Neighborhood Hopping: Finding the Good in All 'Hoods
Forget your plans to park it at your usual hangouts this weekend, because it’s time to break out of your respective neighborhood and show the rest of the city some love. Of course, your ’hood has the best coffee shop and the best bar for two-for-one drafts. Yes, your neighbors are the friendliest, coolest, throw the most entertaining festivals, and make the best pizza, burgers, cupcakes, falafel, etc. you’ve ever tasted in your life. Why would you venture beyond your zip code when you have everything that you need within a five-mile radius of your home?
Though I’m all for neighborhood loyalty, I believe it’s important to truly know your city by experiencing all that Nashville has to offer. From Granny White Pike to Gallatin Avenue and Murphy Road to Main Street, it’s high time you did some exploring.
Grab your purse and put on a pair of cute, comfortable shoes, because today you’re neighborhood hopping!
Start your morning off right in Sylvan Park with breakfast at Star Bagel Cafe, Nashville’s oldest locally-owned bagel shop. Step inside and enjoy the smell of freshly baked carbs, just waiting to fuel your day. Choose from flavors like spinach herb, cinnamon raisin swirl and roasted sunflower seed. Spread your bread with a variety of cream cheeses like spicy cucumber and olive pimento. If Sylvan Park isn’t your stomping ground, order like you’re on vacation and choose the Spinach & Mushroom Omelet Melt, also served on a bagel. Wash it down with a Rocca Mocha, made with raspberry syrup. 4504 Murphy Road.
After a few hours of boutique browsing in the 12 South district, you’ll be hungry for lunch. The good news is you don’t have to travel far for a sandwich. The better news is your sandwich didn’t travel far to find you. Introduce yourself to Sloco, Nashville’s sustainable sandwich shop. The average American sandwich is made of ingredients that traveled a total of 14,000 miles before you ever take a bite. Sloco only uses local, organic and seasonal ingredients, serving up sandwiches with an odometer reading of roughly 150 to 800 miles. Order the Cordon Bleu made with smoked chicken leg, bacon, blue cheese, tomato, greens and mayo, topped off with smoked vinegar and olive oil. And when you’re done, be sure to recycle your empty can of Blue Sky Organic Soda along with your sandwich paper. 2905 12th Avenue South.
Just fighting the traffic in Green Hills means you deserve something — like new shoes from Nordstrom and an apple fritter from Fox’s Donut Den. Under the lights of the shop’s famous neon sign, enjoy a snack that’s been a Nashville tradition for over thirty years. This Green Hills landmark will replenish your blood sugar with a sweet treat that’s well worth the Hillsboro Road gridlock. 3900 Hillsboro Road.
I’m glad you saved room for dinner, because historic Germantown is waiting for you. Located just outside of downtown, the neighborhood was Nashville’s first subdivisions, and it is now home to eclectic eateries known for creative cuisine and fine dining. No restaurant could be more appropriate for your trip to the district than Germantown Café. Dinner may come with a salad, but it won’t be the same without the restaurant’s famous French onion soup with bubbly Swiss cheese. Order a glass or two of red wine and unwind. After all, you’ve had a busy day. The entrees are all delicious, but the Coconut Curry Salmon with creamy risotto, spinach and asparagus will almost guarantee you won’t be weighed down with a to-go box of leftovers. 1200 Fifth Avenue North.
You live in Nashville, where the night is just beginning. Did someone say cocktail? Oh yeah, I did. Cab it to East Nashville for drinks at No. 308. The midcentury meets modern lounge is the perfect place to experience carefully crafted concoctions, house made sodas and meticulously mixed drinks. The atmosphere is laid back and the drinks go down a little too well. Sip on something shaken to perfection like the Bon Scott, made with rum, chai tea, carrot, orange and white pepper. There’s always an occasion to celebrate the fact that you live in a fabulous city. 407 Gallatin Avenue.
February is American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness for the leading cause of death in American women: heart disease. And perhaps no one will be sporting her red more proudly than 20-year-old Nashvillian Nykia Babb.
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