Between my having implored you to come shop Fringe Supply Co. at Stitches South and the fact that I get asked this a lot, I thought I’d put together a list of some things to do/see and places to eat in Nashville — whether you’re coming April 23-26 for Stitches or just any old time. Keep in mind I’m still new here, so some of this is first-hand and some is based on reputation. But I hope you’ll find it useful!
Haus of Yarn
My first yarn store and, thus, first love. It’s way out on the west side of town so you’ll need a car or a cab, but it’s big, bright, well-stocked and worth the trip. Note that their Yarn Bus (commanded by my dear friend Meg Strong) will be in the Stitches marketplace, so you can get a taste of it there if you don’t make it out to the mother ship.
Quite new and quite small, but what she has is good — a combination of knitting and sewing. And it’s in the Shoppes on Fatherland in East Nashville, see below. Pop in to Bella Bakery while you’re there for my favorite egg sandwich in town.
I’ve not been to Bliss yet, south of town in Brentwood, but hear great things about it. Like Haus, it’s not really near anything else on this list, so you’ll have to plan for it. They’ll also have a booth at Stitches.
This is Anna Maria Horner‘s new shop opening this summer in the 12 South neighborhood (see below), sadly not in time for Stitches but I’m mentioning it for the sake of anyone visiting/reading later on.
(Note: Haus, Nutmeg and Craft South are all Fringe Supply Co. stockists.)
There are so many amazing makers in this town and many of them either have walk-in hours or are happy to let you shop by appointment. Some (most?) of the following take appointments, just check their websites or contact them and inquire!
– Allison Volek Shelton of Shutters and Shuttles is the weaver whose work I so admire, and she shares studio space with Jamie and the Jones, who make all sorts of clothes and accessories I covet. Their very cool studio is southward in the Berry Hill neighborhood.
– Elizabeth Suzann designs beautiful, wearable clothes that are also made in her Berry Hill studio, very near Allison and J&J.
– Camellia Fiber Company, of course, is Rebekka Seale, who should be sharing my booth at Stitches if all goes as planned. So if you’re coming for that you can meet her there and buy her yarn at the show. Her studiomate is Lisa Garcia of Sonodora Handmade. They’ll be moving out of their current studio at the same time as Stitches, so you might have to try Lisa on a future visit if she can’t open up for you that particular weekend.
Nashville Flea Market
It’s one of the biggest and best in the country, fourth weekend of every month (except December) which coincides with Stitches — lucky you! There are also loads of antique malls in town, so look that up if you want even more or are not here on flea weekend.
The miles and miles of public trail system is one of my favorite things about Nashville. The east end is the best end. For the most scenic part of the (paved) trail, start at the trailhead in the far end of the Kohl’s parking lot in Donelson (10-15 min drive east of Nashville proper) and walk in the direction of the Percy Priest Dam.
There’s the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman, the sea of honkytonks on Music Row downtown, the Bluebird Cafe, Station Inn … and a billion other music venues, but I am not the one to advise on this subject, so you’ll have to consult the googles!
The hotspots for fancier dinners are Rolf & Daughters, City House and Husk, none of which I’ve been to yet. Two Ten Jack and Adele’s are both on my wish list as well. The newest hotspot is Butchertown Hall, near Fringe HQ, which I’ve been to several times and highly recommend — as long as you’re a meat eater! The hipster hotspot during daylight hours is Barista Parlor, and I do recommend breakfast/brunch there. Pinewood Social — coffee plus restaurant plus bowling alley — is worth a trip/meal. Crema coffee is both inside Pinewood and across the street, on Hermitage Ave.
I personally tend to like dives and diners and other sorts of places tourists might not hear about, though, so here are a few alternate recommendations that are in some cases not as conveniently located but well worth seeking out:
Riverside Grillshack (East Nashville)
Easily among the top-ten burgers I’ve ever eaten. It’s either carryout or eat in their tiny freestanding screened porch, so this one’s slightly weather dependent. No liquor license, either. But totally worth it.
Woodlands Indian (West End)
Tucked in the ground floor of a big apartment building at the intersection of two major thoroughfares, it’s a hole in the wall but the food is AMAZING. Vegetarian only — don’t let that dissuade you.
Bella Nashville Pizzeria (Farmer’s Market/Germantown)
In addition to the aforementioned egg sandwich Bella Bakery in East Nashville (more on that below), I highly recommend the wood-fired pizza at Bella Nashville Pizzeria in the Farmers’ Market building for lunch. Me, coming from the Bay Area — land of amazing wood-fired pizzas — I’d put Bella’s Margherita up against any of them!
You do need either a car or a cab for getting around Nashville but the nice thing is there are lots of great little clusters of shopping/dining establishments that you can be dropped at (or park once) and get quite a lot out of that one spot.
– Germantown is mostly for eating. The aforementioned Rolf & Daughters, City House and Butchertown Hall are all here (as is Fringe Supply Co., but we’ll be at Stitches!) along with Monell’s, where you should go if you like to gain 10 pounds in a single meal — southern food served family style at community tables (expect a wait). Also: Cupcake Collection, first-rate cupcakes. Food aside, there are some new little shops along 4th Ave, including a really appealing home goods store called Wilder. Our neighbor Nisolo handmade shoes will be moving right around that time so I’m not sure if they’ll have regular shop hours that week, but you should check! Also, Peter Nappi is incredible if you’re in the neighborhood.
– Farmers’ Market is not a district but a building on the edge of Germantown. It’s an actual working farmer’s market for the first part of the day, plus a plant nursery and an indoor building with several worthwhile tenants including the aforementioned Bella pizza, Jeni’s famously life-changing ice cream, a new taproom, and Batch Nashville which sells a lot of local goods, plus an Indian market. You can do it and Germantown together.
– East Nashville is hipster central and where most of the action is right now. Near the intersection of Gallatin Pike and South 10th St is the Five Points district, where you’ll find an assortment of eateries, wine store, etc. Marché is probably the hottest brunch spot in town, but three separate people have told me recently they went there for dinner and that’s the best-kept secret in town. From Five Points, it’s a three-block walk east to the Shoppes on Fatherland (see Nutmeg and Bella Bakery above, plus High Garden Tea), or a few blocks north on Gallatin to Barista Parlor, the most talked-about place in town. A little farther north on Gallatin is my friend Courtney’s darling general store, Hey Rooster, which is a must-visit.
– 12 South (a specific cluster of shops/restaurants on 12th Ave South) is where you’ll find Imogene+Willie, the famous jeans purveyor and boutique, and across the street will be Craft South come summer. There are several cute shops and notable restaurants, including the Lebanese joint Epice. Don’t miss Las Paletas popsicles.
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That’s FAR from comprehensive, but should give you at least a jumping off point. I’m sure lots of people will have other suggestions in the comments, too! And if you weren’t already planning to come for Stitches, maybe I’ll have given you some food for thought. And of course if you can’t make it, you can shop Fringe Supply Co. online anytime!
Meanwhile, have a great weekend, everyone—
All photos from my @karentempler Instagram feed — ROW 1 left: vintage sweaters at the flea market // ROW 1 right: Barista Parlor // ROW 2 left: the Luxurious Dining Area at Riverside Grillshack // ROW 2 right: Rebekka Seale spinning in her studio // ROW 3 left: some of Allison Shelton’s handwoven scarves on display in Lisa Garcia’s studio // ROW 3 right: the Greenway // ROW 4 left: the flea market // ROW 4 right: Emily Howard and Morgan Williamson’s shared studio