Guide to Nashville, TN
A couple of weekends ago, my friend Caroline and I pressed pause on the craziness of senior year and escaped to Nashville for a day full of exploring and enjoying the tastes and sights of the city. We spent a majority of the day in two especially thriving areas: 12 South and East Nashville. Although we were only there for a day, we squeezed in enough to make us feel as though we'd been in the city for at least a long weekend (while still leaving more to be done on our next visit!) If ever planning a trip to Nashville, consider checking out a couple of these restaurants and shops.
Snack & Dine
EiO & THE HIVE (Unfortunately, this place is now closed)
After arriving in Nashville, we went straight to this cute and healthy spot. Upon entering, we fell in love with the dreamy interior that almost looked to be straight out of a Free People ad. With an order-at-the-front layout and plenty of comfortable seating throughout, this place is truly the ideal spot for a relaxing breakfast. Caroline went for the flax pancakes topped with roasted pears whereas I went for the more basic order of a matcha and avocado toast with an egg - all of which were beautiful in presentation and exquisite in taste. I would definitely recommend this place for anyone seeking a healthy menu and a chill atmosphere for breakfast or dinner in Nashville.
Franklin Juice Company (12 South)
After walking around the 12 South area for a bit, we stopped in the Franklin Juice Company for a snack. I will admit that this place was a bit pricey for the portion size; however, the cost was somewhat justified by the creativity and quality put into each of these local bowls. Instead of simply having one acai bowl, they had six delicious takes on this basic bowl with ingredients like cacao, peanut butter, and bee pollen added to the acai. We decided to split a "Kona" bowl with spirulina (a microalgae with lots of protein and vitamins) added to the acai base, and it was incredible. I would definitely recommend giving this place a try if looking for a healthy snack while exploring the 12 South area.
Five Daughters Bakery (12 South & East Nashville)
This little donut shop is a must-go-to if you ever find yourself in Nash. Two words: paleo donuts. They are totally dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free, and naturally sweetened (made with ingredients like tapioca, cacao, and maple), yet maintain all the deliciousness and flavor of a traditional cake-like donut. We opted for the Chocolate Cacao and it was divine. Although there are two locations (East Nashville and 12 South), the 12 South is more of a stand-alone spot with more seating, while the East one is within a shopping complex. Whether you go for these paleo ones or choose the "real deal" donuts, you absolutely cannot go wrong with Five Daughters.
Cafe Roze (East Nashville)
After falling in love with this restaurant while in Nashville for a cross country meet this past November, we knew this spot would be a must for our return trip. This experience was a little different, however, as we came at the perfect time for an early dinner rather than lunch like our last trip. Although even the owner/chef admitted to us that they are still working on making this spot as popular for dinner as it is for brunch, it was really nice to be able to simply walk in and get a nice table on a Sunday - something that could not be done during a weekend brunch. The dinner menu is filled with very intentional and hearty dishes created by Julia Jaksic, a talented chef and restauranteur who also started Jack's Wife Freda in New York. We began our meal with one of the most delectable appetizers I've ever had: avocado hummus. Picture the texture of the hummus that you love with the flavor and creaminess of an avocado all served on freshly baked bread - incredible. For our main meal, we ended up splitting the exquisitely-flavored farro risotto as our appetizer was pretty filling. While the numerous dessert options looked divine, I would also recommend trying one of the decadent coffees or steamers like the Roze Latte or the Black Sesame Steamer as a dessert alternative. I highly suggest you put this stylish and mouthwatering spot on your list if ever in the Nashville area.
Shop & Peruse
Lemon Laine (East Nashville)
Lemon Laine is such an adorable health and beauty shop. With everything from mud masks to all-natural foundations to high-end varieties of protein powder and coconut butter, this place is a health guru's heaven. All of the items are high quality and a little pricey for this reason. Even if you are not willing to splurge on these high-end beauty and health products, I would still recommend just popping in and observing the cuteness of the store.
Amelia's Flower Truck
A cute mobile flower shop is something every city needs. Basically, this little truck contains about 20 varieties of flowers and you are able to pick and choose which ones you would like to add to a bouquet. Yes, the altogether cost (the combined price of each flower you choose) may be a little bit more expensive than you may pay for the average bouquet, yet, as I see it, you are also paying for the experience of being able to arrange your own bouquet yourself out of a photogenic flower truck - not something done everyday! This flower shop is typically parked in some of the city's most fun spots like Imogene + Willie (in 12 South) and Dose Coffee (in East Nashville), so I'd suggest tracking it down and making an afternoon out of it!
Savant Vintage (12 South)
During your time exploring the 12 South area, definitely make Savant one of your stops. With rooms of eclectic clothing and unique pottery and other trinkets, you are sure to find a hidden gem. Most of the items are in almost perfect condition so price points may range a little on the expensive side.
Hip Zipper Vintage (East Nashville)
Hip Zipper is a little vintage store within the thrift community in East Nashville with great denim and lots of other good finds. The employees are so helpful and personable, even recommending other thrift shops in the area for us to check out as well!
Only three hours away from Memphis, Nashville is the perfect city to escape to for a change of pace and culture. Whether you are staying for a day, a weekend, or even a week, I am certain that there will always be something to do and I hope that this guide gives you a good start. Enjoy!