Nashville is filled with tons of fun neighborhoods to explore that appeal to all types of travelers—from Broadway Street, filled with lively nightclubs and country music, to The Gulch, a revitalized neighborhood with shopping, nightlife, and entertainment.
However, there are few neighborhoods as charming as 12 South Nashville. This half-mile street is one of the smallest neighborhoods in Nashville, but it’s filled to the brim with local restaurants, charming boutiques, and colorful murals. It’s a hub for shopping, dining, and laid-back fun, making it the perfect spot to spend a day in Nashville, TN.
Discover all the best things to do in 12 South Nashville, including where to eat, stay, and play, to plan the perfect day in this adorable neighborhood!
Best Restaurants in 12 South Nashville
One of the best things to do in 12 South Nashville is to eat and drink your way down the street! Many of the most fun restaurants in Nashville, TN, are in 12 South, so this neighborhood is already a must-visit if you’re looking for the most delicious food in Nashville.
These are some of the most popular spots for coffee, brunch, dinner, and dessert in 12 South:
Ladybird Taco is a hip spot for breakfast and lunch tacos that was modeled after the taco restaurants in Austin, Texas. They are open daily from 7 AM – 3 PM. On their menu, you’ll find six variations of breakfast tacos and seven variations of lunch tacos. They also serve salads, snacks, coffee, and other beverages. If you’re looking for a unique brunch spot in 12 South Nashville, you can’t miss Ladybird Taco!
Frothy Monkey is one of the best places for coffee, breakfast, or lunch in 12 South Nashville. This local chain has restaurants in Nashville, Franklin, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. They serve locally roasted coffee and make all the pastries and breakfast and lunch items in-house with ingredients from local farmers and producers. If you’re in 12 South Nashville for breakfast, I highly recommend stopping at this popular spot!
Locust is a fine dining restaurant in 12 South Nashville that is only open on the weekends for lunch and dinner, so if you’re here on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, be sure to make reservations—they are required! Locust has a frequently changing, seasonal menu, so you’ll have a unique experience each time you visit. Expect an intimate experience—there are only eight tables in the entire restaurant!
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is a staple in Nashville, and fortunately, they have a location right in the heart of 12 South Nashville! You can stop in for a scoop of ice cream (the Gooey Butter Cake is my favorite!) while you walk around the neighborhood, or you can order an ice cream flight to try several of the unique, seasonal flavors offered at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
Bartaco may not be a local restaurant, but it’s one of the best restaurants in 12 South Nashville. They are open at 11 AM daily, and they have happy hour from 3 – 6:30 PM on Monday through Friday. Bartaco serves—you guessed it—tacos! You’ll find tacos like Baja Fish, Seared Chorizo, and Crispy Oyster, to name a few, on their menu. They also serve rice bowls and a few other “non-taco” entrees on their menu. For drinks, you’ll find a selection of craft cocktails, beer, sangria, and wine.
The Butter Milk Ranch
The Butter Milk Ranch is a small-batch bakery and daytime eatery in 12 South Nashville. This local restaurant has a walk-up counter for quick-serve pastries, including croissants, cheesecake, cookies, and other goodies, from Wednesday to Sunday. They also offer table service from Thursday to Sunday, where you can order breakfast and lunch items, like scrambles, sandwiches, bowls, and other brunch items.
You can also order coffee, juice, and milkshakes from The Butter Milk Ranch, in addition to boozy breakfast drinks, on-draft cocktails, beer cocktails, and more.
Craving some “Nashville Style” barbecue while you’re in 12 South Nashville? If so, stop by Edley’s Bar-B-Que—a staple for barbecue in Tennessee. It surely won’t disappoint!
Edley’s Bar-B-Que is one of the best restaurants in 12 South Nashville and serves brisket, ribs, pulled pork, chicken, wings, and turkey. You can also get fried chicken while you’re here, which is unique. Pair your meat(s) with made-from-scratch sides, like green beans, mac ‘n’ cheese, cornbread, and baked beans, to stay full all day long! They’re open from Thursday – Sunday in 12 South at 11 AM and close “when the last drink is poured” (which is usually at 9 PM or 10 PM, according to their website).
Five Daughters Bakery
Five Daughters Bakery is an awesome (and adorable!) bakery in 12 South Nashville that is known for its “100 Layer Donuts” in flavors like Chocolate Sea Salt, Vanilla Cream, and Maple Glaze. They also have seasonal donut flavors too! In addition to donuts, Five Daughters Bakery serves cookies and other pastries. Take a photo in front of the “I Heart Donuts” mural outside the bakery while you’re here!
