Nashville visitors' guide
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README.md

Nashville, Tennessee, USA, NORTH AMERICA

Your Hosts

Our office, The Bikeshed, is located downtown, and central to many things you'd find yourself wanting to do. Come visit anytime. Here you'll find everything you need to get work done, have a central place to meet-up, and interact with some cool new friends.

Tips

  • Grab a free copy of the Nashville Scene for more info on this week's haps and other recommendations that I'm totally forgetting. Gosh, there's also an Eash Nashvillian you can grab too.
  • Nashville has a largely hub-and-spoke bus system (fares) -- google maps knows the routes. Most of the Nashville 'hubbers use it extensively. We also have b-cycle bikes around town (ask @jameswhite), various short-term car rental services, as well as Lyft and Uber (UberX and black car). Getting a taxi downtown is pretty easy, especially, Thursday through Sunday, but it can be annoyingly difficult to acquire one from outside the entertainment district.
  • Nashville is America's new party town..., evidently.

Don't Miss

Places to Stay: AirBNB

Places to Stay: Hotels

Eating

Maps

(non-fancy)

  • Hattie B's -- Hot Chicken. You might have to wait, but it's worth it. Near J-J's & The Broadway Brewhouse. update: There's a second location now on the west si-ide: map and also a location now off 8th Ave in Melrose map
  • Monell's -- all-you-can-eat family-style Southern food, sitting with strangers at big tables passing food. Excellent food, pretty cheap, you will not leave hungry. Great idea for a weekday lunch. Gets busy for dinner and really busy the weekends
  • Jeni's Ice Cream -- east-side, deemed some of the best ice cream in America by various reckoners; this is the sibling of the original Columbus establishment. There's a coffee shop (Ugly Mugs) right next door, so that's cool.
  • Mayo's Fried Pies and Mahalia Jackson's Chicken -- for real. As I understand it, he actually bought the name rights from the restaurant back when it went under. It's a little mobile-looking shack down near the interstate on Jefferson Street. We should probably go if we can discern when it's open. yelp
  • the Pharmacy -- German style "wurst-burger" place, good German beers, great for lunch, on the east-side.
  • Mas Tacos -- amazing taco-foods, try the tortilla soup (even you fucking SF hipsters will enjoy this jawn, promise). Cash-only, on the east-side.
  • Peg Leg Porker -- some pretty amazing BBQ; including dry ribs, wet ribs, fried pies, etc. Good local craft beers on draught. yelp
  • the Loveless Cafe -- you'll need to drive to get there; southern food; this used to be the best southern food in the whole fucking world; it's still got game and worth a visit, but its powers have diminished over the years; basically impossible to get in on weekends, so if you go, shoot for breakfast/brunch/lunch, maybe dinner on a weekday
  • Pancake Pantry -- good for breakfast; lines around the block on weekends, some weekdays
  • Woodland's -- really solid South Indian vegetarian food, the lunch buffet is great
  • Prince's Hot Chicken -- the original 🔥 🐔
  • Bolton's Hot Chicken and Fish -- mmmmmmmm. Don't expect to dine in.
  • Pepperfire -- a sweeter variety of 🔥 🐔 Small dining room, up off Gallatin.
  • Party Fowl -- looking for 🔥 🐔 on Sunday / late night? Try here: the birds are good, the beers are good, and it's centrally located.
  • Rotier's -- hole-in-the-wall old-fashioned meat & 3; wood panelling, also has beer.
  • Pinewood Social -- eats & drinks, hipsters galore, maybe a coffee shop by now, also a small bowling alley; the comestibles are good
  • Otaku -- now in the Gulch and pop up in East Nashville good ramen. Gulch location here to stay, but pop up is back in East Nashville. Yelp listing
  • Jack's BBQ -- there's one on lower Broadway that's fine; the one out on Trinity Lane is the mother-ship and deserves respect; a new one on Charlotte Avenue make great bbq too.
  • Butchertown Hall -- Solid beer selection, nice ambience, good place to hang out and eat meats and drank 🍻.
  • Hog Heaven -- solid local bbq next door to the Springwater Supper Club (see Drinking), looks like deserves to be right next door to the Springwater; check the hours
  • both The Gerst Haus and Vienerfest (not kidding) have solid German food and beers
  • the Hermitage Cafe -- late night shithole for when you're trying to not go home yet
  • Mary's Open Pit BBQ -- worth stopping if you're in on Jefferson Street
  • I'm sorry to inform that "The Crunkest Fish in Town" (aka Eastside Fish) has apparently closed, though we should double-check, as the rumor mill indicated a non-zero chance of re-opening at some point.
  • Urban Grub -- good cocktails, slightly better than average food; a nice joint
  • Burger Up -- (12South) lots of different kinds of burgers and in a nice atmosphere -- now a second location in Five Points (east nashville)
  • Edly's BBQ -- solid 12South-area bbq joint; newer and less gritty than one might expect from good BBQ but the food is solid - Locations now in East Nashville and Sylvan Park
  • that raspas stand on Gallatin in Madison -- no, seriously. They've got raspas, piña loca as big as your kid, bags full of doritos cut in half with awesome shit down in them, whack ass big cupfuls of mango craziness. You gotta go to Madison, tho. 310 South Gallatin Rd.
  • Biscuit Love -- Gulch joint that serves Bonuts -- fried biscuit dough topped with Lemon Mascarpone Cream, and hot chicken biscuits topped with honey and berry compute.
  • Rosepepper has great top-shelf margaritas and burritos. It's on a bus line (Route 4).

