By Sean McHugh
Nashville is a city comprised of an array of diverse neighborhoods – each one unique in and of itself. Granted, the number of neighborhoods in Nashville pales in comparison to the number of boroughs and subsequent neighborhoods in a Megalopolis such as New York City, but nevertheless, the decidedly smaller quantity can still seem daunting.
Over the next few of my posts, my hope is to work to challenge the tired conception of Nashville being a wholly “country” city, when in fact, the city’s growing numbers are turning Nashville into a culturally diverse hotbed. An inside look at the assortment of neighborhoods will be covered in what we’ll call “walking tours,” and once most major neighborhoods are covered, more granular looks at individual spots will be further examined.
The first installment in the Nashville “Walking Tour” series is the neighborhood of Hillsboro Village – a halfway point between the upscale, suburban neighborhood of Green Hills and Midtown Nashville.
Located on 21st Avenue towards downtown, Hillsboro Village a great spot to park get out and walk for a bit, do some shopping at a variety of boutiques and gift shops, and grab a bite to eat at a collection of different (and fantastic restaurants).
One of the most popular (and my personal favorite) restaurants in Hillsboro Village is Fido, a café right at the top of 21st Avenue. A great spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a quick cup of coffee, Fido offers a wide menu of varying tastes, and a rotating menu of excellent specials and entrée dishes (such as the salmon burger). Fido also carries local staple, Bongo Java Roasting Company coffee, so whether you need your food or caffeine fix, Fido has you covered.
Next stop on the walking tour of Hillsboro Village is perhaps the most popular restaurant in the whole neighborhood – The Pancake Pantry. The longest standing restaurant in Hillsboro Village since 1978, the name says it all, The Pancake Pantry is the premier provider of flapjacks and the like in all of Nashville. It is a must see on one’s first visit to Nashville, but plan on getting there early, because a lot of times the line to get in piles up all the way down the street before 9 AM!
The third stop on the walking tour of Hillsboro Village is another long standing neighborhood entity – Bookman, Bookwoman, a book store filled with a number of new, rare, and well worn books just waiting to be read by any lover of literature. Browsing the shelves and alcoves throughout the store is an absolute must, if not for the perfect book, then the generally cozy nature of the store itself.
Final stop on the walking tour of Hillsboro Village is Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams – a sweets shop specializing in desserts of the frozen variety. A fairly new addition to the Hillsboro Village scene, Jeni’s is a Nashville staple as far as local sweets and cuisine are concerned, grab a few scoops or one of their famous ice cream sandwiches, any option is bound to please.
Hillsboro Village is a great place to visit in Nashville if you’re looking for great shops and food on an open afternoon in Nashville. Be sure to check out the spots mentioned earlier as well as Village of Flowers, The Belcourt Theater, and Pangaea or any other spot in the neighborhood!