Wanna Spoon Cereal Bar
Want to tap into some childhood nostalgia while you’re exploring 12 South Nashville? If so, stop by Wanna Spoon Cereal Bar. Choose from 20+ kinds of cereal to fix your own bowl of cereal (alternative milk, like oat or almond, is provided!) or mix up your favorite cereal into ice cream or a milkshake.
Wanna Spoon is open from 9 AM to 10 PM (except on Sunday and Monday, when they close at 9 PM), so if you get a late-night craving for cereal, this innovative spot is sure to satisfy!
More Restaurants in 12 South Nashville
If you have more time, check out these other restaurants in 12 South Nashville:
- Taqueria del Sol—This local counter-serve chain serves soft tacos and enchiladas in a laid-back space for dinner and late-night eats.
- Josephine—If you’d like to enjoy modern cuisine in a stylish location, check out this local neighborhood spot for a fancy dinner.
- 12 South Taproom and Grill—Grab a craft beer and some pub grub in this casual, neighborhood taproom with a family-friendly vibe.
- Embers Ski Lodge—Bring the mountains to the countryside at this après-ski-inspired gastropub with cocktails, food, and a large list of whiskey.
- Bottle Cap—Grab some pub food and great drinks at this neighborhood hang where you can catch the game or catch up with friends.
- Urban Grub—This stylish eatery is one of the only places you can find seafood in 12 South Nashville. They even have a raw bar!
- The Filling Station—This casual spot is a great place to quench your thirst with a beer!
- Burger Up—Enjoy a creative burger with locally-sourced ingredients in this comfy hamburger restaurant with an upscale flair.
- Christie Cookie Co.—This local chain is a popular spot for fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and other classic cookies made with natural ingredients.
Best Boutiques & Shopping in 12 South Nashville
Whether you’re on a shopping spree for a bachelorette party or a girls’ weekend, 12 South Nashville is the perfect neighborhood in Nashville for shopping! This short street is filled with tons of local boutiques, including the following:
Imogene + Willie
Imogene + Willie is a boutique with its flagship store in 12 South Nashville and is one of the best spots for shopping in 12 South Nashville! While their specialty is high-quality denim for men and women, they also sell tees and tanks, shirts, jackets, pants, shorts, and accessories. They even have a tailor shop where you can bring your jeans back to if a button breaks, zipper snaps, or knee tears.
Imogene + Willie is open from 10 AM – 6 PM on Monday through Saturday and 12 PM – 5 PM on Sunday, so if you’re looking for a pair of jeans to wear with your cute cowboy boots, stop inside!
Vinnie Louise is a popular local boutique in Nashville, TN, with two “brick and mortar” locations in East Nashville and 12 South Nashville. They sell clothes from their own brand, including tops, dresses, bottoms, outerwear, jumpsuits, and rompers. They also sell accessories, shoes, and select home items, like paper goods and candles.
Vinnie Louise has a style that is distinctly “Nashville,” so if you’re looking for some pieces to wear while you’re in town, I highly recommend stopping at this spot for shopping in 12 South Nashville.
Draper James is arguably the most famous boutique and the best spot for shopping in 12 South Nashville. Founded by Reese Witherspoon, this boutique carries pretty, feminine pieces that embrace the southern charm and classic American style.
Draper James has locations in Houston, TX, and Lexington, KY, but the store in Nashville is the flagship location. After taking some time to browse around, stop to snap a picture in front of the blue and white striped wall and the “Draper James” sign on the side of the building!
MODA Boutique Nashville
MODA Boutique is a hub for designer clothing and jewelry in 12 South Nashville. They sell tops, dresses, accessories, shoes, bottoms, and outerwear for women from various brands from around the country, ranging from pretty, casual, edgy, and dressy. MODA Boutique is open from 12 PM – 5 PM on Sunday through Monday and from 10:30 AM – 6 PM on Tuesday through Saturday.
Emerson Grace describes itself as a boutique that provides a “carefully edited selection of elevated casual wardrobe staples for the fashion-forward female.” They’ve been open since 2013 in 12 South Nashville and sell pieces from several unique brands. Emerson Grace is currently open from 10 AM – 5 PM on Monday through Saturday and from 12 PM – 5 PM on Sunday.
Judith Bright is a popular retailer of meaningful jewelry in Nashville, Tennessee. They have three locations—one in 12 South Nashville, The Factory at Franklin, and The Nations L&L Market. The 12 South location is open from 10 AM – 6 PM from Tuesday to Saturday and 12 PM to 6 PM on Sunday. They are closed on Monday. Judith Bright sells bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and rings for every occasion, including popular trends, like stacking rings. This jeweler even has birthstone and gemstone jewelry!
