Ingram Blog

Ingram Insider: Our Nashville Picks

Are you headed to Nashville for PLA 2020? Do you want to dive in beyond the books to have an experience you won't forget? Our Ingram Library Services team has compiled a list of their "Nashville Picks" for you to explore while in the Music City.  This includes everything from the best diners and dives, tasty cocktails, and places to make memories, through education and fun. 

Rob's Nashville Picks:

Best Place to Eat in Nashville: Peg Leg Porker - If you love barbecue this is the place to go. The dry rub chicken is out of this world.

Best Places to Grab a Drink Nashville: Acme Feed & Seed - Beautiful views of the city on their roof top deck. 

Places You Must Explore While in the City: Country Music Hall of Fame - was created in 1961 by the Country Music Association (CMA). The first inductees were Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, and Fred Rose. This a must see. 


Ann L's Nashville Picks: 

Best Places to Eat in Nashville:

Best Places to Grab a Drink in Nashville: 

  • Omni Hotel Bar - A high-class haven near the craziness of downtown festivities 
  • Pedal carts - okay, you have to try it, even if mixing exercise into your drinking is an abomination 

Places You Must Explore While in the City: 

  • The Parthenon- life-sized replica of the original temple, including a 46-foot-high Athena
  • Cheekwood- gardens, art, and historic mansion in the swanky part of Nashville
  • Nashville Public Library- 2017 Library of the Year; check out the Civil Rights Room

Nashville's Hidden Gems: 

Other Great Places and/or Things in Nashville: 


Ashley's Nashville Picks:

Take it from a REAL local

Best Places to Eat in Nashville: 

  • Peg Leg Porker- If you can’t quite make it to Memphis to taste true Tennessee BBQ at its finest this is your place. Carey Bringle, the pitmaster, is from the Memphis area and brought his famous dry rub ribs with him. 
  • Mas Tacos Por Favor- From a food truck to an actual sit down location this place packs a punch when it comes to Tacos. Make sure you have your tacos picked when it comes your turn; they keep the line moving. 
  • Prince’s Hot Chicken- Let’s be honest here – Nashville is known for hot chicken and this is the original hot chicken joint. It’s still a hidden gem hidden by other competitors.   
  • As far as sit down and dining experience, I would recommend Kayne Prime. They have some the best cuts of steak in the city. The dining atmosphere is very laid back. 
  • If you are in search of breakfast in Nashville, I recommend three places, one being Sky Blue Cafe, it’s small but the meals are out of this world. 
  • The second would be the Pancake Pantry, in Hillsboro Village. It’s been around for a long time, and you’ll still find the same great pancakes and waffles!
  • Loveless Cafe- a timeless classic with down home cooking and some the best biscuits and jam you’ll find.

Best Places to Grab a Drink in Nashville:

  • Patterson House - Former Speakeasy; once you step inside you’ll feel like you’re back in time. (Note this location has no signage out front)
  • Fox Bar and Cocktail Club- The selection changes monthly, and there’s a special Old Fashioned menu featuring a range of bourbons and whiskeys that will have you go wild. Indulge in the unique snacks as well, think lavender kettle corn and vegan pimento cheese with crostini.
  • Earnest Bar and Hideaway- very classic feeling place with a well put together drink menu. They also have a killer bowl of Hot Chicken and Mac and Cheese. 
  • Pearl Diver- it’s a new city favorite with a very beachy feel. The drinks menu is essentially a book organized into categories like classics, “Strange and Wonderful Drinks,” shots, shooters, wine, and beers. 
  • Dino’s- it’s an East Nashville / Nashville staple. It’s a hole in the wall but the place has a very “down home” feeling. They also serve up the BEST cheeseburger in town period. 

Places You Must Explore While in the City: 

  • Grand Ole Opry – Simple, it’s the mother church of country music. I suggest both the Ryman (original location) and the new opry house located at Opry Mills Mall.
  • Belle Meade Plantation- Gives you a glimpse into the past. All guides are dressed in period correct outfits. 
  • The Hermitage- If you enjoy history this place has quite a bit of it. It’s President Andrew Jackson’s Greek Revival mansion.
  • Tennessee State Museum- Newly opened, this location houses the majority of history for the great state of Tennessee, from the natural history to the most current. 
  • Country Music Hall of Fame- Located just off of Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville this location gives everything a country music fan could want. From some of the items that country stars wore and played to the golden records they recorded. Also, you can do a studio tour of RCA Studio B off of music row where Elvis Presley’s Christmas lights still hanging from a Christmas album he produced in July. This is also the birthplace of the legendary “Nashville Sound”.
  • Frist Art Museum- Located down Broadway in an Art Deco building that was once the US Postal office. Displaying regional Art to world art, the art rotated on a six to eight-week schedule. 

Nashville's Hidden Gems: 

  • Wendell Smith’s Restaurant- best biscuits and gravy 
  • Greenbrier Distillery- Tennessee is known for Tennessee Sour Mash, and these two brothers have brought it back to Nashville years after their family stopped making it during prohibition. Very interesting history of how these two brothers discovered their namesake. 
  • Station Inn- Another hole in the wall, and now surrounded by high rises, this place is a go to for locals. If you like music especially bluegrass and don’t want the bustle of lower Broadway this is another “down home”. 
  • Douglas Corner Cafe- another hidden gem in the world of country music. The likes of Alan Jackson to Garth Brooks have cut their teeth here. 
  • United Record Pressing- Motown in Music City, courtesy of Berry Gordy. Off of Chestnut Street, some of your favorite “Motown Sounds” were likely recorded here. Tours are available, and I highly suggest it. 
  • Scarritt Bennett Center- On music row, they’re a nonprofit hosting a poetry series, book clubs and other community happenings. 
  • This building isn’t always open, but the architecture alone is wonderful. 18th Ave South of Music Row
  • After you eat and you want a sweet treat? Hit up Bobbies Dairy Dip. Best chocolate dipped ice cream cone!  


