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15 Best Neighborhoods in Nashville, Tennessee

By: Susan Finch
September 19, 2019

Are you looking for the best neighborhoods in Nashville, Tennessee and ready for your next adventure? With a reputation for year-round live music and thriving city life, Nashville is a tantalizing place to live that's full of new opportunities.

You can find some of the world’s best live music any night of the week in Music City. Although country music is a tried and true staple, there’s an eclectic mix of music going on around the best neighborhoods in Nashville every night of the week. Take your pick from pop, jazz, classical, rock and just about any other genre you can imagine.

Of course, moving to Nashville also comes with a booming job market attracting new transplants from around the country. And although Nashville brings the heat in the summer months, mid-winters are a haven for northeast transplants looking for a temperate climate and friendly atmosphere. Nashville is also a popular alternative to the intense bustle and rising costs of New York and Las Angeles, without sacrificing nightlife and world-class amenities.

If you are considering a move to Nashville, know that there are tons of neighborhoods, each offering their own unique vibe. Here’s our breakdown of the best neighborhoods in Nashville with apartment renters in mind.

1. Downtown Nashville

Make Downtown Nashville your new home where live music venues, museums, and nearly 300 restaurants line the streets. Apartment occupancy is high in Downtown Nashville, with a new influx of young professionals flocking to the city center. You’ll pay a premium to live in the heart of the city, but the trade off is worth it for urban lovers.

Life in Downtown Nashville offers a unique, spirited experience. Hipsters and country lovers alike hit up the famous honky-tonks on Broadway and 2nd avenue where everyone comes together for a toe-tapping good time. It's easy to see why people refer to the city as "Nashvegas" with so much to see and do. Explore your new neighborhood with a stop at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, Peg Leg Porker BBQ, or a honky-tonk with live music spilling onto the sidewalk.

2. East Nashville

Situated on the east side of Cumberland River, East Nashville is one of the best neighborhoods in Nashville with a small-town feel while encompassing several smaller Nashville neighborhoods. Entrepreneurs, creatives and independent spirits gather in East Nashville’s quaint coffee shops and WeWork coworking space.

Locals embrace living just across the river from the heart of Music City while still enjoying access to all of the amenities they need in their own neighborhood. Head down to the Riverside Village area, grab some world-famous bacon at Mitchell Delicatessen, and shop the local boutiques like Her Bookshop and the Idea Hatchery. On the weekend, see who's playing at Basement East, and stop by Edley's BBQ for great food with friends.

Bluebird Cafe - Ron Cogswell

3. Green Hills

Looking to escape the bustle of Nashville? Green Hills offers suburban affluence with high-end boutiques and retailers nestled in a family-friendly atmosphere. Find everything from Burberry to Louis Vuitton at the behemoth Mall at Green Hills. For a boutique shopping experience, residents opt for the Hill Center for upscale brands like Billy Reid or H. Audrey. 

On weekends, catch-up with the neighbors over drinks at the family-owned and operated Original Corner Pub. For dinner, try Char Restaurant for a Southern-style style steakhouse experience complete with a piano bar. And over at Etc. Restaurant, the team dishes up globally influenced dishes with buzz-worthy praise. The food scene in Green Hills is undeniable.

But you can’t settle into Green Hills without enjoying the iconic Bluebird Cafe club. The venue features both established and emerging artists, like a once unknown Taylor Swift. 

4. Bellmont - Hillsboro Village

As one of the best neighborhoods in Nashville, Belmont-Hillsboro Village is situated between Belmont University and Vanderbilt University.This walkable area teems with college students, young professionals, and families looking for a quieter way of life without leaving the city. You’ll also never go thirsty in this area, as it packs in tons of bars.

Locals stand in line to savor the pancakes at Pancake Pantry and enjoy BBQ and beers at Martin's BBQ Joint. For something more upscale, Cabana draws a crowd looking for posh dining in a cozy atmosphere. Book lovers find a little of everything at Book Man - Book Woman, with thousands of new and used books.

