The Pocket Guide to Nashville

Hilary Sheinbaum, Contributor

If you’re traveling to Nashville, Tennessee, grab your cowboy hat, boots, and guitar. Or, just bring your suitcase and an appetite. “Music City” is known for its live performances – the country music capital of the world. But, it also has great food, hotels, and fun attractions. Needless to say, there’s plenty to see and do.

Walk into any bar on Broadway for a good time with lively music, friendly faces, and an upbeat crowd. Weekdays are more calm downtown. If it’s the weekend, expect a lot of foot traffic and high energy (not to mention bachelorette parties).

Whether you’re visiting for vacation, work, or a celebration—or call Nashville home like Dolly Parton and Taylor Swift—there’s something for every Style.

When you’re in Nashville, check out these places. You’ll be signing their praises.

The biscuits at Biscuit Love.

Breakfast: Biscuit Love 

For a southern spin on breakfast, head to one of Biscuit Love’s locations in Nashville for a real buttery treat. Here, biscuits are the main event; topped with fried chicken, or served open-faced with ham, eggs, and sausage gravy, or with shakshuka. For those with a sweet tooth, the B-Roll – a biscuit cinnamon roll – is a must-order menu item that will sweeten any morning. Of course, you can get sides of cheese grits, fried potatoes, and non-biscuit plates (granola, omelets, oatmeal) too. Everything is delicious, but make sure you save room for what you really came for: biscuits.

The food at Martin’s in Nashville.

Lunch: Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint

This isn’t a white tablecloth kind of place, but you wouldn’t want it any other way at Martin’s Bar-B-Que. With a sports game on, a collage of memorabilia on the walls, and plates of brisket, sliders, wings, and other dishes, the relaxed atmosphere makes for the most comfortable place to casually kick back with friends (and make new ones, too). Whether you opt for tacos, ribs, mac & cheese, or all of the above, do not leave without Nadine’s pecan pie (insider tip: take it to go).

Food and drink at The Optimist (Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee)

Drinks: The Optimist

At The Optimist, the drinks are as beautiful as they are well-balanced. Not to mention, the cocktail selection has range: specialty drinks are abundant with choice; rum, tequila, bourbon, and more. With each sip, you might find yourself looking for a bite too — and we highly recommend opting for their oysters and extensive seafood fare to pair with your bevs. This is a celebratory spot for birthdays and anniversaries, and any other Wednesday when you want to have an elevated experience. Don’t miss out.

Dinner at Ella’s on 2nd.

Dinner: Ella’s on 2nd

This is a perfect dining option, and it’s within the Hyatt Centric Nashville (which is great for a stay, too— and we recommend checking out their rooftop pool and bar if you do book a room). The Ella’s on 2nd menu offers a range of Italian options starting with burrata and meatballs to pan-seared salmon piccata and braised short rib. While there is lighter fare (a la Alaskan Halibut), the desserts, such as Italian creme cake and buttermilk panna cotta, are there to satisfy those with a sweet tooth—and we highly recommend ordering a smorgasbord of sweet

The Cabin Suite at Urban Cowboy.

Stay: Urban Cowboy

This East Nashville staple has a limited number of rooms—and therefore guests—giving the hotel a quaint, b&b, feel. Don’t be fooled by the size of the intimate rustic-decorated-yet-bougie space—Urban Cowboy gets busy with people and dogs, and often live music, in the evenings. Especially with New York’s famous Roberta’s on site— which is a favorite of Beyoncé—the destination draws locals and visitors under open skies and twinkle lights for pizza.  and drinks from the Parlour Bar and Public House.

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