Wandered around Nashville last weekend for my big birthday celebration and here are just a few of the tips and opinions of places that we visited that can come in handy for your next visit;
If you’re looking to party down like you’re in Vegas then hit Broadway…;
- Tootsies…there is a reason that this place is legendary. You will have to literally squeeze and make your way through the front door and up to the different levels that it has but one thing you will NOT have to do is wait to get a drink. Their wait staff has getting you a drink and clearing empties down to an art. It took us longer to get up to the second floor than it did to get a bunch of beers, that’s the kind of place I can get behind. The band that played was unbelievable as well and they put a lot of the bands we saw over the weekend to shame
- Ole Red’s by Blake Shelton … this place is great if you are looking for a place to dance and to hit a roof top that was designed really well and has some decent food to boot. You can get down on the main floor with the big band on stage or you can go up to the lookout roof top where you can lounge, dance or drink at the two bars, several of the tables or any of the lounge spots that they have (and they have a ton!). Plus you can see a great photo of Gwen and Blake (if that’s your jam) on the way to the elevators.
- Kid Rocks place … there is no surprise that if you want to get down on several floors of different music and tempos, Kid Rock has you covered. If you want to see 5 different bands playing 5 different types of music then this is where you want to head, the line will wrap around the building down the block but it tends to go fairly quickly since they are counting people and checking id’s.
- Miranda Lamberts (if you are in your 20’s) is where you need to go … head up to the rooftop and you will swear that you are in a hot spot LA club on a Saturday night (regardless of the night that it actually is). As soon as the elevator doors open you are met with smoke rolling on the floors, music hitting so hard that you can’t help but start dancing and a dance floor that is nearly the size of the entire floor with neon lights and a balcony only lend to the club party vibe.
If you are looking for a spot where you might hold or at least attempt to hold a conversation;
- Legends Cafe – This place is great because it has a patio at the very back of it by the alley that allows you to both hear music being played and still hold a conversation with whomever you are talking to. Bonus is that the drinks aren’t crazy expensive and there are 3 bars through out the smaller space.
- Bootleggers – If you are looking for more of a throw back Nashville vibe, this place is great. Right when you enter, you are met with the opportunity to ride the mechanical bull and trust me there were people lining up to ride that bad boy. However, if you go upstairs it’s like a sanctuary for anyone who wants to listen to good (and even some original) music while also being able to hold a conversation. It’s got an old wood bar which never has you waiting for a drink and there is a great little dance floor as well as plentiful barstools and places to set your drink.
If you want something a little different that is not on Broadway but still downtown; Printers Alley is where you need to go;
- Whiskey Shot – Still has live music of any request that the crowd might have as well as singers choice however; the twist on this place is that you can also play a shooting video game from your table. So, if you have someone in your party who wants to do something besides dance or listen to music head over to Whiskey Shot and see if they can knock the top shooter who took everyone down the leader board while we were there.
- Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar – This was a place that was exactly what we were looking for when we arrived in Nashville…it’s funky, it’s got live music and it’s all blues. The atmosphere is old school with a balcony that wraps around like you are on Bourbon street, the band was amazing and the drinks are plentiful. However, we had by the meanest, rude waitress we have ever come across in our decades of traveling. She regularly made nasty remarks to my brother in law (we’ll say she didn’t like how he looked), pushed one of my son’s friends into the table as she was trying to get out to leave, attempted to yell at (and kick out) our son when he accidentally bumped a bottle from the table and then proceeded to be pissed off the rest of the evening despite our constant attempts to be pleasant. The other waitress who took over when we had had enough was AMAZING!! Hopefully you get luckier than we were and you get the better waitress to begin with.
We stayed in an AirBnb in East Nashville because we wanted somewhere a little quiet to go to when the fun of downtown was over. Not only was the little house we got less expensive, we were able to do laundry on a night that we really needed it (mud puddles were not our friend) and Ubers to and from downtown were only over $20 late on a Saturday night when everything was closing and everyone was trying to get home. However, the Air Bnb’s do go fast so make sure to book earlier rather than last minute.
A great side note is that you don’t want to drive downtown because you have to pay for any parking structure that is around. Only Sunday – Thursday will you be able to find street parking and if you do, it’s going to be uphill to get there after you are done downtown. Friday – Saturday the main portion of Broadway is closed down to any vehicles so you can’t park and you want to meet any Ubers on side streets away from Broadway because they won’t be able to get through.
- Dino’s – This is a great place in East Nashville that when you first walk up to it you think “I am not sure if they are open and if I should go in…”. Trust me, go in. It was a great place to get cold beer (Shiner on tap, YAY) delicious French fries and a simple but delicious BLT and the best of it all is that it wasn’t expensive in the slightest. What we didn’t know until we were leaving is that there is a large patio out back with picnics tables that lends itself to even more fun outside.
- Don’t Go – Jason Aldean’s was awful … the food was cold, the “filet” that was $45 was flank steak at best with hoards of gristle, everything that was fried was cold or the batter was barely cooked and the hostess came by twice to ask where other people were that were supposed to be at our table (they were outside smoking and were not being allowed back in by the bouncers because of the wait) and told us “if they aren’t here in ten minutes we are going to have to ask you to go back on the wait for different sized table”. After waiting for 2 hours, we were not going to go back on the wait.
- Ole Red’s – most of the food was pretty good but there were a few entrees that came out cold, missing items on them and barely seasoned. When we tried to find our waitress to let her know that our food had issues, she was no where to be found. We had to wait for 15minutes to get dressing that were missing, another 10 for the beer we had ordered and a whopping 20 minutes for our bill…sigh. The rooftop setting is awesome though and their appetizers seemed to be pretty on point, so just stick with those if you don’t want a headache.
- Rise & Shine – This is a breakfast place that is located near Vanderbilt, which is about 10 minutes at most from downtown Nashville. You can get in line via their app and then you just check in with the hostess once you arrive. The food was AMAZING and was hands down the best meal that we had while we were in Nashville. Everyone in our party had a different item on the menu and they were all delicious. The mimosa’s are plentiful for the price and they have their own special twist on them which is delicious.