Urban Cowboy B&B
1603 Woodland St., Lockeland Springs
Owner Lyon Porter opened Urban Cowboy in Nashville after his original Brooklyn location proved to be a big success. And the concept works just as well here: wildly original design at fair prices, which attracts a younger, hip crowd. It’s a big, historic Victorian mansion in East Nashville with eight guest suites—all are variations on a kind of threadbare, rustic mashup of the South and the Wild West (wood-plank floors, distressed leather club chairs, vintage Oriental rugs). One thing they all have in common: stand-alone clawfoot tubs. It’s a fun perk, even if you aren’t a bath person. And if you aren’t staying at the hotel, it’s still worth a visit to the Public House, Urban Cowboy’s bar, for the outstanding craft cocktails and just as outstanding small bites before heading into the rest of your night.
Two Ten Jack
1900 Eastland Ave., Lockeland Springs
As Nashville's first izakaya restaurant, Two Ten Jack (it's named after a Japanese card game) kind of blew everybody's minds when it first opened. The East Nashville spot was opened by Patrick Burke, a restaurant owner who has some experience in this space, as he's also behind The Green Pheasant, which opened in November. The thing to order is definitely chef Jessica Benefield’s homemade ramen, which is so fresh and delicious that they actually won't let you take it home as leftovers.
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.
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.
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.
Margot Café & Bar
1017 Woodland St., Lockeland Springs
A daily-changing menu of French and Italian dishes comes out of this restaurant in East Nashville where the emphasis is always on local and seasonal ingredients. It’s one of the pioneers of the neighborhood and helped to put East Nashville on the culinary map. The cocktails change with the seasons, as well, and are worth a stop in themselves.
1520 Woodland St., Lockeland Springs
Formerly of Eastland, chef Hal Holden-Bache’s first solo venture lives in an unexpected residential neighborhood in East Nashville—but he still manages to pack the house almost every night. The focus here is Nashville, of course: The fresh produce comes from local farms, and most of the booze and beer is Tennessee-sourced. The menu is packed with hearty, deeply satisfying dishes like spaghetti and meatballs, shepherd’s pie, and the crowd favorite: crispy pig ears. Reservations are highly recommended.