While Nashville has long been known for its music scene, our culinary scene is garnering attention of its own.
Food & Wine highlighted the “booming Music City food scene,” Food Arts Magazine noted the “emerging culinary scene putting Nashville on the gastronomic radar,” and Local Palate featured the “impressively diverse culinary scene busting at the seams.”
You can find Nashville’s authentic flavors in many areas of town such as Germantown, East Nashville, The Gulch, Midtown, 12South, Downtown, and Hillsboro Village. Each neighborhood has its own personality and welcome all walks of life.
Start your day in Hillsboro Village with breakfast at Taylor Swift’s favorite spot, Fido, a funky coffeehouse that features breakfast all day long, or venture down the block to the famous Pancake Pantry where a menu of 21 melt-in-your-mouth pancake selections await you.
If you’re on the search for a good weekend brunch spot, try the red velvet waffles and blood orange mimosas at Tavern in Midtown or head to East Nashville where Marche Artisan Foods and Margot reign as the ever-popular weekend brunch spots. Other brunch favorites include the 1808 Grille at the trendy Hutton Hotel, or check out where the singers and songwriters have been hanging out for over 30 years at The Row.
If you’re still in need of a caffeine jolt, there are a plethora of latte sipping options at the dozens of local coffee shops around town. Places like Bongo Java, Nashville’s oldest coffee company, Frothy Monkey, a 12South and soon-to-be downtown favorite, and Barista Parlor, located in a former car repair shop, are some of the best places to fill your caffeine needs and get a sense of the local scene.
Many great local restaurants are located a little off the beaten path, so get out the GPS or a map, if those even still exist! For a hearty lunch, try the popular Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden in East Nashville that boasts an impressive selection of German wurst and bier, as well as an old-school soda fountain. Next door is a local favorite, Mas Tacos, which has been described by many as “the best thing since country music in Nashville.” The 12South district features the upscale burger joint Burger Up that has an ever changing menu of locally sourced ingredients, 12South Taproom offers 22 different beers on tap, and Edley’s Bar-B-Que – Uniquely Nashville RestaurantsEdley’s Bar-B-Que, a fast casual eatery, serves up smoked pork, chicken, turkey, brisket, ribs, wings, and much more. The Flipside is a fun, local restaurant with a style of their own. They feature Jack’s Chicken which is chicken breast pounded thin, seasoned bread crumbs, and then pan sauteed in extra virgin olive oil. They have a tons of different styles to choose from plus an amazing selection of local beers and craft cocktails.
For Southern fare, take a trip downtown to Cummins Station to grab a bite at M. Restaurant and Bar, where you’ll have to choose between the Blue Plate special, a pork belly BLT, or the Jack Daniel’s Chocolate Pecan Pie. Head for the heart of the burgeoning SoBro district and try a favorite among locals and visitors alike, The Southern. The Southern burger, fresh oysters and mahi-mahi will have you planning your next trip back. For a treat make sure to stop by the Goo Goo Shop and try the world’s first combination candy bar founded right here in Nashville. Right down the road located on Lower Broadway is ACME Feed & Seed featuring a menu filled with southern classic cuisine. The restaurant creates a uniquely ‘Nashville’ atmosphere that honors the unparalleled character of the city’s past, present and future. Of course, Nashville hasn’t forgotten its roots. Two popular traditions are still all the rage at Meat & Three restaurants and hot chicken “shacks.” Meat & Three restaurants are a Southern staple in which you pick one meat and three vegetable side dishes. Some of our more famous meat & threes are Puckett’s, and Arnold’s. When speaking of Southern cuisine, one can’t forget to mention the Loveless Cafe. For over 60 years, they’ve been getting up at the crack of dawn to make classic Southern food entirely from scratch in Music City. Nashville’s most notable contribution to Southern culinary culture, hot chicken, can be found at places that let you choose the level of spiciness of your chicken. Make sure to check out Hattie B’s over in Midtown, offering some amazing “Nashville Style” hot chicken. Choose your heat level with their selection of southern, medium, hot, or shut the cluck up. Another hot chicken joint is Party Fowl over in the The Gulch. They specialize in Nashville hot and Southern fried chicken but offer a much broader menu with local brew, craft cocktails, and a wine list.
