To know Nashville is to love Nashville. It’s easy to see why, right? With some of the nation’s best dining, world-renowned entertainment and nightlife, and trendy neighborhoods like Germantown and 12 South scattered throughout the city, this big little town has it all.
Nashville has seen its fair share of growth over the years and we’re pretty proud of how far we’ve come, but we want to stop and tip our hats to some of the local folks who helped make Nashville what it is today. From coffee shops and boutiques to specialty stores and street art, here are some of our favorites, born and raised right here in Music City.
Barista Parlor, Andy Mumma
Noted by Epicurious as one of America’s 25 best coffee shops, Barista Parlor certainly lives up to its expectations. Barista’s coffees are made from small-batch and seasonal beans from growers all over the world, and they employ quality control experts at each of their three locations to ensure you’re getting the finest product available. This meticulous attention to detail and relentless pursuit for quality all came from the mind of owner and founder Andy Mumma.
This guy is Tennessean to the nth degree (he’s lived in East Nashville for the last decade), and that translates to even the smallest of details in his coffee shops. For his Germantown location, Mumma sought the help of artist Bryce McCloud of Isle of Printing to create the custom logo, as well as calling on locals from Holler Design, Sideshow Sign Company and Southern Lights Electric. Even the furniture is made from various types of wood, all from Tennessee - so the interior might be just as good as the coffee.
I Believe in Nashville Mural, Adrien Saporiti
You can’t go too far in this city without running into one of the vibrant “I Believe in Nashville” murals. And you can’t scroll too far in your Instagram feed without seeing someone posed in front of them. It’s all for good reason. These stunning examples of high-quality street art were conceptualized and painted by Nashville native Adrien Saporiti, and they quickly became some of the most iconic in town.
Before the mural was even a blip on his radar, Saporiti started creating clothes that Nashvillians would be proud to wear. He felt the apparel available at the time was too touristy and not representative of the people who call Nashville home, so he did what any bright-minded entrepreneur would do: he created his own. The apparel line was a hit and Saporiti opened his first brick and mortar before painting the original “I Believe in Nashville” mural in 2012. If you (somehow) haven’t seen one, yet, that’s a good place to check it out. Just head to 2700 12th Ave S. and take a camera. You’ll want an Instagram-worthy pic of your own.
White’s Mercantile, Holly Williams
Don’t let her parentage skew your vision of what White’s Mercantile might offer - you won’t find any rhinestone-studded cowboy boots at Holly Williams’ 12 South boutique. The daughter of legendary country music artist Hank Williams Jr., Holly’s carefully curated collection is a far departure from traditional country. Touted as a “general store for the modern-day tastemaker,” White’s Mercantile is one of the trendiest shops in all of Nashville.
Williams operates on the belief that quality trumps quantity every time, and she’s stocked her shops with items that will stand the test of time. We especially love the quirky home decor and children’s accessories (two words: baby sunglasses). Better yet, White’s Mercantile is pet friendly, so you and your pooch can experience its charm together. Visit them in person or check them out on Instagram and you’ll see what all the fuss is about.
Las Paletas, Norma & Irma Paz
While you’re in the neighborhood, do yourself a favor and pop into Las Paletas. Located inside an adorable shop right off 12th Ave S., this specialty store offers cream and fruit paletas (traditional Mexican frozen treat) made with only the freshest, ripest fruits and vegetables and locally-sourced ingredients. Sisters Norma and Irma Paz are the brilliant minds behind Las Paletas, and boy are we glad they chose to bring their talents to Nashville. In 2001, the sisters opened their first shop in 12 South with a desire to share part of their culture with the city. Lucky us. Their ice pops are worth writing home about, including flavors like lime with mint, mexican caramel, tamarind, and so many others we couldn’t possibly list here.
When you step through the doors, you’ll be greeted by tons of natural light and a large chalkboard menu showcasing the flavors of the day. Pay attention to the latter. The paletas are so popular that the menu is likely to change throughout the day. Actually, just do yourself a favor and get there early in the day. That way you have your pick of nearly any flavor you can think of. Pro tip: grab your treat and take a seat outside. The charming ambiance extends onto their front porch and side patio.
Well, there you have it. A beginner’s guide to experiencing some of Nashville’s finest shops from people who love this city as much as you do. Next time you’re making your weekend plans or simply getting to know more about your town, jot down these names and support local. We’ll be right there with you.
Britt is a Content Marketing Manager for Lifestyle Communities (LC), who enjoys sharing the stories of cities and neighborhoods. With communities throughout Columbus, Ohio, Louisville, Kentucky and Nashville - Germantown, Mt. Juliet, Murfreesboro and SoBro (coming soon) - LC is committed to bringing people together to form meaningful connections. It’s not about building apartments, restaurants, pools and gyms - it’s about building places for people to engage, to connect, and to be themselves. It’s about building a place to call home. Learn more at LifestyleCommunities.com or on Instagram, @lifestylecommunities.