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“When I first arrived in town 20 years ago, I loved going to the meat-and-three joints. Places for funky, earthy food — great cheeseburgers and all that stuff. A lot of those are still around, like Brown’s Diner, Rotier’s Restaurant and a great spot downtown called Jack’s Bar-B-Que. Of course, there are all the higher-end restaurants too. But, to me, if you want something that’s unique to Nashville, those are the places to go.”

The Black Keys’ Music City Picks
The Civil Wars’ Favorite Local Haunts 
Patrick Carney: Located in the Germantown area on Nashville’s north side, City House, featuring James Beard Award–nominated chef Tandy Wilson, focuses on rustic Italian fare.

Part of East Nashville’s thriving bar scene, The 5 Spot offers up a laid-back atmosphere and live local bands ranging from punk to country and all points in between.

Opened in 1970, Gruhn Guitars is one of the most celebrated music stores anywhere, with a celebrity-heavy clientele and some of the world’s most prized instruments.
“Our favorite record store in Nashville is Grimey’s New & Pre-Loved Music. Not only do we love shopping there, but we’ve been known to do an impromptu set in between the stacks of vintage vinyl. Head downstairs to owner Mike Grimes’ other great endeavor, the Basement. You may catch a secret show by anyone from Mumford and Sons to Metallica. Seriously.” — John Paul White
Dan Auerbach: Tucked amid a strip mall in the Glencliff area of town, Vinh Long Vietnamese-Japanese offers authentic dishes, including fantastic pho and fine Japanese fare, in a cozy atmosphere.

Opened in 1942, Melrose Billiards remains a historic hub for gaming (pool, shuffleboard and even table tennis) and is a favorite hangout for musicians.
“The Patterson House has an old-world speakeasy ambience that makes you wonder where you are and what year it actually is. The delicious, hand-mixed drinks will make you wonder the same thing after a few as well, if you’re not careful. Order the Juliet & Romeo or the Aviator. Also, Marché Artisan Foods is French-inspired comfort food on the eclectic East Side of Nashville. Best brunch in town. Try the croissant French toast or one of their daily crepe specials.” — Joy Williams