My friend Cynthia decided that for her 30th birthday, she wanted to take a trip to Nashville seemingly on a whim. Of course Anel and I agreed right away when we planned the trip last summer, not realizing how amazing this crazy cool city would be. February was a great month to visit Nashville as it was warm in the sun (high of 67) but not too hot, essentially the perfect temps for exploring… and eating evidently, as that seems to be all we did!
After a dramatic and delayed flight, we finally landed in Nashville on Friday at evening and took a quick Uber trip to our adorable Airbnb in East Nashville (it could have totally been featured in a design magazine) that Cynthia found for a great price. In a great location.
Side note on prices, the Ubers in Nashville are so cheap, it’s amazing! I recommend going that route instead of renting a car, especially if you’re with a group so you can take turns paying. From the airport, it was about 20 minutes and only $14.
We showered and popped a bottle of Pinot Noir before heading out to dinner.
Our first dinner of the trip was at Rolf and Daughters, a restaurant that nearly everyone recommended when I mentioned the trip. Because we didn’t have a reservation and it was Friday night, we waited for over an hour and a half but the wait was well worth it. We sipped on cocktails (The Shake It Off and 1786 Sour were my favorites) and caught up with our friends while we waited for the table. When we sat to eat, it was low blood sugar mayhem and we ended up ordering nearly everything on the menu so I can speak with a bit of knowledge about it. Our top dishes were the broccoli (we ended up ordering seconds, seriously it’s that good), malfade with mushroom alfredo, and the chicken liver crostini.
By the time we finished our late-night meal and made it home, it was after midnight so we called it a night. The next morning we woke up and walked a few blocks from our condo toBarista Parlor for coffee, tea, and a light breakfast. The East Nashville location is an old gigantic garage, turned into one of the coolest open spaces I’ve ever seen with a coffee bar smack in the middle. It looked like it belonged in Williamsberg. Aka hipster AF. They had a wide selection of coffees but I got an amazing black tea and a donut…natch. If I lived in Nashville, I would come work from this coffee shop all the time.
The lovely ladies at Draper James had found out I was coming to Nashville so invited me in to do some shopping and pick out a few pieces. We ubered again from East Nashville to the 12South neighborhood where this store and a lot of other great shops and restaurants are located. I left with this shirt and my new favorite cape that I ended up wearing all day on Sunday. The store is so adorable, I wanted to move right in! Decorated in all blue and white, I felt like I fit right in. By this time we were hungry after a light breakfast and lots of walking around, so headed to…
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is an institution in Nashville. Hot chicken, fried chicken in an unbelievable spice rub is a must when you’re in town, and Hattie B’s is the best of the best. We waited for over two hours to eat but it was literally one of my favorite meals ever. Next time, I would probably order it to go and avoid the lines and the wait, but it was definitely an experience! I ordered my chicken mild but one of our friends went for the “Damn Hot” version and was literally dripping sweat as he ate.
After lunch, we walked around for a few hours through Vanderbilt’s campus and just exploring the city. After a while of that, our sore feet paired with mild hangovers from the night before forced us home to rest. We took power naps and showers and rallied for dinner at Adele’s, which has recently named Nashville’s best new restaurant. It didn’t disappoint! We enjoyed a light meal after all of the eating we had already done. My friend and I had kale salads (so good) and split the cod which was delish. One of the highlights of the meal was The Shrub, a drink made from vodka, house made balsamic preserve, citrus, ginger, and a dash of pinot noir. Sounds weird but it was incredible. I have it on my list to re-create this at home.
Photo via Snapchat (@lemonstripes)
After dinner we wanted to hear some live music, so we headed over to music row which is like the Times Square of Nashville, but chock full of music venues. We met a couple at lunch who recommended we check out the rooftop venue at the George Jones museum. It didn’t disappoint! We saw two awesome country bands perform and had a beautiful view of the city. There were virtually no tourists there either except for us.
Everyone and their mother made us promise to check out Pinewood Social while we were in Nashville. It’s hard to explain what this place is but I’ll try: It’s a restaurant, bar, bowling alley, lounge, coffee shop, and workspace all rolled into one. Outside they have a bocce court and a pool. So basically heaven on earth. We woke up on Sunday morning and headed there as soon as it opened to avoid yet another wait. The brunch was divine. We started with chai lattes from their outpost of Crema Coffee Shop located in the venue. For brunch, we split the Elvis waffles (sourdough waffles with peanut butter mouse, bananas, and maple syrup) and ordered a bunch of egg dishes. The best thing we ate was the broken yolk tacos.
We had a few hours before we had to head to the airport so I asked if we could go back to the 12South neighborhood to visit some more shops. We stopped in Imogene + Willie, which has an amazing denim selection and is just a really cool visual space, and Cadeau, an adorable home goods store where I scooped up a few pieces for my home office. I could have lived in it.
Because we didn’t eat enough this weekend (ha!), I made everyone stop in at Five Daughters Bakery for some of their famous donuts to enjoy on our trip home. I got the vegan maple glazed and it was one of the best donuts I’ve ever had in my 30 years.
At that point, we threw in the towel. There was no more food to be had, no more walking to be done, we were ready to head home. Our 36 hours in Nashville was perfect and I can’t wait to go back again someday.