A pricey almond milk mocha from Bongo Coffee in 12 South.
I spent last week in Memphis and Nashville. Well, almost a week. I knew after going to Denver for four days last fall that although I really enjoyed going to Denver, there wasn’t enough there for me to do to stay FOUR DAYS. After researching what I wanted to see in each city, I decided 2.5 days in each would be more than enough.
Unrelated: If you ever have the opportunity to go to Memphis OR Nashville, I’d strongly suggest you go to Nashville. It seems like any and all money that the state has put into revitalizing their cities has gone to Nashville. There’s even a tiny, free bus system there that’s good if you’re not used to walking anywhere. (I.e. people who live in the suburbs and drive cars everywhere.) The Honky Tonk is a combination of Bourbon Street and Times Square, but there are SO many cute little neighbors to go and explore that I feel like I would’ve been fine had I not visited the Honky Tonk at all.
Anyways. I digress.
But you know what surprised me the most about both Memphis and Nashville? They weren’t that cheap. I knew I wouldn’t be finding $.75 beers because I’d be in the two biggest cities in the state, but I was a little taken aback when I was charged what I’m normally charged in NYC for a latte with almond milk – between $3.50 and $5. Is this just what cafes charge now for anything other than a black coffee? I’d imagined (or hoped) that I wouldn’t pay over $3 for a latte down south and that I could over-caffeinate myself to my hearts’ content.
On our first night in Nashville, we went to a bar called Second Fiddle on the Honky Tonk and didn’t even think to check the beer prices before ordering a $13 cocktail and a $9 beer. Now I know it’s a touristy section of Nashville, but it’s still Nashville. Shouldn’t cocktails level off around $10? At the most?
We learned our lesson after that checked the drink prices before we sat down anywhere.
I bought a piece of art at a little boutique in the 12 South neighborhood where we stayed in Nashville and it was $18. That’s not a terrible price but it’s pretty much what I’ve paid in more expensive cities in Europe.
A couple of the restaurants we went to as well also had $19 burgers on the menu.
I thought everything was cheaper down south because the cost of living is so cheap? How do people afford to eat out down there?
Not that I was considering ever moving to the south, but after these price sticker shocks, I don’t think it’ll ever cross my mind. But this tidbit is a shocker to no one who has ever met me.
So, if you’re thinking about visiting Memphis or Nashville, make sure to budget properly for your meals out. And maybe stay somewhere with free coffee.
But all this complaining aside, I still enjoyed myself in these cities. But more on that later.
If you’ve ever been to Nashville or Memphis, did you also find yourself a little shocked at the prices in bars and restaurants? Let me know in the comments!