When I travel to new places, I always try to let Yelp or friends be my food guide. My goal is to never eat at a chain or national eatery when I know there are so many great local options. In downtown Nashville, there really isn't a chain to be found (yay)! Here's 5 places I went to while in Music City:
This was our first stop after settling into our hotel rooms. We were all really hungry and I'm so glad we chose to go here. Merchants was opened in the 1800's as part of a hotel. There's so much charm to the busy downstairs bistro. Throughout the building, you can see remnants of the old hotel, as original fireplaces are all around. The countertops and flooring are the original, historical marble and tile as well. I also love that the servers all where bow ties and suspenders!
While you wait on your food, they bring you a small container with the most amazing garlic popcorn and kept the bottled water coming. From the menu, I picked the Soup-n-Sammy (white cheddar, smoked gouda, crispy bacon with tomato soup and potato chips). Good choice! It was like having the greatest grilled cheese you can imagine...but, with bacon! The homemade potato chips and tomato soup were perfect pairs to go along with it.
2. FROTHY MONKEY: 235 5th Ave N Nashville, TN 37219
This was a breakfast staple while we were staying in Nashville. This Frothy Monkey was right in-between our hotel and our conference, so it was easy to stop in and grab a muffin and coffee before heading to our sessions. Once morning, I got to sit in for a full breakfast of fruit and a bagel. I loved their coffee options and the chill atmosphere.
One night, I was in the mood for some street tacos (as I always am) and didn't have any luck finding an open food truck in the area. Through Yelp, I found this awesome little spot within walking distance of my hotel. When I saw the exposed brick style inside, I knew I'd enjoy this place!
What I loved about Nashville Street Tacos is the build-it-yourself aspect. I didn't have to choose from a list of pre-made taco choices, but got to pick out each and every topping I wanted (which I great for me because I'm pretty much good with just chicken, cilantro, lettuce, onion and feta). Y'all, I am so happy with a great street taco and they did just that!
I needed a quick lunch near my conference one afternoon and this little french bakery was just a block away. So many great options for a cafe. I ended up with the sandwich and soup and I believe it was named the "Librarian's Lunch." I also grabbed a french macaroon becase that's what you must do in a french cafe, right? Plus, it just so happened to be Bastille Day, a French National Day celebrating the unity of the French people in 1790. So, I celebrated!
I was just about to head back to my conference when I spotted a special menu on the way out that included their Honey Lavender Lemonade. Since I'm a fan of each of those things individually (honey, lavender, lemonade), I figured this would be a great combination. I was right! And I should have gone back for more...DELICIOUS.
On the night before we headed back to Texas, my coworkers and I all had dinner together at this extra-large restaurant. You order your food downstairs and once it's delivered, you can pick any of the 4 floors to find a table. The place was packed, but in the best way. People chatting, live music, and the rooftop was awesome!
The view from the rooftop may be the very best in the city. From our table, we could see Nissan Stadium, Riverfront Park, the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and a bit of Broadway. If you want to see it all, that is definitely the roof to visit! (Plus, the food was great)!
What's your favorite local restaurant in Nashville?
Share below in the comments, just in case I get to go back soon!