To cool off from the hot chicken you may need a trip to one of Nashville’s sweet treat spots. Ranked No. 3 on Travel + Leisure’s “America’s Best Cities for Ice Cream”, Nashville has the famous Mike’s Ice Cream on Lower Broadway. During the summer, lines are a familiar sight as visitors wait to get that perfect scoop of handmade ice cream. Nashville also boasts Pied Piper and Jeni’s Ice Cream which has unique flavors like Seven-Layer Bar, Milkiest Chocolate in the World, and Dark Milk Chocolate.
Another must-visit is Las Paletas, an authentic Mexican Popsicle shop that makes mouth-watering fruit and creamy Popsicles from old family recipes. Don’t be afraid to try unusual flavors like avocado, hot chocolate, or cantaloupe!
Bang Candy Company in Marathon Village uses high quality ingredients and imagination to create gourmet marshmallows half dipped in Belgian chocolate and rolled in your favorite topping, while The Cupcake Collection in Germantown will sprinkle your day with joy with their homemade cupcake creations.
As they say Nashville is a drinking town with a music problem, start your night off with an artisan cocktail or hand-crafted brew at several spots throughout the city. Try an artisan cocktail at East Nashville’s Holland House, where their creative drink catalog is served up by expert bartenders, or at Midtown’s The Patterson House which offers a vibe and drink menu that suggests a throwback to the pre-Prohibition era. Carve out an evening for a trip to Kix Brooks’ Arrington Vineyards and sample award-winning wines, listen to live jazz music and take in the spectacular vineyard views.
If beer is more your flavor, discover your next favorite from the many fine breweries located in Music City!
The Black Abbey Brewing Company strives to supply liquid refreshment that is greater than some of its fine parts. It’s created, not made, right here in Nashville. Also, located Downtown-SoBro is Tennessee Brew Works where you can find a production microbrewery and tasting room dedicated to producing & enjoying high quality craft beer, while appreciating music and the many other fine traditions of Tennessee.
Dinner is a perfect time to explore more of Nashville’s taste buds. Lockeland Table in East Nashville is located in a former beauty-parlor-turned-photo-gallery and is a home for creative, chef-driven cuisine in a comfortable neighborhood vibe. Consistently named among the best restaurants in the nation, The Catbird Seat is a 32-seat restaurant that features an ever-changing, nine course menu of seasonally inspired dishes.
Let’s not forget about Prima which features European cuisine infused with South American and Latin flavors. Not only are the dishes amazing, but everything from the decor to the lighting has been designed to provide the ultimate experience.
The 8th Avenue neighborhood is home to a mix of restaurants perfect for lunch or dinner. Try the Sinema Restaurant & Bar that offers a dining experience that hinges on impeccable service. The eclectic American menu is unique to Nashville, with emphasis on classically inspired dishes with a modern spin.
While Nashville will always be Music City, it’s clear that the creative energy and talent in the city extends far beyond music and into a flourishing culinary scene that is worth a visit all on its own.
Experience Nashville in Grand style. Large or small, whether one person or an entire convention, we invite you to the beautiful grounds of Arrington Vineyards, to see the landmarks from Johnny Cash’s life in Hendersonville, or head up to the Bourbon Trail of Kentucky. Fans of ABC’s Nashville will want to check out the real house in Belle Meade where Rayna James lives or drive out to Juliette Barnes rented mansion. Grand Avenue’s tours are different; view landmarks from the comfort of a Sedan, SUV, Mercedes Lux Coach or any other vehicle in the fleet.
Grand Avenue has become synonymous with customized transportation. Let us show you all Nashville has to offer. Call 615.714.5466 or email at info [at] grandavenueworldwide.com to book your tour.Tags: nashville night on the town, nashville restaurant