Walk Eat Nashville: A Delicious East Nashville Food Tour
For several years now, I’ve been eating and drinking my way through town, checking out the newest hot spots and also stumbling upon hidden gems. As many of you know, a big reason I even began blogging was to share these experiences with others in hopes that some of my discoveries would make you as happy as they’ve made me. Well, today I’m sharing one of those smile-inducing finds with you.
Recently Expedia Viewfinder challenged me to learn more about my city through a new culinary experience, so I’ve partnered with them to highlight a fun, informative, and very delicious journey through East Nashville — the Walk Eat Nashville food tour.
When former Tennessean reporter Karen-Lee Ryan told me that she was launching this new business, I was thrilled. You see, after participating in a few tours of this type in other cities, I’ve often come back home inspired, believing that someone here should really be doing the same thing.
From what I knew of Karen-Lee, she had the enthusiasm and the knowledge to create something great, and even though I thought that, I was still blown away by just how awesome the tour turned out to be!
Marché’s Butternut Squash and Farro Salad with fennel, currants, arugula, feta & white balsamic vinaigrette; Apple and Brie Tartine drizzled with honey
So exactly what is a walking food tour? Well, you walk, and you eat. It’s that simple, yet so much more.
The Walk Eat Nashville tour currently offers two routes, both based in East Nashville, but with plans to expand into other areas of town in the future. There is a Thursday tour at 1:30 p.m. and a Friday one at 11 a.m. Each route has six stops, and covers about 1.5 miles over 2.5 hours. At those six stops, you do tastings at artisan shops and restaurants, all while listening to stories about the business from the owners or the management. When you’re not busy eating or drinking, you’re walking the lovely tree-lined streets of East Nashville while Karen-Lee relays fascinating historical facts about that part of town, most of which I never even knew.
Please note that when I say “tastings”, you shouldn’t envision tiny nibbles. The portions at each stop are substantial enough that this will serve as your lunch for the day. While Thursday and Friday have a different mix of businesses, rest assured that you will not be disappointed in any of them. Karen-Lee has done an incredible job of partnering with the best of the best.
To give you an idea of what to expect, I’ll walk you through what my tour entailed, starting from our first stop to our last.
Stop 1: Marché Artisan Foods
After meeting up with the group in front of Margot, we all walked together down the street to one of my favorite brunch spots, Marché, a European-style cafe and marketplace. They were expecting us, so a table was waiting and Karen-Lee ordered for the group to expedite our visit. We shared apple and brie tartines and a butternut squash and farro salad, both of which were scrumptious seasonal dishes.
Stop 2: Five Points Pizza
A short two-block walk, and we found ourselves at Five Points Pizza. While enjoying a slice, I was reminded exactly why this place has been voted Best Pizza in Nashville three years in a row in the Nashville Scene “Best of” Reader’s Poll.
Stop 3: Lockeland Table
The longer 5-6 block walk to our next stop was welcome since, at this point, my belly was getting full. It needed a little rest.
At Lockeland Table, owners Cara Graham and Chef Hal Holden-Bache greeted us. Since the restaurant is only open for dinner service, and we were there midday, we had the entire place to ourselves, and were able to leisurely sip a tasty Southern Girl cocktail. The chef brought out a few small bites for us to sample too while he and Cara both shared with us some interesting stories regarding the history of the building and their beginning.
Cara Graham, owner and GM of Lockeland Table, pours cocktails for the Walk Eat Nashville group
Stop 4: High Garden
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you probably know that I don’t drink tea. I don’t like it. Believe me, I’ve tried. On more occasions than I care to count, I’ve taken sips of various teas when people attempt to change my mind. Nothing has swayed me.
Based on this fact, as you can imagine, I wasn’t super excited about visiting High Garden, an old fashioned apothecary style herb and tea shop. But, I always try to keep an open mind, and this is one of those instances where that paid off.
The word “enjoyed” doesn’t adequately describe how I felt about this stop. I truly fell in love with this little place that specializes in unique hand prepared herbal infusions. I suppose those are the magic words – herbal infusions. I may still not like normal teas, but I have discovered that I adore some of the herbal infusions created here. In fact, as I type this I’m sipping on Autumn Apple, a mixture of hibiscus, chamomile, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.
Stop 5: Chocolate F/X
Tucked back in a corner of the Shoppes on Fatherland was Chocolate F/X, a unique little chocolate shop where we got to sample truffles, which is never a bad thing. Fun fact: the owner left a career in special effects makeup to become a chocolatier, so you may see some very unique creations here.
Stop 6: Bongo Java Coffee Shop
We concluded the day’s journey at Bongo Java, where we were offered coffee and a Las Paletas. Since it was late in the day, I passed on the caffeine but I certainly wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to cool off with one of those delightful gourmet Mexican popsicles — a perfectly sweet ending to a fabulous tour!
My new love, High Garden Tea
As I hope you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed the Walk Eat Nashville tour and look forward to going back and doing it again, particularly when I have out of town guests visiting. A fantastic way to try out several places in one trip, this is great for tourists and locals alike! Cost is $49 per person and advance reservations are required by calling 615-587-6138 or booking online.
For those of you traveling to our fair city, you can learn even more about what to do when visiting Nashville by clicking here.