Last weekend, my husband and I enjoyed a long weekend in Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville has been a quick getaway for several years to visit some of my two favorite people, my brother and sister-in-law. Over the past few years, my husband and I love visiting Nashville for the warm Southern hospitality, delicious Southern food, lively nightlife, and spending quality time with family.
If you only visit Nashville once, I would recommend visiting the tourist attractions (please click HERE and HERE to read previous Nashville blogs), but if you are fortunate like me to return to Nashville many times, spend your time living like a Nashville local! Thankfully, I have two great hosts to take me to the local Nashville hot-spots! Don’t know where to go? Just ask a friendly Nashville local about their favorite spots in town!
Nashville has definitely become a foodie and craft drink lover’s paradise. From locally brewed beers, handcrafted cocktails, wineries, and locally owned restaurants that pair amazing ingredients and give a modern twist to old-school favorites. If you are looking for an amazing food and drink scene, then visit Nashville! Nashville has so many restaurants and bars scattered throughout the city. For a more authentic Nashville experience, visit one of Nashville’s neighborhoods (East Nashville, Germantown, Midtown, 12 South, and The Gulch) with incredible locally-owned restaurants and bars that locals flock to. Here are a few of my favorite bars and restaurants in and around Nashville. Enjoy!
The Holland House Bar and Refuge is located in the heart of East Nashville. Opened in 2010, the Holland House has quickly become a local favorite. With a rustic décor and glamorous accents that invites guests to relax and enjoy artisanal drinks and a farm-to-table menu. Known for their handcrafted cocktails and house-made ingredients, Holland House also delivers superb service! We arrived on Valentine’s evening with no reservation, and the four of us were accommodated quickly at the bar (the restaurant reservations were full for the evening, which we figured, being Valentine’s Day! We were thrilled they accommodated us on such a busy night!). Once seated at the beautifully rustic wood bar, we were greeted by our bartender, Milo (he had an awesome and authentic personality, and I loved hearing about his home in England!). He recommended his personal favorite cocktails and created the perfect drinks for the four of us. These handcrafted cocktails were amazing! I had the Fraise 75 (ok, to be honest, I had three!), this Champagne based drink with strawberry flavors was the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Holland House has created a wonderful cocktail list with new and old favorites that will delight any cocktail connoisseur!
Butchertown Hall is located in Germantown. This new, German-inspired restaurant and beer hall, had its official grand opening Valentine’s night. Making a good first impression with a beautiful brick facade, climbing green ivy, and a wonderful brick paved patio that invites visitors into the Butchertown Hall restaurant. Inside, this open and airy space welcomes guests with a clean and rustic décor. The mixture of earthy elements (beautiful hardwood floors, rocks, trees, green moss) add texture to the bright white tiled walls. We had no reservation, and knowing that it was their opening night and Valentine’s night, we were hoping to get a seat! We were in luck! Since it was later in the evening, they happily accommodated us (we also mentioned that Milo, from Holland House, had suggested that we check out this highly-anticipated new restaurant)! We sat in front of the open kitchen and watched all the magic happen! Magic indeed did happen, when we tasted our food! Now, I am not a food critic, but just a girl who likes to eat and who loves a good foodie experience!! We started with the crispy pork belly small plate (oh my goodness—perfection!) melt in your mouth perfection with just enough crispness! Next, we ordered the pork carnitas, served with fresh tortillas, onions and pickles. The combination of the fresh ingredients and perfectly smoked pork was just simply delicious! We also ordered a klóbasa and apple jägerwurst to share amongst the four of us, both were cooked to perfection and on a delicious roll. We were slightly disappointed that the beef brisket was sold out, but glad that this great new restaurant had such a wonderful turn-out for opening night! I see a bright future for Butchertown Hall!
GRAY’S On Main is located in Historic Downtown Franklin, Tennessee approximately 20 miles south of Nashville. This National Register town has antique shops, art galleries, book stores, boutiques, coffee shops, and restaurants all housed in restored Victorian-era buildings. Historic Downtown Franklin is the perfect place to take a walking tour to enjoy the rich history of this adorable Southern town. GRAY’S on Main is located in a circa 1876 Victorian building, that once housed The Gray Drug Co. This was an actual pharmacy which was opened for nearly 100 years! After restoration, GRAY’S on Main was opened to the public in 2013, with a beautifully restored three-story bar, restaurant, and music venue. Staying true to the Victorian-era and pharmacy roots, GRAY’S on Main is now a local favorite. With stunning views overlooking Main Street of Historic Downtown Franklin, delicious Southern cuisine, and a cocktail list reminiscent of the late 19th century. We started with the fried pimento cheese, deviled eggs, and the best fried-green tomatoes I have ever eaten in my lifetime! After sharing the delicious appetizers, we shared the GRAY’S Carolina Chop, the combination of the pork, bacon, and smoked gouda cheese was heavenly! We also tried a few handcrafted cocktails, the Fox Hollow and the Burnt Brandy and Peach (which was lit on fire by our server, John!). We finished the night by sharing the chocolate cobbler, this wonderfully decadent chocolate creation was the perfect end to a wonderful evening at GRAY’S on Main!
Arrington Vineyards is located in Arrington, Tennessee, about 10 minutes from Franklin and approximately 25 minutes south of Nashville. Arrington Vineyards opened in 2007, and is owned by country music artist Kix Brooks and his partners. This twenty-five acre estate has beautiful views of the vineyards and the rolling hillside that make their award winning wines taste even sweeter! With my favorite views in Nashville, I visit Arrington Vineyards every trip we make to Nashville! It is the perfect place to enjoy the stunning views of the beautiful Tennessee hillside, taste wonderful wines, have a picnic with loved ones, to relax and enjoy that perfect moment in time!
I hope you enjoyed a few of my favorite local bars and restaurants in and around Nashville! Next time you get to Nashville, I hope you can enjoy tasting the delicious Southern cuisine, handcrafted cocktails and locally brewed beers, and enjoy good old-fashioned Southern hospitality! Local bars and restaurants are the perfect place to eat, drink, and be merry in Nashville!
Thanks for reading!
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