|Eat Hot Chicken||Chicken||Hot Chicken is to Nashville as pork Tenderloin Sandwiches are to Indiana and Cheesesteaks are to Philly.||Two guys from India came to our office for a month. I took them out on the town one Friday and made a point to get them some Hot Chicken. One of them was smart and ordered "hot" while the other tried to impress us and ordered "damn hot". Long story short, have some milk or yogurt or something handy for the person who thinks they can handle the truth but really can't.|
Also, skip Hattie B's. Their chicken is really tasty, but it's barely hot. It's been dumbed down for the tourists. Go with Prince's/Pepperfire/400 Degrees/Bolton's if you want to keep it real.
Finally, KFC can suck it. What's with all the goo and grease? The Colonel should stay in Kentucky and marry his sister like a good Kentuckian.
|The Loveless Café||Southern||Biscuits. And Southern Food. And a gift shop.||It's like a Cracker Barrel done right but it's a bit of a drive out of town. And I mean it's just like a Cracker Barrel complete with a gift shop that sells garbage no one really wants and food loaded with lard and butter. You also get an upset stomach eating the sometimes-dry fried chicken.|
The food isn't good enough to make the drive but some people just have to go to something they saw on TV regardless of the 1-hour + wait. So go ahead and drive there and eat their terrible, overrated mini-biscuits. You wasting time there means fewer people in line at the restaurants downtown actually worth going to.
|Arnold's Country Kitchen||Southern||Meat and Three||Allegedly the best southern food in Nashville. Open Monday-Friday at lunch only and it gets packed. This is interesting to me because I've never found the food to be that great that I want to stand line for 30 minutes for cafeteria-style food. But that Roast Beef though...||$||1|
|Pinewood Social||American||Public social club for fancy people||OK, it's also for unfancy-ish people. It's definitely not the place for poor people. Imagine if Wes Anderson opened a restaurant but also wanted to open a bowling alley and a swimming pool and a bar and a coffee shop. It's exactly like that. So it surprises me that a lot of people hate that place and I imagine that most of those people love Wes Anderson. So deal with it. This place is everything you haters want except you don't want it because it's exactly what you want. Whatever, I like going to brunch here and not having you people around me because I am a brunch elitist. You haters can go stand in line at Biscuit Love for all I care. (Note: skip the burger at Pinewood.)||$$||0|
|Las Paletas||Dessert||Gourmet Popsicles, Mexican style||Because if there is one thing Mexico is known for besides tacos and enchiladas and quesadillas and fajitas and mole and drug wars and vacation getaways and tamales and tortas and guacamole and immigrants and work ethic then it's gourmet popsicles.||$||0|
|BBQ||BBQ||Cook it low and cook it slow||Nashville was recently chosen by Travel + Leisure as the best BBQ city in America . The locals disagree which is hilarious. Just ask a "local" and watch them go off saying Nashville isn't a real BBQ town and there isn't any BBQ anywhere as good as the BBQ found in the 1 horse nowhere town from where they come. Because if that BBQ in that 1 horse town were so good, then THAT hamlet would be the BBQ capital of the US. But it's not. So go back to your 1 horse town. And if you are actually from that 1 horse town, then go back there and enjoy your BBQ and unemployment and lack of indoor plumbing and dial up Internet. But at least you have BBQ! |
For recommendations, try Martin's which opened a giant temple to BBQ south of Demonbreun on 4th. Peg Leg Porker is pretty good too.
NO MATTER WHAT - do NOT eat at Rippy's downtown. That place has horrible BBQ and should single-handedly disqualify Nashville as best BBQ city in America. If you're on the strip, Jack's is an infinitely better option but not worth standing in line for.
