The lighter side of real estate

30 Things You Need To Know About Nashville Before You Move There

Are you looking to move in Nashville? Read these 30 things about this place you should be aware of before you plan to move in.

Jennifer Barry

Movoto Contributor

1 articles, 0 comments

1. The Pharmacy Cures What Ails You

Move to Nashville

Source: Flickr user jpc.raleigh

When people gush about the Pharmacy, they’re not talking about the corner drugstore. This wildly popular hotspot features craft burgers, an extensive (and impressive) beer list, and some creative bratwurst choices. We’re talking about the Farm Burger, with Tripp country ham, Emerald Glen Farm bacon, a Willow Farm egg, and their own maple mustard. Whoa. Plus, they serve sodas with 100 percent pure cane sugar, ice cream from a local creamery, and beer from Nashville’s favorite breweries.

2. The Bar Where Everybody Knows Your Name

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Source: Flickr user mike Fabio

The brainchild of Jesse and Tracy Hamilton, the Village Pub and Beer Garden has been a part of Nashville for only a few short, but wildly successful, years. The bar prides itself on its pretzel sandwiches (and oh, wow, the Gerst cheese dip), and craft beers. Nashville’s temperate climate makes the beer garden a year-round possibility, and the heaters definitely help in winter.

3. The Best Music in Life Is Free

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Source: Flickr user Stacey Kizer

In a city famous for one of the biggest music festivals of the year, it’s hard to imagine getting access to those same artists for free. Nashville Dancin’, Live on the Green, and Musician’s Corner happen every summer and fall, and feature some of the biggest acts in music. Sound too good to be true? Check out some past guests: Alabama Shakes, Band of Horses, Five for Fighting, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes, and Matt Nathanson.

4. Boozy Movies at the Belcourt

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Source: Flickr user Dave Delaney

Every city needs an art house theater, and Nashville doesn’t disappoint. But the Belcourt doesn’t just show indie and foreign films all the time. Of course the famed art deco theater is also a live music venue, showcasing some of the finest songwriters in the world on occasion. No matter what you plan to see—music or movie—you can enjoy a cold beer from the concession stand.

5. Try the Trailer Trash

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Source: Flickr user medusahead

How could anyone pass up an ice cream flavor like Trailer Trash? The Pied Piper Creamery features this and several other clever flavors. They cram their ice cream full of Oreos, Butterfingers, M&Ms, peanut butter, cookies, cereal, coffee, and a million other ingredients for the most decadent and sinful ice cream experience ever. Plus, Pied Piper is a local institution with Berry Hill and East Nashville addresses, not a chain.

6. You’ll Never Go to IHOP Again

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Source: Flickr user David Cintron

What’s more fun than a hibachi grill? The Pfunky Griddle knows. At this Berry Hill restaurant, every table features a griddle where diners can create their own pancakes. Choose from dozens of toppings, including candy, fruit, and Nutella, and then build your stack for your own tastes. Genius.

7. The Start of Nashville’s Craft Beer Revolution

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Source: Flickr user realllocalcelebrity

Nashville loves beer, especially the local craft stuff. Yazoo is mostly to thank for this beer revolution. The brewery has grown so much in recent years that it had to leave its spot in Marathon Village to open a shiny new brewery in The Gulch. The move didn’t hurt the business, and in fact, more tours are now possible. As fun as the tours are, nothing beats a good pint or two in the tasting room after work.

8. “Oh, It Really Is a Greenhouse!”

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Tucked away in Green Hills is a little secret not many know about. If you want to avoid the over-commercialized chains in the area, stop by the Greenhouse Bar. This little hideaway is housed in a true conservatory, and it’s open later than the other bars in the area. In an area dominated by The Cheesecake Factory and other commercial traps, Greenhouse Bar will restore your faith in Nashville.

9. Mixology Shrouded in Mystery

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The Patterson House is a Nashville institution with some pretty tricky marketing plans. With no sign out front and a minimal website, the place relies on word-of-mouth marketing for its immense guest list every night. And the drinks? They’re amazing enough to carry off the crazy marketing scheme.

10. Nashville with a New York Twist

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Source: Flickr user rustytanton

Noshville is a local favorite with two locations. This is where you’ll find your New York diner dishes, from pastrami on rye to towering cheesecakes and a chocolate mousse pie that’ll make you weep. It’s a great place to be when you’re in a New York state of mind.

11. We’re the Athens of the South

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Source: Flickr user Adam Fagen

Centennial Park is a great place to hang out on the weekends with your friends. With expansive gardens and winding paths, you’ll enjoy every second of your walk. The crowning glory, however, is the replica of the Parthenon with a four-story statue of Athena inside. It’s a must-see, no matter how long you plan to be in Nashville.

