If it weren’t for Seattle, Music City could easily be renamed Coffee City thanks to the abundance of great, locally-owned coffee shops.
While all of these shops provide caffeinated sustenance, not all of them are suitable for working. As Xennials, we’ve got lots to do, and post-pandemic, many of us are working outside of the office more than ever before.
So, here is a list of some of the best coffee shops in Nashville to get things done. To even qualify for this list, a shop must be open until at least 5 pm (aka, the end of the work day). Other factors considered include noise level and availability of outlets, but I left the actual coffee tasting to your discerning palettes.
Portland Brew has long been one of my favorite shops in town based on their delicious chai latte, but, they’re also a really great place to do some work. The 12 South crowd provides a distraction for sure, but PB has plenty of seating on either side of the café to keep you out of the fray – and you can even choose your mood, with one side bright and glassed-in and the other featuring more cozy lighting. (They also offer one of the most reasonably priced menus in town, with hot tea still in the $2 range, and alternative milks only $.50 extra.)
A little extra: PB has dedicated parking behind their building, accessed only by an alley, so you can skip the 12 South traffic (almost) altogether.
For those who want the East Nashville experience without crossing the river, Crema might be the place for you. Hipster baristas and customers set the vibe at this trendy store, and the bright natural light and ample seating (including a large patio, if you’ve got a full battery charge) make it a great place for working.
Parking downtown can be tricky, but Crema has a metered lot with free 1.5 hour parking and very reasonable rates after that.
New to the coffee scene is All People off of Douglas Ave. It’s such a pretty space, and since they’re open until 7 and serve beer and wine, if work runs long, you can easily find something to keep you going (but don’t tell your boss I said so!). Like most of East Nashville, parking is street, but it didn’t seem too hard to find a spot.
One of the most unique options on this list, you can grab a coffee or a beer (I promise I won’t tell!) while you knock out some work. So many options for seating, living room-esque decor, and they’re open until 10 for those night owls who still need to be productive. Living Waters also serves Crieve Hall Bagel Co., and ya girl loves her Crieve Hall Bagles.
A little extra: Order the chai. Seriously, it is the best chai I have EVER had. So smooth and creamy. I loved it.
Located in the Inglewood district of East Nashville, Sip Cafe is an unpretentious shop, both inside and out (although it is in an old bank, complete with teller stations). The vibe is friendly and very Nashville (the Willie Nelson Sirius station was playing while I was there), and while there are plenty of outlets, they’re placed a little inconveniently, so keep that in mind. Because it’s also an ice cream shop, Sip is open until 9 which earns it major points, as does the fact that each drink is about a dollar cheaper than at any other shop in Nashville (alternative milks are only an additional 50 cents!).
Comfy, cozy, and full of people working, Ugly Mugs is an oasis off of bustling Eastland Ave. With all of the East Nash vibes and a full sandwich menu to go along with their inventive drinks, Ugly Mugs is a great place to grab a cup and stay a while.
While all of the Barista Parlor locations are fairly comparable, only the Gulch location makes this list due to the volume levels, seating arrangement, and foot traffic. While I suspect that Fridays at this location are full of bachelorettes, Monday-Thursday is relatively quiet with plenty of space, including a covered patio. Parking is at a premium, but there is a small lot with free 90 minute parking, and a few street spots as well.
The Nations/Sylvan Park
The Nations has quickly become one of my favorite areas of town, thanks to the multitude of great food and brewery options and the lack of tourist traffic. And, Sylvan Park has all the old Nashville charm you could ever want. The area also delivers on coffee shops, with three making the “best of” list (and one an honorable mention)!
The Nations/Sylvan Park installation of this popular Wedgewood coffee shop is bright, big, and full of people of all ages working away. The noise level is usually minimal because most everyone is on their laptop, although they do offer a couple couches and comfy chairs for those needing to meet a client or colleague or to just catch up on some reading.
Dose is the perfect set-up for working – lots of individual seating with plenty of outlets. And, they offer delicious sandwiches (as well as the usual pastries, etc.), if you need to refuel with food.
With several locations throughout the Nashville metro area, at least two of Red Bicycle’s outposts make this “best of” list. The Nations store is located in a charming old house and has plenty of seating, including giant booths if you need to work on a group project.
Red Bicycle also features a full menu and regularly rotates their seasonal drinks, which always includes a non-coffee option. And, they’re open until 7!
