But First, Coffee


Nashville, the land of Country music, BBQ, and … artisanal coffee? I was surprised with how many local coffee shops populate Nashville (we have three just within a mile of us!). Chicago is many things, but it isn’t exactly Small Business Central. It is one of the greatest cities in the world, full of hard-working individuals who are extremely busy (and obsessed with weather and traffic). The art of lattes isn’t considered sacred, but speed of service? It’s the Holy Grail.

That is why when you walk down Michigan Avenue chain stores tend to dominate (and even more so in the suburbs). There are some wonderful exceptions and I do think it is beginning to change a bit. Intelligentsia’s headquarters are in downtown Chicago and they are a prominent figure of the Third Wave Coffee movement.

Nashville is different. It seems like the ratio of local to chain is much more even. People enjoy supporting small businesses by shopping locally while friendly debate rages over who serves the best lattes in town.



During a free morning, Jordan and I had a coffee date at Barista Parlor. This isn’t the place for a quick cup on the go, but the bright, cheery space is great when you have spare time and want to sip while reading a book or working. It’s such a beautiful place.

They don’t really offer any gluten-free food options (I have become one of those people!), but their almond milk latte was perfect, paired with a Mast Brother’s chocolate bar. Jordan had a homemade breakfast sandwich in my honor (I miss egg sandwiches so much!).

I can’t wait to go back during the summer months when the garage doors are open!



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20 thoughts on “But First, Coffee”

  1. That’s something that’s definitely lacking in Miami – local coffee shops. Starbucks dominates the market here. We have three within a couple mile radius of our home.
    I’ve seen a lot of people in Nashville talking about this place. It looks amazing.

    1. And believe me I am a full supporter of Starbucks (these local shops wouldn’t exist if Starbucks hadn’t put the word latte in the forefront – we’d all be drinking Folgers!). I think there is room for all. Chains are good, especially when traveling and you need a clean bathroom and free wifi.

  2. I will always have a special place for Starbucks, especially since I spent a year of my life being a barista but local artisan coffee is Queen of all coffee. Nothing beats the atmosphere and just…everything.

  3. thanks for joining us! this place is amazing! the garage doors will be awesome when opened… and I love the american flag and cups!! such a great place to share. thanks again and have a great weekend!

  4. Ooh! I love this, Catherine! (And I’m so happy you linked up!) 🙂 I totally agree with you regarding Chicago – and while I do love a cup or two of Intelligentsia, there is something really dreamy about walking into a “dive coffee bar” and feeling like you’re a part of something undiscovered – like it’s a special secret or something. Probably one of the reasons I was so excited about this linkup. I LOVE places like Frothy Monkey here but I think I’m happiest in the little, quiet coffee shops. Coincidentally, Barista Parlor was on my list of coffee shops to try this spring 😉

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