Nashville Recommendations

As Deacon fans paint Nashville the *right* shades of black and gold on Saturday, September 10, there is plenty to do in the Music City during your visit! See below for a wide variety of food, drink, activity, and live music options for all ages, recommended by Wake Forest locals.


Map courtesy of Nashville Guru

Browse by neighborhood:

  • Downtown
    • Food/Drink
      • Martin’s BBQ – great atmosphere
      • ACME – dinner, bar, music
      • The Southern – good happy hour on weekdays
      • Fifth & Broadway Assembly Food Hall – good for under 21 to experience downtown without going into the bars. Tecovas on the street level has great boots. Take your food out on the balcony across from the Ryman to hear music while you eat. Lots of great local restaurants for lunch or a casual dinner. Go up to the Skydeck for fire pits, igloo seating, great views, and sometimes live music.
      • Puckett’s – Southern bar & grill with an old-general-store feel & a large stage for live music acts
      • Halls Chophouse – American fine dining
      • Bourbon Steak – excellent steakhouse with a fabulous view of downtown
    • Music
      • Ryman Auditorium – a Nashville classic where country music began; seats in the front of the balcony are best
      • Robert’s Western World – known for their late-night fried bologna paired with a cold PBR, a prototypical honky-tonk
      • Layla’s Bluegrass Inn – another honky-tonk, offers more than just bluegrass
      • Tootsie’s – a Nashville country music institution and world-famous honky-tonk
      • The Stage – a unique experience of live music with a dive bar atmosphere
    • Activities
      • Country Music Hall of Fame
      • National Museum of African American Music
      • Bridgestone Arena
      • Music City Indoor Karting
      • BATL axe throwing
      • Pedal Tavern
      • Nash Trash Tours – not so kid-friendly; must book far in advance
      • Second Avenue shops – bargain boots
      • Wildhorse Saloon
  • The Gulch/North Gulch
    • Food/Drink
      • Virago – sushi
      • Saint Añejo – Mexican
      • Whiskey Kitchen
      • Milk and Honey
      • Burger Republic
      • M Street Restaurants – this is a company, not a street; all are good!
      • Adele’s – good for dinner
      • Husk – good for dinner
      • 6th & Peabody – features a distillery, brewery, bars, tasting areas, beer and bottle shops, merchandise, big-screen TVs, and live entertainment
      • Pinewood Social – food, coffee, swimming pool, and bowling
      • Peg Leg Porker – BBQ
      • Listening Room – music and food, under 21 friendly
    • Music
      • Station Inn – intimate bluegrass venue with seats first-come-first-served; Sunday afternoon gospel and Sunday night bluegrass jam are best
      • 6th & Peabody
      • Listening Room
    • Activities
      • Pinewood Social – swimming pool and bowling
      • Pins Mechanical – arcade games, duckpin bowling, pinball, and other games; always 21+ after 8 pm
  • SoBro/Pie Town
    • Food/Drink
      • White Duck Taco
      • Prince’s Hot Chicken
      • Old Smokey Distillery
      • City Winery
  • Germantown
    • Food/Drink
      • 5th & Taylor
      • City House
      • Germantown Cafe
      • Optimist – seafood
      • Tailgate Brewery – all-ages, dog-friendly patio, open-concept taproom and scratch pizza kitchen
  • 12th South
    • Food/Drink
      • Taqueria Del Sol – good lunch place, the line moves fast
      • Jeni’s – ice cream
      • BarTaco – good patio
      • Franklin Juice Co – acai bowls
      • Five Daughters Bakery – donuts
      • 12th South Taproom – music, beer, good food
      • Frothy Monkey – classic Nashville coffee shop; great breakfast/lunch
      • Edleys BBQ
      • Burger Up
      • Urban Grub
      • MAFIAoZA’s – classic pizzeria
      • Wanna Spoon Cereal Bar – new cafe with coffee, cereal, and ice cream!
  • Belmont
  • Hillsboro Village/Vandy
    • Food/Drink
      • SATCO – TexMex, a Nashville classic; a great place to sit outside and watch football
      • Pancake Pantry – another Nashville classic; the line can get long
      • Biscuit Love
      • McDougal’s Chicken
      • Cabana – good restaurant for a group; reserve a cabana (private booths inside the restaurant)
      • Taco Mama
      • Grilled Cheeserie
      • Nicoletta’s – casual pasta
    • Activities
      • this area has several cute boutiques
      • UAL – a clothing outlet with all price points
  • Berry Hill/Melrose
    • Food/Drink
      • Pfunky Griddle – make your own pancakes
      • Sinema – restaurant in an old movie theater
      • Sunflower Cafe – great vegan food
  • East Nashville
    • Food/Drink
      • Rosepepper Cantina – often a long wait, but margaritas are a local favorite
      • Jeni’s – ice cream
      • The Pharmacy – burgers, outdoors seating
      • Pomodoro East
      • I Dream of Weenie – yes, hot dogs
      • Mas Tacos Por Favor – lunch spot
      • Five Points Pizza
      • Bongo East Coffee & Board Game Cafe – open 7 am – 10 pm
      • Rice Vice by Proper Sake Co. – new bar showcasing Japanese imports and sakes
      • Emmy Squared Pizza
  • West End
    • Activities
      • The French Shoppe – great boutique; broad price range and a large selection
      • Cumberland Transit – local favorite outdoors store
      • UAL – clothing outlet with all price points
      • Centennial Park & Parthenon – visit Athena, the largest indoor statue in the USA; Musicians’ Corner offers free music, and there are often events and festivals in the park; great walking trails
  • Charlotte Avenue/The Nations
    • Food/Drink
      • Hattie B’s – hot chicken
      • Bobbie’s Dairy Dip – outside seating; only open during the summer
      • 51st Deli – great sandwiches
      • Avo – breakfast
      • HC Coffee Roasters
      • Frothy Monkey – yummy brunch; prepare for long lines
    • Activities
      • L & L Market – old warehouse divided into restaurants and stores
      • Able – great boutique for a good cause; beautiful leather goods and cute jewelry
      • Project 615 – cute Nashville t-shirts
      • Nations Boutique
      • Coco’s Italian Market
  • Green Hills/Bandywood
    • Food/Drink
      • Cava
      • True Food
      • The Perch – breakfast
      • Green Hills Grille – broad menu
      • Char – sometimes artists (or singers to those of you outside Nashville) eat here on weeknights
    • Activities
      • Bluebird Cafe – music venue; must make reservations
      • Green Hills Mall – upscale stores
      • Gus Meyer – old Nashville boutique
      • D2 – great trendy shopping
      • The Mill – another shopping favorite
      • Private Edition – makeup, gifts, spa services
      • Woo – makeup and gifts
      • Yearly Co. – specializes in gold bangles to mark special occasions
      • K. McCarthy – beautiful boutique
      • Hill Center – several cute boutiques here, too
  • Opryland Area
    • Activities
      • Opryland Hotel – not a convenient place to stay but entertaining to walk around
      • Grand Ole Opry
      • The Hermitage – President Andrew Jackson’s home; great tour for history lovers