12. What’s Brunch Without Mimosas?

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Source: Flickr user MudflapDC

Hands down, the best brunch in Nashville can be found at Germantown Cafe. Of course you’ll get your Bloody Marys and Mimosas, but the food is the star. Frittatas, omelets, waffles… All the stuff you love! Our recommendation is the Crab Cakes Benedict, but be prepared; nothing else will ever satisfy your brunch craving after you’ve tasted them.

13. Live in a Bag Factory–the Hottest Home in Nashville

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The rebirth of Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood can be traced back to the revitalization of the Werthan Bag Factory. Converted into true lofts, the Werthan Lofts shine with original flooring, exposed brick, and soaring ceilings. Everyone wants to live here, but if you can’t, stop by and visit during one of the many art shows or wine tastings.

14. They’ll Make You a Pizza You Can’t Refuse

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Arguably the best pizza in town, Mafiaoza’s pies range from classic favorites to a little on the weird side. You’ll find the joint on 12th Avenue South, surrounded by other great bars and coffee shops. Most love to gather here after work, so you’ll have trouble finding a seat on the open patio during happy hours, but it’s worth the wait to get in.

15. Nashville’s Top Vinyl Shop

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Source: Flickr user David Shaw Photography

Vinyl is hot, and we’re not talking about your pants. Only the best vinyl will do in Music City, and that’s why The Groove is dedicated to bringing the best new and used records for the masses. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, stop in next week. There’s always something new to see. They also host in-store performances from bands visiting the area, so keep an eye on the calendar.

16. This Ain’t Your Mama’s Basement

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Source: Flickr user bekah_cope

The Basement brings new life to the term “garage band.” With a feel just like your basement at home, this live music venue plays host to some of the hottest acts in the world. You may not see these bands on the stage at the Ryman…yet. But they’re getting there, and you’ll see them first in this hole in the wall located below Grimey’s New and Used Records.

17. Minor League Is Major Fun

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Source: Flickr user Mike Smail

We all know about the Tennessee Titans and the Nashville Predators. Pro sports in Nashville get plenty of press. Believe it or not, many longtime residents don’t know we also have a minor league team, too. The Nashville Sounds are the farm team for the Milwaukee Brewers, but more than that, they’re good for a fun night out with the family or all your friends.

18. Chicken So Hot You’ll Need an Extinguisher

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Source: Flickr user Randal Cooper

Only in Nashville could you find a waffle with fried apples and hot chicken. Actually, only at Pepperfire could you find this amazing dish. Hot chicken is an art form here—we’ve even got a festival for it—and only the best get it right every time.

19. The College That Isn’t Vandy

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Source: Flickr user Paul Chenoweth

Vanderbilt might be the university most think of when they hear Nashville, but don’t count Belmont University out. Consistently named one of the top music schools in the country, this smaller college has launched some incredible careers. Music might be what Belmont is known for, but it’s not the only degree available.

20. What Really Puts the Music in Music City

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Source: Flickr user Mick Arieta

Maybe we have a rich history in country music, but that’s not all you’ll find here. With favorites like the Black Keys, Ben Folds, Kings of Leon, Paramore, and Jack White in town, Nashville’s getting a musical facelift, and thank the rock gods for that.

21. Karaoke with the (Undiscovered) Stars

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Source: Twin Kegs

Broadway and Second Avenue have a few karaoke hotspots, but Twin Kegs and Santa’s Pub are where the locals go. Not only will you hear some pretty amazing singers, you’ll also get the chance to take the stage yourself. May not get that opportunity at the downtown spots.

22. Play Ireland’s Biggest Sport (and Hit the Irish Bars After)

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Source: Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club

Sure, we’ve got football, baseball, and hockey. What many don’t realize is we’ve got Irish sports, too. If you haven’t heard of hurling or Gaelic football, look them up and then stop by for a intro session to the sports with the Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club on Thursday evenings at Centennial Park. The social hour(s) after at some of Nashville’s best bars is reason enough to show up.

23. You’ll Laugh ‘Til You Hurt

Move to Nashville

Source: Flickr user Steven Vance

On 8th Avenue South, you’ll find Zanies Comedy Club, where some of the biggest names in comedy have played. Mike Birbiglia, Christopher Titus, and Keenan Ivory Wayans have all graced the stage. If you want something besides live music for your first night out in Nashville, this is the place. Just be ready to laugh until you cry.

24. Forget Starbucks (and Every Other Silly Little Coffee House)

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Source: Flickr user Sean Davis

Where else could you get a bourbon barrel vanilla latte? The Barista Parlor in East Nashville is serious about their coffee, and you get to reap the reward. Just be sure you get good directions, because like all great hidden gems, you could drive right past this one and never know it. Or try Crema, ‘A Coffee Brewtique’ worthy of he nomenclature.

