The subject of voting can feel a little… intense, right about now. But let’s focus on an opportunity to cast a ballot that doesn’t carry much baggage.
Voting is under way now for this year’s installment of the Nashville Scene’s annual Best of Nashville honors, so we’re all invited to dig in and choose our favorite restaurants, parks, pet sitters and beyond. It’s always fun to throw a little love behind the neighbors that enrich our lives day after day, and always fun to see who comes out victorious when the Best of Nashville issue hits the streets (at the annual Best of Nashville party, truly one of the city’s finest throwdowns).
Before you immerse yourself in your ballot, we wanted to dig into our blog archives and share the stuff we’ve written that might offer food for thought. In order for your ballot to be counted, you’ll need to vote in at least 20 categories, so we gathered up past thoughts that apply to as many as possible.
Hope some of these offer some good inspiration!
Best Local Brewery
We had some recent thoughts about the growing East Nashville craft beer scene — over the past year or so, new breweries Smith & Lentz, Southern Grist and East Nashville Beer Works have all joined the mix.
Best Mexican Restaurant
If comedy plays into your appreciation of a restaurant, East Nashville’s Rosepepper Cantina definitely has a leg up — we wrote about their consistently funny (and virally popular) marquee.
Best Dive Bar
A prodigious drinking town like Nashville naturally has a diverse mix of places to empty a bottle. We wrote about a few of our favorite Nashville dive bars not too long ago.
In celebration of National Donut Day last year, we rounded up a handful of our favorite Nashville donuts. A year or so later, they’re not all still around, sadly (miss you, Madeline), but lots of great ones are still there for your sugar cravings.
Best Food Delivery Service
OK, so what the Nashville Scene probably means here is folks who’ll pick up your take-out order and bring it to you. But since they don’t specify, we’re more inclined to praise the Nashville-based meal kit/meal delivery companies we just wrote about.
Best Vegetarian Menu
A while back, when we were doing some reading about Beyonce’s vegan-ness, we figured we’d offer her a little help for her next visit, and rounded up places to find excellent vegan and vegetarian food in Nashville.
Best Fashion Designer
This spring, we were looking forward to the 2016 installment of Nashville Fashion Week, which included new looks at work from Nashville fashion designers Amanda Valentine, Any Old Iron and many others.
Best Hair Salon
When you’re looking for something beyond the trademark Vice Presidential cut, these stylish Nashville salons are some of our favorite places to go.
We try not to pick favorites, since we can come up with reasons to love many parts of Nashville. But we do have particular affection for East Nashville, and so does Vogue and a lot of other publications. (Related, have you seen the Lockeland Springs home we recently listed? Or the new builds in Fortland Park?) We’ve also been having a love affair with The Nations lately. (Side note: our listings in new Nashville townhome community Ashland Place are really close to The Nations and the Charlotte corridor).
Best Place to Buy Vinyl
When the annual independent record shop celebration rolled in this year, we rounded up where to celebrate Record Store Day in Nashville — and the best places to buy vinyl in town are definitely in there.
Best Place To Buy New Musical Instruments // Best Place To Buy Used Musical Instruments
We have some fantastic places to buy records and buy the tools you need to make records here in Music City. For the latter: We recently collected the independent Nashville shops that we consider the top places to buy musical instruments.
Best Yoga Studio
This year’s International Day of Yoga just passed, and as a nod toward it, we listed out some ongoing free Nashville yoga classes, offered by some of Nashville’s best yoga studios.
Best Art Happening
Nashville has some great art crawls; one of our favorites is a stumble. The East Side Art Stumble — a partnership between a bunch of East Nashville galleries, studios and shops that shines a spotlight on local art — launched last year, and it’s still going strong.
Best Beer Event/Festival
There are so many great beer festivals in the Nashville area, it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite. Over the winter, we were buzzing about the 12 South Winter Warmer, held (obviously) in the 12 South area, and the first Nashville Brew Festival in Germantown (it’ll be back in September). Then we also got excited about the Science of Beer Festival, which mixed beer tasting and the science of fermentation. Those are just a few on our short list; we’re still trying to narrow it down, too.
Best Food Event
Another impossible choice — which is a good problem to have. From our mix, there’s the Scene’s annual Burger Week, which gives us a chance to check out some of the city’s best burgers all around town for $5. There’s Nuit Belge, which let us check out the multi James Beard Award-winning Blackberry Farm, among many other expert food/drink providers. And there’s East Nashville’s annual Yum!East, a chance to check out a slew of that food-obsessed neighborhood’s best eateries and artisans.
Best Local Event/Festival
Last year, we wrote about some of the annual festivals we were really looking forward to in the summer, then a bunch in the fall. We also looked forward to one of the coolest new additions to the Nashville outdoor-movie landscape, Shelby Park Picture Show (its second season is happening right now). There’s the fantastic Nashville Pride Festival, Nashville’s awesome Earth Day Festival, and the annual Thirth of July, the king of East Nashville block parties. But even with all that competition, we probably have to go with the Tomato Art Fest, always one of the biggest, best and most outrageously creative events in Nashville.
Best Concert Series
A few of our favorites, among another busy mix: East Nashville’s acoustic music-celebrating Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Parties (in the middle of their second year now) and the annual Live on the Green, which always has an impeccable lineup and gives you a chance to enjoy live music with downtown Nashville as your backdrop.
Best Day Trip
Our vote for a rock-solid day trip: Heading out to see one/some of the gorgeous waterfalls within an hour or two drive of Nashville. Or maybe Wine on the Rails, which invites you to board a restored ‘50s steel train and head out to DelMonaco Winery & Vineyards in Baxter, Tennessee for tastings and other fun.
Best Real Estate Agent (first and last name)
Kind of the most important category to us, for obvious reasons. If we’ve worked together and “Ashley Dugger” makes it into your ballot, I’d be honored (and thankful).
Start your Best of Nashville voting at the Nashville Scene website — and if I’ve earned your Best Real Estate Agent vote, please know how much it means to me, and how much I appreciate it!