Top 10: The Best Patios In Nashville - Unsung Nashville
collage of patios in Nashville, including Urban Grub, Soulshine Pizza and Edleys

Top 10: The Best Patios In Nashville

Nashvillians are a patio-crazy people. From April through October, we are sitting outside, dadgummit, and neither heatstroke nor rain nor dark of night can stop us.

And I think I know why. If you spend your whole Saturday in a dark, enclosed bar, you’re kind of being a bum. The creepy old regular in the corner tries to give you a nickname; you hear “Don’t Stop Believing” on the jukebox 15 times; and you generally start questioning your life choices.

If you’re outside, however, you’re doing something. “Sitting on a patio” has be come a legitimate extracurricular activity, especially if you supplement it with a secondary activity like reading, playing trivia, watching the game or showing off your dog and/or baby. What salons were to 16th century France, patios are to Nashville now, and if you don’t take them seriously, we’d prefer you not take up a seat on one.

Here are our 10 favorite patios in Nashville right now:

Tennessee Brew Works Taproom

If you are a beer person, you have about 300 breweries to choose from on any given day. (That’s a slight exaggeration, but there are a lot.) While many taprooms are worth trying, the patio at Tennessee Brew Works is a clean, modern beer-drinking spot with a wide open layout. It’s laid back, a little off the beaten path and stocked with so many good beers that you’ll need to call yourself an Uber if you stay more than an hour. There’s almost always a food truck parked outside and you can take home a growler of your favorite brew when you’re done. Plus, two different employees offered to bring my dog water the last time we were there, and sucking up to small, fuzzy animals is all it takes to get me on your side.

Go there:

809 Ewing Ave
Nashville, TN 37203

Order this:

Walk the Lime: Tart Tennessee wheat ale

brewworks

 

The Pharmacy

There’s not much more to say about a place once you know burgers, a beer garden and bratwurst are part of the proceedings. But one of The Pharmacy’s strongest assets is surprisingly not something you can stuff in your face – it’s the giant outdoor space out back. Part patio, part backyard, and part porch, we recommend forgoing the diner-style charm of The Pharmacy’s interior for a picnic table any time. With a mess of string lighting, an outdoor bar and actual patches of grass, you’ve got a “patio” that works for the kids and the grownups.

Go there:

731 Mcferrin Ave
Nashville, TN 37206

Order this:

Tater tots with a side of Stroganoff Bechamel. It is a gut bomb and it is glorious.

Blackberry Lemon Thyme Soda from The Pharmacy's Facebook page.
In case you need a palate cleanser after that ‘shroom sauce: Blackberry Lemon Thyme Soda via The Pharmacy’s Facebook page.

Urban Grub

Anyone who has been to 12 South lately knows this not-so-secret secret: Urban Grub is always slammed. But the weird thing is, you can usually score a table – or at least a seat at the bar – if you skip the hostess stand and cut straight back to the patio. Plus, the bartender there is one of those people who can tell what you want just by looking at you (and he doesn’t wear a fedora or suspenders), so you’ll want direct access to him anyway. The patio itself is outfitted with a fireplace, heaters, fans and a roof, so they literally have you covered no matter the weather. Also, the kitchen and the curing room – where they age their own meats – are visible from the patio, so you can engage in a little light foodie voyeurism while you dine.

Go there:

2506 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37204

Order this:

The all-you-can-eat seafood brunch. Five plates of quality crab legs and oysters are a steal. Also, the frozen margarita is better than any non-Mexican restaurant has any business being.

Photos courtesy of Urban Grub Facebook page.
Photos courtesy of Urban Grub Facebook page.

Blue Moon

Originally the “Blue Moon Lagoon” pre-flood of 2010, the “Blue Moon Waterfront Grille” makes this list because it has something 98% of the places in Nashville do not have: a view of water. Located on the Cumberland River at Rock Harbor Marina, Blue Moon is the perfect escape when you can’t get to the lake but you’re thisclose to going postal on your [boss, kids, spouse] if you don’t get a peaceful moment to yourself. Imma be honest: I’ve never had anything to eat here that particularly blew me away, but that is not the point of this place. Get yourself a cold drink, a Tommy Bahama and a seat on the dock, and you’ve got yourself a respite that would do Buffett proud.

Go there:

525 Basswood Ave
Nashville, TN 37209

(You can get there from midtown in about 12 minutes on the interstate.)

Order this:

A boat drink. When in Rome.

Photo via Blue Moon website.
Photo via Blue Moon website.

12 South Taproom

You can’t beat a classic, and that’s exactly what you’re working with at 12 South Taproom. With all of the beer joints in Nashville, this is still the only place we know just as “The Taproom,” so that gives you an idea of their established reputation. Their patio doesn’t have a lot of tables (around 20), but they’re all spaced out and comfortable, which are two things I always want to be during happy hour. Their beer menu rotates but always offers 50+ craft beers, so you can pick your own poison. The food and people-watching are also top notch, as is the service – all of the staff waits on whatever table needs them at the moment, so you can literally grab anyone when your glass is empty.

