New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes dark psychological thrillers starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the premier literary television show “A Word on Words,” Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens. Her new novel, No One Knows is published by our sister company, Simon & Schuster.
Nashville. The word connotes music, fun, and excitement. Nashville is an incredible town, full of country music, yes, but so much more. I’d like to take you on a quick tour of my favorite haunts, broken out by what you might be in the mood for – from food and drinks to nature and education. Come visit my town, and follow this guide. I promise you’ll experience the city in all-new ways.
Nashville’s upscale bar scene is stellar, with old-school hotel bars and speakeasies dominating my list.
- Oak Bar At The Hermitage Hotel (Downtown)- Great drinks, incredible history. Don’t miss the Art Deco men’s room!
- Flying Saucer (Midtown)- Over 200 global beers!
- Patterson House (Midtown)- An upscale speakeasy with serious craft cocktails (try the Clapless Belle).
- William Collier’s (Marathon Village)- Stylish and hip, it boasts the best Old Fashioned in town.
Nashville’s food scene is a gastronomical dream. I’m a fan of a good meal with a nice bottle of wine, or straight up BBQ, and these all deliver.
- M Restaurant (Midtown)- Southern food with a gastro flair and great wine. Try the chicken and waffles.
- Etch (Downtown SoBro)- Open kitchen setting with excellent vegetarian and Thai-influenced options, plus a beautiful wine list. The roasted cauliflower app is to die for.
- Party Fowl (Downtown)- Nashville Hot Chicken at its hippest and newest.
- Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack (North Of Downtown)- The pioneer in Nashville Hot Chicken—this is where the cops eat.
- Merchants – (Downtown SoBro)– High-class, old-world glamour.
- Rippy’s BBQ – (Downtown SoBro)– My favorite BBQ before a Predators game, the corn cakes rule.
Only one of my brunch favorites is downtown, but they’re all worth your time.
- Le Peep (Belle Meade)- Where the pretty people are.
- First Watch (Hermitage)- Clean, fresh, farm-to-table, it’s a great new addition.
- Tin Angel (Midtown)- You can never go wrong here. Get a pitcher of mimosas, too.
- Loveless Café (Bellevue)- 15 minutes from downtown, it is a staple, a classic—but be prepared to wait, especially in the summer.
Want to get smart, Nashville style? Here you go!
- Frist Museum Of Fine Art (Downtown)- Incredible building, incredible art.
- Parthenon (Midtown)- A full-sized replica of the original, the museum inside is a winner for Nashville history.
- Nashville Public Library (Downtown)- Huge and gorgeous, perfect for a quiet moment.
To Rock Out
We’re so much more than country music. Here are my favorite venues for alt rock, punk, and world-class classical.
Third And Lindsley
Marathon Music Works
Schermerhorn Concert Hall
No trip to Nashville is complete without a tour of our independent booksellers.
- Parnassus Books (Green Hills)- World famous, and worth it.
- East Side Story (East Nashville)- Local Authors only.
- BookmanBookWoman (Vanderbilt)- Great used selection in a super-fun area of town.
To Get Your Sports On
If you’re interested in football, hockey or baseball, we’ve got you covered!
If you want to take a beautiful, calming walk, here’s your chance.
Centennial Park (Downtown)
Radnor Lake (Brentwood)
Cheekwood (Belle Meade)- Do yourself a favor and Uber out here for breathtaking botanical gardens. You can eat at Le Peep, too, which is in the same area.