Downtown + SoBro
Eats & Drinks
For an amazing view of lower Broadway and the Cumberland River, Acme is the perfect destination. They have multiple levels, all with their own personalities. You can rock out to live bands on the first floor, go upstairs to enjoy posh booths, or head up to the rooftop for some cocktails and sunshine.
Photo: Acme Feed & Seed
Speaking of impressive rooftops, Bobby’s Rooftop Lounge features such a fun landscape for enjoying downtown Nashville. Part of the Bobby Hotel, you can also enjoy Tavern at Bobby, Bobby’s Garage Bar, and Café at Bobby. Bobby’s got your back, so check out the tasty libations, incredible decor, and good vibes.
A registered historic site, Woolworth on 5th is not only a hip spot to grab dinner and drinks in Nashville, but part of integral Nashville history. In 1960, students from Fisk University and neighboring colleges coordinated a sit-in to demand equal service at popular lunch counters. Years later, the site has been converted to Woolworth on 5th, which serves up cuisine for everyone to enjoy.
Ellington’s Midway Bar and Grill
Ellington’s menu mixes mid-20th century favorites with modern pizzazz. Located in the Fairlane Hotel, Ellington’s is open for lunch and dinner daily, plus brunch on the weekends.
Deacon’s is a southern steakhouse that takes pride in their dry-aged steaks, seafood entrees, and amazing wine selection. They feature locally sourced ingredients and take group reservations. Check them out for your next event.
Headquarters is the perfect destination to feel like a kid again. From their numerous arcade games to their “Never grow up, it’s a trap sign,” they are invested in helping you relive all of your glory years with a drink in hand.
Photo: Headquarters Beercade
You wouldn’t know from the outside, but the Smith House (home to The Standard) boasts six bedrooms, three bathrooms, a wine cellar, a dining room, a breakfast room, a game room, and an outdoor courtyard. Its location is unlike anything else you’ll find in downtown Nashville, still embracing its antebellum architecture and charm. The Standard has a menu of impeccable signature appetizers and entrées to pair with its beautiful ambiance.
For tasty farm to table food, the Farm House offers locally sourced food and ingredients from scratch with southern flair. The Farm House is open Monday through Saturday for dinner, Tuesday through Friday for lunch, and Sunday brunch.
Merchants is another restaurant that has multiple floors to suit your fancy. With three floors, there’s a spot to fit all of your personalities. The first floor features a bistro with comfortable food and excellent cocktails. On the second floor you’ll find a more upscale dining room with a robust wine list and elevated entrées. Lastly, the third floor is reserved for private events.
Located on the top of the Westin hotel, L27 Rooftop Lounge is perched high above Nashville’s bustling downtown so you can catch stunning Broadway views. L27 has a splendid sweet and savory menu with cocktails and bubbles to boot. Check out their website to catch their monthly jazz night.
Liberty Common has created a “Southern Brasserie” complete with a patio, café, and bar to create a wonderful escape right next to Riverside Park. Their menu includes French and southern staples, so be sure to stop by anytime for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch.
The Diner has 6 floors of dining, with menus that vary from breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night, sushi and oysters, and more. The Diner has spectacular views of downtown and a menu for everyone’s taste buds.
Live Music Venues/Bars
Tootsie’s needs no introduction. One of Nashville’s most famous bars, Tootsie’s remains a favorite on Broadway. From its iconic purple walls to the stories of legends that have passed through its doors, Tootsie’s is on every Nashville bucket list.
Nashville’s Broadway has been inundated with new bars and restaurants, but Layla’s Honky Tonk is an original and a downtown jewel. You can head to Layla’s to hear live country, Americana, and bluegrass music while enjoying no frills snacks and food. You’ll know you’re there when you spot the license plates.
Robert’s Western World is the place where “the music is always old and the beer is always ice cold.” Robert’s nods to the country greats and maintains an old school Nashville reputation on Broadway.
For multiple levels of live music, head to The Stage on Broadway. They book artists for the main floor, second floor, and the rooftop/patio, offering more drinks and music than you can shake a stick at.
Mercy Lounge, Cannery Ballroom, and High Watt
Despite being smaller locations, the Mercy Lounge, Cannery Ballroom, and High Watt have hosted some big names, from Lenny Kravitz to The White Stripes. These venues offer an intimate experience and bring in a diverse community of artists to Nashville that expand well past country music.
With multiple rounds every night Monday through Saturday, the Listening Room Café serves up live music and great food. The Listening Room Café is a venue that respects artists and is ideal for audiences that want to appreciate live music in a quiet space. Go to the Listening Room to hear the story behind the songs and amazing acoustic sets.
Sips & Sweets
Goo Goo clusters are a candy staple in Nashville and the original recipe has been around since 1912. You can visit the colorful store in downtown Nashville and try the variety of flavors offered.
For milkshakes that rival the Flipside’s Bloody Mary’s, check out Legendairy Milkshake Bar. Each mason jar filled milkshake is full of goodness and essentially a candy buffet. From the Campfire S’mores Shake to the Strawberry Cheesecake Shake, you can’t go wrong.
Photo: Legendairy Milkshake Bar
D’Andrew’s Bakery, a “modern bakery with Southern sensibility” specializes in making your mouth water with delectable desserts and perfect pastries. You can also grab a healthy lunch, as their menu includes sandwiches, salads, and soup. Next to the downtown library, you can grab a coffee and pastry before taking a stroll downtown.
Mike’s has homemade ice cream flavors for every palate. It’s the perfect late night treat after pounding back tequila shots on Broadway.
City Winery pairs amazing wine with great shows. It is the perfect place to catch a show and sip on some wine. They also offer tastings and tours to help you find your next favorite bottle.
For cool country music memorabilia and an in-depth history of the cultural impact of country music, check out the exhibits at the Country Music Hall of Fame. They feature a core exhibit named “Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music” as well as rotating exhibits that will have die-hard country music fans geeking out.
The Nashville Symphony is so much more than classical music and compositions. You can buy tickets to listen to world class musicians, but also movie screenings and symphony renditions of movie soundtracks (they have Harry Potter nights!). Check out their website for a full list of events and creative shows.
In case you didn’t get your fill of fun music trivia and facts at the Country Music Hall of Fame, head over to The Musicians Hall of Fame Museum. They offer the “Come See What You’ve Heard” exhibit. They even have a Grammy Museum Gallery that will leave you with all the red carpet feels.
To see the largest collection of Johnny Cash artifacts in the world, you can visit the Johnny Cash Museum downtown. Regardless of whether you are his number one fan or not, you cannot deny that Johnny Cash had a permanent impact on country music and bled into other genres as well. Stop by to learn more about the music mogul.
Similar to the Johnny Cash Museum, there is a museum dedicated to the influential artist George Jones. His prolific songwriting career had an undeniable impact on country music and inspired many other artists. You can listen to his songs, watch performances, and learn about his history in downtown Nashville. Also check out the beautiful views on the rooftop bar and grab a bite to eat after enjoying the exhibit.