25. Shave and a Haircut…

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For hairstyles with an alternative edge, no other salon beats Parlor and Juke. This trendy hotspot provides full salon services, including straight-razor shaves for men. Whether you’re ready for a big change (with lots of color) or just want your usual trim, this is where the locals go.

26. Nashville’s Most Famous Meat & Three

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Source: Flickr user fancywabs

The meat & three is an art form in our fair city, and none get it right like Arnold’s. A long-standing institution, Arnold’s serves up delicious Southern dishes, sometimes with a twist, cafeteria style. You won’t find better roast beef, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, or mac and cheese anywhere, and the old-fashioned pecan pie is to die for.

27. Kix Brooks’s Other Big Hit

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Source: Flickr user niseag03

Arrington Vineyards, located south of the city near Franklin, is owned by half of the legendary country duo Brooks and Dunn. Kix Brooks has really created something special on top of this hill, with sweeping views to enjoy while sipping several different red and white varietals. Perfect for parties or just an afternoon with friends.

28. What’s Tennessee without Whiskey?

Source: Flickr user ilovememphis

Source: Flickr user ilovememphis

With dozens of craft breweries around, spirits sometimes get left out in the cold. Corsair is changing that. After taking Yazoo’s spot at Marathon Village, Corsair has worked hard to bring some local flavor to whiskey and vodka. Even if you don’t like spirits, you’ll like these. Aside from the drink, the tasting room is a pretty amazing sight.

29. So Much Better than the Opry

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To see the next big thing in music, you want to visit the Hi Watt. As part of the Cannery Row entertainment complex that also houses the Cannery Ballroom and the Mercy Lounge, the Hi Watt draws some pretty important indie acts. You can see and maybe even meet the bands before they hit it big.

30. OMG, These Clothes Are Amazing

Move to Nashville

Source: Old Made Good

Vintage finds don’t have to come from Goodwill. Old Made Good brings Nashville the very best fashions from yesteryear for a very doable price. The owners don’t mind if you step inside their world and try on a few looks before you buy, either. Find jewelry, hats, clothes, shoes, and a million other little things you never considered, and build yourself a new look.

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posted on: November 8, 2013
354,163 views, 65 comments


  1. TobintheGnome

    Mafiaoza’s pizza is not good.

    • Jen in response to TobintheGnome

      Oh, I hate to hear that. I’ve always enjoyed my pizza there. To be fair, there are other great pizza places in Nashville, and they all have great atmosphere, too. Which is your favorite?

      • Tyler in response to Jen

        5 Points Pizza in East is by far the best pizza in town!!!!

        • Jen in response to Tyler

          Oh, 5 Points Pizza is amazing. I just recently got to try it. Thanks so much for adding it to the list!

          • Spencer in response to Jen

            As a New Yorker, I would just like to say that the best TRUE pizza found in Nashville is at Joey’s. I like Mafioza’s and 5 points alright, but the best pizza is hands down Joey’s House of Pizza on Fessler’s lane.

        • Tori in response to Tyler

          Desano’s Pizza off of Demonbreun on 16th…could give either of these a run for their money. But I also think it matters WHAT KIND of pizza you want? Regular old delicious pizza, go for 5 points, wood-fire oven pizza, Desano’s. Different Pizzas with lots of beer options, Mafiozas.

  2. Amber Weinberg

    Grrr. Way more to Nashville than food, music and alcohol.

    • Jen in response to Amber Weinberg

      I agree, Amber. I love, love, love this city with all my heart. It’s exciting to see Nashville hit Top Ten lists from Forbes and Travel + Leisure for being friendly, sophisticated, and great place to do business. I would never want to downplay any of the things that make this city great, but I did want to feature some businesses and organizations that might not get play in those top ten lists. What else would you have included?

    • Matthew in response to Amber Weinberg

      Agreed, Amber, which is why I was glad to see sports, salons, shops, parks, education and entertainment(comedy, karaoke, etc.) on the list as well. Props to the writer. Obviously you can’t include everything in a short list, but you did a great job!

    • matt smith in response to Amber Weinberg

      Well, to be fair, she brought up festivals, sports, colleges and parks :). I could add Vandy hospital – they saved my life when I had a massive heart attack, and St. Thomas is great too. It’s beautiful to drive through the hills in spring and fall and summer and…. well it’s beautiful when it’s dreary out during our 3 weeks of winter, too. We have great schools without the wackiness of the blue states. Go to church anywhere you like on Franklin road – go for the music, stay and learn a thing or two.

      God may have blessed Texas, but His home is in Middle TN.

      How about a hot fish sandwich in East Nashville? Where do y’all go?

