An Ode to Nashville Coffee

Since the last two weeks were ‘heavy’ topics discussing Long Distance Relationships, I thought I would lighten it up a bit with something light! As some of you know, we recently relocated to Boston from Nashville. The two cities couldn’t be more different… (maybe I’ll write about that later, once I get to know Boston better).

Anyways, I have to admit, that I miss Nashville a bit… Maybe it’s the familiarity, the simple comfort of knowing what’s around you. To be honest, I never felt like I fit in, but there are some things I definitely miss about Nashville.

After having lived there for almost three years and having visited for another three of which I before we were married, we got to have our favorites. I think it’s pretty well known that the foodie scene is erupting in Nashville, but I leave that topic for the food bloggers. One thing that I really learned to cherish were my coffee spots.

A café can be a looking glass into a city. The eyes into the soul of the city, a glimpse of who lives there and what they do… (although, we don’t want to overgeneralize, of course). The hubby and I are definitely coffee aficionados, and we love to go on a Saturday afternoon when the business has died down a little, and sit and enjoy a little caffeinated conversation.

As we get busy exploring all of the newness around us, I get a little nostalgic on the coffee shops of our days past in Nashville. So here are my three favorite coffee shops and drinks from their current menus.

Coffee Shop #1: Fido and the Grey Skies

(Seriously- that could be the name of a children’s book…) Located in Hillsboro Village, Fido is a staple among Vanderbilt students, those that work in the medical center (especially during weekdays).  Coming here during lunch hour or for brunch on the weekends can test your patience- especially due to the crazy number of tourists in the city. Regardless, the food is great, and the coffee even better.

Back in the day, when the hubby didn’t have a car in the city and practically lived on campus, Fido was our staple (at least when I would visit).  The vibe here is pretty chill, but don’t expect to get any work done unless you come here during off hours (think maybe an hour or two after breakfast/lunch/dinner). It’s usually pretty quiet during dinner too- if you prefer to not yell across the table to your dinner companion.

When I worked just down the street, the co-workers and I would come down for lunch when we had some time to spare- best thing to do is get in line by 11:30 to beat the lunch craze. It’s a great place to have an off-site meeting, or get together with friends when you want that busy, fun vibe.

Sip, sip

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My ABSOLUTE FAVORITE COFFEE drink in the city of Nashville is Grey Skies. I am also a big tea aficionado, and this drink expertly combines flavors from Earl Grey (mainly the flavor of bergamot) with coconut milk, espresso, and a little bit of chocolate on top. Of course, the only way to drink this is the whole way- whole milk + coconut milk = rich, creamy goodness

 I’ve tried it both iced and hot- and hot is the way to go. Just picture a rainy day. You, your umbrella, and a hot cup of Grey Skies. What could be more perfect?

 Fido has a seasonal menu for their specialty drinks so, make sure you try this out before Fall/Winter hits!

Coffee Shop #2: Frothy Monkey (The Nations) and the Havana Latte

Frothy Monkey (alongside Fido’s) have been Nashville staples for a very long time. FM finally opened up a second location in The Nations and frankly- after they did, we sort of stopped going to the 12 South shop (Crowds, tourists, limited parking, etc.). Don’t get me wrong, The Nations locations gets very busy with students etc. especially during the school year, but it has a lot more space. We usually come here when we actually have work to do. The noise level is probably in the medium range, but conducive enough to accomplish what you set out to do (especially during after lunch hours).

On Saturdays, we’ll usually grab a sandwich (either the PMP or the Royale) and a drink, and then get to work. It’s easy to dedicate at least a few hours of work here. If you’re visiting the city and don’t have to hit the grind on a Saturday, then it’s a fun place to grab a bite and then head on over to the Project 615 or Able Fashions for some souvenirs. (Don’t forget to take a picture with the Old Man mural) Not to hate on the 12 South location- if you’re visiting, then I would go to 12 South instead- that neighborhood has a lot more going on than in The Nations.

Sip, sip- 

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The Havana latte (Frothy Monkey recently revamped their drink menu) is the Frothy Monkey take on a Cuban. Think wonderfully, rich condensed milk with hints of cinnamon, vanilla, and star anise (my personal fav). The star anise is, in my opinion, what sets apart the Havana Latte from a usual Cuban. The flavor lingers on your tongue after you’ve had a sip and it is glorious.  I have tried this both iced and hot, and I most definitely prefer the iced version (which is odd for me, since I prefer hot drinks no matter the weather). I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like I get more flavor from the anise and the cinnamon when the drink is cold.

** The Havana Latte is on their seasonal drink menu- not sure when they switch their menus!

Coffee Shop #3: Barista Parlor Golden Sound and the Bourbon Vanilla

Barista Parlor Golden Sound offers a quiet reprieve from the bachelorette parties and tourists flooding the Gulch. Nestled just a few blocks away, the coffee shop is light and airy, and on nice weather days, they’ll open the large glass garage doors to let the breeze through.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen this place loud or crowded. If you really want a space to think- then this is a perfect spot. This is the coffee shop for nice quiet conversations, (where else you might have to yell across the table, much less fight for a table) where you still feel like a local. Golden Sound also offers a great atmosphere for actually getting work done. Your thoughts won’t be clouded by any blaring music.

Sip, sip-

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My go-to here is always the Bourbon vanilla (iced). It’s a nice cool drink, the vanilla flavor certainly lightens the flavor of the iced latte and although I’ve never it hot- I could imagine it being just as tasty. When a friend’s in town, and we need to meet somewhere close to downtown- I usually bring them here! Good for conversation, good for the coffee (not to forget they also carry lots of fancy chocolate bars as well). (Side note: they don’t carry a large food menu, etc.- they have some pastries, etc. and they also make biscuit sandwiches for breakfast)


OOTD

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Criss-Cross Sweater Tank–  LOFT on sale with extra 40% off!!

Modern Skinny White JeansAnn Taylor 

Jean Jacket- H&M 

Shoes- Target (very very old!)

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