As Nashville expands and grows on a minute-to-minute basis, so do the neighborhoods that comprise it. New restaurants hop on to the scene, rooftop bars open their doors and shops filled with clothing, home goods and accessories line the streets. Such is true in each of Nashville’s neighborhoods, but one that’s seen a big dose of change over the last year is the Gulch. A destination beloved by locals and tourists alike, you’re bound to pass a bachelorette party or two mingled among locals — both groups enjoying the offerings of this ‘hood. So whether you’re looking to try a new spot this weekend or planning a weekend trip to Nashville, this guide has everything you need to know about the centrally located and fun-filled Gulch.

The Gulch promises food, drink, shopping, fitness and more! Illustration by the talented Tess Erlenborn.

EAT

For a relatively small area, the Gulch is home to some of Nashville’s tastiest and trendiest restaurants. You’ll find Virago’s creative and shareable sushi and Moto’s fresh and indulgent pasta. Also home to the Gulch is Nashville mainstay “meat and three” Arnold’s Country Kitchen and a barbecue favorite Peg Leg Porker. 404 Kitchen has moved across the street making room to welcome a new pizza joint Emmy Squared, and just this year, its neighbor Little Octopus transformed into Bar Otaku, a neighborhood izakaya. STK recently landed as a new Nashville steakhouse destination, and Sunda brings the flavors of Southeast Asia to the Gulch. Enjoy the many flavors of the Gulch!

The Peg Leg Porker dry-rub ribs are out-of-this-world delicious!

  • 404 Kitchen: Situated in its newer spot across from the original, this European-influenced restaurant is great for a night out when guests are in town. Chef Matt Bolus creates consistently delicious menus, and his reputation precedes him.
  • Adele’s: Don’t leave without a taste of their famous kale salad and JW potatoes. This spot is great for groups, and we always recommend ordering multiple dishes so you get a taste of everything.
  • Arnold’s Country Kitchen: Serving Nashville for over 30 years, Arnold’s promises a “meat and three” experience that will satisfy all of your Southern cravings.
  • Bar Otaku: Enjoy a cocktail in this convivial atmosphere. A watering hole for all those who wander in, Bar Otaku brings Japanese izakaya dining, or casual post-work eating and drinking, to the Gulch.
  • Biscuit Love: Risk it for the biscuit! No, really, prepare to wait in line for a taste of those famous bonuts or the hidden menu item: The Nasty Princess, a hot chicken biscuit topped with sausage gravy.
  • Burger Republic: As you’d expect, you’ll find plenty of inventive burgers (and veggie burgers!) on the menu here. But, don’t leave without a taste of the Nashville hot tots.
  • The Chef & I: New to the Gulch but not new to Nashville, the husband-wife duo behind The Chef & I brings an immersive dinner experience and fantastic tasting menu to the Gulch.
  • Emmy Squared: Serving Detroit-style pizza, this New York-founded restaurant has made a splash in the Nashville restaurant scene. Try the hot chicken pizza or the hot chicken wedge if you’re looking for some Nashville heat.
  • Flyte: With an impressive wine list and a thoughtful farm-to-table menu, Flyte provides a fun night out for a group or a romantic date night.
  • Kayne Prime: Known as one of Nashville’s best steakhouses, Kayne Prime promises an exquisite experience whether you grab a drink and apps at the bar or settle in for a multi-course meal.
  • Marsh House: Light and bright, the restaurant inside the Thompson Hotel has made a name for itself as a seafood destination in Nashville. Enjoy brunch, happy hour or dinner here.
  • Milk & Honey: Hailing from Chattanooga with rave reviews, Milk & Honey offers a little bit of everything. Serving brunch, breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and juice, there’s not much you can’t find!
  • Moto: This Italian restaurant has an extensive wine list and homemade pasta. Don’t miss the crispy artichokes or strozzapreti pasta with housemade fennel sausage, peas and Calabrian chile.
  • Otaku Ramen: Where slurping is allowed! Order a bowl Tennessee Tonkotsu and warm up from the inside out.
  • Party Fowl: If it’s hot chicken you want, Party Fowl is your place. Everything from a hot chicken po’ boy to hot chicken poutine graces the menu.
  • Peg Leg Porker: With barbecue that’s smoked fresh every day and Southern sides made with love, Peg Leg Porker serves mouth-watering meals. Enjoy a boozy slush alongside your BBQ!
  • Pemrose: Coastal cuisine is served at lunch, dinner and brunch. Find three-tier seafood towers and sushi rolls on the menu.
  • Rush Bowls: Packed with flavor and wholesome ingredients, Rush Bowls serves açaí and other smoothie bowls topped with granola, fruit and more.
  • Saint Añejo: For Mexican and margaritas, head to Saint Añejo. They have a great happy hour and serve brunch on the weekends (hello, breakfast tacos!).
  • STK: For a scene-y steakhouse with a more lively atmosphere, try STK. The menu includes far more than just steaks.
  • Stock & Barrel: Burgers and bourbon are the reasons to visit Stock & Barrel. A long list of them both ensures you’ll find a favorite.
  • Sunda: In the heart of the Gulch, Sunda served up modern interpretations of dishes from all over Southeast Asia.
  • Turnip Truck: Turnip Truck is more than just a grocery store. Their hot bar, salad bar, juice bar and deli provide options for any meal of the day.
  • Virago: Now open in their new location between Moto and Saint Añejo, the sexy space still serves the sushi we love. Order the crispy rice + spicy tuna!
  • Whiskey Kitchen: The menu is chef-inspired pub food, and the options range from wraps to wood-fired pizzas to Creole shrimp and grits.

RELATED: 3 New Restaurants We Tried & Loved

DRINK

The Gulch has become a weekend destination for everything from morning coffee to afternoon brewery hangs to rooftop cocktails. You could easily eat and drink your way through the area and touch on all of your favorite beverages … within just a few feet. Grab a juice from I Love Juice Bar, taste a few local beers at Yazoo and end your evening at Gertie’s Bar inside of 404 Kitchen or join the party at L.A. Jackson, where you’re sure to step into a scene.

No matter what drink you’re searching for, it can be found in the Gulch. The Grand Slam at Juice Bar includes wheatgrass, ginger, lemon and pineapple.

  • Barista Parlor: This hipster hotspot is well-loved (and well-‘grammed) for a reason. Expect exceptional coffee and don’t miss the biscuits – they’re some of the best in town!
  • Gertie’s Bar: Tucked inside of 404 Kitchen, this bar serves a select menu of food, as well as the craft cocktails you’d expect.
  • Hops + Crafts: A local favorite spot, Hops + Crafts features 36 taps of local and regional beers and a menu of shareable snacks.
  • I Love Juice Bar: Grab a green juice or smoothie, açaí bowl or toast at this healthy juice bar where everything is plant-based, organic and gluten-free where possible.
  • The Den Taproom + Brewery at Jackalope: This taproom is open seven days a week and serves Jackalope’s Nashville-brewed beers. Go for trivia on Thursdays!
  • Killebrew: Located on the main floor of the Thompson hotel, Killebrew serves Revelator coffee, pastries by chef Lisa Marie White and a selection of grab-and-go items.
  • L.A. Jackson: On the top floor of the Thompson sits L.A. Jackson, a beloved rooftop bar with indoor and outdoor space. They recently added brunch to their offerings, so you can enjoy skyline views with your mimosa.
  • Up Rooftop Lounge: On top of the Fairfield Inn and Suites, check out Up, another rooftop bar with gorgeous views. Sip a cocktail and watch the sun set over Nashville.
  • Yazoo: With indoor and outdoor space to drink a brew, enjoy Yazoo rain or shine. Pups are welcome on the patio!
  • ZolliKoffee: This biker-friendly coffee shop sits next to Jackalope brewery. They have coffee, tea, snacks and, bonus, bike-repair equipment.

PLAY

Of course, it wouldn’t be Music City if not for a few live music options in the Gulch. While there’s always a chance you catch someone singing or playing at any spot in town, these two offer consistently talented acts every night of the week.

  • Rudy’s Jazz Room: Step out for a night of authentic jazz in Music City. Rudy’s Jazz Room has tunes seven nights a week, not to mention delicious drinks and bites to accompany.
  • Station Inn: Americana, country and bluegrass music rule Station Inn. For a unique experience, attend a Bluegrass Jam, where musicians circle up and play together.

RELATED: Your Guide to Nashville’s Steakhouses

SHOP

A range of shopping exists in the Gulch. From high-end to modestly priced clothing to vintage guitars and chocolates, the variety means everyone in your group can find something to browse. New to the scene, Winky Lux is a beauty pop-up that promises Instagram-worthy displays. Lucchese is one of just three flagship stores, and it houses some of the most luxurious boots and leather accessories in town. Patagonia recently opened its doors in the Gulch, supplying Nashville with outdoor apparel and accessories.

Shop women’s boutiques, guitars, jewelry and more in the Gulch. Pictured: e.Allen

  • Blush: Blush is a women’s boutique that offers trendy clothing and accessories at an affordable price point.
  • Carter Vintage Guitars: Self-proclaimed as Nashville’s friendliest guitar shop, Carter Vintage Guitars is a neat place to stop in, even if you’re not in the market for a new guitar.
  • Design Within Reach: Shop 24 separate, fully decorated rooms in this modern interior design studio.
  • e.Allen: From timeless little black dresses to trendy accessories, e.Allen has a variety of stylish women’s clothing and accessories.
  • Ephipany: Shop interior designer Julie Goad’s eye at her storefront in the Gulch, representing her style of design.
  • Finnleys: This laid-back shop offers a fun shopping experience where you can browse fashion-forward pieces at an attainable price point.
  • King Baby Studio: Rock ‘n’ roll inspired jewelry by Mitchell Binder fills King Baby Studio, and each piece is eye-candy.
  • Kittenish: Jessie James Decker’s shop reflects her style – chic, fun, trendy and functional. This spot also sells swimwear!
  • Lucchese: Handcrafted and luxurious, the Lucchese boots and accessories are something special. Step into this flagship store and see the incredible craftsmanship of this brand.
  • Parish: Country music star stylist Claudia Robertson opened Parish in the Gulch, bringing upscale women’s clothing to the Gulch. Find designer denim and statement-making accessories.
  • Patagonia: Brand new to the Gulch, shop a large selection of Patagonia’s clothing, gear and accessories.
  • Pet Wants: This unique store sells fresh and highly nutritional food for your pets that is free of fillers or animal by-products. They also deliver!
  • Ruckle & Rye: Just for the guys, Ruckle & Rye is a boutique filled with edgy men’s clothing.
  • Two Old Hippies: A Nashville staple filled with everything from gorgeous coffee table books to high-end women’s clothing to kitschy cards, this is a must for a gift or just a fun browse.
  • Uncommon James: Kristin Cavallari founded this jewelry shop filled with sophisticated and simple pieces. Additionally, find home accessories and apparel.
  • Urban Outfitters: Clothing, accessories, home decor, gifts and more fill Urban Outfitters located in the heart of the Gulch.
  • Winky Lux: Winky Lux is a pop-up shop of the cruelty-free, paraben-free cosmetic brand. More than a store, Winky Lux offers an experience with photo opportunities around every corner.

HEALTH + BEAUTY

The Gulch is home to plenty of spots to pamper and take care of yourself. Whether it’s a blowout, haircut or manicure you need, you’ll find it. Additionally, ensure your health is in check with eye exams and holistic health offerings.

Get pampered at The Blowout Co. in the Gulch!

  • AccesorEyes: Visit AccesorEyes for all of your visual needs. The team is dedicated to their patients’ health and comfort and offers eye exams, contacts, frames and more.
  • Apothecary: More than just a neighborhood pharmacy, Apothecary fills prescriptions, offers holistic health and wellness programs and carries clinical skincare lines.
  • The Blowout Co.: For your next big event or a special night out, book a blowout at The Blowout Co. They also offer makeup application.
  • The Gulch Nail Bar: And while you’re at it, stop into The Gulch Nail Bar and treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure at this luxurious salon.
  • Scout’s Barbershop: Scout’s gives haircuts and colors to men, women and children of Nashville. You’ll want to hang around in the comfortable, inviting space.

SWEAT

Odds are you’re just as likely to see a crew in cowboy boots as you are a crew in sweaty workout gear wandering around the Gulch. Whether you’re looking for a class that combines cardio, strength-training and mindfulness like barre3 or a class that will grow your endurance to the tune of loud music and a dark room like CycleBar, you’ll find it in the Gulch.

Break a sweat at the Gulch’s indoor cycling destination, CycleBar!

  • barre3: Classes at barre3 combine strength-conditioning, cardio and mindfulness. The fun workout is 60 minutes and ends in meditation.
  • Barry’s Bootcamp: A high-intensity interval workout that alternates between treadmill and floor work with weights and bands, Barry’s promises a challenging — yet rewarding — group class experience.
  • CycleBar: Music-blasting and heart-pumping, CycleBar is a premium indoor cycling experience that will leave you feeling mentally and physically stronger.
  • Hotbox Fitness: A kickboxing and strength-building workout, the atmosphere welcomes both novice and advanced kickboxers alike.
  • Pure Barre: The total body workout is low-impact and uses thoughtful isometric movements to produce results.
  • SHED Group Fitness: SHED Group Fitness classes focus on a different muscle group each day and lead you through a handful of workout stations each lasting a few minutes.

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