More fancier eats (heavy on the Germantown tip)

  • Here, to get in the mood, read this article by a former Noma chef, now running The Catbird Seat
  • the catbird seat -- fine dining, they tend to book up a month in advance, though, so plan ahead
  • Rolf & Daughters -- nice and classy-ish dining in Germantown, also great cocktails at the bar.
  • 5th & Taylor -- A little fancier, a little more pricey; Germantown. Evidently good food / drinks.
  • City House -- Solid menu and good drinks, pretty nice atmosphere for hanging out and talking at a big table with your peeps.
  • The Southern -- Actually pretty good, despite being hype comparably to Husk (see below).
  • Miel -- nice and classy dining on the west side. Good 🍷 selection.
  • Silo -- At the bottom of Germantown, seems legit.
  • Etch -- Deb is the chef. Go for it.
  • Husk -- Skip it. Not that great, evidently. Very hype. Such tourist.
  • Butcher & Bee -- excellent food on the east side
  • Treehouse -- in east nashville, quality farm to table joint that does apps, small plates, and entrees meant for sharing... in a giant treehouse. Great outdoor space, but consider reservations for the limited seating.

Coffee / Hacking ( / tea )

  • Barista Parlor -- super super slow ass service. They don't roast, they bring in good coffees from outside Nashville; great ambience, hip-as-fuck, good internet, small but good food menu; no decaf; super fucking expensive too.
  • High Garden Teas -- actually, a pretty fucking amazing tea shop; you'll find their teas all over town now, too
  • Steadfast Coffee -- Germantown, a couple of blocks from Butchertown Hall. The coffee is good, the ambience is good, decent place for a chill hack. On the back side of the Skillery building, but don't hold that against them. Bring your Imogene+Willie jeans and rockabilly haircuts.
  • Frothy Monkey -- long a staple of the 12South area, the newly opened downtown location is a block away from the GitHub coworking space, stays open til 9pm (10pm on friday/saturday), and is easily the best coffee shop downtown. Oh, also decent beers, wine, and cocktails. Also a location off 8th Ave at Grimey's and another location in the Nations 🍸
  • Crema -- decent coffee, terrible wi-fi. Near Emma HQ. You might as well get Crema coffee at Pinewoodsocial, you can hack there in relative peace.
  • Cafe Coco's -- 24x7 coffee, tea, beer (well, during legal hours), food, etc. Indoors and outdoors, exceedingly diverse clientelle, internet can be shitty; take no pride in / give zero fucks about crafting a latte, but they roast their own coffee. My personal favorite for getting away and hacking.
  • J&J's Market & Cafe -- Vanderbilt area, decent-ish coffee, good tea selection, quiet, good atmosphere, decent internet, only small snack food (go next door to Noshville to eat).
  • Ugly Mugs -- decent internet, decent-ish coffee, nice atmosphere; next to Jeni's ice cream (zomg.)
  • Portland Brew (multiple locations) -- decent coffee; the 12South location is managed by Sra (pronounced "shraa"), who's a friend and former neighbor of @rick -- tell Sra I sent ya. Sorry, bro, Sra split. 💨
  • Red Bicycle -- If you're over in Germantown this is a coffee shop. Not highly recommended Not terrible, but passable in a tight spot. Go to Steadfast instead.
  • Dunn Brothers -- an ok downtown coffee shop, about half a block from the GitHub co-working office; see Frothy Monkey above instead.