  3. GB

    Being from New Yawk, the food down here is a huge disappointment overall. Having said that, pizza is a priority. Top pizza joints to date (many more to check out) are:

    1. 5 Points Pizza (E. Nashville)
    2. Joey’s House of Pizza (off of Fessler – M-F 11a-3p only)
    3. NY Pie (W. Nashville, near Costco)
    Other contenders: Joey’s Italian Deli (Columbia Ave., Franklin); Amico (Nolensville); Matteo’s (Carothers – on B’wood/Franklin city line – take out only)

    • Jen in response to GB

      This is what I love about interactive blogs! Thanks so much for sharing your favorite pizza spots. I hope you’ll keep trying some other Nashville restaurants, too. We might not have as many, but (having lived in New Yawk myself) I’ve found a lot of great eats here. I could do a whole blog series on just the restaurants. (Also, and I wish I’d thought of it when putting this blog together, you’ll find some top-notch Thai at Smiling Elephant.)

    • Jen in response to GB

      Thanks for the fun post! As a native Nashvillian though, would like to see more southern fare featured. So many great restaurants like Husk or Silo that focus on fine southern food. “Frittatas, omelets, waffles… All the stuff you love! Our recommendation is the Crab Cakes Benedict” – none of these foods are southern! Also in terms of coffee what about Fido/Bongo Java which roasts it’s own beans? Also you are leaving out downtown Franklin with is the bomb diggity. Grey’s on Main – check it out. The beautiful farm lands just around the corner. I don’t think pizza places are Nashville’s finest. Sorry to pick apart your article. The beauty of it is though, as someone who has lived here forever, I didn’t even know about a few of the places you posted about so it’s fun to find out.

    • Tori in response to GB

      DESANOS…it’s new but it’s going to be a big Nashville spot to check out.

  4. Julie

    Ugh. Parlour and juke again? I feel like they pay for their publicity. It’s great if you want your mans haircut to take 2 hours and still look stupid. AND cost an arm and a leg. All hype.

  5. Justin Davis

    Great list! I lived in Nashville for 10 years (in Murfreesboro and Franklin), and left about 2.5 years ago to move to Tampa. There are a bunch of great places on this list I’ve never heard of, and can’t wait to try when I get back.

    Shameless plug: I put several of these spots in an app I just built called Drawer, to help keep track of places I want to try (so I don’t forget next time I’m in Nashville). In case you’re interested:

    Great work!

  6. Sherman Mohr

    The first ever Taste of Tennessee Craft Brewers Festival will be held on the infield of the historic Fairgrounds Speedway on Friday, September 6.

  7. John M

    I’ve been born and raised in Nashville, lived here for 25 years and while the trendy/hipster/indie scene is a major part of Nashville, I can tell that a lot of these places are on this list due to everybody being so absorbed and drunk on that scene. The best parts of Nashville are the little hangouts that nobody mentions because there are no tourists because there’s nothing touristy about them. The Gold Rush, Love Circle, Melrose Billiards, Prince’s Chicken, Café Coco (the most trendy place of all) are just a few off the top of my head. A lot of the hipster scene has moved here recently to support the scene that was already here. 15 years ago you could walk around the Belmont/12 South neighborhood and really get that alternative lifestyle/artistic/independent vibe

  8. Brian 5

    The Zanies pic is a photo of the stage of Zanies Chicago, not Zanies Nashville. That’s why there’s, you know, a gigantic “CHICAGO” down the left side.

    • Jen in response to Brian 5

      The Zanies photo was meant to be representative, since no Nashville Zanies photos were available for use. Thanks for your comment.

  9. Sunny

    If you’re interested in hiking, cycling, dog parks, recycling, swimming or whatever other outdoor activities in Nashville, there is a great free app called NashVitality. Available for free for both iPhones and Android.

  10. Mandy

    The best meat and three is at Rotier’s Restaurant near West End Ave. Their southern food is incredible!

  11. barbara

    Love all these ideas – been living in the suburbs of nashville for 20 years and can’t wait to check out some of these new places.

  12. Todd R.

    Thank you Jen for mentioning our Favorite Karaoke Bar Twin Kegs. BUT, lets not forget that we have awesome burgers and a great selection of beer also.

  13. Severs

    Jesus, you are clearly not a nashville native. did you just visit over the week before bonnaroo?

  14. Jasmine

    Dear Everyone Who’s Already Left a Mean Comment on This Blog:

    Just stop. Everyone stop. If your goal is to funnel every Yankee’s tourism dollars toward Atlanta, you’re succeeding with these pages of nasty comments. The author shared her opinion, which she’s entitled to, and you disagree. Go write your own blog or stop destroying all perceptions of Southern Nice. You’re making me doubt my own residence in Nashville, which is apparently the city of jerks! Bless your little hearts.

