After a two-year pandemic-forced hiatus, CMA Fest will make its grand return to Nashville on June 9-12. The four-day event is expected to draw somewhere between 200,000 to 300,000 people to downtown Nashville. In past years, the Nissan Stadiums shows have routinely hosted 50,000 fans each night. So, yeah, Music City is living up to its moniker this week.
And since CMA Fest is in Outsider’s backyard (that’s right, our home office is in Nashville), we thought we’d throw a handful of “affordable” recs your way in case you’re visiting our fair city for the first time.
Here are 5 Nashville Favorites Under $10 That Every CMA Fest Tourist Should Try. And if you’re looking for the Best Nashville Patios, Cigar Lounges, Meat & 3 Restaurants, Brunch Spots, or Hiking Trails, we’ve got ya covered, too.
1. Robert’s Western World
- Location: 416 Broadway
- Why: Recession Special – $6
Broadway boasts a bevy of happening honky-tonks, including The Stage, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Legend’s Corner, Layla’s, and more. But Robert’s Western World is the only one that offers live music . . . and the Recession Special. For only $6, you can get a fried bologna sandwich, chips, Moon Pie, and Pabst Blue Ribbon. For an extra 50 cents, you can upgrade to the Doggone Stimulus Package, which features a hot dog, chips, Moon Pie, and Busch Light.
2. Broadway Brewhouse
- Location: 317 Broadway
- Why: Get Wacked – $10
How or why a Caribbean concoction became associated with the capitol of a landlocked state like Tennessee is unimportant. And while several establishments claim the “original” Bushwacker (basically a rum-infused chocolate milkshake), our favorite comes from downtown’s Broadway Brewhouse. When the Nashville heat starts to make your internal temperature rise (chug a water), then dip into Broadway Brewhouse to cool off with a Bushwacker (while catching a buzz). Oh, BB also has more than 70 beers on tap (and another location in Cool Springs), so enjoy.
3. Black Abbey Brewing
- Location: 2952 Sidco Dr.
- Why: Take Flight – $8
Music City’s culinary claim to fame is Nashville Hot Chicken, which may explain why we have so many breweries popping up. Folks need something to soothe their scorched stomachs. Fortunately, many of our breweries offer stellar selections, including Jackalope, Tennessee Brew Works, Southern Grist, Bearded Iris, Czann’s, and more. And, one of our favorite places to congregate is Fellowship Hall, inside Black Abbey Brewing Co. in the Berry Hill neighborhood (about 5 miles south of downtown). Take a seat at one of the seven handmade farmhouse tables and order a four-beer flight ($8 on Fridays). We love the Grand Design (Belgian Tripel), Rose (Belgian Blonde), Special (Belgian Dubbel), and Crossroads (Summer Ale).
4. Prince’s Hot Chicken
- Location: 5055 Broadway Place (Assembly Food Hall)
- Why: Fiery Fowl – $10
Prince’s Hot Chicken is the granddaddy of Nashville Hot Chicken, thanks, in part, to Thornton Prince’s almost 100-year-old cayenne-coated fried chicken recipe. And inside downtown’s Assembly Food Hall, patrons can partake in the fiery fowl with a number of “hot” items, including tenders, wings, a new chicken breakfast biscuit, and The André Chicken Sandwich (named after current proprietor Ms. André Prince Jeffies, the great-niece of Thornton Prince). The André Chicken Sandwich features your choice of eight spice options, ranging from plain to XXX-Hot. Newbies, don’t even think about going full fire.
5. Goo Goo Shop
- Location: 116 3rd Ave. South
- Why: Gooey Goodness – $6.50
In 1912, the Goo Goo Cluster—milk chocolate, caramel, peanuts, marshmallow—was born at Nashville’s Standard Candy Company. More than 100 years later, it’s still one of the best-tasting concoctions on planet earth. Stop by the Goo Goo Shop for a full selection of gooey confections, milk shakes, and ice cream, but don’t leave until pocketing a 3-box of Original Goo Goo Clusters for $6.50.