Parmer Park, 1995. Obviously I’m the one writing.
I was born in ’91 and grew up in Nashville. I want to highlight the Nashville of my childhood, the old gems that I went to regularly and made me who I am. There’s a lot of new in Nashville, but I will never forget these places. I’m naming locally owned and operated businesses that still exist today, so you can go and enjoy each and every one of these (and I still do, often!).
Here’s some classic places – the Nashville of our 90’s y’all:
Where We Eat
The Picnic Cafe – Founded in 1983, the Picnic remains my go-to place for delicious, easy lunch and take-out dinner options. This spot, located on Harding Pike, has classic comfort food. I adore their herbed tomato soup, chicken salad, and pimento cheese. I often grab their pre-made chicken artichoke casserole for dinner.
Caffe Nonna – Located on Murphy Rd., Caffe Nonna has been my family’s favorite Italian restaurant in town for years. Intimate and cozy, the restaurant’s authentic dishes are made from scratch and recipes come from the chef’s grandmother, Nonna. I especially love their Riviera Salad and Tuscan White Bean Soup.
Tin Angel – With consistently excellent food and service, Tin Angel on West End is still my family’s go-to spot for birthday dinners and celebrations. They offer weekly prix fixe dinners, but otherwise, you must order the Fall Bounty Pasta or Summer Bounty Pasta (changes depending on the season). It is one of my favorite dinners anywhere – so fresh and comforting.
The Corner Market – The Corner Market used to have a store in Belle Meade that was perfection. Every day after school, I went there and got an ICEE and an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie (still the best cookie I’ve ever had). Although that store doesn’t exist anymore, they do have a storefront on Hillwood Blvd. and they provide catering. All of their Thanksgiving offerings are delicious – Hurry and order now if you want some!
Pizza Perfect – I cannot explain how much time I spent eating this pizza when I was little. A LOT. And it is still so good! To me, Pizza Perfect is the ultimate classic Nashville pizza. You can’t go wrong here.
Star Bagel – Another Murphy Rd. staple that opened in ’95. Your go-to bagel place. They also cater!
Where We Go
Pangaea – I have spent so much time over the years browsing Pangaea, a women’s boutique that opened in ’87. I still love their jewelry (I have so many pairs of earrings from this place), bohemian clothing, and quirky gifts. Located in Hillsboro Village, I often pop by after a movie at the Belcourt or lunch at Fido.
The Produce Place – The Produce Place on Murphy Rd. is another place where my mom took me often. As Nashville’s oldest natural food grocery, there’s no other place like it. Since 1988, they’ve carried fresh produce, gourmet cheese, and organic products. I still love their unique selection and often go here to find products I can’t find anywhere else!
Davis-Kidd – This is the one place on my list that doesn’t exist anymore, but I couldn’t not mention it. If you’re from Nashville, you know that Davis-Kidd was the best bookstore. I still remember eating grilled cheeses in their restaurant regularly and celebrating the Harry Potter book releases at midnight. However, I want to mention Parnassus, our newer local bookstore, which is so charming and well-curated. I love supporting local booksellers and was excited when Parnassus opened for us once Davis-Kidd closed.
Cheekwood – My family has been going to Cheekwood for years. I’ve walked around their estate and gardens more times than I can remember. I always love their outdoor summer exhibits and holiday lights. They have tons of fun events throughout the year, and it’s a gorgeous place to visit during any season.
Where We Play
Parmer Park – I grew up spending days at Parmer Park in Belle Meade. It was close to my school and holds so many special memories.
Red Caboose Park – Another childhood classic in Bellevue. It was the cool place to go as a kid because it had a red caboose from a train.
I love Old Nashville and always will. If you’re newer to Nashville, have you been to these places? They’re all so dear to my heart! Go and enjoy a taste of my childhood (and current adult life since I still go to all of these places).