Nashville – Music City and infamous hipster hangout – it’s full of eclectic neighborhoods and fun eateries. Drive around town and you’ll find everything from high-end steakhouses to hole-in-the-wall ethnic cuisine. Almost every tourist makes a stop at the Pancake Pantry, the Grand Ol’ Opry, or takes a drive down Broadway. It’s like a rite of passage.
But if you want to taste the places the locals go or want a little adventure, keep on driving past Broadway. We’ve got you covered. Travel over to East Nashville and hang out among the locals. This is the side of town where art meets grit meets local handspun hipster. You’re never sure who you’re going to find at a coffee shop in this area. Go there mid-morning and find circles of artistic, meaningfully-tattooed businessmen and musicians plotting creative strategy. You can just feel the air hum with creativity and the grinding of espresso beans.
Here are a few lesser-known places to eat in East Nashville that are budget-friendly and choc-full of personality.
The Best East Nashville Restaurants and Coffee Shops (You’ve Never Heard of)
- Pharmacy burger– The Pharmacy, Burger Parlor and Beer Garden – Voted Nashville’s #1 Burger. Has an impressive selection of burgers, German wurst and beer. We’ve had unique burgers here that we haven’t had anywhere else. Try the Stroganoff burger or Falafel burger if you’re vegetarian. They even have an old-school soda fountain. Plus you can eat outside in the Beer Garden under strings of twinkling lights
- Barista Parlor– top of the line coffee tucked away and housed in an old mechanic garage. The joke goes that the place is so cool that you have to take a hipster along to find it. These people know their coffee. You might think that $5 for a coffee is a bit steep (no pun intended), but think again. Barista parlor is to coffee what a fine wine bar is to alcohol. It’s worth it just to watch the coffee brewing process there.
- Marche– a European-style café and marketplace serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner in East Nash. You’ll also find pastries made fresh and a full coffee & espresso bar. It’s a popular place for brunch on the weekends, and prepare to spend at least $10 there. The crepes were amazing.
- Mas Tacos– You won’t be battling tourists at Mas Tacos, but you can guarantee all of the locals will be there. It’s a hole in the wall authentic Mexican restaurant. Tamales and tacos you won’t find anywhere else. Sweet potato quinoa and fried avocados were our favorites. And very affordable. Don’t go expecting fancy dining, Mas Tacos is something completely different, and better.
- Pied Piper Creamery– Pied Piper Creamery is housed in a historic house just off of five points in East Nashville. They make the ice cream locally, and it is amazing. And affordable. We can’t stop eating it. According to their website, Pied Piper has produced more than 250 flavors, sold more than 45,000 gallons of ice cream, and had visitors from more than 22 countries.
- Ugly Mugs– This place has a modern feel but friendly vibe. They serve specialty coffee and feel that all coffee mugs should be loved. (Even the old ugly ones that end up in yard sales.) You won’t believe the crazy assortment of mugs you’ll find here. And as customers, you tend to feel the same love and welcome as well.
Nashville is full of local, quirky eateries. Chances are, by the time this is published, a new hipster coffee shop will have sprung up….if you can find it 😉
What is your favorite undiscovered Nashville eatery?