Nashville natives and owners of 32-seat chefs’ tasting room The Catbird Seat and gastropub The Patterson House, Benjamin and Max Goldberg have been credited by some for inspiring the city’s current upswing. (Max was listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Food and Wine last year.) And there’s no denying that Nashville’s on the country’s radar now (along with Louisville and a smattering of other cities) much the way that Portland and Austin were over the last few years. Like any city, there are some must-stops that only the locals know, which is why we turned to the Goldberg Brothers to ask about favorite haunts and hidden gems in their hometown. They definitely delivered.
Best Coffee Shop
Max Goldberg: Barista Parlor. It’s close to my house, the owner is amazing, and the coffee is fantastic. I love the space, they’ve really done well at utilizing every inch of real estate and it’s just this great little place to hole up and lose yourself for a few hours."
Benjamin Goldberg: I love Crema. The coffee is delicious, and the people there are so nice. I feel like I’m visiting family when I go there.
Best Lunch Spot
MG: I enjoy The Food Company in Green Hills. My favorite sandwich, The Rachel, has turkey grilled on marble rye with Swiss, local sauerkraut, and Russian dressing. It just hits the spot every time.
BG: Arnold’s Meat and Three is my favorite lunch spot. It’s a Nashville institution, and its cafeteria style setup and delicious, traditional Southern foods make it a totally unique experience. My favorites are the brisket, the tomato pie, and the bread pudding.
Best Dinner Spot
MG: I’m really into Rolf and Daughters right now. It’s in an old warehouse and they’ve really made the space very warm and inviting, not to mention it’s the best pasta I’ve had outside of Italy. They also have a really dynamic cocktail program and I love [the cocktail] Man About Town.
BG: Edley’s in 12S is one of my go-to’s. It’s in my neighborhood, so I can walk over there and grab a beer and an amazing plate of barbecue. I like the smoked brisket and my wife swears by the turkey. They have an assortment of sides that are so good, they really hold their own with the meat, and I admire that.
Best Hidden Gem
MG: Peter Nappi is a boot maker that is based here in Nashville and also in Italy. He creates boots, bags, and other goods that are the ultimate in style and will last forever. His studio is in an old meat packing plant and it houses his leather workshop and some really cool vintage furniture and finds from his travels. It also has boots and bags and other items for sale.
BG: Beacon Light Tea Room in Bon Aqua is about 45 minutes southwest of the city and worth every second of the drive. It’s been there since the ’30s, and it serves the best biscuits and homemade peach preserves I’ve ever had. My papa used to take us there when we were kids. It is the epitome of Southern hospitality.
Best Wine Bar
BG: Rumors Wine Bar has two locations—one on the east side of town and one in the Gulch. While the locations themselves vary greatly, they are both dedicated to offering a large selection of interesting, unusual wines. The laid-back staff is excellent at walking you through the list to help you select a wine you’ll like.
MG: Centennial Park is to Nashville what Central Park is to New York. Any time of the day you can find kids playing Frisbee, runners, and people walking their dogs. The park hosts a lot of cool festivals, like Shakespeare in the Park every year in August. Centennial is also home to the Parthenon, Nashville’s full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. If you’ve never seen it, it’s definitely worth checking it out.
Photo credits: Ben and Max Goldberg courtesy of Ben and Max Goldberg; Barista Parlor courtesy of Barista Parlor; Edley’s BBQ courtesy of Edley’s BBQ; Rumors 12th and Division courtesy of Rumors 12th and Division