Last week, we got on the road (literally, and for a long damn time) to take a look around Music City. We stopped by several of the must-sees and still made time to dig around and find a few favorite spots of our own. Here’s our quick-and-dirty snapshot of a hell of a town.
GO FOR: Imogene + Willie is, of course, a Nashville staple. Even with all the hype (and believe us, there was plenty of hype), we still found ourselves blown away by the perfectly-imperfect arrangement of button-downs, denim, twill baseball caps, carved skulls, grooming products… stop us anytime. The staff was welcoming and helpful, a real treat for anyone who’s been burned by selvedge snobs before. And now that Supper + Song is officially back on the table, we imagine you won’t need much more encouragement to stake out everyone’s favorite ex-service station.
STAY FOR: The vintage scene is alive and well in Music City, and nowhere moreso than at Local Honey. With a smattering of vintage finds interspersed with know-this-name new designers, it’s basically one-stop shopping for cool. Did we mention there’s a salon and barber shop upstairs? And the folks who work there are all-knowing hipness gurus? Spend an afternoon on this one.
GO FOR: Great food means great focus. Mas Tacos Por Favor, knowing better than to stray too far from its roots as a food truck, is indeed great food. Line up for tacos, soups and a delightful agua fresca or two from their rotating menu, and prepare to be wowed. What the place lacks in frilly decor it makes up for in folks vying to be next in line. And that’s what good food really means.
STAY FOR: Let’s get this out of the way: a quick path to our hearts is any dining establishment that stocks artsy groceries as well. BLVD scores full points there. Add to that a solid menu of deliciousness, and a crazy-sweet happy hour deal that makes it seem downright foolish to spend the hours between 2-7pm any other way, and you’ve got yourself a new favorite eatery.
GO FOR: Though it may sound like something from Stefon’s guides to New York nightlife, you will actually find Nashville’s coolest coffee joint down by the strip mall with the dollar store. Though Barista Parlor definitely has the coffee-snob chops you’d expect, it’s also got the necessary touch of whimsy that’s missing from so many east-coast hardcore coffee counters. Stick your cheerful wooden table marker mascot (pictured above) in the slot at your table as you wait for your whiskey-salted-caramel latte. It’s okay. We won’t judge.
STAY FOR: It doesn’t get much more Nashville than Crema’s locally-roasted coffees (except that, y’know, naturally it’s single-origin from Kenya, for example). Pull up a chair and enjoy perhaps the best scones on the planet (and you always thought scones were supposed to be an exercise in jaw strength) while you eavesdrop on the artistic differences of the band members at the next table.
STAY FOREVER: Listen, we can’t promise you that every time you go into No. 308 you’ll stumble onto a great band (we lucked out). We can, however, promise you that you’ll drink well while you’re there. The shots are named after writers, the bar is plastered with pages, and you just might end up ordering a “Girlfriend In A Coma”. We could go on and on, but really, for any sane individual, that oughta be enough.