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For a quick fix of America’s premier music city – Nashvillian Caroline Hallemann choose half a dozen experiences for first, second and umpteenth-time visitors alike
Nashvillians know how to do hearty breakfasts. Start the day right at Pancake Pantry in the lively Hillsboro Village neighbourhood, where you can carb-load on stacks of buttermilk pancakes and waffles. Or visit the aptly named Biscuit Love, which serves up a legend-worthy fried chicken thigh sandwich nicknamed the ‘East Nasty’. With both of these restaurants, the early bird gets the eats: if you opt for a lie in, be prepared to queue up.
White’s Mercantile on 12th South – which is owned by country singer/songwriter Holly Williams, stocks a selection of local skincare products by brands such as Clary Balm and Thistle Farms. If you’re lucky, the Instagram-ready Amelia’s Flower Truck will be parked right out front.
Hot chicken – fried chicken doused in a spicy cayenne pepper sauce – is a must while you’re in town. The strips from Hattie B’s, which come with white bread and sides such as pimento mac and cheese, are a good foray into the city’s signature dish. But if you want the real deal, go to Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, where the dish is said to have originated. It’s a bit off-the-beaten-path for some, but it’s a pilgrimage that’s worth the trip.
Nashville didn’t earn its Music City moniker for no reason. Every night of the week, you’ll find plenty of honky-tonks – the nickname for Southern bars with live country music – in the city’s Lower Broadway district. Just walk until you hear a tune you like, then head inside the bar. Prefer to go out with a plan? Robert’s Western World, which serves up old-school country music, cold beer and fried bologna sandwiches, is always a safe bet. Be sure to bring small dollar bills to tip the band.
In the heart of Centennial Park, Nashville has its very own Parthenon, a replica of the Athenian original, complete with a 42ft statue of Athena herself inside.
Hatch Show Print is a historic letterpress operation that has been running since 1879. Once a Lower Broadway mainstay, this fully functioning print shop is now tucked inside the 5th Avenue lobby of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Take a tour of the space – tours run daily at 12:00, 14:00 and 15:30, and cost $18 per person – or just pop in to pick up a vintage-inspired concert poster, set of postcards - or an original piece of art.