summer travel guide: jessica of tuft on nashville
Well, this one is near and dear to my heart - we do live here, after all. My good friend Jessica of Tuft Design is a true southerner (sans accent), growing up in Alabama and relocating to Nashville, Tennessee for college several years back. When she came, she stayed. Her wanderlust stole her away to Chicago for about a year but inevitably she found herself moving back home to Nashville. And today, the local designer shares the best things that our city has to offer.
Where to eat? Well I love food and Nashville has the BEST FOOD EVER so this is an impossible question for me. I go to Mas Tacos on a weekly basis. It is literally the best taco I have ever placed in my mouth. Burger wise, Pharmacy and Burger Up do it the best round these parts. Pancake Pantry and Loveless Cafe are both Nashville southern staples that will never be beat by any hip and trendy restaurant.
Nashville has its own sushi nazi (very much like the soup nazi) and his place is called Sam's. I have actually never been inside because tales of him yelling at customers makes me too scared to go in, but that doesn't stop me from getting my coworkers to go for me. His sushi is by far the best in Nashville and so cheap!!
When I want to get kinda fancy I go to Marche or Margot, both owned by the same person and both equally delectable. When I want to be really greasy I go to Bobbie's Dairy Dip and get a corn dog and an order of fried pickles.
For dessert I love Las Paletas for creamy avocado popsicles. I live within walking distance of Jeni's, a specialty ice cream parlor based out of Ohio. I call it 'specialty' because they ask you which flavor you want on the bottom and that's pretty special. My favorite flavor combo is cherry lambic and grapefruit, yummmm.
Best coffee shop? I wouldn't call myself a coffee connoisseur, especially since I normally frequent Starbucks. The fact that my boyfriend works there and gives me free coffee all the time really doesn't help the situation either. However, when I don't feel like going across town to buy mass produced coffee, Nashville has a plethora of really great coffee places to choose from. My personal favorite (and probably everyone else's that lives in Nashville) is definitely Crema. Barista Parlor just opened down the road from me and they have good coffee too AND really amazing sausage biscuits with grape jelly on them.
Favorite afternoon excursion? This agonizingly hot summer all my friends have been frequenting waterfalls in the backwoods of Tennessee. Rutledge Falls in particular is really beautiful and far off the beaten path (like literally, you have to crawl down the side of a mountain to get to it). If you want a legit Tennessee experience, go swimming here. Chlorinated pools are for wimps.
Favorite night time entertainment? Supper and Song at Imogene + Willie is a great way to eat Nashville's best food and listen to our best music simultaneously. The jean shop opens up their doors after hours monthly to host a candle lit concert in their backyard. Even better, it's BYOB.
Holland House is a bar that specializes in old fashioned cocktails. Even though their drinks are super fancy and they have chandeliers, this place still feels down to earth and casual to me. I go there a lot on Thursdays because of their half off drink special! I love the Chelsea Sidecar.
5 Spot is another bar that has a Motown dance party every Monday. They play everything from Otis Redding to Rolling Stones and on really special nights, Michael Jackson (in his younger years of course). They recently added a really nice patio to the back, complete with corn hole! Which apparently I suck horribly at.
Where to shop? Local Honey for vintage and local designer's wares, Old Made Good for cute gifts and furniture, and most definitely our monthly flea market held at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds.
Favorite neighborhood? Before I moved to East Nashville I would have said 12th South, but now I definitely favor the former.
What travel advice would you give to those visiting Nashville for the first time? Go to bars and make friends. Nashville is overwhelmingly welcoming and friendly. Almost everyone I meet here is really talented and interesting and best of all, laid back about it.
Thanks, Jessica! Don't forget to check out her blog and shop.. her clothing was featured at this year's Nashville Fashion Week and some pieces are currently for sale online (she is kind of a genius when it comes to designing and creating).
And last but not least, the better-late-than-never announcement of the Ampris Loves leather collar giveaway is.. lovely Hannah of The Braided Bandit! Congrats, Hannah - and for everyone else, you can still use the coupon code BLOOMINGLOVE for any purchases at Ampris Loves through the end of July! Carri's offering a great sale at her blog too, check it out.