Beth's Nashville Picks:

Read Beth's blog - Insider Tips for Planning Your PLA Trip


Erin's Nashville Picks:

Best Places to Eat in Nashville: I am partial to the restaurants in the Germantown area, very close to Downtown. My favorites are Fifth and Taylor and Henrietta Red. If you want a first class dining experience with the best view of Nashville, try Bourbon Steak at the top of the JW Marriott. 

Best Places to Grab a Drink in Nashville: If it's not too cold, give the cool rooftop bars at The Bobby Hotel and Noelle a try. Of course, you can always hit Broadway for cheap beer, some decent cover bands, and amazing people watching. If you are feeling really adventurous and want to relive your bachelor/bachelorette party days, find a pedal tavern

Places You Must Explore While in the City: Take a tour of the Ryman Auditorium or visit the Country Music Hall of Fame! The Frist Art Museum is also spectacular. 

Nashville's Hidden Gems: If you are interested in getting out of downtown Nashville, head to Cheekwood Estate and Gardens. Although the (normally) stunning gardens won't be in bloom, you can visit the Museum of Art and check out their exhibit "Orchids in the Mansion." View Checkwood’s Calendar

Sandra's Nashville Picks:

Places You Must Explore While in the City: Johnny Cash museum--there was more to Johnny's life than just the music. Find out why he was one of America's treasures. 

Nashville's Hidden Gems: House of Cards--literally hidden below the Johnny Cash museum. You get dinner and a show! Close-up magic and great food.


Tom's Nashville Picks:

Best Places to Eat in Nashville: 

Best Places to Grab a Drink in Nashville: 

Places You Must Explore While in the City: 

Nashville's Hidden Gems: 


Laura's Nashville Picks:

Best Places to Eat in Nashville: Henrietta Red in Germantown is one of the best meals I've had in Nashville - southern and seafood. Brunch is excellent here. Woolworth's on Fifth has my favorite biscuits and gravy ever, plus the space is beautiful and historic. Chauhan Ale and Masala House or Chaatable - both are Indian street food with a twist and oh it's just so delicious! I like my hot chicken in a sandwich, and I do love Hattie B's - pro tip is to order online and pick it up, rather than wait an hour in line. 

Best Place to Grab a Drink in Nashville: I wrote the article on allll the places to drink :) Additional spots would be Tennessee Brew Works - they've got a cool space, live music, and a full food menu that uses a lot of their beers in the food. Also Vinyl Tap in East Nashville (bonus it's across the street from Southern Grist, by favorite brewery) - it's a Vinyl record store AND a bar and it's just got a cool, almost neighborhood-like vibe.

Places You Must Explore While in the City: Lower Broadway and honky-tonking because you just have to, the Country Music Hall of Fame is worth the price but get the combo ticket with the Hatch Print Shop too! If you enjoy history that isn't related to music, visit the Hermitage. See a show at the Ryman if you can. For books visit Parnassus and McKay's.

Other Great Places and/or Things in Nashville: If you're here earlier in the week on Monday night, go to Motown Monday at the 5 Spot around 9:30pm for some groovy music.


Kimberly's Nashville Picks:

Best Places to Eat in Nashville:

Best Places to Grab a Drink in Nashville: Rosemary (East Nashville) - very cool atmosphere in a tucked-away spot.

Places You Must Explore While in the City: High Garden Tea - dozens of custom hot teas and infusions. My favorite is the "Tennessee Honeysuckle"!


Ann C.'s Nashville Picks:

Best Places to Eat in Nashville: 

  • Otaku Ramen - best ramen in town.
  • Prince's Hot Chicken - the ONLY hot chicken you need to know about in Nashville.
  • The Grilled Cheeserie - fantastic grilled cheese and shakes. Go for the grilled cheese, stay for the tater tots.
  • Emmy Squared - creative pizzas and a Caesar salad I can't stop thinking about.
  • Edley's - best barbecue in town.
  • Sinema - Nashville's bougiest brunch is an experience in and of itself.
  • Donut + Dog - interesting takes on hot dogs and doughnuts mean that you always find something new

Places You must Explore While in the City: 

Nashville's Hidden Gems:

  • The Bookshop - gorgeously curated tiny bookstore with a fantastic selection and a wonderful owner.
  • Five Points Tacos - great food truck with fantastic nachos.
  • Nadeen's Hermitage Haven - incredible local food with a very down-to-earth atmosphere, hidden in a suburb full of chain restaurants. Especially good for breakfast.
  • Pen & Ink Arts - charming art store focusing on calligraphy.
  • Cafe India - fantastic Indian food in an ultra casual location means amazing prices for great food.
  • Gift Horse - fun, playful items that you didn't know you needed.

Other Great Places and/or Things in Nashville:


Brette’s Nashville Picks:

Best Places to Eat in Nashville: Loveless Cafe