Your East Nashville Shopping Guide
I could start a whole new blog about things to do in East Nashville and never run out of things to say. I already talked about my favorite East Nashville coffee shop here. Today I am highlighting two areas that are filled with joyous shops and delicious restaurants.
Shops at Porter East:
Remember the shopping plazas you grew up with? It probably had a pizza place, the Supercuts where your mom dragged you to get your haircut and a random RadioShack? This is the most upgraded, trendy version possible. Instead of a greasy pizza place there is Pomodoro East, serving wood-fired pizzas and wine. Instead of a Supercuts, they have M Hair Studio focusing on cruelty-free and vegan products to make your hair as gorgeous as ever. Although there is no replacement for Radioshack, they have plenty of other amazing places to pop into.
In a strip filled with micro shops and eateries sits some of my favorite places. For a quick bite, be sure to stop at Brightside Bakeshop. Specializing in cinnamon rolls and croissants, this should always be your first stop. A whiskey grows better with age, and apparently so do pastries. The pastries take about three days to make and taste so good that it is obvious that they take a significant amount of time and effort. The croissants are unlike anything you have ever had before. There are about ten different kinds so every time you stop in you can try something different. Whether you are looking for something sweet or savory, they have you covered. From sweet brioche, cinnamon rolls like the carrot cake cinnaroll to savory rolls like the three cheese, Brightside rocks (and rolls).
Speaking of places that rock, Dirty Livin’ is everything I want to be, but am not cool enough to style on my own. It is a rock and roll paradise with patterned pants, distressed t-shirts, bad ass bandanas and fun sunglasses. They offer both vintage finds and new, handmade clothing so you always have a one-of-a-kind wardrobe. As we were leaving, a literal band of influencers came in to check out the shop and upgrade their style. Never have I felt so strongly compelled to buy something just to match the brand. Dirty Livin’ survives by emphasizing style and a cool factor that otherwise you may never achieve.
Apple and Oak
Just a few stores down you’ll find my dream car, a turquoise blue truck older than my parents. On the back sits a sign pointing you into the cutest shop selling enamel pins, specially designed cards, pillows, rugs and other cute items for your home. After about fifteen minutes looking at all the different cards, I bought one with an “Schitt’s Creek” drawing. If you’re into anything pop culture, they will have a card that seems like it was custom designed to match your personality. Apple and Oak has a girly flare, but has found the perfect balance so it is not overwhelming. Even in a pair of oversized grunge jeans from Goodwill, I felt like I fit in. Not to mention it is filled with cute insta-opportunities from hanging chairs, to a to full couch in back with a decorated wall, it is well worth stopping in.
Kokos Ice Cream
If the ice cream is plant based, does that mean it is counts as eating a salad? Kokos has managed to create dairy free, nut free, 100% plant based ice cream that tastes just as good as the real thing. Right now, this is just a to go shop where you can buy prepackaged artisan ice cream. In true East Nashville fashion, check them out before they become the next big thing. Kokos is working on creating their first scoop shop, opening later this spring. Beat the crowds and give yourself the ability to look back and say, “I remember when Kokos only had one location.”
Just down the road, you’ll find another collection of shops and restaurants, just as cute. On Eastland Ave, they have two vegetarian restaurants, a cosmetics store, a coffee shop, Five Daughters, Jeni’s and a gift store. Basically, it is a vacuum that sucks up all my money every time I go (in the best way, of course). Here are a few of my favorite stops.
Although it sounds like a home goods store, and they do have home décor, it is much more than that. Welcome Home carries a wide variety of gifts, jewelry, perfumes, books, and just about everything else you can imagine. They specialize in both quirky and cute items so you’re guaranteed to find the perfect item for everyone in your life.
This is a natural cosmetics store with a twist. In addition to beauty and wellness products, Lemon Laine has an oil bar to personalize products for you. The first step is a consultation where you talk to understand your skin goals and beauty routine. Next the specialists create a facial oil specifically for you using jobjoba oil infusions and essential oils. If you aren’t looking for a customized experience, they have you covered. The store is filled with prepackaged goodies that will make you look and feel amazing!
Ugly Mugs Coffee & Tea
Serving locally roasted coffee and treats, you’re guaranteed a great experience at Ugly Mugs. If you’re looking for a cultural experience while sipping your latte, look no further. The coffee shop accepts submissions from local artists to display their art on the walls and often has live music and special events. It can be hard to find a coffee shop that won’t lock you out during your late-night study session. Ugly Mugs is the answer to your prayers, open until 9pm Sunday-Thursday and 10pm Friday and Saturday. If this isn’t enough to sway you, they also offer treats from local eateries like Sweet 16th, Dozen Bakery and Bagel Face Bakery. Pro tip: stop in for a breakfast sandwich, I promise you’ll enjoy it.