Get settled into your new Nashville neighborhood by soaking up Hillsboro’s independent spirit. The Nashville non-profit Belcourt Film Center offers unique film screenings and other events to support the artistic, eclectic endeavors of emerging artists.

5. Vanderbilt - Midtown

The Nashville neighborhoods of midtown and the adjacent Vanderbilt University attracts a mix of students and young professionals for a unique vibe. Locals walk to the award-winning restaurants and pubs playing live music every night of the week. Apartment living is a popular choice in this area, with apartments containing all the amenities you need for upscale city living.

During the weekend, take in a film or see the artwork at the Sarratt Student Center, enjoy the outdoors at nearby Centennial Park, and wrap up your day with a beer at Hopsmith Tavern before dinner at Catbird Seat. 

Locals support the charming Midtown Cafe dating back over 30 years. The cafe even provides free shuttle service to downtown hotels and performances.  And if you just can't get enough of Nashville's live music, listen to the singers and songwriters who helped shape country music history at The Row.

6. The Gulch

As a LEED Certified community in the heart of Nashville, The Gulch is one of the best neighborhoods in Nashville for urban living. Locals make themselves right at home in this thriving community with retail, restaurant, entertainment venues, and offices around every corner. Apartment buildings, high rises, and lofts are popular options in The Gulch for newcomers looking to live in the heart of the action.

Walk to work and stop for morning coffee at Barista Parlor. Greet your new neighbors over drip coffee and specialty drinks like their bourbon vanilla espresso. Stop by Bar Louie or Gertie's Bar for drinks and dinner at 404 Kitchen before live music at the Station Inn. On weekends, unwind at The Frist Art Museum for exhibitions and film screenings or the Mercy Lounge for indie and folk.   

7. Germantown

Considered one of the best neighborhoods in Nashville for walking, Germantown features charming brick sidewalks lined with historical homes and small businesses. Germantown's roots date back to the 1850s when residents established the neighborhood as Nashville's first suburb. Although it still offers old-world architecture, Germantown is a thriving Nashville neighborhood with modern amenities and proximity to downtown. The tight-knit community has a low-key vibe, ample green space for families. 

Locals gather at the weekly Farmer's Market to stock their pantries, or Tempered Cafe and Chocolate for truffles, chocolate, and cheese. If crêpes are more your speed, stop by Red Bicycle Coffee & Crêpes or share a Sunday brunch at Butchertown Hall. Order the incredible Cowboy Breakfast featuring mouthwatering oak-smoked brisket. 

Walk off your breakfast at the nearby Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Make sure to stay to hear the chimes of the bells! 

8. Music Row

Situated southwest of downtown Nashville, the heart of the music industry lies in Music Row. The historic Nashville neighborhood is an ideal place to live for both the music industry workers and music lovers alike. Record label offices, radio stations, and recording studios abound in Music Row. There’s always an opportunity to spot some of the most famous acts in country music and beyond. One of the first major music studios, RCA, opened their doors in the 1950s after signing Elvis Presley followed by a long list of legendary performers. This neighborhood is rich in music history.

Tourists love Music Row, but it doesn't take away from the fun of living in the neighborhood. Ideal for urban dwellers, Music Row is full of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Upscale condos and apartment buildings are the norm in Music Row, where locals step outside to hear live music spilling into the streets.

9. West End Park

If you’ve ever spotted the full-scale replica of the Green Parthenon situated inside Centennial Park, you’ve made your way to Nashville’s West End Park neighborhood. Locals gather for outdoor festivals and concerts at the park and stroll the tree-lined streets. With easy access to Vanderbilt University, West End is ideal for students and faculty looking for convenience while still living close to downtown.

West End residents embrace the convenience to everything the city offers from shops to bars and entertainment. Like just about all of the best Nashville neighborhoods, West End Park features its own iconic gems. Stop by "the rock block" to listen to music at the long-running The End. Walk to Midtown or bike to Downtown. Both are within striking distance and the journey there will provide you with tons of dining options along the way.

10. Sylvan Park

Step into the historic neighborhood of Sylvan Park for some of Nashville's most charming residential architecture. Clapboard homes, bungalows, and new construction decorate the neighborhood with character. Although the neighborhood has a low-key vibe, Sylvan Park is right by Midtown and West End Park.

Locals meet for dinner at Park Cafe and the other must-eat options along Murphy Road. Unwind after a long day at work at Neighborhood Bar and watch the Titans play. On weekends, your neighbors can be found at McCabe Golf Course or the local McCabe Rec Center, hosting weekly fitness classes. 

11. South Broadway (SoBro)

When locals mention "SoBro," they're talking about the Nashville neighborhood situated just south of downtown Nashville's Broadway, or South of Broadway. The area is conveniently located next to both downtown Nashville and The Gulch. You’re also within walking distance to the convention center, live music venues, restaurants, bars, and Schermerhorn Symphony Center. SoBro draws locals looking to live in one of the best locations in the city.

You can’t settle into your new SoBro neighborhood without a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and Music City Walk of Fame Park. And as one of Nashville's premier entertainment districts, locals can find something to do at every corner. 

Before you set off to find your new favorite entertainment venue, stop by Café Intermezzo or Crema for coffee and desserts. Or come hungry and savor the tacos and tequila at Bajo Sexto Taqueria.

12. Five Points

Once an underserved Nashville neighborhood with few amenities, Five Points is now a thriving hipster neighborhood filled with bars, live music, and nightlife. The neighborhood is also home to the Nashville institution Bongo East. Join the locals gathering for their daily fix of caffeine. It’s also a popular spot to get some work done alongside Nashville’s remote workforce.

Living in Five Points comes with endless options for amazing food and lively nightlife, making it one of the best neighborhoods in Nashville. Grab some chicken and waffles at Tenn16 before heading over to the Shoppes on Fatherland or Rusty Rats Antiques & Vintage. Tap into your creative side at Art & Invention Gallery for a showcase of local artists and photographers. Get your bar crawl started along 11th Street at 3 Crow Bar, Beyond the Edge, and Lipstick Lounge.

13. Melrose & 8th Avenue South

Explore the cozy neighborhood of Melrose and 8th Ave South situated south of Downtown Nashville where Franklin Pike turns into 8th Avenue South. The area is heavily trafficked and without the tall high-rises urban dwellers are accustomed to. Melrose and 8th Ave is also considered more affordable than nearby Downtown neighborhoods, but within proximity to the action. Explore the neighborhood and stop by the Sutler for cold brewers or get some fresh air and greenspace at Sevier Park.

As one of Nashville's best neighbohroods, Melrose and 8th Ave South is also a mainstay for longstanding Nashville businesses. Stop by Grimey's New & Preloved Music or take in a live performance at the Douglas Corner Cafe. Today many of those nostalgic establishments still reign, and new favorites have popped up like Flip luxury consignment shop or Bliss Home to outfit your new apartment.

14. 12 South

12 South is regarded as one of the best neighborhoods in Nashville and attracts growing families who love city living. It's also a neighborhood for the creative minded with remote workers gathering at local coffee shops.

For being such a small neighborhood, 12 South packs in the amenities. The half-mile stretch of 12 South welcomes everything from vintage clothing to a gourmet Mexican popsicle shop with the best of Nashville's businesses in between. Locals come for the shopping, dining, bakeries, bars, and boutiques featuring local and international designers.

15. Demonbreun Hill

Demonbreun Hill is often lumped together with Midtown, but offers its own distinct Nashville vibe. Stroll the area for outdoor patios, pubs, and restaurants to find college students and young professionals crowding around Tin Roof and other popular bars.

This party neighborhood is also home to retail shops and scores of commercial buildings. You won't find single-family houses lining the streets in Demonbreun Hill. Instead, look for new apartments and condos towering above the action.

Finding Your Nashville Apartment

Is Music City calling your name? Nashville neighborhoods offer something for music lovers, ambitious professionals, families and urban dwellers alike. Learn about Nashville's cost of living and average rent prices.

If Nashville doesn't seem like the perfect place for you though, consider Knoxville, another Tennessee city.

To find your Nashville apartment, get started with the quiz above!

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Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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