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Noelle Scaggs Picks The Cities That Make Her Hands Clap

The “boss lady” of hard-touring soul-pop stars Fitz and the Tantrums, Noelle Scaggs is a seasoned world traveler — and with the release of the group’s new self-titled third album, she’ll soon be racking up more frequent flier miles.  Noelle recently took a day off from rehearsals for Fitz and the Tantrums’ upcoming tour to do a SPIN photo shoot in Venice, California for Gap During our shoot, she shared her favorite things about Venice — and filled us in on some of her other favorite cities, too. 


Why I Love It:  Venice Beach is my favorite place to people watch, it is its own little world full of color and hippie-like mentality. It is a breath of fresh air from the sometimes-phony parts of L.A.

Favorite Eateries:  Poke-Poke is a spot right on the Venice Boardwalk near the basketball courts that specializes in Hawaiian-style raw tuna bowls. It’s a tiny place that often runs out of stuff, so I recommend getting a bowl before 4 p.m. on the weekend. There is a fantastic restaurant called Charcoal that I love going to for dinner; they have a charcoal-infused margarita that will knock your socks off. And for those that are into cool dive bars with good food, Hinano’s is the place for a cheap beer and a really good cheeseburger.

Favorite Music Venue:  The scene always changes in Venice, but I highly recommend seeking out the Venice Beach drum circles. You can normally find them alongside the water on Sundays, close to the hours before sunset.

Perfect Day in Venice:   Sipping a few cold ones on the beach, playing spike ball and looking for Harry Perry, the roller blading guitarist.




Why I Love It: Chicago is one of the first major cities that really supported Fitz and the Tantrums. I have some wonderful friends there, and a lot of memories have been made in the Windy City. I feel at home when I am there, and it is just a short flight from Nashville.

Favorite Eateries: You can find me at Summer House Santa Monica, a great farm-to-table spot created by my friends Jeff Mahin and Francis Brennan, with really good Napoli style pizza and ridiculous baked goods. RPM Italian is a must-try as well; it gets packed every night so a reservation is encouraged — and get the Carbonara.

Favorite Music Venue:  Studio Paris is the place to disappear into the underground club scene. Everyone from Calvin Harris to Snoop Dogg has performed there. If you like exotic drinks, ask for the Pirate’s Trunk.

Perfect Day in Chicago: If you have a shopping habit, walk through the Gold Coast, stay at The Public Chicago Hotel, have a pie at Lou Malnati’s — and then take a nap, ‘cause you’ll need one after that. When the sun goes down, visit Bub City for dinner and then walk your way to Studio Paris.




Why I Love It: I moved to Nashville from L.A. about a year ago — I spent a month there last January and fell head over heels with the people and the food. It’s a wonderful place to meet new friends, party all night, and chill out. It’s a beautiful place that is growing pretty rapidly.

Favorite Eateries:  Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint is my favorite place to get a slab of ribs and green beans. Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish, ‘cause you can’t go to Nash and not try hot chicken — and I love the way they fry. Dino’s for the best burger and dive bar in town; I am truly addicted. For a great brunch, visit Prima; and for Japanese Ramen, Otaku South.

Favorite Music Venues: 3rd & Lindsley is the first place we ever played in Nashville. I’ve seen many shows there since then, and I always leave so inspired; the hospitality there is amazing, as well. Go to the 5 Spot on Monday nights for “Motown Mondays,” where the locals dance to the classics all night. And Robert’s Western World, if you want a real honky-tonk experience with great bar food, cheap drinks, and great live music.

Perfect Day in Nashville: Nashville is a great place to bounce around different areas. Places like 12South, a cool area with blocks full of restaurants, bars and boutiques; definitely visit White’s Mercantile, a great lifestyle store with everything from clothing to cookbooks. East Nashville is the new Silverlake, full of young professionals who know how to have a good time. The Gulch is another great part of town, with lots of condos and great restaurants.


Even in the gloom #vancouver still shines. Top 5 cities of my life. #adventureswithscaggs #travel #canada #happyplace

A photo posted by Adventures With Scaggs (@adventureswithscaggs) on



Why I Love It: This city is one of my favorite places to visit on tour as well as off. It carries the vibe of Los Angeles minus the ego. I have a ton of friends there, and it’s always a good time when we get together. Oh, and let’s not forget the food scene in Vancouver!

Favorite Eateries: L’Abattoir on Carrall Street has some of the best French cuisine I’ve ever had outside of Paris. Kingyo Izikaya for sushi, I am not a huge sushi person, but I crave this place whenever I am in town.

Favorite Music Venue:  Crystal Ballroom, mostly because we have performed there a few times and there is always an amazing crowd there. It was once a ballroom dance space, so the floor has a bit of bounce to it.

Perfect Day in Vancouver: A summer day on a boat floating down one of the many lakes surrounding the city, followed by a hike up the Grouse Grind — make sure to wear proper attire cause the “stairway to heaven” is steep. Visit Gastown, and go to Hastings Warehouse for five-dollar pub food and lots of laughs.




Why I Love It: The architecture is one of my favorite things to see in this city of romance. It’s Paris — need I say more?!?

Favorite Eateries: Paris is full of amazing restaurants; I mean it is the city for food! I was introduced to a really cool BBQ joint called Floyd’s Bar & Grill in the 10th Arrondissement they serve up some pretty legit Kansas City-style BBQ. There is a bar attached to it that serves up amazing cocktails and cool vibes.

Favorite Music Venue: O’Sullivans By The Mill, an Irish Pub in Montmartre with lots of music and adult beverages. Le Caveau de la Huchette for live jazz — Le Caveau was formerly a prison, and the club (which features some of the best jazz musicians in town) is practically underground and surrounded by cobblestone walls.

Perfect Day in Paris: Visit the Basilica of St Denis and the Notre Dame Cathedral, then grab a salted caramel ice cream at Berthillion and take a stroll along La Seine. In the evening, hop a train to Jones for great small plates and a bottle or two of wine.

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