Like a Local Reviews

Downtown Nashville Hotspots, March 1, 2020

Last year, a friend commented that we might be the only locals she knows to go downtown as often as we do. Downtown has a bad rap for being loud (it is), full of tourists (definitely), expensive (it’s definitely gotten pricier over the years), and a place that locals avoid (true).

But we love going downtown during the day! Yes, it’s loud; we avoid the honky tonks and make Skyler wear earphones. Yes, it’s full of tourists; they’re spending money in our beautiful city, generating that tax revenue. Yes, it’s not as cheap to drink down there as it was a decade ago, but there’s more to do than guzzle beers at Tootsie’s.

There’s always a new restaurant to try, some new photo opp to pose by, some ridiculous tourist activity to laugh at. We aren’t nature people, but we love walking around a city, so we take advantage of the fact that we live in one. And nothing entertains our baby more than being chauffeured around and people watching (which doesn’t get much better than downtown on a sunny day

So, one beautiful, sunny, almost-warm Saturday before the end of the world, we headed downtown for a little afternoon adventure that included a couple new (to us) spots and one of our favorite local businesses. Come along with me for a quick jaunt. 🙂

Martin’s BBQ

We’ve been talking about trying this place for literal years. I’m so glad we finally went! It was SO GOOD. I don’t even like barbeque that much, but it was delicious. The space is HUGE inside, so this is a great place for groups to go. Be warned though that there are a lot of stairs (and I’m not sure if they have an elevator) so the top floor may not be accessible to strollers or wheelchairs. They didn’t have any obvious high chairs, and our lobster didn’t fit on the picnic tables, but Skyler was content to hang out on the ground as long as we fed him some of our meal.

E + Rose Wellness Cafe

I’ve been a fan of E + Rose since they opened, not just because my best friend is the area manager, but because their food is healthy and delicious. You can’t really go wrong with anything you order, whether it’s one of their smoothies, bowls, or juices (the Sea Green is my favorite) or some of their vegan food (the RAWcos are unexpectedly amazing).

There are now two downtown locations: 3rd avenue (across from City Tap House), which is temporarily closed, and 5th avenue on the corner of Church, which is set up like a bodega, is larger than the 3rd avenue location, and serves coffee.

If you ever find yourself at this location, give a shout out to Tina, and tell her Ashley sent you. 🙂

Pancho and Lefty’s Cantina

This taco joint took over what used to be one of our favorite rooftop spots in town, so we were pleased to discover that the rooftop is still there, and has been rearranged to accommodate more people.

Given that my husband is ever on a quest to find the best margaritas in town, we had to sample what they had to offer. We are pleased to report that they were pretty damn good! Skyler was a huge fan of the menus, the limes, and the attention he received from the waitress.

We will definitely be returning to these spots once we’re allowed to leave the house and go eat again. In fact, I’ll probably add Martin’s to the next downtown tour I give a visiting friend.

What downtown restaurants or shops should we check out on our next in-town adventure?

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