Brad Paisley in Loews Magazine
Nashville

Any Brad Paisley fans out there? We thought so! Well, you’re in luck, because we have the country superstar’s personal recommendations for getting the best out of Nashville, his beloved hometown.

Paisley recently spoke to our Loews Magazine team to share his favorite spots across Music City. Read on to get the scoop – and look for a copy of Loews Magazine during your next stay at one of our hotels and resorts. It’ll be right there in your room.

Where To Eat:

To start a full day of eating right, Paisley chooses from one of two beloved local eateries for breakfast: either Noshville, a Jewish deli with a Nashville twist, or Pancake Pantry near his alma mater, Belmont University. “I went to college and was fed by Pancake Pantry,” he says. “They knew me by name.” Long lines of college kids and others waiting for giant pancakes often flank the local staple. He’s also partial to Noshville’s New York deli sandwiches and traditional breakfast dishes. An added bonus for country music fans, he says, is that fellow singer and hit-maker Vince Gill is often found eating there.

Such casual eats include the hot chicken at Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish. A Nashville specialty, hot chicken combines pan-fried chicken with spicy seasoning, served on white bread with a pickle, and is a necessity while in town. He’s also a fan of Pinewood Social, a multipurpose bar/restaurant/bowling alley. Located in an old trolley barn with food that Paisley describes as “gourmet dive food,” their grub includes classics like pot roast and fried chicken.

Sheri Oneal Photography

Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish is a signature stop in Nashville. Photo by Sheri Oneal

In addition, the “River Bank” singer won’t let his friends or family leave without visiting a “meat and three,” a Nashville-style restaurant where guests choose which meat dish they prefer with three vegetables (and macaroni and cheese counts as a vegetable, according to Paisley). “My family is fed quite often by Barbara’s Home Cookin in Franklin (just outside of Nashville),” he says, but he also likes The Pie Wagon, another meat and three in the city proper.

The Perfect Cup:

Paisley describes himself as a “coffee nut,” so even if there’s no time for breakfast, he’ll take friends to grab a cup of joe, particularly now that Nashville’s coffee culture has caught up to that of the rest of the world. He’s partial to Crema, an award-winning shop in the downtown area that even offers coffee classes.

Where To Shop:

When it comes to western gear, Paisley cautions that moderation is key:

“You want to make sure you don’t go too nuts. You don’t want to buy a bolo tie and have jeans tucked in your boots.”

A few of his favorite stops include Two Old Hippies, a live music venue and store in The Gulch (an eclectic and trendy neighborhood on the fringes of downtown Nashville). Paisley recommends it because it is offbeat, featuring clothes and accessories with “bling,” not to mention “everything from rare, animal skin pelts to acoustic instruments,” he says.

One of his other favorite shopping destinations is the quirkily named Katy K’s Ranch Dressing. “Katy K’s Ranch Dressing on 12th [Avenue] South is where you go if you want the Western shirt with piping to look like Marty Stuart,” Paisley says.

When it comes to buying instruments, he suggests heading out of downtown and toward city stalwart Gruhn Guitars, located on Eighth Avenue South, for its extensive collection and staff that are the foremost authorities on guitars and guitar shopping. “It is one of the best places in the world for that,” he says. “That’s where you are going to find what you want.”

Closer to his suburban home is Artisan Guitars in The Factory at Franklin, which specializes in custom, hand-built guitars. “It is one of my favorite places because it is a nice listening environment,” he describes. “You’re not going to compete with a lot of guys playing ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ ”

Where To Hear Great Live Music:

Paisley recommends the honky-tonks on lower Broadway, such as Tootsies World Famous Orchid Lounge. With local musicians playing almost any time of day or night and no cover charge, it is a great place for getting a feel for Nashville’s musical energy. “In Nashville, there is no excuse for not getting your fix of hearing good stuff,” he says.

To start off his Nashville live music tour, Paisley recommends the Grand Ole Opry, where he has been a member since 2001. In November and December, the Opry travels downtown to the historic Ryman Auditorium. “It is truly unforgettable,” he describes.

Grand Ole Opry2

Some of music’s biggest stars have graced the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.

For a more casual listening spot, The Bluebird Cafe in Green Hills is a must for hearing songwriters show off their craft in its purest form, as is Douglas Corner on Eighth Avenue South, which is lesser-known but features accomplished songwriters. Guests of Douglas Corner also witness the intimate experience of a writer explaining the creative process. For a louder, more energetic night out in Music City, downtown’s Wildhorse Saloon on Second Avenue is where he sends his guests to learn to line dance.

The Perfect Nightcap:

To end a night on the town, Paisley walks guests across the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge (formerly the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge) downtown. “It has a view that is pretty daunting and inspiring,” he explains. “You see a skyline that looks like Bruce Wayne built it [a reference to the AT&T Building that is often called ‘the Batman Building’], and we have the sound of music coming from everywhere. When you are on the bridge you can hear the music on Broadway.”

That’s the sweet sound of Brad Paisley’s Nashville.

Written by: Margaret Littman