Good morning all! It’s my last full day here in Nashville. My how five years have flown by! It was 102 degrees on the day that I moved in freshman year, and it was 95 degrees yesterday when I moved out of my apartment. Pretty fitting way to wrap up my time here.
After a three-mile run yesterday morning, and a day filled with trips up and down the stairs lugging heavy boxes, my legs are tired! I’m ready for a day of relaxing, and resting up for our big adventure tonight…any guesses? Plus a few visits to some of my favorite Nashville locales.
Speaking of Nashville locales – since I’m feeling nostalgic about leaving behind the city that has been my home for the last five years, I figured I should do a little round-up of all of my favorite places. That way, when I come back to visit – or when any of you guys come to visit – there will be a list of highlights to draw from!
Without further ado, I give you…
For the brunch lover… Mad Donna’s, in East Nashville. Great brunch selection with some different things on the menu – black bean omelette, croque madame. Plus the best sweet potato fries in town.
For a quick lunch date… Calypso Cafe, near Vanderbilt. Really good Caribbean food, with killer fruit tea. I always get the black bean salad, but the beans-and-three plate is awesome as well.
For the old-person-at-heart… Picnic Cafe, off of Harding. Two words: pimento cheese. Order it. You won’t regret it. It’s hard to go wrong with the benedictine also.
For a spicy and festive dinner… Rumba, on West End. While Rumba is a rum bar and is known for their drinks, their food is also awesome. I love their burgers, but they also have great pizzas and some Caribbean-fusion entrees.
For the pizza lover… Mafioza’s, in Twelfth South. Great pizza and a great beer list. Hard to go wrong with this one.
For those in the mood for a good burger… The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden, in East Nashville. A newer restaurant, the Pharmacy cranks out great burgers and fries with all kinds of fun toppings and dipping sauces. They also make a mean milkshake and old-fashioned soda.
For a quick taco bite… The Local Taco, in Sylvan Park. Order at the counter – pick two tacos, and don’t be afraid to be adventurous! I love the Korean BBQ taco. The margaritas here are also hard to beat.
For the adventurous eater… Suzy Wong’s House of Yum, on Church Street. Nashville’s own Arnold Myint (a Top Chef competitor!) opened this swanky eatery, and filled it with fun Asian-fusion food. If you’re in the mood for wonton nachos, this is your place.
For the whiskey connoisseur… Whiskey Kitchen, in the Gulch. A cool bar, with an outdoor patio and a whiskey/bourbon list to make your head spin. The food here is great too!
For the beer lover… Flying Saucer, in Union Station. Although it’s a chain, they have over a hundred beers on tap…yes, you read that correctly. Plus, their downtown location makes it a great first stop for your night!
For those seeking a cool, swanky locale… Patterson House, on Division. Patterned after a speak-easy, the door is unmarked, the walls are lined with bookshelves, and the lighting is low. The cocktails are adventurous and unique – and $12. You leave feeling extremely high-cultured.
For those looking for the best Manhattan in town… Holland House, in East Nashville. Holland House is like Patterson House’s more inviting younger brother. Plus, they’re located right next to The Pharmacy – it’s a perfect place to hang out while you wait for your table there!
For those seeking the true Nashville experience… the honky tonks on Broadway, downtown. We love The Stage, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, and Paradise Park. It’s where the locals and tourists alike come to play, and to drink. And to dance.
For those wanting a more intimate Nashville experience… The Bluebird Cafe, in Green Hills. Depending on the night, you could see some pretty famous people stopping in to play a set or two! Singer-songwriters reign supreme in this small music venue.
For those wanting to close their night with a bang… Printer’s Alley, downtown. Walk from Broadway. Buy a hotdog from the street vendor. Sing some karoke at Lonnie’s. You won’t be disappointed.
For those wanting a quaint, smalltown boutique vibe… the Main Street of Franklin, TN, 15 miles south of Nashville. Stroll the streets, pop your head in a shop or two, make a whole day of it.
For those looking for a good bargain… the newly-revived Opry Mills Outlet Mall, Opryland. J.crew, Banana Republic, Gap and Ann Taylor Loft all have outlets here. Just beware, the crowds are huge. And a mixed bag of people.
For those looking for an all-day marathon… the Green Hills area. The Mall at Green Hills is located here (the nicest mall in town), as are numerous other shops, boutiques and restaurants. It’s the commercial heart of Nashville.
For the frozen yogurt fiend… Sweet CeCe’s, in Hillsboro Village. Pick your flavor, add your own toppings, and enjoy the awesomeness that is Sweet CeCe’s.
For the ice cream lover… Pied Piper Creamery, in East Nashville. Cool flavors, a hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, the perfect little local ice cream shop.
For the chocolate-chip-aholic… Bricktops, on West End. Go to Bricktops. Order the Chocolate Chip, and bask in its iron-skillet, warm chocolate chip cookie, creamy vanilla ice cream, and caramel sauce glory.
For the popsicle king or queen… Las Paletas, in Twelfth South. The mother of all popsicle shops, they sell flavors as plain as strawberry and as crazy as Mexican chocolate (beware the spicy kick that it packs – I was not prepared for a popsicle to burn my mouth!)
And there you have it. I could go on for ages – there is so much to do and see and eat in this wonderful city! But these are just my highlights at the moment. If you have more specific questions, or want more recommendations, you know where to find me. For now, I’m off to enjoy my last day in this place that I’ve called home.