Hanging in the 12 South Neighborhood
Nashville is an easy and fun place to travel to for the weekend, and as a native, I get asked all the time for recommendations! To keep it simple, I’m compiling some of my favorite picks for you to consult the next time you’re visiting Music City.
Where to Stay
If you want to be in a walkable area and in the center of the action with other tourists, all the honky tonks, and live country music, a hotel downtown is the place for you. Try:
The Omni – Swanky with great restaurants and a rooftop pool, walkable to bars and restaurants.
The Hilton – In the heart of Broadway and the honky tonks.
The Hermitage Hotel – Upscale, elegant, close to everything but a few blocks from loud areas for a quieter stay.
Union Station – Lots of character, farther up Broadway for a quieter stay.
21c Museum Hotel – Brand new & haven’t seen it yet, but looks amazing!
Loews Vanderbilt Hotel – Closer to Vanderbilt.
The Thompson – Luxury hotel in the Gulch (popular area close to downtown) with a rooftop bar.
There are a lot of great Airbnb options in East Nashville, a hip and historic area with great restaurants and bars. It is across the river from downtown, but close enough that it’s easy to still get in on the action.
Another historic part of town with a lot of character. Close to downtown. Some of the best restaurants are in this area. Consider checking out Airbnbs in this part of town, too.
Where to Eat
Marche Artisan Foods – In East Nashville. French-inspired and utterly delightful. Would recommend going right at 9 a.m. when they open – there are no reservations and the wait gets long!
Fido – Casual and yummy option if you’re in Hillsboro Village or near Vanderbilt.
Pancake Pantry – A Nashville staple, also in Hillboro Village and near Vanderbilt. Prepare to go early or wait outside!
Frothy Monkey – Super tasty coffeehouse. I’d recommend the one in 12 South, and then go shopping after.
Pinewood Social – Convenient and fun if you’re downtown. They do take reservations. They also serve a delicious lunch and dinner, and offer bowling, a pool, and other games!
Kitchen Notes – Really incredible brunch at the Omni Hotel downtown. A buffet with tons of options.
Caviar & Bananas – This one is in midtown. It’s beautiful, bright, and delicious. Lovely patio, too.
Milk & Honey – This is a new one located in The Gulch, which is a popular, developing area close to downtown.
Edley’s Bar-B-Que – Edley’s is in East Nashville, 12 South, and Sylvan Park if you’re craving some barbeque!
Prince’s Hot Chicken or Hattie B’s – If you want to try hot chicken, these are the places to do it. Prince’s is the original and worth the trip. Hattie B’s is conveniently located in midtown if you want to stay close.
Bread & Company – A classic, beloved Nashville staple near Vanderbilt if you want a quick sandwich, salad, or healthier option.
Salt & Vine – Also great for dinner. Located near Centennial Park & the Parthenon.
Rolf & Daughters – Hands down, my favorite restaurant in Nashville. It’s in Germantown. Make a reservation and go.
The Southern Steak & Oyster – If you’re staying downtown and want to walk to dinner, this is one of your best options.
Five Points Pizza – If you’re staying in East Nashville or want to visit, this is some of the best pizza in town. A casual spot with fun bars in the neighborhood.
Butcher & Bee – This one’s in East Nashville, and it is SO good. Get the whipped feta!
Acme Feed & Seed – If you’re in the heart of downtown, not picky about what you’re eating, and want something quick & easy in a cool building with a rooftop bar.
Burger Up – One of my favorite places. In 12 South and East Nashville.
Taco Mamacita – Closer to Vanderbilt. My favorite Mexican in town with a glorious patio.
Also take note of your hotel’s restaurants, like the ones at the Omni and the Hermitage.
Not talking about the honky tonks here. These are gems.
Rosemary & Beauty Queen – A hidden gem in East Nashville with a backyard patio. Easy to miss, it’s an unmarked yellow house.
The Patterson House – Also easy to miss (I guess I like those kinds of places) – a speakeasy-style place in midtown.
Treehouse – An East Nashville gem. You can literally drink in a treehouse.
Greenhouse – Off the tourist path in a more residential/shopping area, but you can literally drink in a greenhouse.
The 5 Spot – If you happen to be here on a Monday, go and dance the night away.
L.A. Jackson – The place to be these days. Rooftop bar on top of the Thompson Hotel.
What to Do
Cheekwood is a lovely estate with a botanical garden, mansion, and tons of events. Check out their calendar before you come.
If you’re loving downtown, hop on a party bike like The Pedal Tavern.
If the Predators are playing while you’re in town, don’t miss a chance to go! There’s nothing as fun as a Nashville Predators hockey game.
There you have it!
Your guide to visiting Nashville, from a native. If you think I’m missing something, or want to share your feedback in the comments, please do so. Enjoy, y’all!