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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