I moved back to Oklahoma from Nashville just over two years ago, and since then, I promised myself that I would visit my favorite city at LEAST once a year, if not more! A few months ago, I convinced my best friend Katie (and my favorite travel buddy – see our trip to DC here!) to book a quick 1.5 day, 1 night trip to Nash to get our fix! I planned everything strategically by neighborhood and food to maximize our 32 hours in town.
We arrived around noon on Saturday and picked up our rental car first thing before heading to East Nashville (closest to the airport) for lunch at Mas Tacos!
My friends know that I am a pretty plain eater, and this is one of the only restaurants that I don’t ask for “meat and cheese only” on my order haha! Best tacos in town y’all.
Next up was the Hillsboro Village neighborhood which is a staple for me when I’m in town. My personal favorite in the area is Fido (coffee and great breakfast food, but they have lunch & dinner too!) I was disappointed to see that my favorite boutique, Pangaea had closed. It was my go-to for unique clothing and gifts with boho and international flair. The store was so representative of my first summer in Nash since I had lived in walking distance and was a frequent visitor. Instead, we stopped in one of the new boutiques, Apple and Oak.
There’s also a new painted wall in Hillsboro, but fair warning, it has the crappiest lighting. I was being a particular and chose a spot closest to the end of the wall for photos, even though it had windows in the frame, because the light was better than the middle/main part. The problem is that there is a red/orange brick wall adjacent to it, so it reflects an unnatural tint back onto the white. See photos below (especially our skin tones!!) I had to hold my tongue after the girls we asked to take our photo told us that a different part of the wall was a better spot. Little did they know! 😂
Also got a good kick out of the teenage girls in denim skirts and no coats taking 101 photos at every storefront and bench the whole time we were there. We dropped by Jeni’s Ice Cream before having our own photo shoot nearby (the first of many, also without an audience 😂)
Side note – I am MORTIFIED by my nails which you probably wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t pointed them out…oops. I had dip on them for a month and it destroyed them.
Happy happy happy girls!
Next up was checking in to our Airbnb which we spent a total of maybe 1 hour in outside of sleeping. It was in a quiet and endearing part of West End and was also close to a huge row of painted walls that have popped up in the past year or two that I am OBSESSED WITH! Pastels!!!!!
One of the smartest things we did was walk the Pedestrian Bridge for more photos (you think we took enough??) and a bit of exercise. Our timing was perfect and this is one of the most scenic parts of Nashville – the downtown view is unbeatable and incredibly nostalgic to me. I have so many mixed emotions about Nashville, but it is a part of my heart and my story and I will always hold it dear!!
(Thx for the photobomb skater boi!!!)
We tried out Liberty Common for dinner (opened last month!) right downtown and honestly it wasn’t my favorite. I was glad we went and got to see the space in real life – it is unbelievably well designed and decorated, but I don’t think I would go back based on the menu & prices.
My #2 place in Nashville is Saint Anejo. It’s in the heart of the Gulch, a little subsection of downtown. The drinks are delicious, the chips & queso are almost to-die for, and the atmosphere can’t be beat. I loved people watching here. We sat near three couples and were analyzing their body language and conversations so intently trying to guess the relationship stage!
(Pic from Summer 2016 on the patio!!)
Afterwards we hit LA Jackson which is a rooftop bar and about a 5 minute walk from SA. I love the vibe of this place as well – it’s a great stop for before or after a wedding or black tie event, but it’s not too over the top fancy and you’ll definitely see more casual as well. Plus – THIS VIEW!!! We didn’t order anything Saturday, but it would be a fun place to watch the sunset over the city if you’re in town over the summer.
Lastly – Barcelona Wine Bar, which was a bust. We had a reservation but left before they seated us because it took so long. I’ve been hearing about it for months and wanted to try it out, but I don’t love the whole making people wait part of the experience.
Breakfast was Biscuit Love back in Hillsboro Village. I had previously only been to the Gulch location, but liked the more laid back feel of this one. It felt like a lot of locals inside too, which could have just been our timing, because I expected a lot more of a wait and tourist population!
Five Daughters Bakery in 12 South is one of the most Instagrammable & popular places in town, especially for bachelorette parties and preteens. Splitting our donut was the way to go, especially after our heavy biscuit breakfast!
Do I need to say anything else about these????? Haha it will never not happen!
Edgehill and 8th – Baked on 8th. As if we needed more sweets, we made a to-go stop at Baked on 8th for a rice krispy treat!
We couldn’t leave without another trip to Jeni’s – it really is that good – plus a few more painted walls on the East Side. You would think we would have run out of places to eat and take photos, but this is Nashville for ya!! There’s a reason it’s the it city!
I mentioned my #2 place above, but we saved the best for last! The Pharmacy is usually the first place I go as soon as I land in Nashville, but this time I wanted to be strategic and not only save it for the end to look forward to, but to have some to-go leftovers! I thought I was going to be so clever and bring it on the plane so that I could eat my favorite meal back in Norman the next day. I had to get a little creative here, but a one-gallon ziplock bag, a to-go cup, and two trips for ice from airport restaurants later, it made it and it was SO WORTH IT!
COME ON!!!!!! The freaking best!!!
Love you long time, Nash. See you soon!