Exploring Germantown and The Gulch






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 homes, 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 of 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.

I have been reading great press about the restaurant Henrietta Red for its oysters and seafood small plates. I can’t wait to try it on my next trip.

The Gulch

The Gulch is an up and coming neighborhood with new condo projects, retail stores, hotels 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 just read that the restaurant in moving across the street.

Little Octopus: Little Octopus is located in The Gulch at 505 12th Ave. S. It has a creative vegetable and seafood focused menu. The restaurant went from pop-up to permanent Gulch restaurant. I enjoyed the burrata salad with shrimp, kale, Peruvian beans and popped hominy served with an olive oil dressing. Southern Living’s one of best new restaurants in 2016.

Thompson Hotel: This is a luxury, boutique hotel, located in the Gulch at 401 11th Ave. S. It is a great place to stay in one of the most fun neighborhoods in the city to explore.  Make sure to eat at the Marsh House Restaurant, where Chefs John Besh and John Cameron have teamed up to cook great seafood. I stopped in for coffee and dessert and loved the atmosphere. There is also the L.A. Jackson, Killebrew Coffee shop just off the lobby, Thompson Hotel Coffee shop and a sleek Frye Boot Store.

Biscuit Love Gulch: At 316 11th Ave. S., this is a fun casual spot for breakfast or lunch featuring Southern specialties.

Barista Parlor Golden Sound: This is a great spot in the Gulch for coffee and food. They roast their coffee onsite. Magazine St.

Jackalope Brewing CompanyNamed after the mythical horned rabbit that co-founder and brewmaster Bailey Spaulding once believed was real, this is a local brewery that uses unique ingredients in its unpasteurized, unfiltered beers. You will find such offerings as the Love Bird, a wheat beer infused with raspberries and strawberries and the Thunder Ann, made with apricot and mango to highlight the citrus notes of this American pale ale. There are other ales, seasonal offerings, stouts and pilsners. Make sure to visit their tap room or set up a tour of their facility at 701 8th Ave. S. ZolliKoffee shares the taproom space and offers coffee drinks and tea.

Colts Chocolates: At 609 Overton, this is a great chocolate shop located in The Gulch. They feature many different chocolates and desserts including, the original Colts Bolts, Truffle Babies, Marie McGhee’s Bumble Bees, Salted Caramel Gooey Butter Bars, a chess pie, a white chocolate pecan pie and many more sweet treats. Their customer list reads like a who’s who of country music, celebrities, and even some political stars. Clients include Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Vince Gill, K.T. Oslin, Eddie Rabbit, Dwight Yoakam, and Garth Brooks.