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My Town: Kristin Chenoweth’s Picks for Nashville

The singer and actress is at home in Music City

spinner image building and body of water as background; photo of kristin chenoweth in upper left corner; the words greetings from nashville, tennessee in bottom right corner
Photo Collage: MOA Staff; (Source: William DeShazer; Inset: John Russo)

Kristin Chenoweth has always been drawn to Music City. “I was about 18, and I auditioned for Opryland,” says the 54-year-old actress and singer. “I fell in love with Nashville. I didn’t want to leave.” Though she maintains a place in New York, she officially moved into a Nashville home this spring with her fiance, musician Josh Bryant. The entertainer, whose latest book, I’m No Philosopher, But I Got Thoughts: Mini-Meditations for Saints, Sinners, and the Rest of Us, was released this year, is embracing a less frantic pace and Southern hospitality. “It has been heaven. I’ve never been happier,” she says. “I’m trying to slow down a little bit so I can be home more and enjoy it.” Here are a few of her favorite ways to experience her new hometown.

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Catch some live music at …

The Ryman Auditorium. I know everyone says it, but it’s just really hard to beat. I was just there seeing the comedian Fortune [Feimster]. I remember going to see Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant, and I’ve sung there myself. It’s just a great venue. I’m also a lover of jazz and I’ve done a couple of jazz records. There’s a jazz club that I also love called Rudy’s Jazz Room. Any night of the week, you can hear the greatest jazz artists. People need to understand that Nashville is not just country [music]. That’s another reason why I love it here. I want to show up one day and do a pop-up [performance] there.

spinner image exterior of the ryman music venue
Fomerly the home of the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville's Ryman Auditorium is a celebrated music venue.
William DeShazer


Plan brunch at …

Marsh House at the Thompson [Nashville] hotel is an easy choice. Josh and I agree. They have two things there that I love. They have a cinnamon roll that they bring out hot in a cast-iron skillet. Then there’s the biscuit that I think rivals Biscuit Love. I just love their food. And, it stays open until 2 p.m. [every day], which is great for me because then I can get breakfast for lunch if I want to. When it’s warm, I love getting to sit outside. It’s just beautiful.

spinner image people eating and drinking at tables in restaurant; light up nashville sign on the wall
Located in Nashville's Gulch neighborhood, Biscuit Love is known for its top-notch brunch.
William DeShazer


Find a home away from home at …

The Thompson hotel is where I would come to stay [before I moved here] when I did my last Christmas album here during the pandemic. I stayed there before and had been to parties there before, like after the CMT [Music] Awards. I fell in love with the hotel, so that’s my go-to. I think the staff is incredibly kind. They have great security, it’s really clean and nice, and the rooftop bar is fun. It’s just the best. That’s where I will have people [stay] that can’t stay with me.

spinner image people sitting at tables, drinking at rooftop bar overlooking city
The Thompson Hotel features spacious guest rooms and a trendy rooftop bar.
William DeShazer


Go for a walk in …

Centennial Park. I have a cockapoo named ThunderPup — she’s named after the Oklahoma City basketball team because I’m from Oklahoma. It’s getting warmer, so instead of eating and going to bed and putting on the pounds, Josh is like, “Let’s go outside and walk.” [The park] is just 10 minutes from our place and I love it. Every time I go, I see something new. I love to people watch, and it’s beautiful.

spinner image woman walking dog in front of parthenon at centennial park
Nashville's Centennial Park includes a full-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon in Athens.
William DeShazer
spinner image two hands with rings on them on piece of paper with writing and flowers on it
Consider the Wldflwrs specializes in handcrafted jewelry.
Courtesy WldFlwrs

Pick up some bling at …

There’s a beautiful place called Consider the Wldflwrs in East Nashville. It’s a young lady [Emily Eggebrecht] making her own way, and she’s really killing it. Their engagement rings are to die for. She designs them all. They do one-of-a-kind pieces, but she also has a new collection right now. It’s just gold and it’s gorgeous. I’m into the stackable rings right now. And I’ve purchased some stackable rings that go on my three fingers on my right hand. People stopped me all the time to ask, “Where did you get that?” I like to support the local places.


Enjoy a musical performance at …

The Schermerhorn. The Nashville Symphony is one of the best symphonies in our country. And the Schemerhorn is one of the most beautiful places for a singer to sing. The acoustics are perfect. It rivals Carnegie Hall. I’ll be singing there again next season and I can’t wait.

spinner image Inside of concert hall; stage with piano in center and seats above; seats on two levels around the concert hall
Located in downtown Nashville's SoBro neighborhood, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center hosts a wide range of musical events, including classical, pops and jazz.
Steve Hall via Schermerhorn


spinner image kristin chenoweth outside, next to sign that says hattie b's hot chicken
Chenoweth enjoys the many tastes Nashville has to offer, including Hattie B’s Hot Chicken.
Courtesy Kristin Chenoweth

Savor the flavors at …

Oak Steakhouse is a great steakhouse. They have a lot of great sides and good salads. It’s just yummy. ... I’ve done Hattie B’s [Nashville hot chicken]. We’ve got a great Italian place by us called Giovanni Ristorante. The guy came from New York, and trust me, I know good Italian. ... He came here eight years ago and is killing it.


Indulge in a little retail therapy at …

I’m a big shopper, so I love the Mall at Green Hills. It’s just 15 minutes away from my place. It’s a beautiful mall. It’s got a lot of upscale as well as “medium scale.” And the Nordstrom … I’m just gonna go on the record right now: The Nordstrom is as good as [any] Neiman Marcus. And I’m also a big fan of Gus Mayer [specialty department store]. Those are places that I’ll take the women in my family.

spinner image two-level shopping mall with white ceiling and white floor with black and gray squares; people walking
The Mall at Green Hills features more than 120 retail stores as well as two dozen eateries.
Courtesy The Mall at Green Hills


Take in some country music culture at …

I’ve visited the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum twice. The first time I was here for a show at the Schermerhorn. I came in a day early, I was by myself and decided to buy a ticket. Just walking around and seeing the costumes … I grew up with country music. That was the first [musical] influence I remember. Hearing Dolly Parton on the radio was like, I want to do that. I loved the architecture of it. I love the music notes across the front.

spinner image people standing, looking at items on wall and in glass cases
The expansive Country Music Hall of Fame offers 350,000 square feet of exhibition galleries, retail stores and event space.
William DeShazer

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