    All my love,

    • john in response to Jasmine

      Make it stop! Make it stop! I can’t tolerate negative things! I just want warm, cute and cuddly. Except when I get annoyed and call people names (“jerks”), then its ok to be negative and hostile because I’m a princess and my farts smell like popcorn, and I can be facitious enough to say things like “bless your little hearts,” and “all my love” after I’ve politely told you to shut up.

      Yeah. You’ll find plenty of people like this in Nashville too.

  15. Niki

    I love that the readers commenting here felt passionate enough about the places they frequent to extend the variety of the list.

    Except for the incredibly unhelpful comment from Severs there. That contributed nothing but an eye-roll and a head-shake on my part. Jesus would slap the piss out of you, my friend.

  16. Sherry

    Don’t forget Manny’s House of Pizza in the arcade downtown. He is Joey’s brother (Joey’s house of pizza). They are from New York and their pizza us exactly the same.

  17. Chris

    Belmont is a University, not a college. More than music comes out of those hallowed halls, Nursing, accounting, pharmacist, and a law school, etc..

  18. Jenn

    I lived in Nashville for 12 years 10 years ago. We miss it and loved this list (though most of these places didn’t even exist when we were there). Huge oversight though – no mention of Nashville institution Calypso Café?? That’s always our first stop off the highway every time we come back to visit.

    • john in response to Jenn

      Calypso Cafe is not an institution. God. Its a vegan-esque restaurant thats been around for maybe 10 years, and the food is disgusting. Its clientle consists mainly of lonely, anorexic, plain-looking women who don’t shave.

      Do yourself a favor, save your money and get canned vegetables at Kroger (which is more of an “institution” of Nashville), don’t use any spices whatsoever, just eat it out of the can with a plastic spork. It will taste just like Calypso Cafe, but cheaper.

  19. john

    No doubt, most of the restaurants and entertainment venues you’ve glamorized here have PAID you to advertise for them…because most of them haven’t existed very long, and need all the publicity they can get.
    Most likely because they are about to go under.

    In addition, using terms like, “wildly popular hotspot,” “immense guest list,” “local institution,” “long-standing institution,” “everyone wants to live here,” “a beer revolution,” and “Nashville’s getting a musical facelift,” are all dishonest in the extreme. All hyperbole.
    There are no revolutions, no facelifts, and no commercial institutions which merit mention in Nashville. None.

    Obviously, you know nothing about Nashville (and why would anyone want to move to Nashville for “New York diner dishes,” when they could just…duh… move to New York)?

    As most Nashvillians already know, “trendy” places come and go, hot only for a minute in time, and then forgotten.

    I would also wager the writer once attended Belmont University, too. A Baptist-oriented school which only recently amended its long-held policies against ihe inclusion of gays in its admissions. Leaving out Vanderbilt University, only the largest employer in the entire state of Tennessee, is a bit remiss. But that’s o.k., since you are not a real Nashvillian.

    Next time anyone wants a true, real, honest and experienced assessment of Nashville, I’m sure they can do better than this.

    • Jen in response to john

      Hi John,

      Normally I don’t reply to negative comments with much rancor, but you decided to attack me personally as the author rather than the businesses and activities listed. Several assumptions were made, and I feel it necessary to clear them up. 1. I have lived in Nashville for almost my whole life, except for a few years while I was in college. Since I didn’t live in Nashville during college, that should tell you: 2. I did not attend Belmont University, nor did I intend any slight against Vanderbilt. 3. I was not paid in any way, shape, or form for sharing my OPINIONS about these fun activities in Nashville. In fact, 99% of the businesses featured wouldn’t know me as the author if I walked through the door.

      Now, my goal with this article was to share parts of Nashville that might not make regular lists, which meant I left out some of the most amazing things our city has to offer. Doesn’t mean I wanted to bury them under a rug, or pretend they don’t exist, or even say that any of these mentioned here might be GREATER than those amazing attractions that make Nashville such a wonderful place to live. If you don’t agree with my opinions, that’s fair enough. To attack me is another thing entirely.

      I certainly hope you don’t treat visitors to our gorgeous city with the same disregard.

  20. Jasmine

    Hi John,

    Would you mind sharing your scale on which you grade “real Nashvilleans” and “not-real Nashvilleans.” I’m sure you spent years using the highest-quality data sets and lots of qualitative interview methods to put it together. I’m a grad student in a quantitative field, so let me know if you need additional people to perform peer review.

    To put it in much simpler terms that you’ll understand, who died and made you the expert on Nashville and who’s a Nashvillean? I’d really like to know because your nasty comment is unwarranted, unwelcome, and doesn’t make much sense.

    • john in response to Jasmine

      In my post, I never used the term “real Nashvillians,” so I don’t know which crevice of your several puffy orifices you pulled that out of.

      Second, I don’t care about your being a “grad student.” You’re still obtuse, and as far as I can tell, you wasted your families money going to some christian college when you could just as easily stayed home in the mid-west shucking corn and choking chickens, barefooted.

      Third, my comments (whether “nasty,” “unwarranted” or “unwelcome”) are, alas, only comments and YOU have every right to ignore them. Just as much as you ignore other people’s rights to freedom of speech.

      I’m glad we had this discussion, Jasmine. And good luck with your super-inflated ego which offensively supposes anyone gives a liquidy crap about your wasted education.

      • Joyce in response to john

        Yeah, you might want to reread your post. You will find this sentence near the bottom. “But that’s o.k., since you are not a real Nashvillian.” And yes folks, we have jackasses like John here too. I apologize in advance if you run into him or any of his ilk.

        • John in response to Joyce

          I never said “real Nashvillians.” I said “real Nashvillian.” There’s a difference, or do you have difficulty reading with that safety helmet on backwards?

          In any case, I’m perfectly fine with being called a “jackass,” especially by those who are so entertained by my posts they can’t help but to read them in their entirety. That brings me great pleasure. And I’m sure Joyce has been sitting on her hands, breathing heavily, WET with anticipation of my response.

          But since I’m here again, instead of taking another glancing bash at poor old Calypso Cafe (where canned beans and croutons hard as cardboard are passed off everyday as the haute couture of cuisine), let me take this opportunity to mention a few places to visit in Nastyville, Tennis Shoe where one might get at least some authentic flavor of our beloved metropolis.

          1). Centennial Park – Where you’ll find an architecturally-exact replica of the original, ancient Parthenon of Athens, Greece. Why here in Nashville, the Country Music Capital of the World (?), you may ask. Well, natives have asked the same question for decades. No one really knows. Its a mystery. Some may say they know, but they don’t. Its an incongruous juxtaposition, or if you prefer, an ineffable anachronism-in-stone which institutionalizes the very decadence of kitsch (Country music, ancient Greece, go figure).

          Plus, if you go on weekends, keep an eye out for people with dread locks throwing Frisbees. They’ll be happy to “hook you up” with all manner of interesting hallucinogens.

          2). Music Row – Here you will find the very soul (lessness) of the City of Nashville. Here, wannabe music stars continue to make their pathetic pilgrimage, and have done for decades, from all over the world, many with nothing more than the magical guitar on their back, in order to become rich and famous. Nashville was built, in no small part, on the determined exploitation of such naive people. Driving down 16th and 17th Avenues, you may likely gape upwards in sublime awe of the spiraling, cathedral-like temples of Nashville’s largest music corporations; buildings that make the Crystal Cathedral look like the slave quarters of a plantation. While you are here, why not take a time out, from all this arrogant and ostentatious display of wealth and opulence, to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, where you will find an exact replica of Barbara Mandrell’s bedroom! There’s even a robotic replica of her dog, “Cuddles,” who will delight you with automated somersaults!

          3). The Arcade – Its a little strip of a mall located between 4th and 5th avenue, and Church Street and Union Street. Its still got the 80 year old Peanut Shop, and the smell alone is worth a visit. Lots of eclectic shops to browse. Use to have a shoe repair shop with a little mechanical man hammering at a shoe in the window. Use to have a Krystals Hamburgers joint too, the smells of which mingled well with the peanuts and the Russel Stover Candy shop. Just around the corner, there use to be a Woolworths department store where, in 1960, black people staged “sit ins,” that is, in defiance of the racist policies of the store, they would sit at the counter of the cafe inside and demand to be treated with the same respect as white people. To its credit, Nashville was somewhat ahead of the curve towards racial integration. And Mayor Ben West initiated much of the desegregationalist legislation at the time.

          4). Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway – Been there for ever. Entertained lots of people. Mostly stock car races where the cars were too loud, drivers spun out at 120 mph, crashed into walls, and died in flames. More people looking for fame and glory.

          The Fairgrounds use to have Fair Park, a place for kids to ride metallic- colored cars, boats and jets on circular mechanical contraptions. There was a booth that use to have small plastic ducks which had numbers written on their bottom. If you picked just the right duck, you might win a prize. Probably something worth less than the plastic duck.

          Use to have a huge green Brontasaurus too (not a real one), kids played on it. It was a promotion for Sinclair Oil. The thing was 30 ft. long. Back then, I don’t think there were any real Brontasauri. But I could be wrong. I believed so much about the world back then. I believed everything they told me. I didn’t know it was all just designed to sell me or my parents some fucking consumer product.

          Of course, things are differnt now.

  21. Sherry

    Thanks for the great article.. I am a “native” born and raised here and generations of my family were born here. That doesn’t mean I don’t have room in my heart for great places to pop up. I do love the iconic places but I am so excited about what is going on in my ” little” home town. I am a realtor and have helped many people relocate to Nashville… I think my enthusiasm while helping them find a home might be a bit much..I am posting this to all my social media!