Browse by activity:

  • History/Culture
    • Murals – would it be a trip to Nashville without a photo op in front of one of the many impressive murals? Stumble upon them on your own or plan ahead here!
    • The Hermitage – President Andrew Jackson’s home
    • Travellers Rest – historic house and museum
    • Cheekwood – 1930’s home with an art museum, gardens, and lots of special events and activities
    • Nashville history walking tour
    • Tennessee Capital Grounds
    • Downtown Presbyterian Church – Egyptian revival style; worth the 5 minutes to see!
    • Belle Meade – a beautiful area to drive through and admire gorgeous homes
    • Belle Meade Mansion – Greek Revival-style plantation house & grounds dating to the 1840s, with a winery & event spaces
    • City Cemetery
    • Frist Museum – rotating art exhibits, housed in the city’s historic U.S. Post Office building
    • Downtown library – lovely interior courtyard where you can take lunch from Provence restaurant inside the library
    • Schermerhorn Symphony Hall
    • The Men’s room at the Hermitage Hotel (downtown hotel, not the house) – voted the prettiest bathroom in the country; afternoon tea at the hotel
    • Nashville Zoo
  • Comedy Clubs
    • Zanie’s
    • Third Coast Comedy Club
  • Outdoor Activities
    • Paddle Up or Nashville Paddle Company – standup paddle boarding and kayaking on the Cumberland River
    • Percy Warner Park (Belle Meade) – walking the steps is a classic Nashville workout; a great place to walk around on the trails or road
    • Radnor Lake – another park option
    • Treetop Adventure Park
  • Sports
    • Predators (NHL)
    • Titans (NFL)
    • Nashville SC (MLS)
    • Nashville Sounds (MiLB)
  • Day Trips
    • Elvis’s Graceland in Memphis (3 hour drive)
    • Jack Daniel’s Distillery (1.5 hour drive, reservation required)
    • Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House (1.5 hour drive, reservation required)
    • Mammoth Cave in Kentucky (1.5 hour drive)
    • Dollywood (3.5 hour drive)
    • Downtown Franklin (30-40 mins south of Nashville)
      • eat at Puckett’s or Red Pony
      • local shops and restaurants (try The Barn or PDs)
      • old movie theater
      • Civil War Battle of Franklin history
      • Carnton Plantation
      • Carter House

Browse for your morning or evening beverage needs (we’ll let you decide which is which!)

  • Coffee Shops
    • Coffee House (Franklin)
    • Americano Lounge
    • Dose (West End)
    • Ugly Mugs
    • Frothy Monkey (Nations & 12th South)
    • 8th & Roast
    • Portland Brew
    • Caliber Coffee
    • White Bison (Nations & 12th South)
    • Hearts Nashville (East Nashville)
    • The Well
    • Bongo Java
    • Barista Parlor
    • Crema (take a coffee-making class!)
    • Revelator
    • The Graduate Hotel
    • Three Brothers’ Coffee (West End)
    • Headquarters Coffee (Charlotte Avenue)
    • HC Coffee Roasters
    • Sump Coffee
    • Stay Golden
    • Melrose
  • Bars/Rooftops
    • Thompson Station Hotel (The Gulch)
    • LA Jackson
    • Bobby Hotel (Downtown)
    • L27 (located in the Westin in the Gulch)
    • FLGA Line House
    • Nashville Sporting Club/Paradise Park
    • Barcelona Wine Bar
    • White Limozeen (rooftop bar at Graduate Hotel)
    • Fairlane Hotel
    • Dream Hotel
    • Luke Bryan’s – live music
    • Underground – DJ, not live music
    • Downtown Sporting Club – games
    • Kung Fu Saloon – arcade games
    • Hampton Social

Don’t take our word for it! Visit these resources for additional recommendations and current Nashville happenings: