If you’re like us, you probably consider coffee a major food group. Yeah, we’re that serious about our java.
But in The Music City, coffee shop competition is tougher than catching your big break. The struggle is real because Nashville might be the only city where local coffee shops outnumber mega franchises like Dunkin’ and Starbucks. And while that’s awesome, it can be overwhelming!
Sometimes it feels like new places are popping up faster than condos around here. But don’t worry — we’ve got you covered with the ultimate list for all of your coffee needs.
Despite what we said, downtown Nashvegas has a shocking lack of coffee shops. That’s why we’re thankful for CREMA (pronounced creh-ma)! They’re right off Korean Vets across from the river, so getting here is an easy walk from Broadway. And if you’re an aspiring home brewer, CREMA is your new BFF. They’re all about showing you the secrets to making the best coffee ever. Oh, and their lattes put everyone to shame.
Barista Parlor is for sure Nashville’s most hipster coffee shop. The OG spot on the East Side has an artsy garage theme and so many Insta-worthy shots. With a seriously Seattle vibe, BP is the happening hangout spot. So go here if you want people to know that you’re into craft coffee and handlebar mustaches. And if you’re not on the East Side, no worries — you can also find Barista Parlor in The Gulch, Germantown, and Marathon Village.
Down the road from Grimey’s, folks at Eighth & Roast are the mad scientists of coffee. They’re all about brewing the perfect cup. Every drink tastes like they put a lot of thought into the flavor, that’s because they have. Really, they could lead a lecture on the roasting process. On top of that, this coffee bar feels like an actual bar because baristas crank out hand-crafted cups like crazy. Pregame for work with their nitro tap iced coffee. It’ll get you wired for the daily grind. Oh, and Eighth & Roast is about to open up shop off Charlotte Ave. in a brand new space right next to Five Points Pizza. Pizza and coffee? You bet.
Dose is right on the corner of Murphy Rd. between busy West End offices and Sylvan Park neighborhoods. This place keeps it simple and uncomplicated; strong coffee and classic baked goods — what else do you need? The menu selection is small, but that’s a good thing because they’ve perfected the staples. Fitt Tip: the tiny, intimate setting is refreshing, but probably not the best place to set up your home office. Over on the East side? Dose has a location off McGavock Pike for East Nashvillians, too.
Edgehill Cafe is definitely more of a breakfast spot than a coffee shop. They’ll lure you in with the smell of bacon and coffee. TBH, we’re not mad about it. But if we’re talking a much-needed cuppa, they’re right down the street from Music Row. So you might want to get there before 11am if you want to avoid everyone who stayed up all night recording in the studio. Cozy wood interiors complete a cabin-y vibe for coffee sippin’. And the hearty breakfast hash would be deemed worthy by any lumberjack.
Affectionately known as “Bongo” by Belmonties, this snuggly coffeehouse serves all-day breakfast and spins the best tunes. Make sure you snag a cold brew on the porch during the early fall (thank us later). Though, the everyday Bongo makes you feel like you’re in college again, with long tables lined with people on laptops. You might even rub elbows with some high-profile record execs or the next big indie singer-songwriter. And you didn’t hear it from us, but Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys goes there all the time. You can find Bongo in East Nashville and on 10th Ave., but the OG location is the best.
Frothy Monkey’s full menu is B-A-N-A-N-A-S (in a good way). And you can get brunch until 5pm! Finish off your morning (or afternoon) run around Sevier Park and stop in for a Farm Breakfast or one of their delicious sandwiches. Their locally-brewed coffee is best iced, in our humble opinion (and all-the-better for a post-run pick-me-up), but the adorable drink names make it hard to choose. This place is, however, a little small on the inside so we recommend you porch it.
Do yourself a favor and skip the Pancake Pantry line and head across the street for a hot cup and killer snacks. Part of the Bongo Java family, Fido is a dog-themed café in the heart of Hillsboro Village known for some bomb local grub and the yummiest muffins ever (and don’t forget to load up on extras before you leave). You know this place is good because they’re literally ALWAYS busy. Fair warning: they will shut off the WiFi if it gets too packed.
Portland Brew epitomizes everything East Nashville. Cool industrial interiors and too-cool baristas who make you question your own trendiness — the eye rolls are just part of the charm. But once you settle in, they’re pretty welcoming. The quiet, open space upstairs feels like a library straight out of Portlandia. And the chill indie music creates the best vibes for studying or getting in the work zone.
The Well is Nashville’s non-profit coffee shop with locations in Green Hills and Brentwood. We totally dig this thoughtful joint for their bangin’ coffee blends and single-origin, hand-ground chocolate. Come here for hand-crafted coffee combos that sound gross, but are amazing — read: Snowy Jamaica. And the descriptive tasting notes (this place is for sophisticated coffee connoisseurs) will make you feel like you’re at a wine tasting. Our cup overfloweth.
Ah, Nashville’s hidden gem. It took us awhile to catch onto them, but once their modern, minimalist bags of beans started popping up in Whole Foods we fell in love. Honest Coffee is best known for their roasting, so you can’t go wrong with a simple drip coffee. And they’ve recently rolled out “Up & Up” — their coffee soda on tap. While their location in the factory in Franklin is drop dead (hipster) gorgeous, you can also enjoy their coffee at Franklin Juice on 12th South.
WeHo is a tiny, but growing neighborhood made popular by the bar Bastion, so it’s no surprise that the Wedgewood-Houston area welcomed a minimalist, modern, and cutting-edge coffee shop. Humphreys’ beautiful white walls and wood accents makes the decor enough of a reason to stop by for a brew. But perhaps the best reason of all to visit — Humphreys gives 100% of their profits back to programs and scholarships to help youth get an education and earn jobs. Oh, and their coffee is state of the art.
Revelator Coffee is a simplistic coffee shop in Hillsboro Village that takes pride in their quality coffee. And they’ve grown so popular that they now have many locations throughout the Southeast. Here, pour overs are a work of art — this isn’t a rush in and out kind of place. Their food and space is limited, but when it comes to coffee, Revelator is one of the best shops in the city.
Sump is known for their bright red V60 pour overs. And they recently opened up a beautiful space in the OneC1TY hub off Charlotte Ave. featuring large windows that make it hard to tell where the cafe ends and the outdoors begin. If you’re not feeling caffeine, they have a great selection of tea — but come on, who are we kidding? These cups of joe are impossible to resist.
It’s about time Berry Hill got a killer coffee shop. Stay Golden is changing the way we think about coffee — in their minds, coffee, food, and cocktails should all be equals. So Stay Golden is much more than caffeine beans, but that doesn’t mean their coffee isn’t legit. It just means you can have brunch, lunch, or dessert along with that freshly-brewed cup.
Remember Revelator? Well, if you’re in the Gulch stop at the Thompson Hotel to enjoy a cup of Revelator coffee at Killebrew and pair it with a chef-prepared fresh pastry. This chic, Paris-inspired coffee shop will jetset you out of Nashville to somewhere more, let’s say… European. We go here for the Insta pic.
Brand new to East Nashville, Retrograde is all warm and fuzzy feels, dubbed the “neighborhood coffee stop”. Retrograde serves up Onyx Coffee Lab brews and locally-baked fresh pastries. If you want to fit into the East Nashville scene, this is the place to hang.
Right in the heart of Germantown, Steadfast Coffee definitely feels more like a fancy restaurant than a coffee shop. With a chef-inspired menu and creative coffee drinks, you won’t even know what to do with yourself. We’re into the carbonated coffee soda (don’t knock it til you try it) and coffee cocktails. Oh yes — that means booze. Stop in for happy hour on the gorgeous patio or weekend brunch. You won’t regret it.
**Updated by Kate Wilke, September 2018