Top Nashville Coffee Shops: Part 1

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Erin Wilburn of Erin’s Food Files

When I visit other cities, I love to seek out unique coffee shops. Likewise, when people I know come to visit Nashville, my list of coffee shops for them to try is often equal in length to my list of dining recommendations. Nashville’s coffee scene is abuzz with fresh ideas, classic concepts, craftsmanship, and attention to detail like never before. There are so many interesting places to get your caffeine fix in this city, I just can’t name them all. Instead, I’ll name a few of my most frequented shops. (Sorry, I’m not driving to Williamson County for a cup of coffee, therefore, no Franklin shops on my list.) No matter what part of town you happen to find yourself in, you’re likely not far from a great cup of joe. I’ll start with some options for the most hard-core coffee enthusiasts.

Barista Parlor

One of the most newly lauded shops in town is Barista Parlor. They launched onto the scene like no other. Located in East Nashville, from the street you’d never know they were there unless you knew where to look. Around the side of a storefront, Barista Parlor inhabits an old car garage. Stepping into the shop, your eyes don’t know where to look first. The space is stunning, with attention to every detail — from the stools, lights, mural and artwork, to the dazzling open space.

The baristas work in an open center environment, so you can really see all the attention & care they put into your beverage. Don’t worry, this isn’t a place that looks better than it tastes. Their coffee is top notch.

And the food? Well, it’s worth writing home about. There are baked goods such as tarts, cookies and macarons, as well as great made to order options including a fluffy buttermilk biscuit with local sausage. In fact, most of the ingredients are locally sourced and seasonal.


Crema is another longtime favorite of mine. Located just outside of downtown, in the newly minted “Rolling Mill Hill”/SoBro part of town, Crema is quite a gem overlooking the city. I love to sit on the patio on a nice day and sip my drink. In the colder weather months, my husband and I like to relax in soft leather chairs as we warm up with our drinks.

I’m partial to The Cuban, which is an espresso with sweetened condensed milk. In the past, during the fall months they’ve offered a Bourbon Barrel Sorghum Latte, and it’s amazing. Most recently I tried the Coffee Soda, and was blown away at how refreshing it was. My husband often requests we go to Crema because he’s obsessed with the quiche they serve. The quiche, along with their “Crema-ritos” and baked goods come from local bakery Sweet 16th. The staff at Crema are helpful and informative without leaving you feeling like you asked a stupid question. They also offer a “Slow Bar” which is a tasting event with pairings and explanations of brew methods.


Image courtesy of Yelp
Dose is located just off West End and 440. At Dose they are serious about their drinks! Their menu is carefully crafted and expertly executed. They have one of my favorite cappuccinos in town. This was also the shop that I noticed had a flat-white on their menu, mere days after I discovered it in an article discussing its rareness in the US. Dose is where I became obsessed with ginger syrup after having their Ginger Latte.

The great thing about Dose is, they are as equally committed to their tea offerings as well. Personally, I’m not a tea person, but I’ve always been impressed and intrigued by their selection. They serve baked goods, as well as made-to-order options. I’m particularly fond of their Rosemary Biscuit with egg, ham and spicy remoulade, and my husband loves the Spicy Egg on a whole wheat bagel. Unfortunately, they’re currently closed for a remodel, but I can’t wait to check out their new space soon!

8th and Roast

Image courtesy of Buttermilk Trace
8th and Roast is newer to the scene, so my trips aren’t as numerous as other spots, but I have LOTS of catching up to do! I was first introduced to them as Roast, Inc. — in a location further from town. I was sad when they closed that location, but stoked to discover they were launching another spot closer in town. Their new location is full of character, so much so that you would think they’ve been there for ages.

I’ve had the chance to speak with the owners/roasters and they are amazingly knowledgeable and committed to bringing you amazing coffee. They got their start roasting and began selling their beans around town before opening the shop. While there, you can learn more about a pour over method, or enjoy one of their crafted drinks. Might I suggest the Nutella Latte?

For even more great coffee shop options, stay tuned for Part 2!

Erin is a full-time food lover, part-time food blogger. Her days are spent as a television video editor; while her mornings and evenings are spent chasing a toddler. When she finds the time, she enjoys cooking with local, seasonal produce, or baking treats to share. Married to a craft beer nerd, she enjoys seeking out unique eats and great drinks with her husband. She can’t live without good coffee.