The always growing, thriving, eclectic, historic, and hip, East Nashville has become one of the city’s most-desired areas to live and play. Its low-key vibe and neighborly personality make this community a great place to escape without leaving town. As Budget Travel Magazine calls Historic East Nashville “Nashville’s version of New York’s East Village,” East Nashville 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.
Check out Vogue's story on East Nashville - East Nasty: This Is Nashville’s Coolest Neighborhood
Tour Nashville's Food & Craft Beer Scene
You can now take a walk through East Nashville and indulge in local flavors at six restaurants and specialty food shops during Walk Eat Nashville food tour. This is an opportunity to interact with restaurant owners, chefs, and food artisans. Not only that, but you can get a taste of Nashville's booming craft beer scene on the Nashville Brew Bus which is based out of East Nashville.
Within East Nashville, sports enthusiasts frequent the Edgefield Sports Bar and Grill for billiards and darts. 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 an eclectic, predominately farm to table menu including a variety of tantalizing items from Halibut to Steak. The backyard area is one of the best you will find in Nashville; your own little oasis in the heart of East Nashville. On the other side of East Nashville is an authentic Nashville Hot Chicken restaurant that you must try called Pepperfire Hot Chicken. Their consistent and unique spice offers a treat on any meal you choose including local favorite, the Tender Royale, a deep-fried grilled peppercheese sandwich. Yum!
Continue on down the street from Pepperfire Hot Chicken and eventually you will run into Butcher & Bee. From meaty sandwiches to vegan dishes, the menu is driven by the season, and ingredients are treated with respect and restraint. A meal at this establishment is sure to make your afternoon or evening special.
While in East Nashville you have to stop by DCXV Industries, a Nashville based design and apparel brand. The locals have embraced the style DCXV has created which encompasses the very spirit of Music City. In addition to the wear, take the time to view the "I Believe in Nashville" murals located in 12South, Marathon Music Works, and Riverside Village created by this Nashville store. Another great shop to visit in East Nashville would be Two Son. They strive to bring a fresh array of clothing, accessories, jewelry, housewares, and more created by multiple designers and artisans all under one roof.
Mas Tacos Por Favor has been 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.
Local bakeries are not scarce, as Sweet 16th offers daily-made scones, muffins, cakes, and meringues. Bella Nashville Bakery is a grab-and-go bakery that is bread-focused and features whole wheat bread with freshly-ground wheat, rustic sourdough, and baguettes along with freshly-made sandwiches and breakfast items. Just down the road is Nashville Sweets offering scrumptious treats that are sure to please people of all ages. They have cake pops, cupcakes, and can even make custom cakes, dessert bars, or wedding cakes if you need.
Margot Cafe and Bar, housed in an antique gas station turned brick-and-timber gourmet restaurant uses only fresh ingredients gathered that day. Check Margot’s other restaurant located just across the street, Marché Artisan Foods, a European-style bistro that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a popular weekend brunch.
Lockeland Table and Edley’s East are two new additions to the East Nashville scene. Lockeland Table is located in a former beauty-parlor-turned-photo-gallery and is a home for creative, chef-driven cuisine in a comfortable neighborhood vibe. Adding to the 12South location, Edley’s East features a bigger bar, a vibe to match the community and different specials to add to the barbeque menu.
Next to Edley’s East is the new Fat Bottom Brewery that makes beers that are bigger and sexier, that portray bold hop flavors and distinct aromas. Hit The Five Spot, which GQ called the “Most Stylish Dance Party in America,” or enjoy good food, great drinks and even better live music at The Crying Wolf.
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.
A few new restaurants to hit the Nashville scene includes, Two Ten Jack, Nashville’s first izakaya (or Japanese pub), and The Treehouse, a funky, lit-up hangout that offers fine dining, craft brews and late-night bites. Porter Road Butcher provides locally-sourced, pasture-raised meat including a variety of cuts of sausage, pork chops and more.
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 Hip Zipper is a classic, vintage consignment boutique that features a unique, eclectic collection of clothing from various eras.
Located within the Idea Hatchery are vintage and artsy finds that are within a short distance of each other such as Moss, Goodbuy Girls, Hello Boys, Alegria, and the all-local bookstore East Side Story. Next door to the Idea Hatchery is Wonders on Woodland, a fun antique shop loaded with vintage jewelry, furniture, home goods, and more.
Old Made Good (OMG) is a little bit of everything: vintage goods, clothing and accessories, handmade local art, one-of-a-kind finds, and re-purposed and rescued furniture abound. 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.
See how the local artisanal chocolate company, Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co. makes their chocolate in their new factory and retail store. Also located on Fatherland Street is a new mix of stores that have been added to East Nashville’s shopping scene: Shoppes on Fatherland. The shops include 1907 Apparel, High Garden Herbs, Tea & Tradition, Wildernest, State, Thrive, Baxter & Bailey, Red Dog Beads, and more.
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.