|Catbird Seat||Modern||One of the best restaurants in America.||Because you want to blow $200 per person on a tasting-menu dinner and, if you're lucky, impress your friends that you ate Chicken feet or other horrible meat byproducts that no real restaurant would ever dare serve.||$$$||0|
|Patterson House||Bar||Speakeasy with speakheavy prices||Because you want true professional bartenders mixing you over-complicated drinks while sitting in a dark, private bar with fancy people. Also, you can be treated as a lower class citizen no matter what class you are in or how you are dressed. Because this place is for fancy people and no one is fancy enough so they begrudgingly let a few people in every 30 minutes just because otherwise the bartenders would get bored.||$$||0|
|Hops + Crafts||Bar||Tap room with 36 rotating taps of craft beer.||Repeatedly voted by Draft magazine as one of the nation's top 100 beer bars . I've been there at least once a week every week for over a year. On a related note, they refuse to install lasers no matter how many times I have asked. So much for listening to your customers.||$||0|
|The 404||Modern||Fancy restaurant in the Gulch||Aside from making geeky "404 not found" jokes, this place was nominated by the James Beard people for Best new Restaurant. They didn't win which is probably just as well. You can make geeky 404-not-found jokes about their James Beard Award. The food is pretty good but I had the 70-day dry aged bistro Steak and it was chewy in a non-fantastic way. As a bonus, you get to eat in a re-purposed shipping container which is so cool and saves the environment by reusing materials and I could care less please make better food.||$$$||1|
|Adele's||American||Fancy restaurant in the Gulch||Apparently the chef/owner guy (Jonathan Waxman) is some important NYC chef so opening a restaurant in Nashville is like a big deal for us. So I sort of hope it fails because I kind of hate New York and I don't want any of that cesspool of a city leaking into this particular cesspool of a city. |
Crossing cesspool's would be bad.
Having finally eaten there, I can say that everything is well flavored but it is dry: Cauliflower? Dry. Gnocchi? Dry. Chicken? Dry. Potato Skins? Dry. A little bit of sauce would have been a total savior for this meal.
|Rolf and Daughters||American||Fancy Restaurant in Germantown||Bon Appetit named it the third best new restaurant in America in 2013. Third place? That just means you are the second loser. And I don't go to no second-loser grub hole. Plus they got sued for not paying their employees properly. I don't know if the lawsuit claim was baseless or not. It's just the job of this website to bring up the negative in everything we possibly can. |
But it is delicious so you should totally go.
|Husk||Southern||Top notch southern food.||The original Husk opened in Charleston, SC to massive acclaim. So they opened one in Nashville, also to massive acclaim. So again, Nashville is a second place city and if you ain't first, you're last.||$$$||0|
|The Pancake Pantry||Breakfast||Allegedly, the best breakfast in Nashville||You want to spend 2 hours in line for a pancake that's no better than any other pancake you've ever had. The cinnamon syrup tastes like super sweet cake icing and the maple syrup has a weird aftertaste, probably due to chemicals since it isn't all natural maple syrup. |
So if you want to spend your morning in line eating a Denny's-level breakfast, then go ahead. That means fewer people at the breakfast joints I go to.
|The Nashville Biscuit House||Diner||Basically a diner that specializes in Biscuits||You want to have breakfast with hipsters and common folk and not spend a lot of money. One time there was this table in there of a proper, well dressed husband and wife, their daughter, and a guy who did not look like the type of person Mommy and Daddy always envisioned their little angel would end up with. It was very entertaining to watch their interactions during breakfast. It was way more entertaining than the boring droll being spewed by whoever I went to breakfast with that morning. |
Also, their T-Shirts have muffins on them and not biscuits.
|Burger Republic||Burgers||The best burgers and shakes in the city||They feature all natural free range happy cows that get slaughtered just for them. |
And my belly.
|Etch||Modern||Fancy food||Expensive southern inspired cuisine. It's like Arnold's but with table cloths.|
They are also meticulous about things like plate presentation and cramming weird ingredients into every dish.
|Flyte World Dining and Wine||American||Gourmet food and wine.||I'm all-in on a restaurant that has a misspelling, be it something like Flyte or Kuntry Kitchen. It's a whole world of dining in just one place so I expect to be able to eat pretty much any crazy ethnic cuisine I want at any time. Aborigine cuisine, please.||$$$||0|
|Merchant's||American||The only decent food directly on Lower Broadway||Who cares about their food? The free popcorn at the bar is da bomb, yo! It's one of the extremely few places on Lower Broadway worth eating at.||$$||1|
|City House||Italian||Homemade Italian food||I get the impression that this is what a fancy Olive Garden would be like. But I don't see a bottomless salad bowl and Pasta e Fagioli on the menu so I'm not sure I want to go there. But I did. I had their hyped-up pizza and it was only OK.||$$$||0|
|Monell's||Southern||Old school family dining||Straight up southern food, in all its deep fried, family style glory. You only have 3 choices for drink: Sweet Tea, Lemonade, or water. Diabetes and clogged arteries are not optional.||$||0|
|312 Pizza Company||Pizza||Chicago Food||Deep dish pizzas, italian beef, hot dogs. Two of those three are barely edible, but Chicago style pizza is what a real pro goes for when ordering a pizza that weighs over 5 pounds.The crust is completely wrong and their sauce is super sweet. The Chicago-style pizza at 312 is disgusting.|
If you have a hankering for a Chicago-style pizza, then go with Little Chicago but ask them to cook it 3 minutes longer than usual.
