If You’re Hungry in Music City
Nashville is having a moment. Long famous for its music, the capital of Tennessee is drawing tourists and transplants with its history, its culture, and its thriving restaurant scene. If you want to know where to eat and drink in Nashville, ask a local—like Watson Adventures Hunt Host Eddie Island, a contestant on American Idol in 2019. Here are 10 of his favorite spots to grab a bite or a drink in Nashville.
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop close to downtown, this is it. In addition to the great food and drinks, Pinewood Social offers pool, a taco truck, a built-in coffee shop, and a bowling alley. The living room area is a great place to bring your laptop and work. My favorite thing is a cocktail shook from the gate—which is no longer on the menu, but you can ask for it.
Dive bar dreams! Ultra-local, $5 shots all day long until 3 a.m., and amazing, cheap food that’s made late into the night. The fish sandwich is to die for.
On Gallatin Avenue, the original Barista Parlor that started it all draws everyone from music stars to Harley-riding locals. The coffee is excellent, and the atmosphere screams Nashville. My favorites includes the biscuits and the iced plum tea.
Another downtown hot spot, the 21c offers a three-level art gallery—for free! Pop on by, grab a drink at Gray & Dudley, and walk around the exhibits. And say hi to my good friend, blue penguin guy!
Solid brewery that’s a Nashville classic. Amazing patio and selection, as well as great vibes.
This Chestnut Hill locale is rightly famous for its trendy converted-warehouse style, its late-night nachos, and its creative cocktails—including a daily punch that definitely packs one.
By day it’s Falcon Coffee, a loved-by-the-locals vegan coffee shop. (You have to try the vegan breakfast sandwiches!) By night it’s Flamingo, one of the best clubs in Nashville. If you’re feeling daring, order one of their giant golden flamingo cocktails.
Noelle is like the 1920s of The Great Gatsby come to life, complete with a speakeasy in the basement and a Barista Parlor inside—plus an excellent restaurant and rooftop bar. The hotel also sports a study lounge, which is a great place to escape.
Skull’s Rainbow Room is famous—a Nashville staple that has hosted legends like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Etta James. Locals and tourists alike come for the speakeasy vibe and classic cocktails, and it’s a solid place to grab some food on your trip down Printer’s Alley, Nashville’s old red-light district. Fun fact: Until his death in 1998, Skull’s founder David “Skull” Schulman was considered the “mayor” of Printer’s Alley.
This retro, scuba-themed dream space in East Nashville offers strong drinks, delicious food options, live vinyl DJS, and a private patio. My favorite drink is a bottled cocktail called the “Tingray.” Oh, and their veggie lo mein is top notch.