Gluten-free girls’ weekend in Nashville
In February, I set off with four friends for a girls’ weekend in Nashville. It was one of my first trips since being diagnosed with Celiac disease, so I was nervous, especially since I was traveling with a group. To my relief, we found plenty of gluten-free options, including Southern staples like chicken and waffles and barbecue.
Here’s our itinerary:
Afternoon: We arrived in Nashville and took a cab to our Airbnb in East Nashville (which doesn’t seem to be listed anymore). We opted not to rent a car and instead used Lyft and Uber to get around. If you’re planning to do the same, I’d consider staying closer to the city center.
Our first stop was the 12South area. We got tacos at bartaco (not pictured, sorry). Their menu only has a few items that contain gluten, and they’re clearly labeled. I told the waitress that I have Celiac disease, and she put my order in separately. The tacos were great — very fresh.
Refueled, we shopped in some of the boutiques. And we couldn’t resist stopping at Jeni’s to pick up pints of ice cream — sweet cream, salty caramel and brown butter almond brittle, yum — to take back to the house. (All gluten-free flavors are clearly labeled.)
Evening: For dinner, we decided to get a Nashville classic — hot chicken at Hattie B’s (midtown location). You’ll probably need to wait in line, but it moves pretty quickly. They grilled three chicken strips separately for me, and I had potato salad and coleslaw as sides. I went with mild heat, and it was just the right amount of kick for me.
Morning: We started our full day of sightseeing with brunch at Amot Eatery. Besides being adorable, the restaurant’s entire menu is gluten free, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. We split the apple fritters to start, and I devoured my chicken and waffles. You MUST visit if you’re in Nashville. If it were up to me, we would have eaten here every day.
After wandering the nearby shops, we headed to the Grand Ole Opry. I don’t typically listen to country music, but I enjoyed the tour. We went backstage, saw the dressing rooms and walked onto the stage.
Afternoon: After briefly exploring the nearby Opryland resort, we headed to Belle Meade Plantation and winery. Tours of the house were sold out, but we enjoyed exploring the grounds and learning some of the area’s history — and tasting the wines.
Evening: For dinner, we got another Nashville essential: barbecue. We went to Jack’s Bar-B-Que (Broadway location). You order at a counter, and, when I said I have Celiac disease, the server changed his gloves and got a clean knife and cutting board. A sign at the counter lists the gluten-free sides. I had the beef brisket with green beans and cucumber salad.
A girls’ weekend in Nashville wouldn’t be complete without a night out on Broadway. We started at The Big Bang, a piano bar, and then headed to a honky-tonk bar next door with live country music. (Both had gluten-free ciders.)
Morning: After reading reviews, and calling to confirm they have gluten-free options, we decided to start the day with brunch at the Farm House. Gluten-free items weren’t labeled on the menu, but the server discussed my options and assured me that they’re used to handling gluten-free meals. I ordered eggs, bacon and grits a la carte. All were good, but this was probably my least favorite meal of the trip due to the lack of labeling on the menu and the limited options.
Next, we walked across the pedestrian bridge for views of the Nashville skyline.
Afternoon: We stopped back at the house to pack and relax — and polish off the ice cream — before heading to the airport.
Nashville is a great city for a weekend getaway, and you can enjoy the area’s famous dishes while eating gluten free.
- Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.com/
- 12South: http://www.visitmusiccity.com/plan/neighborhoods/12south
- Grand Ole Opry: http://www.opry.com/
- Opryland: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bnago-gaylord-opryland-resort-and-convention-center/?scid=bb1a189a-fec3-4d19-a255-54ba596febe2
- Belle Meade Plantation: http://bellemeadeplantation.com/
- Broadway: http://www.nashvilledowntown.com/go/broadway
- The Big Bang: http://www.thebigbangbar.com/
- John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge: http://www.nashvilledowntown.com/go/shelby-street-pedestrian-bridge
- Ryman Auditorium: https://www.ryman.com/
- Hatch Show Print: http://hatchshowprint.com/
- bartaco: http://bartaco.com/location/nashville-tn/ (menu: http://bartaco.com/media/bartaco-general-menu-10-2016.pdf)
- Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams: https://jenis.com/ (see gluten-free flavors at https://jenis.com/customer-service/product-info/)
- Hattie B’s Hot Chicken: http://hattieb.com/
- Amot Eatery: A Matter of Taste: http://amoteatery.com/ (menu: http://amoteatery.com/gluten-free-menu/)
- Jack’s Bar-B-Que: http://jacksbarbque.com/ (menu: http://jacksbarbque.com/menu)
- The Farm House: http://thefarmhousetn.com/ (menu: http://thefarmhousetn.com/table/)
We didn’t fit these into this trip, but they could be good options:
- Parthenon: http://www.nashville.gov/Parks-and-Recreation/Parthenon.aspx
- Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: http://countrymusichalloffame.org/
- Explore nearby Franklin: http://downtownfranklintn.com/
- Mission BBQ: http://m.mission-bbq.com (menu: http://mission-bbq.com/sites/default/files/GlutenFreeMenu_v14_Web_0.pdf)
- Opry Backstage Grill: http://www.marriott.com/hotel-restaurants/bnagi-the-inn-at-opryland-a-gaylord-hotel/opry-backstage-grill/5472435/home-page.mi (menu: http://www.marriott.com/hotelwebsites/us/b/bnagi/0_modules/restaurant/Opry_backstage_grill/module_pdfs/17-GO-7731-OBG_GlutenFreeMenu_Web.pdf)
- Italian Pizza & Pasta: http://www.italiapizza37206.com/mobile.html (menu: http://nashville.eat24hours.com/index.php?SCR=m_restaurant&id=52033&W)
- Fido: http://www.bongojava.com/fido-cafe/ (menu: http://www.bongojava.com/fido-cafe/menu/)
- The Local Taco: http://www.localtaco.com (menu: http://www.localtaco.com/admin/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/TLT-nashville-final-menu-1.27.172.pdf)
- Tavern: https://www.mstreetnashville.com/tavern (GF menu not posted online)
- Mas Tacos Por Favor: https://www.facebook.com/mastacos?sk=wall
(Disclaimer: I’m not a dietitian. I’m describing my experiences in hopes of helping with your trip planning, but you’ll need to decide what feels comfortable and safe for you.)