You won’t find many tourists in 12 South, a chic neighborhood where locals hang out, just east of Hillsboro Village. What you will find: Urban Grub, which calls itself a “fish pit and Southern Cantina;” Edley's Bar-B-Que, for genuine ‘cue and small-batch brews; and Las Paletas, serving artisanal Mexican-style popsicles in flavors like hibiscus, honeydew, peanut butter and avocado. The coffee hangout here is the Frothy Monkey, a homey place in an old house.
The award for trendiest shop in the area has to go to Imogene + Willie, a store and factory housed in a ’50s-style gas station. Here you can buy a pair of old-school jeans in a style inspired by vintage Levi’s, made of fabric from North Carolina’s Cone Mills, one of the last factories in the country with the narrow looms that produce vintage denim. Fans include Gwyneth Paltrow (who wore the jeans in “Country Strong”), Sheryl Crow and Kings of Leon.
Stop by Katy K’s Ranch Dressing to browse through new and vintage western clothes for men, women and children. The long hallway is lined with autographed musicians’ headshots; on the racks you might even find rhinestone-coated suits made by Nudie (tailor to the stars) that might once have appeared onstage at the Grand Ole Opry.