Ramblin’ Joes/Ugly Mug – The Nations
Not to be confused with Ugly Mugs in East Nash, Ugly Mug (soon to be rebranded as Ramblin’ Joe’s) is a Memphis-based coffee shop that offers FREE PRINTING – up to 10 pages! And they are dog friendly – what’s not to love?!
Tucked away in an industrial district behind 100 Oaks, District Coffee is as unassuming as it is great for remote work. With a conference room, plenty of natural life, and lots of room to spread out (and more Crieve Hall Bagels!), it’s a great place to settle in for a few hours.
The Horn is a Somalian café known for their chai and sambusas (phenomenal!). While the shop itself is a simple store front off Murfreesboro Pike, what it lacks in coziness it more than makes up for with the friendliness of the staff (and the delicious sambusas – can’t emphasize this enough). With an outlet at every table, it’s perfect for settling in to crank things out.
Another day, another Red Bicycle. More industrial than the Nations’ version, this Red Bicycle nevertheless maintains the charm the brand is known for.
A little extra: The address is on Nolensville Pike, but there’s no entrance to the parking lot off the main road (just a curb that’s really easy to miss…) Instead, turn onto the cross street, Vivelle Ave., and enter the lot from there.
Travel back in time to the Jazz Age with this beautiful coffee shop/bar combination. With both well-lit tables and moody seating that fits the ambiance of Houston Station, Americano Lounge is a great place to knock out some work and transition straight into happy hour. Wednesday-Saturday, they’re open late and feature live jazz music, so if you can be productive while listening to music, you can keep working as you sip an espresso martini (or various other coffee cocktails).
Parking in front of Houston Station isn’t easy, but if you can’t find street parking, there is a gravel lot dedicated to the facility behind Jackalope Brewing.
Located in a converted old church, Humphrey’s Street Coffee is a bright, airy shop with tons of seating both indoors and outdoors (including a couple of old church pews), and there are plenty of outlets scattered around. Like most of We-Ho, parking is street parking, but there seemed to be plenty around.
Best of all, Humphrey’s Street is a social enterprise of Harvest Hands, both employing students from South Nashville, as well as reinvesting profits into programs and scholarships. You can find out more about their work at the Humphrey’s Street website, and click over to find a full list of Nashville cause-based businesses here.
Are Bellevue, West Nashville, and Donelson the ‘burbs? Debatable. But, either way, these coffee shops make the drive worth it.
Mt. Juliet will always have a special place in my heart, and if you’re out that way, stop by Billy Goat Coffee Café and see part of the reason why. This eclectic and charming café has an extensive menu of drinks and food with something for everyone – including lots of keto-friendly options! It’s a cozy place to do some work, whether sitting at a rustic table or on the couch curled up with one of the provided afghans.
Hip Donelson is slowly starting to live up to it’s name, and Caliber Coffee has a lot to do with that. With inventive drinks and a friendly staff, Caliber is a fun stop for any reason.
Because it is so popular and a smaller space, it can sometimes be crowded which amplifies the noise. If you can handle a little distraction, though (or have good ear buds), they’re open until 8 pm (!!), so you can really knock some things out. And don’t skip the food – Caliber has one of the best (and most affordable) salads in town.
Although Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee is a small chain, it feels like anything but. Attached to the Cortland West residential complex, Land of a Thousand Hills occupies a beautiful building that gives off major ski-lodge vibes.
There is plenty of seating inside, including several cozy booths. Noise level does not seem to be a problem, although it is family friendly and has a skee-ball machine (and a pool table, which I’ve yet to see used).
LTH is open until 7 and is another cause-based shop, supporting Rwandan farmers.
Another caused-based coffee house, the Well supports clean water initiatives throughout the world – including right here at home after the 2020 tornado. The Bellevue installation is spacious and industrial and open an hour later than the Granny White location (Brentwood is also open until 6 pm).
Due to the world being short staffed, these shops are not able to stay open as late as their posted hours, so they don’t technically qualify for this list. However, I love them so much, they are still worth a visit and a nod.
The Loading Dock – Wedgewood-Houston
Cute, friendly, and TONS of indoor and outdoor space, the Loading Dock is tucked away in a commercial space right off of 65. Go for the work environment, stay for the breakfast tacos.
Do you frequent any of these coffee shops? Did I miss one of your favorites? Leave me a note and let’s swap tips!