  22. Kimmy

    I was interested in visiting the Nashvile area after reading the article. However, if John is an example of the Nashville locals, I will look elsewhere. John is a stupid jerk.

    • john in response to Kimmy

      I’m a “stupid jerk.”

      O.k. I guess you’ve just asked for my most offensive response. Surprised you didn’t get deleted though since you’ve resorted to such language.

      In any case I will make this brief. You are 20ish, white, over-weight, religious and uneducated. And that’s not only a comment, its the truth.
      Isn’t it?

  23. Melissa

    Jennifer, I think you did a marvelous job at making Nashville a great place to visit or move to. I too am a native, but have been away for over 20 years. I do hope one day to return and to enjoy all of what Music City has to offer. My son and daughter in law and my 3 grandchildren all live in W Nashville, and when we come for a visit, I so enjoy the beauty and the culture that Nashville has to offer now.

    Keep up the good work in letting everyone know Music City is one wonderful place to live!

  24. Jack

    pretty spot-on…except for the fact that Grimey’s is definitely the best record store in Nashville, and one of the best in the country.

  25. Kenny

    Ok, where do I start. First off, the venues mentioned in this article are venues that most tourist and people from out of town go to.

    As far as hot chicken, Princes is the original & 400 degrees is 2nd to Princes. Pepperfire, Boltons, & Hattie B’s are the copycats who don’t really know the art of hot chicken (there is a science to it).

    Nashville isn’t just downtown and surrounding areas within a 5 mile radius. It’s a consolidated city (since 1963) so to really experience Nashville, you have to experience the entire city/Davidson County (Metro for short).

    The best pizza is at Angelou’s Italian Picnic in Antioch or that one pizza shop in the arcade (forgot the name).

    The best meat & 3 isn’t Arnold’s. They are pretty good, but the best are on Jefferson St. (Harper’s for example)

    Nashville is a HUGE Gospel, Blues, & Jazz hub as well as Country and Rock. In fact, we can tell who’s not from here simply from the tourist who come wearing the cowboy hats and boots. Natives really don’t follow Country music as much (not saying we don’t listen to it).

    The Pharmacy burger isn’t all what it’s cracked up to be. Personally, Five Guys makes a better burger although the Pharmacy do have some interesting “cold drinks.” (That’s soda for those who don’t understand the lingo).

    A lot of people who write Nashville articles are actually from Brentwood or Franklin and not Metro.

  26. Carol

    Thanks for the great article about Nashville’s top spots. I have lived in Nashville all my life and am proud to call it home. while I knew of some of these spots, I didn’t know of some of the others and am glad to hear about them. Can’t wait to try them out. I do love Zanies, Arnolds, The Pharmacy and Germantown Café. Another great spot in Germantown is Monelle’s. Great breakfast, too. Angelo’s pizza on Murf. Rd is great and the have a buffet on Sundays. Let’s also not forget Café Coco’s great food and open 24 hours. You’ll see everything from dreads and tattoos to firemen and suits. The Exit Inn is a great place to see live music as well. Piranha’s on 2nd Ave is a great sports bar. The Old Spaghetti Factory is a hit as well. I hope everyone enjoys my hometown as much as I do. There is no place like home!

  27. Aaron

    John “The real Nashvilian(s)” above seems to have a little too much anger coursing through his veins. I think you need some form of release. I would cordially like to in invite you, John, to come out to Centennial Park with the Nashville Gaelic Arhletic Club and run off some of your blatant bitterness and anger. Be sure to bring your pleasant dimeanor and attitude along. We’ll adjust it “a tad” and send you on your way a much more happy, pleasant and energy exerted human being. Until then, you mad bro?

    • John in response to Aaron

      Thanks for the invitation. Unfortunately, I must cordially decline. Not sure what a “Gaelic Arhletic Club” is. Did you mean, “Gay Athletic Club?” Well, although that sounds like (ahem) LOADS of fun, I think that sort of behavior should be confined to a men’s room, not a public park.

      Or did you mean, “Gaelic Arthritis Club?” I don’t know. I can’t imagine how watching people, of Irish decent, try to tie their shoe laces whilst drunk would be any fun at all. Again, not suited for public spectacle.

      Either way, I’m not interested. I don’t think my “dimeanor” could take it.

  28. Tara

    i like John’s perspective – kinda refreshingly honest – and offputting to some – but valid

  29. Ankit

    Although bit of clashes between you guys, but this blog tend to be informative. I will be coming soon to Nashville from Singapore for my assignment and Im pretty glad that it seems to be a wonderful place for a tourist.
    Thanks All!
    – Cheers

  30. lindsay

    My husband and I are moving to the area from Wisconsin next spring. We loved the East Nasvhille and Inglewood area when visiting. Any recommendations for neighborhoods to live in within walking distance of cute shops, restaurants, and somewhat close to Vandy (no more than 20min. drive) We preferably want to rent a house/duplex. Any websites besides craigslist to find good rental deals?
    Love your city, so excited to move here!!!! Any input or advice is greatly appreciated!!!!

