Nashville has my gosh-darn heart. That's a given.
But HOW in the world do you jam pack all of a city's splendor and charm into a weekend? Recently some of my best gal-pals flew in from Seattle for a long weekend to visit. Mind you, these West Coast babes haven't "done" the South before, so I felt an enormous amount of pressure to make them fall in love with my chosen dot on the map. After all, Nashville IS more than honky-tonks and country music. If you've been to Nashville and never left downtown, I'm sorry. Because beyond Broadway, you’ll experience a soulful and unique city that's bursting with foodies, culture and socially conscious entrepreneurs.
All that to say, their trip inspired me to put together a couple mini Nashville guides. My sweet friend Mikaela Hamilton and I bopped around Nashville in a total downpour - and enjoyed every single soaking wet second of it.
Cheers to a rainy day in Music City...
1. Steadfast Coffee
Being from Seattle, I'm well-rehearsed in the art of fueling myself for a gloomy day. The first stop is always coffee - and my go to Nashville fuel station is Steadfast Coffee in Germantown. Their matchless coffee soda is always my go-to. If you've never had one, coffee soda is "a flash-chilled coffee base, with demerara and citric acid added to stabilize and preserve the aromatics. The beverage is then carbonated and served with a fresh orange peel, which combine to give your senses a burst of effervescence and brightness." But no matter what your mood, Steadfast will provide. You can see more of their menu and offerings here.
603 Taylor St. Nashville, TN 37208
2. The Groove
The next stop on our tour is over in East Nashville (but we will head right back over the river in a bit). East Nashville has grown like wildfire in the last couple years, but my favorite Eastside gem is one that's been there for years. The Groove is far and away the best record shop in town. This time I left with more Joe Simon, Earl Bostic, Sil Austin, and Erroll Garner records (plus Dr. Dre "The Chronic" on vinyl to stay well rounded). Walk in and let these guys know what tunes you're into, and they'll always guide you in the right direction. I could get lost in The Groove for hours, especially on a rainy day.
1103 Calvin Ave Nashville, TN 37206
4. Earthen Studios
Our next stop is back across the river in North Nashville off of Buchanan Street. Initiated by one of my favorite brands, Nisolo (which moved its showroom to Buchanan Street in 2015), soon other small businesses recognized the potential of the area and quickly followed suit. In the past year alone, several more designers and makers have moved to the area. The collection of shops are perfect for perusing on a rainy day and truly embody everything I love about this city.
On this particular day we spent most of our time in Earthen Studios. It's a collective of artists and artisans including Camellia Fiber Co., Sonadora, and Golden Apothecary. It's one of the most beautifully curated stores I've been to. File under: Shops that make you swoon.
Some of the other gems in the area are Emil Erwin luxury leather goods, Kidd Epps furniture, lighting, and art, Annie Williams leather goods, Salemtown Board Co., and Otis James handmade cap and necktie designer.
1807 9th Avenue North
5. Rolf and Daughters
Let me preface this next one by saying, I'm as bullheaded as they come AND I will jump off of a train the minute something gets trendy. The Nashville foodie scene exploded in the last couple years and culinary explorers have deemed this city suitable as a top destination. Don't get me wrong - my heart beats a little bit faster every time something new and exciting opens. BUT, no matter what, Rolf and Daughters will always be at the top of my list. On a rainy day (or, let's be honest, any day) there's no where else I'd rather do a slow dinner over a drink or two. Some of my favorite meals in Nashville have been experienced within the walls of RAD.
Arguably my favorite cocktail in town, the 1.21 Gigawatts packs a punch with Ford's Gin, Cardamaro, Cocchi Rosa, and Orange Cream Citrate Bitters. Mikaela and I split the Stratcciatella with Squash, Arugula + Toast (which is a must) and the Beet + Sunflower + Blackberry + Rose Geranium. You truly cannot go wrong at Rolf and Daughters - it's where foodie dreams come true.
700 Taylor St, Nashville, TN 37208
Stay tuned next week for a guide to Nashville when you WANT to be outside.