Nashville is a Chicago-style pizza wasteland. If you really want some, I'd go with mail ordering one.
|DeSano Pizza Bakery||Pizza||Amazing Pizza||BYOB and eat an amazing pie. Seriously, among the best I've ever eaten. Those people at Travel + Leisure continue their Nashville fetish and name Nashville 9th best pizza city in America. The only downside is that this place has the vibe of eating in an abandoned warehouse.||$$||0|
|Bella Napoli||Pizza||As close to real Neapolitan Pizza as you can get without flying to Naples||The chef is from Naples. He has a wood fired oven at his disposal. That should equal magic. Also magical is that the restaurant is on the border with one of Nashville's most dangerous -|
erm - gentrifying neighborhoods so I'm sure there is always something going on. It's a good pizza but don't go for carry-out. The pizza is so thin it will be cold by the time you get home, no matter how close you live.
|Epice||Middle Eastern||Middle Eastern Food||Because you feel morally bankrupt that you think poorly of the Middle East and want to make it up like an American: With consumerism! If you don't feel morally bankrupt, then they supposedly have great food. Also, consumerism.||$$$||0|
|Athens Family Restaurant||Diner||a Traditional Greek diner||If you are in Nashville to see the Parthenon, then why not eat at the most popular Greek restaurant in the city? Before "Music City", Nashville was called "Athens of the South". So in a way, it's local eats. Also, Guy Fieri put it on his TV show so be a good little lemming and go.||$||0|
|Lockeland Table||American||Farm to table hippy food.||You want to support sustainable food even if it costs a lot of unsustainable money.||$$$||0|
|The Pharmacy||Bar||Outstanding beer garden||You want to sit with hipsters in an amazing beer garden. Get there early. The hip folk hardly have jobs so they can stand in line all damn day. And stand in line you must. I detest their policy of "everyone must be here so we can seat your table" policy. Their burger meat is just whatever factory-produced meat they can get. Their chocolate malt shake was possible the worst shake I've ever had. The *only* reason ever to go here is to sit in the beer garden on a nice warm day.||$||0|
|Salsa||Hispanic||Puerto Rican and Latin Cuisine||It's around the corner from me and I never knew it was there until recently. It's pretty good but I have no reference to what Puerto Rican cuisine tastes like.||$$||0|
|Santa's Pub||Bar||It's a dive that has a giant Santa Claus on a Harley graffiti-ed on the outside.||It's a crap bar but Jesus Christmas! You gotta go and see that place!||$||1|
|Greenhouse Bar||Bar||It's a bar. In a greenhouse.||Who doesn't want to drink booze while watching plants grow? Apparently everyone since this is the only greenhouse bar I've ever heard of.||$||0|
|Back Alley Diner||American||It's a diner. In an alley||It's not impossible to find, you just have to be willing to stumble through some alleys in downtown Nashville until you come across it. Any alley has a bunch of dumpsters so feel free to breathe in deeply as you pass piles of days old garbage as you figure out where this place is. Once there, order the fries. They are crack in the form of fries. Even if you aren't hungry, order the fries. You will suddenly become hungry. Then get a second order of fries.||$||0|
|The Sutler Saloon||American||Rock and Americana venue on 12 South||There is free live music from Thursday through Saturday by bands you've never heard of. But they also opened a speakeasy downstairs and now a pool hall. Though I don't drink liquor often, I do appreciate a fancy liquor drink on occasion. So this is a way less tight-assed place to get a decent drink than Patterson House. Also the stairs down to the cellar bar have old shoes hanging from the ceiling. I'm not sure what the point is but if you like smelling old feet while climbing stairs then this is the place for you.||$$||0|
|Biscuit Love||Breakfast||Best biscuit-based breakfast in Nashville||This place opened in my neighborhood and within about 2 weeks I'd eaten everything on the menu. I'd go back but not on a Saturday or Sunday after 8:00 AM. I'm not a fan of standing outside in line for an hour. So go at a much better time. Like 1:30PM on a Tuesday and order breakfast food for your lunch and eat like a boss. Or get there at like 7:30 AM on a Saturday. (People do that. Weirdos) The East Nasty is supposedly the best sandwich in America (2015).||$||0|
