For juniors Julia Weiss and Jess Hart, “Insta eats first” is more than a saying– it’s a lifestyle. With their Instagram flaunting an impressive portfolio of amazing dishes, this duo illustrates that Nashville can be recognized as more than just Music City. It’s no secret that campus dining options can easily become repetitive, so Weiss and Hart’s efforts to uncover the best Nashville dining spots can be appreciated by all Vanderbilt students.
After bonding over their love of food at a Vanderbilt send-off party the summer before their freshman year, the two decided to start an Instagram account called “nosh_ville” to highlight the restaurant scene in their future home: Nashville. Little did the pair know that this account would evolve from a playful project to a prominent campus social media presence of almost 7,000 followers over the next two years.
“In high school, I had to write a 4,000 word essay as a part of the IB program. I’m from New York so I chose to write about the famous New York City food account ‘new_fork_city,’” Hart said. “I was always really interested in food stuff, so ‘Noshville’ is an accumulation of all the interests I had before coming to college.”
Growing up in Singapore, Weiss was surrounded by an entirely different food culture. She, too, was a self-proclaimed foodie before coming to Vanderbilt. Her passion stems from both the photography element of social media and the trendy restaurants she gets to try.
“Honestly, we both just really love taking pictures of food,” Weiss said.
In @nosh_ville’s early days, Weiss and Hart had to seek out restaurants to eat at themselves. However, as the account grew in popularity, restaurants began to reach out to them directly and offered free dishes in return for a feature on their account.
Today, the dynamic duo uses @nosh_ville as a medium through which they post a constant stream of aesthetically-pleasing Nashville dishes for their steadily growing fanbase of hungry students. Though these girls have been traversing through Nashville’s food scene for years now, they continue to discover exciting new restaurants on every outing.
“Nashville’s food scene has changed so much since we first got to Vanderbilt,” Weiss said. “There are new restaurants popping up all the time now, especially in Germantown and East Nashville.”
With endless meal options just an Uber ride away, deciding where to eat can be a struggle at Vandy. Food experts Weiss and Hart are willing to offer their guidance for us rookies, sharing their favorite spots.
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“Proper Bagel is the best breakfast spot in Nashville. It has great sides, bagels and coffee,” Weiss said. “My go to order is an everything spinach bagel with brussels on the side.”
“Adele’s brunch never fails to satisfy all of my cravings and leave me rolling like a ball on the way out,” Hart said. “My favorite kale salad will always be Adele’s, and the potatoes become dangerous when they’re all you can eat.”
Though Weiss and Hart are unsure of @nosh_ville’s future post-graduation, they’re looking forward to at least another year of “noshing” during the remainder of their time at Vanderbilt, posting pics and keeping students busy with new eateries to try.
“Running the account has taught me that I don’t need anything more than making people happy to feel satisfied with my work in whatever I’m doing,” Hart said. “The most important part of being successful is having passion and drive and really caring about what you’re doing.”