*This article is updated each year, most recently updated in March 2022 by Alissa Harb.
As Nashville continues to expand on a minute-to-minute basis, its individual neighborhoods welcome a rapid influx of new restaurants, bars, retail, and more. One Nashville neighborhood that continues to see change is The Gulch. A destination beloved by residents and tourists alike, you’re bound to pass a bachelorette party or two mingling among the locals here. Whether you’re looking to try a new spot or planning a weekend trip to Nashville, this guide has everything you need to know about the bustling, centrally-located neighborhood known as The Gulch (not to be confused with North Gulch … Nashville has lots of neighborhoods to keep up with these days!).
For a relatively small area, The Gulch is home to some of Nashville’s tastiest and trendiest restaurants. You’ll find Virago‘s creative and shareable sushi and Moto‘s fresh and indulgent pasta selections. Also calling The Gulch home is Nashville mainstay Arnold’s Country Kitchen, an iconic meat-and-three, as well as local barbecue favorite Peg Leg Porker. Kayne Prime and STK offer up a high-end steakhouse atmosphere, while Sunda brings in the flavors of Southeast Asia, and The Gumbo Bros infuses a little Cajun comfort. Enjoy the many flavors of The Gulch!
- 404 Kitchen: This European-influenced restaurant is great for a night out when guests are in town. Chef Matt Bolus creates consistently delicious menus, and his reputation precedes him.
- Adele’s: Don’t leave without a taste of their famous kale salad and JW potatoes. This spot is great for groups, and we always recommend ordering multiple dishes so you can taste a little bit of everything.
- Arnold’s Country Kitchen: Serving Nashville for over 30 years, Arnold’s promises a “meat and three” experience that will satisfy all of your Southern cravings.
- Bar Louie: Grab a cocktail and order from a menu of elevated bar favorites like burgers, flatbreads, and loaded tots. This gastropub has a great patio complete with a fire pit!
- Biscuit Love: Risk it for the biscuit! No, really, prepare to wait in line for a taste of those famous “bonuts” or the hidden menu item: The Nasty Princess, a hot chicken biscuit topped with sausage gravy.
- Burger Republic: As you’d expect, you’ll find plenty of inventive burgers (and veggie burgers!) on the menu here. But, don’t leave without a taste of the Nashville hot tots.
- Carne Mare: Located in W Nashville, Carne Mare is a contemporary Italian chophouse that wows. Chef Andrew brings his experience in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, to the table with menu highlights like octopus carpaccio, salt-baked sea bass wrapped in fig leaves, and porchetta-spiced roast prime rib.
- The Chef & I: The husband-wife duo behind The Chef & I brings an immersive dinner experience and fantastic tasting menu to The Gulch.
- The Dutch: Also located in W Nashville, The Dutch is the brainchild of Chef Andrew Carmellini, Josh Pickard, and Luke Ostrom — the trio behind New York City’s beloved Italian taverna, Locanda Verde. The menu is a carefully curated selection of dishes that range from American classics to unique options like Smoked Ricotta Ravioli and Pecan Duck with Dirty Rice.
- Emmy Squared: Serving Detroit-style pizza, this New York-founded restaurant has made a splash in the Nashville restaurant scene. Try the hot chicken pizza or the hot chicken wedge if you’re looking for some Music City-style heat.
- The Gumbo Bros: For a taste of the deep South right here in Nashville, The Gumbo Bros is the place to go. Before a night out, it’s a great place to fill up on hearty Cajun comfort foods like gumbo, fried seafood, and po’boy sandwiches. (If you’re feeling adventurous, go for the fried Louisiana alligator.)
- Kayne Prime: Known as one of Nashville’s best steakhouses, Kayne Prime promises an exquisite experience whether you grab a drink and apps at the bar or settle in for a multi-course meal.
- Marsh House: Light and bright, the restaurant inside the Thompson Hotel has made a name for itself as a seafood destination in Nashville. Enjoy brunch, happy hour, or dinner here.
- Milk & Honey: Hailing from Chattanooga with rave reviews, Milk & Honey offers a little bit of everything. Serving brunch, breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, and juice, there’s not much you can’t find!
- Moto: This Italian restaurant has an extensive wine list and homemade pasta. Don’t miss the crispy artichokes or strozzapreti pasta with lobster, Boursin cream, and yuzu butter bread crumbs
- Otaku Ramen: Where slurping is allowed! Order a bowl of Tennessee Tonkotsu and warm up from the inside out.
- Party Fowl: If it’s hot chicken you want, Party Fowl is your place. You can find everything from a hot chicken po’boy to hot chicken poutine on the menu.
- Peg Leg Porker: With barbecue that’s smoked fresh every day and Southern sides made with love, Peg Leg Porker serves mouth-watering meals. Enjoy a boozy slush alongside your BBQ!
- The Pub: At the corner of 11th and Pine, you’ll find The Pub, an authentic English eatery with an atmosphere that’s both cozy and bustling at once. They offer a full menu of favorites like fish and chips, but it’s also a great spot for grabbing a beer and watching the game!