White’s Mercantile calls itself a “general store for the modern-day tastemaker.” They have five locations in Tennessee and Arkansas, including a store in 12 South Nashville! At White’s Mercantile, you’ll find a little bit of everything you need—from cocktail mixers and organic dog treats to classic soap bars and home décor. Even if you don’t “need” anything, it’s fun to browse White’s Mercantile to see what you can find!
Best Things to Do in 12 South Nashville
Although it wouldn’t be difficult to spend all day eating and shopping, there are plenty of other fun things to do in 12 South Nashville to keep you busy, including:
Amelia’s Flower Truck
Amelia’s Flower Truck is an adorable spot where you can stop and pick up a bouquet. It’s one of the best things to do in 12 South Nashville—one of the best things to do in 12 South Nashville.
Amelia’s Flowers is a local floral business with locations at The Factory at Franklin, L&L Market, and Shops at Porter East. However, the flower trucks (named Amy, Rory, and Melody) move around regularly, and they are often in 12 South Nashville. You can find them at the 12 South Farmers Market or parked in front of White’s Mercantile or Imogene + Willie.
12 South Farmers Market
If you’re in the neighborhood on Tuesdays from 4 PM – 7 PM in the summer (May through October), you can’t miss the 12 South Farmers Market!
This community farmers market features locally grown produce, meats, dairy, baked goods, food trucks, and much more! You can stop here for dinner or even pick up some groceries to snack on during the rest of your vacation in Nashville.
Mural Scavenger Hunt
Nashville is known for its fun, colorful murals, so one of the best things to do in 12 South is to spend the day locating all the murals and taking photos in front of them! Some of the most popular murals you can find in 12 South Nashville are I Believe in Nashville, Looking Pretty Music City, Flowers, Make Music Not War, and Nashville Looks Good on You.
You can read my Nashville Murals Guide for more information about each of these murals and where to find them in 12 South Nashville. You can also book this Nashville Mural Photowalk Tour with a Professional Photographer or Mural Art Tour by Golf Cart to go mural hunting with a local from Nashville, TN.
Where to Stay in 12 South Nashville
Although there aren’t any hotels or places to stay in 12 South Nashville (it is a small neighborhood, after all!), if you want to stay near this adorable neighborhood, here are some hotels you should check out:
- Distance from 12 South: 2.5 miles
Graduate Nashville is a trendy, fun, eclectic hotel that’s perfectly situated between 12 South at Broadway Street. It’s beloved for its girly rooftop pool, themed after the Dolly Parton, called White Limozeen, and trendy coffee shop in the lobby called Poindexter Coffee. Graduate Nashville is a great location for a bachelorette weekend, girls’ trip, or mother-daughter getaway!
Moxy Nashville (Vanderbilt)
- Distance from 12 South: 1.4 miles
Moxy Nashville is just a short one-mile drive from 12 South Nashville and is around other great spots to eat, like The Grilled Cheesesrie, in Hillsboro Village. The hotel itself offers rooms with modern decor and balconies, a fitness center, and a hip bar. Couples love this hotel and its location!
Kimpton Aerston Hotel
- Distance from 12 South: 2.2 miles
Kimpton Aerston Hotel is just over a short two-mile drive from 12 South. This hip, upscale hotel offers a rooftop pool & bar, terrace dining, a spa, and a fitness room. You can also eat breakfast at Henley, the restaurant’s brasserie. This elegant property is a great place to stay on Nashville’s Music Row!
Enjoy the Best Things to Do in 12 South Nashville & Fall in Love with This Charming Neighborhood
Does 12 South Nashville sound like a fun neighborhood you would like to explore? For being such a small district, 12 South Nashville is jam-packed with tasty restaurants, great shopping, and fun tourist attractions you can’t miss during your time in Nashville!
Have you been to 12 South Nashville? If so, let me know if you agree with these things to do in 12 South Nashville in the comments below!
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Save Where to Eat, Shop, Stay & Play in 12 South Nashville for Your Trip
Looking for more things to do in Nashville beyond 12 South during your vacation? Check out my other travel guides for Nashville:
- 21 Fun Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee (First Timers Guide)
- 20 Nashville Murals and Instagrammable Spots You Can’t Miss
- 17 Fun Places to Eat & Drink in Nashville, TN
- 15 Best Bars on Broadway Street in Nashville, TN
- 15 Best Day Trips & Weekend Trips from Nashville
- Ultimate Guide to Centennial Park in Nashville
- 10 Charming Things to Do in Franklin, TN