Nashville is known for being a place where celebrities can blend in, or at least avoid the paparazzi. But that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t gawk or snap a stealthy photo when our paths cross with fame. Thankfully, if you want to catch a glimpse of the city’s royalty — elite musicians, movie stars and television standouts — you don’t have to make reservations months in advance at an exclusive restaurant. A casual town makes for casual celebrity sightings. And here’s where they often happen:
Known for its minimalist design, East Nashville location and nationally renowned coffee roasts like Intelligentsia and Stumptown, Barista Parlor also serves up housemade peach-jam biscuits, good-to-the-last-drop bourbon-vanilla lattes and a host of eye candy. Housed in a former transmission shop, the establishment is a favorite for locals with global résumés. People such as iconic musician Jack White, as well as his nemesis Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, are known to be regulars. Andrecently, Tom Hanks posed for a selfie with several coffee aficionados in front of The Preussen, the shop’s famous 24-foot letterpress mural created by Nashville’s Bryce McCloud. Apparently celebrities love their high-end coffee brews as much as the rest of us.
When it comes to haute accommodations, Hutton Hotel, located in Nashville’s established West End, is one of the city’s best-kept secrets for celebrity sightings. Marrying the best of eco-friendly and posh sensibilities, the 247-room hotel has been home base for actors like Gwyneth Paltrow (who once wrote about her stay on her website, Goop), who wish to stay out of the spotlight when it’s time to snooze. And seeing as how it’s a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star property, it goes without saying that Hutton Hotel offers all guests prompt and sophisticated service, Academy Award-winning actress or not.
Since 1926, The Palm has been synonymous with great steaks and even greater service. The restaurant opened a Nashville location in 2000 that’s a stone’s throw away from Bridgestone Arena, dishing out classic Italian fare like veal milanese; 18-ounce, double-cut lamb rib chops; and lobster fresh from Nova Scotia. With a hushed atmosphere and private dining rooms that offer anonymity, The Palm has served politicians, NBA players and country stars McGraw and Faith Hill, not to mention Robert Redford and the late James Gandolfini. Musicians have been known to slip in and out of The Palm undetected before and after sold-out shows, since the popular entertainment venue sits right next door.
The Turnip Truck is a modern organic grocery located in Nashville’s high-profile midtown neighborhood, the Gulch. Everything in the store — freshly pressed juices, red-beet smoothies, meats, produce and hot-bar items like soups, chicken Parmesan and curried tofu — comes directly from producers in the Middle Tennessee region. Every day, residents line up for a quick DIY lunch plate to take to go or to enjoy on the Turnip Truck’s expansive porch — and they’re not alone. Since many celebrities own home-away-from-home condos in the Gulch, the eatery is known as a haunt for ABC’s Nashville stars Hayden Panettiere and Chris Carmack. Musicians have to eat, too, right? Rockers such as Lenny Kravitz and country heartthrobs Jake Owen and Kip Moore have been seen hitting up the Turnip Truck for their locavore fix.