East Nashville is home to several historic neighborhoods that are finding themselves in the midst of a renaissance. Its low-key vibe and neighborly personality make this community a great place to escape without leaving town. Although more than 600 structures were destroyed in the great East Nashville Fire of 1916, the area still boasts an eclectic mixture of antebellum buildings. Historic Edgefield is one of only two locally zoned “historic preservation districts,” requiring that all new construction, additions, demolition, alterations and fences be approved by the Metro Historical Commission, giving the neighborhood a timeless feel. Additionally, the area has been featured on the HGTV network during Bob Vila’s “Restore America” and in HGTV’s “Our Place” series.
Over the years, East Nashville has developed an eclectic and creative vibe that has attracted many musicians and visual artists to the neighborhood. Mingle with the patrons of the local hangouts and you’re bound to meet more than a few musicians and songwriters. Several art galleries have flourished in the area and even one of the local coffeehouses doubles as an art gallery.
Within East Nashville, sports enthusiasts frequent the Edgefield Sports Bar and Grille for billiards and darts. Mad Donna’s serves up innovative cuisine and creative cocktails for dinner. For a taste of old Mexico, visit the Rosepepper Cantina, where guests may find themselves being serenaded by a Mariachi band. Across the street is Eastland Café, a vibrant neighborhood restaurant that is both comfortable and casually elegant. Take in some live music with dinner at The Family Wash which offers a small but delicious menu along with local bands and musicians performing Tuesday through Saturday nights.
In your East Nashville explorations, make sure to plan a stop to Holland House Bar & Refuge. It has an easygoing atmosphere, a thoughtful farm-to-table menu and a creative catalog of artisanal cocktails served up by expert bartenders. Located behind the Holland House is the new Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden, a popular restaurant that serves house-made sodas and shakes, gourmet and unique hamburgers and brats, as well as a nice selection of high-end beers. Rumours East offers a unique atmosphere for those traveling to Music City. With an eclectic, predominately farm to table menu including a variety of tantalizing items from Halibut to Steak, everyone will be able to find something to please their palate. The backyard area is one of the best you will find in Nashville; your own little oasis in the heart of East Nashville.
Another new restaurant to the scene is Mas Tacos Por Favor, described by many as “the best thing since country music in Nashville.” Originally a mobile food truck, it also has a permanent location. Add fresh salsa and guacamole to tacos and enchiladas and you have a neighborhood favorite.
Goodies are baked fresh each day at Sweet 16, a local bakery that makes scones, muffins, cakes, and Mamarangues, a mixture of chocolate and toffee.
Margot Cafe and Bar, housed in an antique gas station turned brick-and-timber gourmet restaurant, has quickly become one of Nashville’s most outstanding restaurants. Chef Margot McCormack uses only fresh ingredients gathered that day. Also check Margot’s other restaurant located just across the street. Marché Artisan Foods is a European- style bistro that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a popular weekend brunch.
At The Silly Goose, everything in this new restaurant is fresh and made to order. The menu is full of wraps, sandwiches, and salads that are perfect for a lunch time experience. Their motto is to use “local, organic, sustainably produced, minimally manipulated food.”
Nashville’s first vegetarian restaurant, The Wild Cow, serves vegetarian and vegan fare in a fun, casual atmosphere. All food is purchased in its whole form, and they also make their own sauces, dressings, soup stocks, etc.
Also an artist’s haven, Five Points is home to several galleries including the Art & Invention Gallery and adjoining studio, Garage Mahal. Having five to six shows annually, including the signature Tomato Art Show in August and Holiday Artisan Show in December, Art & Invention Gallery focuses on inventiveness in fine art, crafts, and original furniture. Named Nashville’s “Best Neighborhood Event,” the Tomato Art Festival is a laid back event that has attracted regional and national attention for its celebration of the fruit.
When it comes to one-of-a-kind shopping, East Nashville has a variety of options: The Green Wagon offers eco-friendly shopping with hopes to make living sustainably as easy as possible for their customers. Their products hold up a rigorous set of standards based on all natural ingredients, sustainable production practices, and local production. Hip Zipper is a classic, vintage consignment boutique that features a unique, eclectic collection of clothing from various eras.
Named “One of South’s Top 10 Bootiques” by Southern Living, Goodbuy Girls sells the best quality and affordable vintage cowboy boots in the city. Receiving inventory every day, it’s a great place to find unique treasures.
Pop into another vintage store, HumanKind Made: Locally Made Goods, and find vintage and modern apparel in a quirky atmosphere for men and women. Every corner is filled with great finds and many locally, hand-made items. Finish up your day by driving to Fanny’s House of Music and search through their great selection of new, used, and vintage merchandise (clothing and instruments) – all in a comfortable and easy environment.
Visitors and locals alike are increasingly finding themselves crossing the river to sample the varied eating and nightlife venues available in East Nashville. Whether you’re in the mood for great music or incredible food, you can find them all just east of downtown.