First heard about this neighborhood while helping my son search for an apartment for Vandy law school. While he chose another area to live, we wanted to visit Hillsboro when moving him in because it sounded like a cool, fun area. And it is!!! We only had time to spend a couple hours here, but will definitely go back to explore further next time we visit.
We only hit the highlights we had read about and were extremely pleased with each one. First stop was Pancake Pantry for a late lunch. Getting there around 1:00 on a Wednesday, we encountered no lines or wait for a table. Everyone enjoyed their meal. My daughter and I went next door to A Thousand Faces, which is an excellent artsy gift shop. I collect glass balls when I travel and was delighted to find a very large selection and chose a unique one made by a Nashville artist. You could easily do all of your Christmas shopping here - something for everyone. We then went across the street to Pangaea, which is a really cool store. You could spend a lot of time browsing here. They had very unique clothes for a younger crowd (perfect for my 19 year old artsy daughter). Would be very dangerous if she was the one going to school in Nashville! My son and husband spent time at the Bookman/Bookwoman store and Davis Cookware and Cutlery Shop. They encountered a very nice, VERY talkative older gentleman - probably Mr Davis - who was extremely kind and helpful.
Parking can be challenging. We found a metered spot on a side street - right in front of McDougal's Chicken Fingers & WIngs, which is on our "next time" list. There was at least another block or two of shops on 21st and probably some side streets that we didn't have time to check out. But I highly recommend the area if you are looking for something different than the mall stores or the touristy downtown area.
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