Just outside of downtown, near the Vanderbilt stadium, sits Centennial Park. Its 132 acres include a life-sized replica of the Parthenon (which you can tour during business hours), as well as a small lake circled by a flat, mile-long paved running trail, a kid-friendly playground, a couple beach volleyball courts, lots of open ground for impromptu picnics and Frisbee-throwing and it’s also home to some of the best dog watching in the city. The park is currently in the midst of a major renovation that will bring long-buried Cockrill Springs to the surface, create a wetlands garden and more. During the summer the park often hosts live music, food truck gatherings and other festivities, so be sure to check below for event listings.
Every year Scene readers vote Cupcake Collection as the Best Cupcakes in Nashville and for good reason. Not only are the cupcakes affordable (about $2 apiece), but they taste amazing. The cake is light and fluffy and the frosting is always fresh and buttery. The strawberry cake is as sweet and flavorful as a real strawberry; the sweet potato cake will change the way you think about potatoes. The earlier you can get there the better, as they often sell out, and it’s worth noting that the shop is closed on Saturdays.
The name of this Farmers Market eatery, owner Ouida Bradshaw explains, describes the style of cooking: It’s not totally Jamaican, as ingredients can be hard to come by here, but it is the Jamaican way. Bradshaw gets her ackee shipped from Atlanta, and she uses the creamy white fruit in the staple dish of salt fish and ackee. Her patties are small turnovers of light dough wrapped around different fillings, then fried. The curries—typically chicken, goat, mutton and oxtail—are best ordered with yellow rice; the color comes not from saffron, but from the butternut squash puree Bradshaw adds to the basmati rice. She offers two versions of jerk chicken, mild and authentic; the latter is quite spicy, but not tongue-scorching. Bradshaw also makes and bottles her own mango/guava/passion fruit juice, along with sorrel, a tangy beverage commonly found in Caribbean eateries.