Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack
123 Ewing Dr., Cobblestone Corners
This requires a long wait, but the fried chicken is worth it. It comes in four levels of hotness—mild to extra-hot—and they don't mess around. One of our team suffered the consequences for the entire evening after. The shack, and yes, it’s a shack, is open late but be prepared to wait up to forty-five minutes for an order since it's all made fresh and comes straight from the teeny kitchen in the back. You can also call and place your order in advance, or visit their second location on Nolensville Pike.
2007 Belmont Blvd, Nashville
Bongo Java is another major hangout in Nashville. When we passed by on a sunny day in the winter, there was a crowd sitting at the tables on the front porch, happily chatting the afternoon away. Bongo Java serves a great brunch. GP got their fabulous tofu veggie scramble on several mornings to arm her for a day on the set of Country Strong.
Ugly Mugs Coffee and Tea
1886 Eastland Ave., Lockeland Springs
While in Nashville, GP got her Drews Brews coffee every morning from Ugly Mugs. The space itself is airy and expansive, perfect for a full day of freelancing or reading the Sunday paper sprawled on one of the couches.
Frothy Monkey Coffeehouse
2509 12th Ave. S, 12South
Always bustling with students, freelancers, and passersbys, this cozy shop sprawls through asmall house including a porch, which is lovely in the summer. Come early for coffee, workthrough the afternoon and finish the day with their stellar dinner options. There are several other locations throughout the city, including Downtown and the Nations.
Marché Artisan Foods
1000 Main St., Lockeland Springs
A sister to Margot Café and Bar, this European-style eatery serves locally-sourced breads and pastries, seasonal tartines, crepes, and croque madame sandwiches. The seating area is spacious, airy, and light-filled; and looks like a great place to get some work done or enjoy coffee with your friends.
701 Woodland St., East Nashville
A one-stop shop for all your organic groceries, as well as a great salad and soup bar, smoothies and juices (and we love that they keep bees on the rooftop). The staff of hipsters here are always friendly and happy to help. There's a second location in the Gulch.
Drew’s Brews Coffee
Drew is the man behind the brews at the best coffee shops and restaurants in Nashville. A quirky character and a true craftsman (he lives in an ex-motorcyle gang meeting place that he is rehabbing); he hand roasts his famous coffee beans and writes each label himself.
Olive & Sinclair Chocolate
1628 Fatherland St., Lockeland Springs
Scott Witherow started this chocolate factory in 2009 after three years of gathering machines, cacao beans, and parts from all over the world. The chocolate itself is some of the most flavorful we’ve ever experienced and the combinations are amazing. The day we were there, Scott was excited about a new variety he’d made with Dominican beans. It was really unusual and the cacao itself had a fruity taste. The cinnamon chili chocolate is the best interpretation we’ve tried of Mexican chocolate and beware of the espresso chocolate—delicious, but one piece is like a potent doppio espresso. Each wrapper’s design, is, like the chocolate inside, exquisite.
150 3rd Ave. S, Downtown
Historically, Downtown Nashville is the farthest thing from a gourmet destination, but Southernaire Market is looking to change all that. This elevated grocery store stocks its shelves with all sorts of artisanal edibles as well as a butcher counter, seafood case, and fresh, locally-sourced produce. Also nice: A small but very good to-go menu (gumbo, salad, panini), and great coffee.