Holistic Chef and Author Laura Lea Bryant has become quite the food and healthy lifestyle celebrity since leaving her corporate job and NYC behind after graduating from the Natural Gourmet Institute in 2013. Moving back to Nashville has proven to be the perfect place to operate her thriving LL Balanced platforms (we love her cookbooks, websites, and all of her social media posts). She took a leap of faith three years ago, moving to Wedgewood Houston when much of the surrounding development was in the initial development stages, and what an incredible decision it’s turned out to be. Here, the impossibly beautiful kitchen whiz shares just a few things she likes most about her home turf and spots she most enjoys sharing with visitors in town for the Nashville experience.
BIG CITY CHILL
I wanted to be in a growing, creative and entrepreneurial area with nightlife and coffee-life (my obsession) within walking distance. I also love how WEHO is centrally located between the other neighborhoods where I like to spend time—12 South, Hillsboro Village, Germantown, and East Nashville. It’s right in the middle of everything! I think I fell in love with urban accessibility when I lived in New York City, and this neighborhood fits the bill. There is a strong sense of community here; people are friendly and open to connecting.
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
When I lived in New York City, I fell in love with urban accessibility, and this neighborhood totally fits the bill. I love to walk down to Humphrey Street or Americano Lounge for an iced coffee (splash of heavy cream, 2 packets of stevia). My family and I love to walk loops around the neighborhood and just see if we’re in the mood to pop in anywhere. For a healthy treat, I always stop by E+ Rose Wellness for a Pro Acai Bowl—honey, cinnamon, and peanut butter, yum! Brunch is a must at Dozen Bakery. Dining in is still closed, but they have the cutest walk-up window. My go-to is a baguette with butter and scrambled eggs. On a rainy day, you can often find me bundled up and strolling Fort Negley or The Fairgrounds (until they kick us out, that is). If engaging in a little retail therapy is on my agenda, I can head into Cococo Home to browse the selection of unique and attractive home décor and accessories.
As a person who’s made their career out of food, you’d think I’d be over the restaurant vibe. WeHo makes it hard to say you’re bored by the options. My all-time favorite is Diskin Cider for food and drinks (a Peach Mango Seltzer makes my heart happy). For date night, head to Earnest Bar & Hideaway (their poutine is a must) or Bastion. Never Never is my hidden treasure spot and the place to be for a great old-fashioned. Corsair Distillery is perfect for private tours and tastings. For a sweet treat, I love to pop into Baked on 8th; I suggest a slice of their Vanilla Almond Cake or one of their “Pahp” Tarts. Not quite your vibe? I recommend The Loading Dock—they have Conny and Johnny doughnuts!
My neighborhood is bubbling over with creative energy and diversity. So much is in the works; it seems like we hear about something new every day! Our neighbors have been praising the vintage-inspired sports bar Lucky’s 3-Star. I can’t wait to check it out. They’ve been praising the food as well as the drinks and atmosphere. I’m dying to try one of their specialty hot dogs! The Flamingo Club has become quite the late-night spot from what I can tell in peeping at the patrons entering in the evenings.
Some of the area’s most anticipated additions are popping up in the historic May Hosiery factory building. The storied building is getting a facelift with a 30,000 square foot content creation office and outdoor event space designed to house the newest Apple Music headquarters. Next door is the site for the highly anticipated member’s only SoHo House for VIP creatives, with the bonus of a Soho House style boutique hotel that non-members might get to enjoy. The club/hotel will feature multi- use spaces for events, screening rooms for movie launches, restaurants, rooftop pool, and a/restaurant.
Standard Assembly is slated to be a new home for Nashville artists (literally and figuratively). The residential build will include 310 residential spaces, 13,000 square feet of retail options, and outdoor cabanas for gathering. Amenities are stacked: a pool, library and work lounge, dog park, club room, fitness center, gaming space, coffee bar….. and get this- a PET spa (we know).