  31. bleh

    So basically this blog is all about the booze holes of Nashville and no real useful information for anyone past college age who might be considering a move.

  32. sam

    well, I came here to find out about nashville and all i got was a headache from all the bickering. thanks for nothing.

    1. driving hat guy with skinny pants, i mean scaredy pants. whatever. you don’t deserve to hang out in a hip hood.

    2. the guy who keeps saying he is a “new yorker” and expert on pizza. well, we have a saying here in the south- “delta is ready when you are”

    3. homophobe- it’s 2014, wake up. i’m sure they gay guys don’t want you any more than the straight girls.

    Lastly, I would have liked to have seen a good 5 star place to eat. Pizza is in every town. There was nothing unique in this list.

    I found more on scoutmob.

  33. Raymond

    I love this list of distractions. I am a transplant and
    Can’t wait to escape back to civilization. While
    These places and others are great, one can’t escape
    The fact that you will be experiencing them with
    Small minded bigoted and uneducated , homophobic , sexist, racists. So, while I am imprisoned in this
    Hell hole, these diversions do help prevent me
    From slitting my throat. I can’t wait to go home to
    New York. If you are under seventy and come from
    A “real” place, please don’t give this buckle of the
    Bible Belt s second thought or glance. I promise that you will be sorry if you do.

  34. Jules

    As a 615 born and raised native, I LOVE the tourists that come here and spend, spend, spend those $$$ — helps me pay my bills, but PLEASE don’t move here UNLESS you can respect our culture and traditions without trying to change this city into the one you just left! We ARE nice until you give us a reason not to be! We say Yes Sir/Ma’am, and No Sir/Ma’am, and Please and Thank You, and we teach our children to do the same. We also love God, family, and country, in that order, and we love our city, and are proud of it! We are hard-working and honest, and most of us can’t afford to go to the ritzy new restaurants and bars that are springing up all over the place, nor do we care to. We don’t wear pink cowboy hats and cowboy boots (well…the boots are optional), but we do wear a lot of denim and ball caps. We are proud of our Southern roots and our Southern accents, as well as our Country Music, which is, by the way, the very reason y’all come here in the first place. So move here if you want to…..Nashville has a lot to offer, but please leave your condescending prejudices at home because we don’t care who has the best pizza or the best (insert your favorite yankee food here)…..we love our grits and biscuits and gravy, AND our beautiful city!!



  36. Donna

    Raymond is it really that bad. I am seriously considering moving to the Franklin/Brentwood area… the area looks awesome. Combine that with a more temperate climate – property tax haven – have read that people are friendly now I am not so sure. The one thing I think about is all of the stereotypical “stuff” but thought that most of that “stuff” was from generations ago.

  37. Donna

    John I actually like you – you make me laugh. I so totally get what is so interesting about watching a bunch of drunk in this case Irish guys – what is so interesting about watching a bunch of drunk anyone…..cant people enjoy themselves without becoming so totally messed up they cant see straight…..don’t get it.
    Anyway seriously thinking about moving to Franklin/Brentwood area – from Chicago suburbs. Online these areas look great – of course intend to visit. Appreciate if you can fill me on what I might be in for should I decide to proceed. I am trying to decide between Dallas metro area versus Nashville metro area.

  38. john

    First, Nashvegas can’t be as crappy as Dallas. The hypocrisy there is so blatant the air tastes like metal. It was also once a popular sitcom for those entertained by hateful, adulterous, wealthy idiots made out of plastic. But the Franklin/Brentwood area is one of the most affluent counties in the U.S., and its citizenry everything like the actors in “Dallas.”

  39. keerat

    i want to move to nashville

  40. keerat

    i want to move there

  41. Carol B.

    Add Hermitage Cafe to the list if you visit Nashville. Opens at 10:00 p.m. and is open until 1:30 in the afternoon.

  42. Kathleen Pellette

    Hello, considering the move to Nashville. What’s a good area to live and have gardens, animals, chickens. Also I have a Auto detailing business. Any car washes
    Thank you

  43. brownin329

    Well, that was a lot of uncomfortable. I’m still planning a trip to Nashville despite the nastiness on this page. Thanks Jennifer for putting together the list (and adding some NY flava/I’m from NY).

  44. Grace

    Thanks for the great information. W e are looking for a place to relocate when retired.Somewhere alive and not boring.

  45. Lee J Collier

    I dream of moving to Nashville… guys are SO entertaining! An amused Aussie x


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