|Butchertown Hall||American||They have the meats||They claim to be a beer garden that serves grilled meats. If its any good then this is the most amazing thing in Nashville. But it's not. The beer garden is all concrete and no character or charm. The meats are pretty good though.||$$||0|
|Thai Esane||Thai||Really good Thai food||It's just south of my neighborhood, right before things get really sketchy. The building looks like an uninspired bunker. Ignore all of that and go there anyway. The inside is shockingly classy and the food is Thai-riffic! (Yeah, I just said Thai-riffic. What of it?)||$$||0|
|Mas Tacos Por Favor||Mexican||Mexican Street Food||Right across the street from the hipster suck-fest known as The Pharmacy is Mas Tacos Por Favor. People rave about the Tortilla Soup which I had but found just OK but I say that for every soup I've ever had. The tacos are pretty good though. Any authentic Mexican restaurant run by a white American woman has to be totally authentic, right?||$||0|
|etc.||Modern||New American||Buried in the mall- wasteland of Green Hills is etc., the sister restaurant to Etch. It's shockingly upscale inside - I realized after being the only one there in jeans, a t-shirt and a hoodie. This is the kind of place you go to if you really love Top Chef and care about plating. Also it cost me $90 for an app, dinner, dessert, and one glass of wine (including tip).||$$$||0|
|Sitar||Indian||Indian||The Ingress people love this place. So take that for what its worth.||$$||0|
|McDougal's Chicken Fingers & Wings||Chicken||Mastering the art of frying baby chickens||A good place to hang out after a little portal farming. They have chicken fingers. And wings. And that's about it. Their name is no lie.||$||1|
|Samurai Sushi||Sushi||Sushi||Apparently you are supposed to try the "Samurai Roll" because anything with the word Samurai in it is bad-assed.||$$||1|
|The Smiling Elephant||Thai||Sadly, elephant is not a menu choice. That's why he's smiling.||The second best Thai restaurant in town. So for those of you who just can't make your way to Thai Esane then you can settle for this place.||$||0|
|Sunflower Cafe||Vegan/Vegetarian||You love vegetables. I mean you really love it when people rip plants apart and put them on a plate||Their catchphrase is Vegetarian & Vegan Done Right!. Not possible without a little bacon.||$||0|
|Cafe Rakka||Mediterranean||Mediterranean||This place is in Hendersonville so I inherently don't trust it. There's nothing useful in that place. Guy Fieri's bleached head did his "Diner's, Drive-In's and Dives" thing there. They also have a hummus bar. I'm down with anything that involves a bar.||$$||1|
|The Wild Cow||Vegan/Vegetarian||Because you hate meat. And Freedom. But mostly meat.||My sister was a vegetarian for a long time. So I took her here. It was actually pretty good and I would return again don't tell anyone I ate vegetarian and I liked it or I will have to end you.||$||2|
|The Sushi Train||Sushi||Locomotive inspired finger fod||Sushi for lazy people. Just watch the conveyor belt go by, pick something, and cram it into your face hole.||$$||0|
|Tansuo||Chinese||Fancy Chinese food||Apparently Chinese food can be fancy and served on plates instead of in cartons. Who knew? Also, it can be expensive.|
And this fancy Chinese place is owned by an Indian woman. India is technically in Asia so I totally get it.
|Headquarters Beercade||Bar||Free pinball! Booze! Free Tron!||First off, beercade is a stupid word. Second off...free pinball! Free old-school arcade games! BOOZE! It's like everything I want. The music they played the night I went was fantastic too. This one is way better than the one in Chicago in pretty much every way.||$||1|
|Little Octopus||Caribbean||Food and a location that is too cool for you||This place just moved into the Gulch into a super suave new location. It's like an Ikea wet dream if Ikea had actual high-end stuff. They were named one of the best new restaurants in the South in 2016. There is some weird food on the menu but fortunately the servings are small so if you hate it, order something else.||$$||0|
|McNamara's Irish Pub||Irish||Because you are ||You go here because you want a real Irish bar experience. Also, you live in Donelson and it's literally the only beacon of culture.||$$||1|
|Rudie's Seafood and Sausage||Seafood||Because seafood is dumb and you really want some sausage.||Forge the seafood and the sausage. Go for the bar.||$$||2|