- Saint Añejo: For Mexican and margaritas, head to Saint Añejo. They have a great happy hour and serve brunch on the weekends (hello, breakfast tacos!).
- Sambuca: A Nashville mainstay, Sambuca has been around since long before The Gulch became the happening, tourist-friendly destination it is today. They offer a wide variety of updated American classics in a cozy lounge atmosphere, plus live music every day!
- STK: For a scene-y steakhouse with a more lively atmosphere, try STK. The menu includes far more than just steaks.
- Stock & Barrel: Burgers and bourbon are the reasons to visit Stock & Barrel. A long list ensures you’ll find a favorite of them both.
- Sunda: In the heart of The Gulch, Sunda serves up modern interpretations of dishes from all over Southeast Asia.
- Superica: Offering up a fun atmosphere (complete with a large outdoor patio), Superica specializes in Tex-Mex favorites like nachos, fajitas, tamales, and a selection of creative margarita options. Their guacamole is not to be missed!!
- Virago: Located in between Moto and Saint Añejo, the sexy space serves the sushi we’ve loved since they were still in Midtown. Order the crispy rice + spicy tuna!
- Whiskey Kitchen: The menu is chef-inspired pub food, and the options range from wraps and wood-fired pizzas to Creole shrimp and grits.
The Gulch is home to its fair share of fine dining, but there are plenty of options for a quick-service stop to fuel your explorations, too!
- Blue Stripes Cacao Bar: Heads up, chocolate lovers! Celebrating it as a superfood, Blue Stripes incorporates cacao into everything from oatmeal and parfaits to sandwiches, to an extensive beverage menu of both caffeinated drinks and cocktails.
- E+ROSE Wellness Cafe: Ideal if you’re looking for a nutritious energy boost, E+ROSE offers healthy lunch options like salads, superfood bowls, picture-perfect layered toasts, plus a selection of smoothies and fresh juices.
- Potbelly Sandwich Shop: If you’re exploring Nashville on foot and want to keep the momentum going, the hearty sandwich selection at Potbelly is a great option.
- Taziki’s: With several locations around Nashville, Taziki’s offers a super fresh menu of Mediterranean-inspired options like gyros, Greek salads, skewers, and more.
- Turnip Truck: Turnip Truck is more than just a grocery store. Their hot bar, salad bar, juice bar, and deli provide options for any meal of the day.
The Gulch has become a weekend destination for everything from morning coffee to rooftop cocktails. You could easily eat and drink your way through the area and touch on all of your favorite beverages … within just a few feet. Grab a juice from I Love Juice Bar, enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail at Gertie’s inside 404 Kitchen, or join the nightlife scene at L.A. Jackson.
- Barista Parlor: While there are several locations around town, The Gulch is home to not one, but two Barista Parlor outposts — one on Magazine Street and one in the new W Nashville hotel. This hip coffee hotspot is well-loved (and well-‘grammed) for a reason.
- Gertie’s Bar: Tucked inside of 404 Kitchen, this bar serves a select menu of food, as well as the craft cocktails you’d expect.
- Hops + Crafts: A local favorite spot, Hops + Crafts features 36 taps of local and regional beers and a menu of shareable snacks.
- I Love Juice Bar: Grab a green juice or smoothie, açaí bowl, or toast at this healthy juice bar where everything possible is plant-based, organic, and gluten-free.
- Killebrew: Located on the main floor of the Thompson hotel, Killebrew serves Revelator coffee, pastries by Chef Lisa Marie White, and a selection of grab-and-go items.
- L.A. Jackson: On the rooftop floor of the Thompson, you’ll find L.A. Jackson, a beloved rooftop bar with indoor and outdoor space. They recently added brunch to their offerings so that you can enjoy skyline views with your mimosa.
- Up Rooftop Lounge: On top of the Fairfield Inn and Suites, check out Up, another rooftop bar with gorgeous views. Sip a cocktail and watch the sun setting over Nashville.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Music City if not for a few live music options at every turn. While there are always opportunities to catch live music around town, The Gulch offers two more unique and intimate options than what you’ll find downtown — Rudy’s Jazz Room and Station Inn. Plus, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for play in The Gulch, perfect for kids-at-heart. Don’t forget to snap a pic or two at some of Nashville’s iconic murals, too!
- 16-Bit Bar & Arcade: A sprawling, high-energy space with plenty to do, 16-Bit offers 30+ classic arcade games plus a selection of playful cocktails with names like the Hulk Hogan (Blueberry vodka, lemonade, the original Bomb Pop) and the Lisa Frank (vodka, fruit punch, sprite, watermelon Pucker, pineapple rum, and an Airhead rainbow sour belt).
- Pins Mechanical: A true playground for grown-ups, Pins Mechanical offers pinball, foosball, ping pong, duckpins (which is essentially “miniature” bowling), bocce ball, and more. They also offer an extensive lineup of draft beer and cocktails. They don’t serve food, but outside food is welcome!
- Rudy’s Jazz Room: Step out for a night of authentic jazz in Music City. Rudy’s Jazz Room has tunes seven nights a week, not to mention delicious drinks and bites to accompany.
