This is the first of a 2-part blog series: Around Town with Khalila, the WXNA Intern
In this week’s post, Khalila explores her favorite local coffee shops and the way that they, like WXNA, create people-powered community.
I think local coffee shops are great places to find bits of Nashville that have remained authentic and unique. The shops listed below are a few of my favorites, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. I encourage you to get out and explore all the great coffee shops Nashville has to offer and find your own favorite spot.
Frothy Monkey first opened its doors in 2004. The 12 South location is the original and has been my favorite coffee shop since I was young. This little coffee shop is a great place to meet friends, old and new, with a welcoming atmosphere and a robust lunch and dinner menu that can accommodate almost any diet. Frothy Monkey offers a coffee shop buzz, vibe, and environment that has provided me with joy over the years being here. Their other locations offer different vibes, but share killer playlists, beautiful art, and the smell of coffee, tea, and extraordinary food filling the air.
Three Brothers Coffee
The owners of Cumberland Transit, a local outdoor activity supply store, created Three Brothers Coffee to “bring venture-ready customers, locals, and travelers a truly unique coffee experience.” The bicycle parts, hanging bicycles and images of travel adorning the shop may put visitors in a travelling state of mind, but Three Brothers is all about living local. Their menu features goodies from local bakeries Dozen and Star Bagel. The walls feature both rotating and permanent displays by local artists including a mural by Adrien Saporiti, founder of DCXV Industries and creator of the “I Believe In Nashville” murals. Even the magazines and newspapers on offer are local. The coffee selections rotate throughout the seasons and there are plenty of seats, couches, and outlets for you to work, study or catch up with a friend.
Bongo Java East
As the owner of Fido, Bongo Java, and Jefferson Street Cafe, Bob Bernstein has created a local coffee shop empire. My favorite outpost of this empire is Bongo Java East in East Nashville in the heart of Five Points. They have a full menu of coffee beverages, breakfast, lunch, snacks and, yes, board games. Thanks to their partnership with Game Point Cafe, you’ll find almost any board game you can think of on the shelves that line the walls. Whether you want to play a simple game or cards or Cards Against Humanity, Bongo Java East provides not only the game, but a game coach who will explain rules, settle disputes, and share the passion of gaming with you. Besides games, the cafe has a rotating display of local artwork in addition to a must-see mural of the types of people often found in a coffee shop. Grab a coffee, explore their rotating menu of seasonal drinks, and play some board games. What more could you ask for?
Brandon and Tracy Stakelbeck came up with the idea of Portland Brew after they visited Portland, Oregon, and fell in love with the coffee shops there. They were attracted to the creative and artistic aspects of Nashville, and wanted to bring the Portland hippie coffee shop vibe to Music City. Portland Brew offers a welcoming space for people to do homework, have meetings, and relax. They have a small menu comprising of muffins and baked goods, sandwiches, and breakfast sandwiches and you’ll know you’re a regular when the friendly staff calls you by name. Portland Brew has locations in 12 South and East Nashville.
Photos by Khalila
Header image by Jen on Flickr