I originally thought that Nashville wouldn’t really be my kind of city—I’m not a fan of country music, crazy bars, or traditional Southern food.
So although the city is full of all of those 3 things there really was something for everyone to enjoy in Music City! And I was especially excited by the ethical fashion stores and farm-to-table restaurants that my mom and I researched for the trip.
My parents and I had a really fun time in Nashville, so I wanted to pull together this short guide of a few of my favorite conscious things we did during our stay, as well as a couple of spots you might want to skip.
Ethical Fashion Stores
Going to ABLE was undeniably my number one stop on our whole trip! We got to not only see the ABLE retail store, but we got a behind-the-scenes tour of the whole ABLE operations, including their jewelry workshop. The tour is open to the public and is $40 per ticket. The ticket price actually includes a free piece of personalized jewelry which is worth more than $40, so it’s totally worth it.
Here’s a glimpse at the beautiful store and their jewelry production process:
I’ve been a fan of Nisolo for years, so I was really looking forward to seeing their flagship store in Nashville. I even wore my trusty Nisolo Serena Sandals for the occasion. Unfortunately, the store was closed when we got there because we went on a holiday weekend, but at least I got to snap a pic in front of the store!
BATCH (in the Nashville Farmer’s Market)
This stop was actually a bit of a surprise. We visited the Nashville Farmer’s Market and happened upon the “Market House” area with food, drinks, treats, and shopping.
One of the stores I enjoyed visiting in the Market House was Batch, a shop with products made locally or from Nashville-based brands. I spotted bags and jewelry from ethical fashion label ABLE there, as well as beauty products from Thistle Farms, a brand with natural home and beauty products made by women survivors.
Other Things to Do
This recording studio tour was my second favorite activity we did in Nashville (after the ABLE tour)! We got a rare glimpse into the process behind making a new record right in the heart of Music Row in Nashville.
And what was unique about the tour we went on was that we didn’t just get to watch what was happening, but we felt like we were really part of the process. We sat inside the glass doors of the recording studio, got to be inside the control room, and ask the artist and musicians questions directly.
We were only here briefly, but it’s a beautiful park to relax and get a little dose of green in the city!
Farm-to-Table and Veg-Friendly Restaurants
Adele’s is a farm-to-fork restaurant with fresh dishes made using seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients.
Their menu shifts based upon availability of ingredients, but I had a salad with kale, pecorino, anchovy dressing, breadcrumbs and shared a side of JW potatoes with my parents. Both were delicious!
I had heard fantastic things about Jeni’s Ice Cream and wanted to visit for a while, so I was excited to happen across a Jeni’s location in the Nashville Farmer’s Market!
Jeni’s has a few vegan options, including the Texas Sheet Cake flavor that I tried made with coconut ice cream and chocolate cake crumbles. (And yes, it was just as amazing as it sounds!)
Acme Feed & Seed (Vegetarian Options)
First, I have to preface this by saying, Acme Feed & Seed wouldn’t be the top place I’d recommend for folks passionate about sustainability. We went here because we heard great things and seen fantastic reviews of Acme, plus I spotted quite a few vegetarian options on the menu.
And the food was great! However, what I was not expecting, was that the utensils and cups were single-use (who knew I had to bring around my own reusable cup and utensils to a sit-down restaurant!!). It was also unbelievably crowded and loud when we went—which I suppose is to be expected given the restaurant’s location on the busiest, craziest street in Nashville!
Another spot we found because of its great reviews and vegetarian options, Merchants was a nice conveniently located spot for lunch or dinner. My black bean veggie burger wasn’t fantastic, but the place was nice and the service was friendly.
Other Recommended Spots That We Didn’t Get to:
Elizabeth Suzann tour – you can get a look behind the scenes of this slow fashion brand by booking a personal tour Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The Wild Cow – vegan and vegetarian restaurant (with some gluten-free options)
The Café at Thistle Farms – fresh food, coffee, and tea made with locally-sourced ingredients. Thistle Farms is a social enterprise that employs women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.
If you’re looking for some more conscious things to do, spots to eat or drink, and places to stay, I recommend also checking out the EcoCult’s Eco-Friendly Nashville Guide and Terumah’s Nashville Guide.
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