- Station Inn: Americana, country, and bluegrass music rule Station Inn. For a unique experience, attend a Bluegrass Jam, where musicians circle up and play together, often improvising to achieve stunning results.
A range of shopping exists in The Gulch. From both high-end and trendy clothing to vintage guitars and artisan chocolates, the variety means everyone in your group can find something to browse. Lucchese is one of just three flagship stores, and it houses some of the most luxurious boots and leather accessories in town. Patagonia and Lululemon are supplying Nashville with outdoor apparel and activewear. One things for sure, there is plenty of shopping to do in The Gulch.
- Blush: Blush is a women’s boutique that offers trendy clothing and accessories at an affordable price point.
- Carter Vintage Guitars: Self-proclaimed as Nashville’s friendliest guitar shop, Carter Vintage Guitars is a neat place to stop in, even if you’re not in the market for a new guitar.
- Design Within Reach: Shop 24 separate, fully decorated rooms in this modern interior design studio.
- e.Allen: From timeless little black dresses to trendy accessories, e.Allen has a variety of stylish women’s clothing and accessories.
- Finnleys: This laid-back shop offers a fun shopping experience where you can browse fashion-forward pieces at an attainable price point.
- King Baby Studio: Rock ‘n’ roll-inspired jewelry by Mitchell Binder fills King Baby Studio, and each piece is eye-candy.
- Kittenish: Jessie James Decker’s shop reflects her style – chic, fun, trendy, and functional. This spot also sells swimwear!
- Lucchese: Handcrafted and luxurious, the Lucchese boots and accessories are something special. Step into this flagship store and see the incredible craftsmanship of this brand.
- Lululemon: A perfect fit for young professional residents of The Gulch and tourists alike, Lululemon offers high-end athletic wear for both men and women.
- Paddywax Candle Bar: At Paddywax, you can purchase high-quality ready-made candles or join a candle-pouring workshop and make your own! They also offer at-home pouring kits and candle subscriptions.
- Parish: Country music star stylist Claudia Robertson Fowler opened Parish to bring upscale women’s clothing to The Gulch. Find designer denim and statement-making accessories.
- Patagonia: Relatively new to The Gulch, shop a large selection of Patagonia’s clothing, gear, and accessories.
- Pet Wants: This unique store sells fresh and highly nutritional food for your pets that’s free of fillers or animal by-products. They also deliver!
- Q Clothier and Rye 51: A dual concept store that offers both custom and ready-to-wear men’s clothing, Q Clothier and Rye 51 offer customized men’s clothing with pockets, monograms, cuffs, and more.
- Rustler Hat Co.: Offering a fun Nashville-centric experience, Rustler Hat Co. allows guests to schedule custom fittings to choose a hat that perfectly suits — then customize it with a combination of accessories to make it uniquely yours. (You can also book private experiences for groups of five or more!)
- Uncommon James: Kristin Cavallari founded this jewelry shop filled with sophisticated and simple pieces. Additionally, find home accessories and apparel.
- Urban Outfitters: Clothing, accessories, home decor, gifts, and more fill Urban Outfitters located in the heart of The Gulch.
- Winky Lux: Winky Lux is a pop-up shop of the cruelty-free, paraben-free cosmetic brand. More than a store, Winky Lux offers an experience with photo opportunities around every corner.
HEALTH + BEAUTY
The Gulch is home to plenty of spots to pamper and take care of yourself. Whether it’s a blowout, haircut, or manicure you’re after, you’ll find it in The Gulch.
- The Blowout Co.: For your next big event or a special night out, book a blowout at The Blowout Co. They also offer makeup application services.
- The Gulch Nail Bar: And while you’re at it, stop into The Gulch Nail Bar and treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure at this luxurious salon.
- Scout’s Barbershop: Scout’s gives haircuts and colors to men, women, and children of Nashville. You’ll want to hang around in the comfortable, inviting space.
Odds are you’re just as likely to see a crew in cowboy boots as you are a crew in sweaty workout gear wandering around The Gulch. Whether you’re looking for a class that combines cardio, strength training, and mindfulness like barre3 or a class that will grow your endurance to the tune of loud music and a dark room like CycleBar, The Gulch has you covered.
- barre3: Classes at barre3 combine strength-conditioning, cardio, and mindfulness. The fun workout is 60 minutes and ends in meditation.
- Barry’s Bootcamp: A high-intensity interval workout that alternates between treadmill and floor work with weights and bands, Barry’s promises a challenging — yet rewarding — group class experience.
- CycleBar: Music-blasting and heart-pumping, CycleBar is a premium indoor cycling experience that will leave you feeling mentally and physically stronger.
- Hotbox Fitness: A kickboxing and strength-building workout, the atmosphere welcomes both novice and advanced kickboxers alike.
- Pure Barre: The total body workout is low-impact and uses thoughtful isometric movements to produce results.
- SHED Group Fitness: SHED Group Fitness classes focus on a different muscle group each day and lead you through a handful of workout stations, each lasting a few minutes.
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