On a dreary, cold Sunday night in January, while dining at Ruxbin with three of my favorites, we hatched a plan to ditch the Chicago winter for a long weekend away somewhere warmer. Without breaking the bank on a last-minute trip we quickly decided on Nashville as our destination - a driveable distance, sunshine, and tons of live music made the decision a no-brainer.
Thanks to my younger sister having attended Vandy, I have probably been to music city six or so times before, yet none of my other travelling buddies had ever been. It was fun to check out some new spots that had opened since my last visit two years ago, while also returning to some old favorites. So here you have it: our girls weekend recap/guide to the best spots in Nashville.
First stop: Friday morning breakfast at Pinewood Social. This restaurant/bar/coffee shop/bowling alley/private karaoke space has it all. I really could envision myself spending a while day here. I love the multi-functionality of the venue and the food and drinks were spectacular (look at that egg in a jar!). I’d definitely go back for a fun night of bowling and cocktails on my next visit!
We were able to squeeze in a visit with our good friend Kyle before he headed out of town for the weekend.
Kathryn, lover of all things Jack White, got her Third Man Records fix. Such a fun/funky little merch store next to their recording studio.
My aunt and uncle were also in Nashville for the weekend (turning his business trip into a reason to celebrate her birthday in one of her favorite cities). After some afternoon cocktails at the Pub 5 rooftop, we meet up with them for drinks and live music in the open air at Rippy’s.
We made a visit to Imogene + Willie, of course. This shop is so beautifully curated. High-quality products and awesome decor. I wanted to move in (and buy multiple pairs of their killer jeans).
While on the 12th Ave. South strip, we stumbled into White’s Mercantile. Awesome selection of housewares, clothing and more. Definitely worth checking out.
We hit up The Filling Station for some fine brews to go. We needed a Nashville growler to bring home, right?
There’s more? Yep, we crammed a lot into the 2.5 days!
We had a lovely dinner at City House in Germantown (killer pizza and pasta). And the obligatory evening out on Broadway visiting the honky-tonk bars. We met Will Chase (Luke Wheeler from Nashville, Michael Swift from Smash) and he was a total sweetheart (also, watching a 70 year old fan harass him, in the friendliest way possible, was quite entertaining).
Stopped by JJ’s Market for a caffeine pick-me-up. They make one of my favorite drinks, the Keefers Koffler (a fancy earl grey latte). Andrea and I used to spend Sunday’s here doing homework before I’d have to catch my flight back to Texas. Ah the joys of college…
Lunch at burger up! Also on the 12 Ave. South strip. Fantastic meal.
Cocktails at The Patterson House! Trust me, go at 5pm when they open to avoid the lines (because when we left at 6:30pm, the lobby was packed). This was a great way to kick off the evening with a pre-dinner hand crafted cocktail. I already bought some rose water upon returning to Chicago to recreate our favorite cocktail from the evening (gin, fresh lime juice, mint, cucumber & rosewater). Doesn’t that sound like the perfect refreshment all spring and summer long? I’ll share a recipe if I can get the proportions right after some testing.
We did a bit of shopping in Hilsboro Village. Everybody lucked out and found some gems at Pangea & The Impeccable Pig.
Places we wanted to visit but didn’t make it to this time:
Josephine for brunch, Rolf & Daughters for dinner, The 404 Kitchen for dinner, No. 308 for cocktails, and The Catbird Seat for dinner (book your reservation a month in advance, if you can get one).
And some of my favorites spots from previous visits:
Lunch at Fido, ice cream at Hot + Cold, brunch at Marche Artisan Foods or their sister restaurant Margot Cafe, and live music at The Bluebird Cafe.
You want some more Nashville recommendations?
Check out the Nashville City Guide by Design Sponge (super extensive, organized by neighborhood), the Warby Parker Class Trip Nashville Recap, and Wit & Delight’s Nashville Recap.
Thanks for always treating us well, Nashville! Your people are friendly, your establishments are fun, the live music never ends, and the food and drink are always delicious. We know we’ll be back soon.