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Two of the best up-and-coming and hip neighborhoods in Nashville include Germantown and The Gulch.

North of Downtown is the historic Germantown area that is undergoing a transformation. It has beautiful old home, small cafes like Red Bicycle Coffee & Crepes at 1200 5th Ave. N., bakeries including the award winning, The Cupcake Collection at 1213  6th Ave. N. I loved the red velvet and the sweet potato cupcakes.

Nashville Farmers Market:  Head to the farmers market at 900 Rosa Parks Blvd. that is open every day. Here in the Farm Sheds you can find flowers, fruits and vegetables along with a good selection of local jams and jellies. Inside in the Market House you can find  a selection local shops and restaurants including those featuring coffee, sushi, barbecue and desserts.

Rolf and Daughters:  700 Taylor St. in Germantown. This is an excellent restaurant in an industrial space that is well-worth the visit. It has both indoor and outdoor seating and a very creative menu.

City House:  I had one of the best meals I have had recently at this eclectic Germantown restaurant. It is located in an old building that has been transformed to an industrial look with open ductwork.  It has a large bar overlooking the kitchen, a large dining room, bar and screened porch for those perfect Southern nights. It features a Southern take on Italian peasant food with a number of small plates, salads, pizzas (some can be topped with an egg), pastas and main courses.

I loved the trout prepared in a wood-burning oven with breadcrumbs, raisins, peanuts and lemon. I chose the roasted broccoli side with sorghum, walnuts, cranberries and a touch of red onion. A lovely light rhubard sorbetto and a great Italian rose wine made for a perfect dinner!  1222 4th Ave.

The Gulch: An up and coming neighborhood with new condo projects, retail stores and restaurants.

Arnold’s Country Kitchen: Near the Gulch at 605 8th Ave S, this is a local institution serving wonderful southern cooking. The meat options change daily so go for the meat plus three where you get your meat entrée and add three sides. I love the brisket with squash casserole, mac and cheese and collard greens.  I also like the corn bread and the pecan pie.  You might go early as people line up almost out the door at noon.  You go through a cafeteria line before heading to small tables as well as longer communal tables. The food was really outstanding to head over fast!

The 404 Hotel and 404 Kitchen:  Small contemporary designed restaurant with a small hotel attached with five king rooms. 404 12th St. Ave. S. in the Gulch neighborhood.  I will definitely stay here on my next trip!



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