Cowboy hats, country music, and hot new restaurants are what Nashville is all about right now. People are flocking there at a high rate for vacations and to live. Almost 100 people move to Nashville each day! It’s also become one of the most popular places for bachelorette parties because it feels like a safer city than many of the usual locations. We were excited that Alaska Airlines added the first direct flight from San Francisco to Nashville last fall, so we headed to Tennessee last Thanksgiving to visit family, but we decided to make a stop in Nashville first.
There are so many new restaurants opening up at a fast rate that are adorable, but they aren’t all on their game – especially as far as the food and the service are concerned, so you need to know where to go. We found a few gems that we can stand behind.
Nashville Hot Chicken
We knew we had to try out the Nashville Hot Chicken for ourselves. We love the Hot Chicken at The Fremont Diner in Sonoma, but Nashville is home to the original hot chicken. If you’re looking for the best Nashville Hot Chicken, we’d recommend going to Hattie B’s, but check out our full Nashville Hot Chicken guide here to see what happened when we visited the top three in Nashville.
Rolf and Daughters
Rolf and Daughters is an old favorite and top on our list – for cocktails, small dishes, and pasta. This spot in Germantown has been a Nashville staple for years and it’s still going strong. It can be difficult to get a reservation here, but just go in and sit at the bar. One of our favorite dishes was a spiralized butternut squash with Mimolette cheese and their handmade pastas.
If you’re looking for Southern fine dining, check out Sean Brock’s Husk Nashville. Set in a historic home, it’s a beautiful location. Try the pimento cheese, or even just stop in for dessert and a selection from their extensive Bourbon list (get the pecan pie–you won’t be sorry).
If you’re looking for a great vegetarian/vegan restaurant, the locals recommend Treehouse. They offer great cocktails as well as a small menu that’s very simple, and it’s located near several local bars. It’s an insider recommendation that you won’t often find on top lists and everything we tried was great.
Woodland Wine Merchant
If you’re looking for a the best selection of wine and spirits in town, you’ll want to stop into Woodland Wine Merchant, which is just down the street. They have a great wine club option where you can get a curated selection of 6 wines for an amazing price.
For craft cocktails, go to the offshoot of the New York CIty speakeasy, Attaboy. Ring the bell and give them an idea of what you like and don’t like, and the bartenders will make a cocktail tailored to your taste.
We stayed in the Thompson Hotel (and really liked it). It’s fairly new, with a very Instagramable aesthetic. There’s an adorable coffee shop, a Southern restaurant, and L.A. Jackson, the best rooftop bar in Nashville, where you’ll want to grab a craft cocktail or signature ice cream sandwich while you look out over the Nashville skyline. Our bartender was fantastic, and they even shared one of their cocktails here.
With our interest in graphic design, we decided to visit the famous Hatch letterpress studio. This is where most of the country music posters have historically been printed, and you can see tons of examples on the wall. They’ve moved the original shop into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which is a little disappointing because we were expecting a historic building, but it’s still a working print house. They’ve made the inside look pretty legitimate. You can watch the printers at work and can even take a formal tour to learn the history.
If you love country music, we’d recommend checking the concert schedule at the Ryman, where many famous country music stars still perform. t’s one of the few historical buildings that are still standing in the area.
Thank you to Alaska Airlines for sponsoring this story.