If you’re planning a trip to Nashville, you probably already have catching some music and grabbing a spicy chicken sandwich at the top of your list. But if you’re a coffee lover and you’re not planning on a coffee crawl, you’re doing Music City all wrong.
On a recent trip to Nashville, I was pleasantly surprised (and maybe even a little shocked) by how authentic and abundant the local coffee scene truly is. And I bet your bottom dollar you will be as well. While it was difficult (and delicious) to narrow it down, these are the eight most celebrated coffee shops in Nashville.
Whether you pop in at the SoBro or East Nashville location, Crema is all about giving customers more and more reasons to love coffee. This budding in-house operation takes locally-crafted, environmentally-friendly coffee seriously.
This Nashville favorite invites you to take your coffee game to the next level. The pros at this “carbon neutral, zero waste coffee roaster” teach coffee classes to fellow coffee enthusiasts and promise you’ll become “more confident in your coffee skills.” And if you need a way to confirm their masterful credentials, just about anything on the menu will tell you all you need to know.
8th & Roast
8th & Roast is a beloved Nashville staple that now boasts two locations. Serving up consistently classic and exciting seasonal options, you’ll have your pick from endlessly delicious drinks. They’re also committed to brewing up “the freshest and most ethically traded coffee possible.”
For a chill and cozy vibe with nearby entertainment, head to the original location on 8th Avenue South. It’s located across from Zanies Comedy Club.
Frothy Monkey continues to branch out, and rightfully so. Locals and tourists alike just can’t get enough. Currently, this local coffee conglomerate has four primary locations. Check out 12 South, The Nations, East Nashville, or the Downtown spot. Each coffee house boasts an eclectic atmosphere, great coffee, tasty treats, a full menu, and good music.
If you’re going to Nashville with a big group with drastically different coffee desires, this Tennesee chain will hit the spot, no matter what you’re after. And there’s plenty of spacious seating.
Barista Parlor has laidback locations in East Nashville, Hillsboro Village, Germantown, and the Gulch. All four hotspots are frequented by locals. Priding themselves on attention to detail, your surroundings and drink selection will be equally well thought out.
This local legend says they “strive to blend art and commerce, support locally sourced artisan products, and sustain an atmosphere that cultivates beauty, creativity, and community.” As for drinks, their brews are nothing short of stellar and their crafty concoctions, like the CBDreamsicle, are absolutely worth writing home about.
If you happen to be in Germantown, stop by Steadfast Coffee, right off Taylor Street. They offer locally roasted coffee and a full menu. They also aim to “nurture” their patrons’ “sense of wonder” by offering incredibly innovative coffee concoctions.
Per Steadfast’s barista brainiacs, “The more we learn about the interplay between the beaker-and-lab science and the by-hand craftiness of coffee, the more ideas we have about ways to innovate our drink offerings beyond the typical flavor + espresso combinations.”
Commonly dubbed “a place to pause” by locals, Retrograde knows its way around regionally roasted beans. This warm and cool shop/venue showcases roasts from around the southeast. The coffee is top-notch, the food is divine, and the musical acts will remind you exactly what makes Nashville so special.
Their sister shop, Ugly Mugs, also comes highly recommended for those looking for an ultra-cozy coffee date with a sprinkle of fun.
Bongo Java is widely regarded as Nashville’s oldest coffee company. It was also the first Nashville-based roaster to provide organic, Fair Trade brews to the masses. If you go into any Nashville-based grocery store, you’ll likely spot it on the shelves.
If you want to pay homage to Music City’s coffee history, stop by the location on Belmont Blvd or East Nashville. If you’re staying in the Omni Hotel or passing through Johnny Cash Museum, you’ll find Bongo Java operations as well, and they’re totally worth the stop.
If you like what they’re serving up at Bongo Java, you may also want to check out Fido. It’s often considered the most well-liked coffee shop in the metro area. Located in the heart of Hillsboro Village, it’s pretty popular with all who enter, so be sure to arrive early if you want to sit and sip a while.
If you prefer no-frills, straightforward brews to flamboyant frappucinos, Sump Coffee is probably right up your alley. Proving less is often more, this local gem specializes in single-origin coffee and applause-worthy pour-overs.
At Sump, the roasters and baristas go the extra mile to get each cup of coffee exactly right. And while it’s not exactly located in the middle of everything, it’s one local coffee shop that’s definitely worth the detour.
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