game changer – I’ve never had a hybrid breakfast item before and it did not disappoint. Since I loved it so much, I let my friend try a little (I’m a good friend huh?) and then he ordered his own after his meal – they were that good! I got a side of bacon as well and it was nice and crispy, just the way I like it.
Next up, a cute little soda shop I managed to stumble upon via Instagram (love using it to find cool spots all around the world). Since we just ate we didn’t get sodas or waffles or ice cream but they looked good! They had shirts and cute little knick knacks, plus they have FREE arcade games. So cool – would especially recommend if you have little ones!
Now we’re off to my favorite part of town that we saw – The Gulch. I had to stop at Sprinkles first because, well, I just couldn’t resist! I know what you’re thinking, why go somewhere that’s also in Chicago? Turns out this location has ice cream too – ahh! I needed to try one of their cupcake sundaes to get the full experience and I loved it!! I got the cookie cupcake that had cookie frosting and a cookie in the middle – yum! As for the ice cream, it was tough since they had such unique flavors but I ended up with…wait for it…Cap’n Crunch. Ugh so amazing – my childhood dreams came true!
Ok so obviously I HAD to go to Draper James because who doesn’t love Reese Witherspoon? It was so cute!! They give you sweet tea when you walk in (so southern) and the clothes are beautiful along with the store design. I was in heaven and can’t wait to go back again – maybe I’ll meet her next time?? One can hope!
Ugh – this was a very sad discovery – turns out the day we went to the Gulch was when some terrible person decided to deface the I Believe in Nashville mural. I was so excited to see it and take pictures with it but sadly that was taken away. Again, going to need another trip to see this in all it’s glory! To make up for it, we found an identical one on the old Grand Ole Opry that showed a different Nashville pride – the hockey team! We also found some cute floral murals and a “make music not war” one along the way. Next we visited the Benton Mansion (so pretty but didn’t get to go inside) and walked around the grounds. We visited all the neighboring boutiques as well with one, Ceri Hoover, being a big help to us by telling us about some hip new places to go. Thanks Ceri!! Taking her advice, we went to the Thompson hotel next to try out the rooftop that she recommended for the best view of the city.
The Thompson – one of the most gorgeous hotels I’ve even seen and it just opened. The interior was beautiful and right up my alley – even the bathrooms were pretty! The rooftop (called LA Jackson) was very retro meets modern with the millennial pink palm walls and decor on the deck and the old school lights and bar to pair with. Their drinks were really good too – I had the Bees Knees, a cocktail similar to my favorite (French 75) but swapping the champagne for honey. After that, we had to take pictures by the wings mural (duh) and then made way to find some food. We thought about taking Ceri up on her “Little Octopus” recommendation (she said it was all rose gold inside and really good – see my sneak snap below) but ultimately ended up at Cantina Laredo instead.
Cantina Laredo was a great choice for us since we were kinda craving Mexican food and didn’t want it to be too pricey. The location in Nashville has since closed (sad!) but there’s still one in Chicago among other places. We got the red sangria (yum!) which filled us up since it was so tall – big as my head – as well as table side guac to split. SO with that being said I went small and got the Ahi Tuna tacos and they were yummy. I love a good poke so this was perfect.
Ok, so with the last day comes the best place out of them all. Biscuit Love is NOT to be missed! We waited about an hour outside for brunch and it was THE BEST thing I ate the entire trip – did I mention everything is made in house?? The owner was also super nice and made sure to talk to ever customer (and joking with us about how we were IU fans and he was a Michigan guy) plus turns out he is from Naperville (Chicago knows southern food too apparently!!). The host also made it a point to memorize every single person waiting in line’s name which I think just speaks to the character of this place on top of its glorious food. We got the “bonuts” to start: biscuits fried like doughnuts with blueberry compote in the middle and topped with lemon mascarpone. These are a MUST – they melt in your mouth and add a nice sweetness to prepare you for the contrasting savory chicken & biscuits coming next. I ended up getting the East Nasty (as in Nashville c’mon!!) which was fried chicken stuck between some fresh biscuits and cheddar & sausage gravy on top – mmm. Pro tip: there’s a secret menu item called the “Nasty Princess” which is a replica of my meal but the chicken is “hot” or spicy instead. We did another quick little walk and then headed back. I can’t wait to go back soon!!