Go there:

2318 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37204

Order this:

Yazoo Hefeweizen & a dozen oysters on the half shell. I know – oysters at a taproom, but theirs have never steered me wrong. The vegetable plate is also always a solid call.

Photo courtesy 12 South Taproom Facebook page.
Photo courtesy 12 South Taproom Facebook page.

Rebar

I am no longer in the target demo for most of the bars on Division, but one place that never turns its back on its elders is Rebar. If the weather is even remotely nice, a table on the Rebar patio is coveted real estate. In fact, I’d bet that during April, at least 30% of its occupants have called in sick from work just because of its powerful siren song. Find a big table and post up or play a round of corn hole with the omnipresent frat bros. But whatever you do, get your bush wacked. The Rebar bushwacker is arguably the best in the city – alongside Broadway Brewhouse, 3 Crow Bar & M.L. Rose – so it’s perfect whether you’ve had 1,000 of these alcoholic frosties or you’re a first-timer.

Go there:

1919 Division St
Nashville, TN 37203

Order this:

Do I really need to say it? A Bushwacker in a Styrofoam cup. Sorry, Mother Nature.

Virago

Sometimes you need to class things up. Sushi, sake and a killer skyline are one way to do that, and Virago offers all three. Located in The Gulch with a great view of downtown, Virago is as slick and modern as they come. You’ll want to be sure to make a reservation as there tends to be a wait, and beware: some of their sushi rolls will run you upwards of $25, so check those costs before you order. They also do not allow hats, sleeveless shirts, jerseys, or flip-flops, so if you’re bringing the Gym-Tan-Laundry crew, warn them beforehand. If you’re looking to save a little money, go on Maki-Sake Mondays when they offer a selection of half price maki and 2-for-1 sake and cocktails.

Go there:

1126 McGavock St
Nashville, TN 37203

Order this:

Fire Crunch: tempura, shrimp, spicy mayo, cream cheese, sriracha for $10

Photo courtesy Virago's website.
Photo courtesy Virago’s website.

Cityhouse

Full disclosure: I love Cityhouse. Like a lot. Like fat-kid-love-cake kind of love, so if I seem overzealous, you have been warned. The patio at Cityhouse is nothing particularly show stopping; it’s a rustic, screened-in porch much like one you’d find at an upscale Italian lake house (I assume; I’ve never been to Italy, and I am aggressively mid-scale in class), but it’s a great, quiet spot to enjoy the delicious food and drink coming out of the kitchen. On a summer night, the softly lit patio makes a perfect backdrop for the great food you’ll find here. The food is rustic Italian with a Southern spin, and it’s served family style, so you can get a lot for your money if you go with the right group. Plus, they have a statue of pigs in flagrante on the bar, which tells you a lot about the fun, relaxed atmosphere you can expect.

Go there:

1222 4th Ave N.
Nashville, TN 37208

Order this:

The Belly Ham pizza with egg. Best pizza in town, and I usually don’t go for a pie without red sauce. Also whatever octopus and sausage items are on the menu that day. They’ve also got a great Dark & Stormy, even though it’s not on the cocktail list.

cityhouse

 

Soulshine

If you believe that size matters, Soulshine is your spot. With spacious street-level and second-story options, you get a milder midtown here than at Losers, Winners or the like. The upstairs patio is huge — the largest on our list — and they have live music most nights of the week. It can get a bit loud, so post up street-side if you’re looking for a more low-key experience. Soulshine is also a great place to watch the game, especially if you’re a Vandy fan (but if you get there with enough lead time, any team can take it over and claim hollerin’ rights). The food is good, the beer menu extensive, and the atmosphere is bustling without being pushy.

Go there:

1907 Division St
Nashville, TN 37212

Order this:

Pepperoni bread and a local draft beer.

Photo courtesy Soulshine website.
Photo courtesy Soulshine website.

Edley’s

I am a Memphis girl, so it’s a little blasphemous — regardless of what Travel + Leisure has to say — to throw Nashville BBQ in this fight, but Edley’s is a damn good place to get dinner and a drink. Whether you’re at the original 12 South location or in their new spot on the East Side, the patio living is good at Edley’s. The whole affair is simple: get your BBQ, get your beer and get yourself a prime spot for relaxation. Actually I’d skip the beer; Edley’s original cocktails — served in mason jars, of course — are as good as any craft concoctions in Nashville, and you don’t have to put your name on a waiting list to get one. Plus, they put a chocolate syrup swirl in their bushwackers, and that is equal parts cute and fat, as all delicious dessert drinks should be.

Go there:

Order this:

Pork plate with baked beans, greens and spicy BBQ sauce. Also, the Peach Smash when in season – it’s got all the good qualities of a mojito, but it’s made with whiskey like God intended.

Photo from Edley's Facebook page.
Photo from Edley’s Facebook page.

 

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