Order: To drink = Local Latte or Bongo Blend Coffee
To eat = Pete’s Breakfast Torta, Sweet Potatoes with Aioli Sauce
Something sweet = Cinnamon Espresso Cheesecake, Vegan Beet muffin
Average Price = $-$$
Perks: If there is one place that I wish I could take with me everywhere I went, Fido has that special place in my heart. Whenever I had even just an hour or so free in the afternoon,* I would walk down to Hillsboro Village, stop at the Village of Flowers to admire everything, and then go to sit at my favourite little reading/writing corner in Fido over a plate of sweet potatoes and coffee.
*Free time in college? What was that?
Caught My Eye: Cozy, neighbourhood vibe with wooden booths and oak chairs. Artwork on the walls. Breakfast all day. Happy Hour Wine. Good Vegetarian Options. At Christmastime, the entire place is decorated with snowflakes, lights, and ornaments. And you never know who you might run into: celebrity, musician, writer, or otherwise!
Also Try: Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie
- Hot and Cold
Order: Jeni’s Ice Cream (Pear & Riesling is my personal favourite)
Average Price: $-$$
Perks: If the line at Fido is ridiculous, which is normal for the weekends, and all you want is a cup of coffee or desert, hop on over to Hot and Cold. Another Bongo Java establishment, this little place offers Jeni’s Ice Cream, Bongo Bakery goods, and Las Paletas (authentic Mexican popsicles of all inventive flavours: chocolate cinnamon, strawberry mint, etc. etc.)
Caught My Eye: Chalk art on the walls. Pick up a copy of the Nashville NATIVE to catch up on the music/restaurant/city scene.
Also Try: Las Paletas – the avocado one is top notch
- Revelator Coffee Company
Order: Espresso + Milk
Average Price: $$
Perks: This coffee shop opened up just last year, and already has become a favourite coffee haunt in Nashville. The baristas are some of the friendliest, and I love the white booth that lines one wall of the thin coffee shop. Revelator is one of my top places to go to in the early morning (next to Fido, of course), when it’s a bit rainy out, and I need to get some writing done. Something about cozy, open white space, the succulents on the tables, and the smell of fresh-roasted coffee in the air, makes this a truly special space.
Caught My Eye: Blankets on the chairs. Flowers from The Village of Flowers, just down the street.
Also Try: Lemon Poppy-seed Scone or the Blueberry Muffin, both from Dozen Bakery in Nashville
- Jackson’s Bar and Bistro
Order: Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Average Price: $$
Perks: Jackson’s has an awesome outdoor patio that is perfect for summer/fall nights. They’re also open late, which is wonderful for a post-concert drink and late-night snack.
Caught My Eye: Candles on the tables and great appetizer selections. Christmas lights in the windows and around the deck.
Also Try: Shrimp Tacos
Order: Hot Chicken
Average Price: $-$$
Perks: McDougal’s is one of the top spots in Nashville for fried chicken, and while I personally have never tried it, my friends definitely vouch for it being one of the best. Always busy. Always smells delicious.
Caught My Eye: License plates that line the fence. Picnic tables out front. Country music in the air.
- Lucky Belly
Order: Truckstop Burger and fries
Perks: We would come here all the time after orchestra rehearsal. Back when it was still Zumi Sushi (no burgers yet), I’d order a couple rolls of sushi and sit on the deck. Now, the establishment offers both burgers and sushi, and to be honest, I still do the same as before. Needless to say, the burgers are wonderful here, and the fries can’t be beat.
Caught My Eye: Good Happy Hour deals. The most wonderful sunlit patio across from Fannie Mae Dees Park. Spiked Milkshakes. Upstairs Karaoke.
Also Try: Lunchtime Bento Box Special
A Thousand Faces = for cards
Pangaea = for gifts/jewelry/scarves
Village of Flowers = for the most beautiful and whimsical arrangements
Bookman/Bookwoman = for a wide selection of used books
Jeni’s Ice Cream = for the Pear + Riesling flavour