Music, etc.

  • First, check the Nashville Scene Music Calendar.
  • The Station Inn -- incredible bluegrass venue; cinderblock building now completely surrounded by the yuppie hell that is The Gulch
  • "Honkey Tonks": Robert's Western World and Tootsie's Orchid Lounge are my personal favorites, but there's a veritable cornucopia on lower Broadway. Bring cash for when they pass around the tip bucket.
  • if you're interested in old-time fiddle music, ping @rick and see where the current Old Time Jam is hanging out; usually a Wednesday night thing, probably at Charlie Bob's
  • Jack White's record label Third Man Records has a pretty amazing hq / venue / record store.
  • Exit/In (calendar), The End (calendar) -- Elliston Place-area rock venues. Everyone who's anyone has been here
  • Cannery Ballroom (calendar) / Mercy Lounge (calendar) -- modern/current music, check The Scene for current shows, etc.
  • 12 South Taproom -- it's a bar with good food, but they have really good live music from time to time; Kenny Vaughan usually plays Monday nights, and he will blow your fucking mind
  • The Bluebird Cafe -- some people like to go here; @rick thinks it's a singer-songwriter nightmare; stop watching that "Nashville" show on television, please
  • Marathon Music Works -- Good place for shows, music is varied, you can catch almost anything there.

Sights

Outdoors

  • the Nashville Greenway system is extensive, including paved walking and biking trails for umpteen miles; the Shelby Bottoms greenway might be accessible, depending on where you are.
  • Warner Parks (headed out towards the Loveless Cafe, so you'll need a car) -- one of the nation's largest metro parks, miles of wooded hiking trails, paved biking and walking
  • Bell's Bend and Beaman Parks offer an even more immersive outdoor hiking experience, ~15-20 minutes from downtown.
  • the Natchez Trace Parkway -- out just past Loveless Cafe (ditto on the car), this scenic low-speed highway runs all the way to Natchez, Mississippi and includes a number of hiking spots and scenic overlooks near its Nashville terminus

Drinking

  • The Patterson House -- speakeasy-style cocktail bar; hard to find (right next to the catbird seat) but definitely satisfies; eat beforehand
  • The Holland House -- East Nashville less-hard-to-find cocktail bar, with decent food
  • Mickey's Tavern -- hole-in-the-wall -ish East Nashville venue
  • The Stone Fox (music calendar)-- westside drinking and food establishment -- the March 2014 Drinkup venue (ping @rick if you go there -- you can park and/or sleep in his yard). Closed in Feb 2016.
  • Betty's -- West-side. during the day this is a 70's era truck-driver / burned out West Nashville hag bar; cigarettes hanging off lower lips. At night it's usually punk kids and noise bands. Don't expect craft beers. Has a nice little enclosed outdoor nook; if you need to roll one, pull the plate out from under the back picnic table.
  • The Broadway Brewhouse - if you hear someone say "the brewhouse" or "BBH", this is what they mean. There are multiple locations, but we always mean the midtown one, not the downtown one. Unless there's kind of a long exasperated discussion about it being close to something and we might as well then. Anyway, the midtown one was the cradle of Nashville tech drinking; the installation of "The Awning" was the beginning of its fall from grace. (The awning has its own belligerent twitter account: @bbhmidtownawnin)
  • Corsair distillery / tasting room / tap room -- limited hours; the RIMBoy is no longer there; probably dead to us.
  • the Springwater Supper Club -- complete shithole dive bar, near Centennial Park, the Parthenon, and Rotier's
  • Santa's Pub -- shithole dive that's definitely worth a visit
  • there are a number of local micro- and otherwise-breweries that have taprooms or brewpubs: Black Abbey, Tennessee Brew Works, blackstone, yazoo, bosco's (closed 😢), jackalope, Fat Bottom, etc. -- probably recommended in my decreasing order of opinion of beer quality there
  • Brown's Diner -- yeah, you could eat there, but mostly it's a dive that exists because of atmosphere, also good live music
  • there are a ton of bars in East Nashville (Nashville's answer to Williamsburg, with numerous transplants therefrom); ping us if you're headed to the east side of the river (Holland House, Family Wash, the 5 Spot (calendar), hell, I don't even know where the cool kids go any more, but some of our crew know...)
  • East Nashville Beer Works -- Nashville's own rimboy brewing at last. Beer mecca, tasty pizza, arepas, and other tasty food.

post-drinking

  • Recovery Room: To relieve the negative effects of overindulgence.