ashville, Tennessee is much more than cowboy boots and country music … though there’s also plenty of that to go around. Nashville is our last stop along the National Dive Bar Tour, presented by SEAGRAM’S 7, before we wind up back in NYC, so we asked some local Nashvillians about their city to get a solid list of restaurants and bars, as well as other things to do for people visiting.
Locals like actress Mattie Lynn Breaux and Abby Reuther (who operates the local blog The Nashville Guide) were nice enough to act as our experts on the area and provided us with some great places to check out while visiting. See some of their recommendations below for an insider’s guide.
Where to Eat
Abby’s personal favorite restaurant in Nashville. The James Beard-award-winning restaurant, features Italian food with a Southern flair. “Do yourself a favor and order the Belly Ham Pizza … hands down the best pizza you’ll ever have,” Abby said.
Mas Tacos Por Favor
A favorite among locals, the casual taco joint carries signature tacos, soups and sides. Food is fresh and prepared to order, and Mas has even been featured on the Food Network many times. It’s a must visit according to Abby.
Gray & Dudley
Mattie’s first recommendation in Nashville dining, this hip restaurant is located in the 21c Museum Hotel and serves up American comfort fare and drinks in art-driven surroundings.
Skull’s Rainbow Room
A 1940s-style speakeasy lounge that offers “elevated” American fare, craft drinks and nightly burlesque … if you’re up for it.
Where to Drink
“It’s exactly what it sounds like: a full bar inside a glass greenhouse,” Abby said. “It’s pretty magical.”
Bobby Hotel Rooftop Lounge
Bobby Hotel is the perfect place to sip on drinks and small plates while overlooking Nashville’s skyline. Abby also mentioned that they have a real bus located on the rooftop.
Flamingo Cocktail Club
This new cocktail club serves up fancy tropical cocktails and dance music that will want to make you shake it on the dance floor. Abby’s note: No casual attire so leave your flip flops and ball caps at home.
Losers Bar & Grill
An intimate, no-BS venue with live music and classic bar eats and a variety of beers on tap. A good place to read our Dive Bar Issue.
Swingin’ Doors Saloon
Want to really feel the Nashville experience? Mattie recommends a visit to this festive tavern with a country music vibe serving up bar bites and burgers, plus a range of draft brews.
- Shopping: Hillsboro Village — Take a stroll in Hillsboro Village and check out all the shops. Our favorites include Apple & Oak, Native + Nomad, and Hey Rooster. Grab a coffee or lunch at Fido and an ice-cream at Jeni’s.
- Outdoors: Percy Warner Park — Get outside people! Check out Percy Warner Park for some great hiking trails. They even have horse trails and a main road throughout the park that many bikers take advantage of.
- Live Music: Music Venues — If you love country music then head to Broadway for all the honky tonk glory. Otherwise catch shows at music venues like The Basement, 3rd and Lindsley, The Ryman, and Ascend Amphitheater.
- Exploring: Museums — If you’re going to come visit Nashville then you need to explore at least one of their museums to get your dose of history. Our favorites: Country Music Hall of Fame and The Johnny Cash Museum.
“The Escape Game, Go Carts, Virtual Reality Game Room, hiking and for my fellow party people … Broadway.”
If you’re around town on September 22, stop by Santa’s Pub and let us buy you a drink. RSVP here and we’ll see you at the bar.
Special thanks to our friends from SEAGRAM’S 7, Deep Eddy Vodka, Montauk Brewing Co., Archer Roose Wines and Hotel Palms.