Neighborhood Guide: Hillsboro-West End

A mural in Hillsboro Village

The mosaic dragon sculpture at Fannie Mae Dees Park has become the neighborhood mascot.

Photo by NASHtoday

Table of Contents

When you head to Hillsboro-West End, you’re visiting a vibrant and historic neighborhood three miles southwest of downtown. Whether you know the area for its scenic views atop Love Circle or for the films at The Belcourt Theatre, there’s a lot to love about this charming community. If you haven’t explored in a while, it might be time to rediscover why so many people — maybe even you — enjoy calling it home.

Need to know

According to Walk Score, Hillsboro-West End is a fairly walkable and bikeable neighborhood, with access to coffee shops, restaurants, and boutiques in the bustling Hillsboro Village business district. The neighborhood — bounded by Hillsboro Pike to the east and West End Avenue to the west — is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is in close proximity to Vanderbilt and Belmont universities.

The early days

This former streetcar neighborhood began developing on farmland in the late 19th century, with most homes built between 1910-1935. This brought a variety of architectural styles to the area, like bungalow, Tudor rival, and English cottage, and many homes retain much of their original design and character. The neighborhood’s business district started taking shape in the early 1920s with grocery stores, theaters, and mom-and-pop businesses.

The Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood Association, which formed in 1975 and organizes annual events to celebrate the community, published a 109-page book in 1992 full of neighborhood history, photos, and architectural designs.

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Hillsboro Village in the 1960s.

Photo via Metro Historical Archives

Can’t miss

Running low on time? A trip to Hillsboro Village isn’t complete without a stroll through the neighborhood. Start your walk by grabbing a latte from Fido, Barista Parlor, or Anzie Blue as you make your way to Fannie Mae Dees Park (also known as Dragon Park, and you can see why). If you have a couple hours to spare, be sure to bookmark what’s playing at the Belcourt.

Shop

Hillsboro-West End — specifically the bustling Hillsboro Village shopping district — is known for unique stores along 21st Avenue South.

Eat + drink

From award-winning cheeseburgers to small plates with a glass of wine, Hillsboro Village features some delicious local options if you’re looking for a place to eat.

  • Fidoa sister cafe to Bongo Java — serves coffee, all-day breakfast + lunch specials.
  • Cabana Taps makes Southern-style small plates in a cozy space. Pro tip: The restaurant is open until 3 a.m. nightly.
  • Brown’s Diner, open since 1927, is known for its burgers and hush puppies.
  • Local pasta company Nicoletto’s, founded by brothers Ryan and Danny Nicoletto, serves different cuts of fresh pasta daily.
  • Meet Noodles specializes in Chongqing noodle dishes, dumplings, and teas.
  • Lines form around the block at Pancake Pantry, a Hillsboro Village staple since 1961.
  • Pizza Perfect’s two-for-one slice deal on Monday nights is not to be missed.
  • Greenery Co. is a popular lunch and dinner spot for salads, warm bowls + seasonal soups.
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There are plenty of shops along 21st Avenue South.

Photo by NASHtoday

Arts + culture

For all you art aficionados and film buffs, you can find an independent movie theater, an art school, and annual festivals in the span of a few blocks.

  • The Belcourt Theatre has a long history, beginning as the Hillsboro Theater in 1925. In addition to new releases and monthly repertory selections, the theater has a loyal following thanks to programs like its Midnight Movies series + annual screenings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “The Last Waltz,” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
  • The Little Art House, located at 2106B Acklen Ave., offers classes for adults and children. Keep up with the schedule here.
  • Hosted annually by the Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville, the Chinese New Year Celebration takes over Hillsboro Village for a day of live music, food, dancing, and a Dragon Parade.

Bonus: See if you can find all the murals around the Village. Some of our favorites are the Drippy Lips mural on the side of United Apparel Liquidators + the Dragon mural on the side of Posh Boutique.

What’s new

With a robust shopping district, it’s not surprising Hillsboro Village is growing. Within the past year, several new businesses have opened up shop.

  • Hester & Cook’s newest store opened in August at 1708 21st Ave. S. If you have an interest in home goods, stationary, and gift items, the company is hiring.
  • Charleston, SC-based eatery The Co-Op is serving up frosé, sandwiches, and breakfast eats next door to The Grilled Cheeserie.
  • Last fall, Barista Parlor expanded to the neighborhood with a location at 1817 21st Ave. S. Pro tip: The shop is always spinning vinyl records.
  • Just around the corner at 2104 Acklen Ave., Reece Boutique offers colorful clothing and fun accessories at its Hillsboro Village storefront.

Getting around

If you’re traveling by car, where can you leave it? In Hillsboro Village, metered street parking is free Monday-Saturday after 6 p.m. and all day Sunday. There are also several public parking lot + garage options: