Recommendation Blog: Nashville Food

I’ve gone through & compiled restaurants by area. If you’re looking for a more specific type of cuisine scroll to the “quick picks” at the bottom of the page!

*I’ll only be recommending places I’ve been & can personally recommend. If one of your favorites is missing it may simply be because I haven’t been there!

**This blog will be ever evolving when new things emerge or old things die. I’ll try to keep it as up to date as I can!


8th Ave:

  • Athens: Family owned Greek place open late on weekends! The Greek Sampler is best of all worlds, I’d also recommend their Lamb Specials! Avgolemono is the perfect thing for a rainy day & their fries are killer!

  • Smiling Elephant: Family owned Thai restaurant set inside an old house. Curry specials change based on the day, be sure to get Coconut Custards at the end of your meal & maybe some Mango Sticky Rice, if it’s in season.

  • Urban Juicer: Local juice chain. Liver Lover with Ginger added is one of my go to hangover cures. The Bee Green & the Cold Fighter are another few of my favorites! (Locations all over town.)

12th South:

  • Burger Up: Truffle Fries & Fried Pickles all the way! Their burgers are pretty great too. (Locations in Franklin & East Nashville as well.)

  • Five Daughters Bakery: All different kind of Cronuts. I personally prefer their Paleo Donuts & have heard good things about their Vegan Donuts. (Locations on the East side & in Franklin as well.)

  • Frothy Monkey: My favorite coffee shop/cafe in town. Incredible lattes & incredible food. Julie on an Everything Bagel add Avocado is my go to but their Specials are usually pretty great! They also have several locations around town! (12th South, Downtown, Nations, Franklin, etc.)

  • Franklin Juice: Solid Acai Bowls as well as Juice.

  • Las Paletas: Mexican Popsicles. Sounds like something to miss, I promise it’s not!

  • Urban Grub: Hard to find seeing as it doesn’t have a sign. Very good Aged Steaks & sides. Don't skip the Banana Pudding Either


  • Dao: My favorite basic level Chinese place. No frills just solid take-out style Chinese.

  • Lemongrass: Sushi meets Thai. Really excel at their curries & their broad noodle dishes like Panang & Pad See Ew.

  • The Loveless Cafe: A Nashville staple. Biscuits are to die for as are most of the rest of their menu items. Ask for Apple Butter with your Biscuits, I also recommend doing the Southern Sampler with Ham, Fried Chicken, Meatloaf, Fried Okra, & Greens. Their Mac & Cheese is solid too!


  • PM: Voted best burger in Nashville when I was in college. It’s modernized asian fusion with a sushi bar. They also do Sushi Burritos! I honestly prefer the Veggie Burger over the normal one here! Their fries with Wasabi Mayo are amazing as well!

  • Proper Bagel: The bagel is good, not my favorite. What makes Proper stand out though are their Bagel Sandwiches & Schmeers. Everything from a Reuben Bagel to Birthday Cake Cream Cheese, it’s pretty solid. The Lavender Honey Cream Cheese with a Sunflower Bagel is my go to!

Berry Hill:

  • Merangue Cafe: Puerto Rican/Dominican/Cuban Food served cafeteria style or made to order. Their menu changes daily but it’s all incredible!

  • Phunky Griddle: Make your own food! Cuz that’s a thing we do….we go to a restaurant & pay to cook our own food on a griddle in the middle of the table.


  • Chopt: Creative salad chain out on NYC. Not many locations outside the city though. Haven’t had a bad salad yet.

  • Gray’s On Main: Multilevel contemporary Southern restaurant built in an old Pharmacy. Often have live music & really great cocktails.

  • Soy Bistro: One of my favorites in town, Soy is a mix between Korean & Japanese. The Shrimp Tacos are the best in town as is the Bimbimbop Burrito! Their Teriyaki dishes & Rices Bowls are great too! They’re always friendly & fairly inexpensive!

Charlotte Pike/Silvan Park/Nations:

  • Avo: Vegan but doesn’t suffer for it! Kimchi Spring Rolls & Raw Pad Thai! May be one of my favorite takes on Pad Thai!

  • Bobby’s Dairy Dip: Tons of different kinds of milkshakes! Dipped cones melt fast, be careful!

  • Calypso Cafe: 1/2 Chicken w/ all three sauces on the side! Callaloo, Black Beans, Muffins, & House Salad are all bangin! They have unique brewed coffee & very refreshing fruit tea! Don’t forget to get a Calypso bar at the end.

  • Chaatable: My favorite of Maneet’s restaurants. The Butter Chicken is the best I’ve ever had. I recommend their brunch, it’s unique as all get out! Get the Hash & the “French Toast”!

  • Kien Ghang: Pho all the way! I recommend the original. Cash only so be prepared but it’s hella cheap! Hope someday they’ll bring back their jackfruit smoothie…

  • S.T.A.R. Bagel: Salmon & Lox w/ Garlic Herb Cream Cheese on a Sun-dried Tomato Bagel all the way! My favorite bagel joint in Nashville!


  • McNamara’s: Family owned Irish pub with excellent food & quite a lot of charm. Weekend nights they have a live band that plays traditional Irish folk tunes. I recommend the Scotch Eggs, the Fish & Chips, the Black & Tan Onion Rings, the Corned Beef & Cabbage, the Chocolate Cake, & the Bread Pudding! Also one of the best Irish Coffees I’ve had!


  • Bakersfield Tacos: Best Margarita in town, fight me! Also their tacos & salads are all pretty bangin! Don’t skip the guac either! I know this is a Cincinnati based chain but there are only a few of them so I don’t count it! Plus it’s one of the top rated restaurants for Cinci on Zagat!

  • Etch: Though I haven’t had anything bad on their menu, I think they really excel at their salads especially the Charcuterie Salad!

  • Flying Saucer: A bit of a chain, though a small one. A rather extensive tap menu their food menu is also incredible. Bavarian Style Pretzels, German Potato Salad, etc. I recommend those two as well as the Marsellus Wallace sandwich!

  • The Hermitage Cafe: Open 10PM-Noon. Yes, you read that correctly. Late night greasy spoon that’s been there forever! They are cash only but it’s fairly cheap! I recommend scrambled eggs with their in house potatoes & corned beef hash!

  • Husk: Upscale Southern with different twists for each dish! I recommend the Tartare & their Charcuterie board!

  • Merchants: Best Fish Tacos in Nashville! Their drinks are pretty solid & each day the table is set with a new “Popcorn of the day!”

  • Pinewood Social: Excellent cocktails, ever evolving seasonal menu, coffee shop, bowling alley, pool, karaoke, lawn games, etc. Just a fun place to go hang or sit & get some work done!

  • Puckett’s: Get the Meatloaf & the Wings. Don’t ask questions, just do it! (Locations Downtown Nashville & Franklin)

  • The Southern: Best Chicken & Waffles in town! Go for brunch!

  • The Stillery: Hot Chicken Mac & Cheese or the Prosciutto Pizza

East Nashville:

  • Dino’s: Technically a dive bar but I didn’t know if I wanted to put it here or in the drink section. I ultimately decided on food because when I think of Dino’s I think of a killer greasy spoon burger & some fries!

  • Five Points Pizza: Open late, by the slice. Prosciutto/Basil Pizza is the jam! (Also a location off Charlotte Pike, not open late.)

  • Greko: Greek Street Food! Fun atmosphere & quick service that’s on the lighter side of Greek.

  • Jeni’s Ice Cream: Another Ohio chain, Jeni’s has become a staple of Nashville! Intriguing twists on traditional ice cream flavors there are a ton of locations across Nashville! (12th South, East, Hillsboro Village, Franklin, etc.)

  • Mas Tacos Por Favor: Tortilla Soup is a must!

  • Marché: Get a serving of Croissant French Toast to share in addition to your entree!

  • The Pharmacy: Skip the burger, get the Currywerst!

  • Two Ten Jack: Best Ramen in Nashville! I dig the Spicy Tankatsu with an extra Egg! Get an order of the Octopus Fritters too!


  • Barcelona: A small chain but a rather refreshing Tapas place & Wine Bar! Menu is constantly changing but I recommend any Carrot, Brussel Sprout, Octopus, or Chorizo & Fig Dish they do!

  • Bella Napoli: Pretty solid Napoli Style Pizza & Pasta. Not as “heavy” as DeSano.


  • Cosmic Creamery: Cereal infused ice cream stacked with toppings! Bring your sweet tooth!

  • Germantown Cafe: Nightly specials are always bomb as is their French Onion Soup!

  • Henrietta Red: Ever changing seasonal menu, be sure to go with a group & share! Don’t skip out on dessert.

  • Rolf & Daughters: Get the tartare, the sourdough, the seafood pasta dish, & all the desserts!

Green Hills:

  • etc.: The sister restaurant of Etch. I’ve only visited for brunch but what I had was exquisite, especially the Waffles!

  • Noshville: Used to have an additional location in Midtown. Get you a Reuben & some Matzo Ball Soup! Don’t skip on the pickles either!

  • The Perch: Crepery! Everything from savory to sweet! I love their Prosciutto Balsamic Crepe!

  • True Food Kitchen: Healthy & seasonal! The menu shifts every few months to accommodate what’s fresh! Wide variety on the menu as well as some intriguing freshly juiced cocktails!

The Gulch:

  • Arnold’s Country Kitchen: The best Soul Food/Meat & Three in Nashville hands down! They have kind of odd hours and are only open in the afternoon so look before you go! Also their line moves fairly quickly. Get the Roast Beef!

  • Bar Otaku: Late night Japanese Tavern! Awesome place to end your night!

  • Biscuit Love: First off, go to their Hillsboro Village location, there’s not a line! Second get you some Biscuit Donuts, the Nasty Princess (a secret menu item that combines the East Nasty & the Princess,) & a fresh Mimosa!

  • Burger Republic: Won Zagat’s burger competition back in 2016. Won best burger in Tennessee. Go. Now! I love The 96, a lot of people are deterred by the blue cheese in it, it’s not over powering at all! Get you some Truffle Tots, a Boozy Milkshake, & some Fried Pickles & Peppers too!

  • Chauhan: Go for Happy Hour! Chauhan is Indian meets Southern food & it’s as good as it sounds! Get the Lamb Nachos, the Chicken Tandoori Poutine, & the Hot Chicken Pakoras! Great cocktails as well, I dig the Raat Rani!

  • Mockingbird: New age Southern Cuisine; bangin’ Pot Pie, Burger, etc! Get a Punch Bag as well!

  • Tansuo: Monday nights they have a Dim Sum cart! Their take on General Tao’s may be my favorite in town! Great bar, tell them what you like, they’ll make you something special!

  • Thai Esane: One of my favorite Thai spots in Nashville, there’s truly nothing bad on the menu!

  • Virago: Maki Monday! Get you some cheaper upscale sushi! Also September & October they do “Brunch w/ a View” where they combine traditional American breakfast foods with an Asian influence!

  • Whiskey Kitchen: Their Buffalo Chicken Flatbread Pizza is killer as is the Whiskey Sour! Open Late!


  • Cafe Rakka: Worth the detour to Hendersonville for sure. Incredible Syrian food. The best Hummus I’ve ever had, Homemade Pita, Red Tea, & Baklava. Go for dinner get the Shrimp Jalfrazi, go for lunch get the Tandoori Chicken & Cheese Sandwich or the Lamb Burger!

Hillsboro Village:

  • Donut & The Dog: My favorite donut in town, still a bit of a hidden gem. Get the Reuben Dog with Truffle Fries. Donut menu changes all the time but even their twist on a simple Glazed Donut is incredible!

  • Fido: Been in the same spot forever. Coffee shop with a fairly expansive menu. The Specials are always on point but I usually end up getting the Salmon Scramble.

  • The Pancake Pantry: Go late. Don’t wait in line, it isn’t as good as the line even though it’s still solid. Go for the Georgia Peach Pancakes!

  • Pizza Perfect: Amazing basic pizza. The Antipasta salad is great too! Even their gluten free crust doesn’t leave you wanting!


  • The Catbird Seat: Book in advance & come baring your wallet. 12-16 course dinner all served within the kitchen with drink pairings available per course! Experimental food that is always changing, book it for a special occasion!

  • DeSano: I love the San Genaro & the Diavola! Real Napoli style pizza!

  • Gigi’s Cupcakes: If you don’t like icing/frosting steer clear, they inject their cupcakes with it! I know this is also a chain but this is the original!

  • Giovanni’s: Excellent Mid to Upscale Italian. There’s never a huge crowd there but their evening Pasta Specials are always killer! (Another location in Bellevue)

  • Hattie B’s: There’s no wrong way to do Hattie B’s other than Southern or Mild. Potato Salad, Greens, & Pimento Mac & Cheese are musts on sides. If you’re looking for more of a hand food the sandwich is incredible! (Other locations around town are equally as good as the original but seldom have a line!)

West End:

  • BrickTops: I’m a bit at a loss on how to describe this menu. Think J Alexander’s smashed into a sushi bar. I highly recommend the Ahi Burger, may be one of the best I’ve ever had!

  • Samurai Sushi: My favorite sushi joint in town! Been there since the 70s, it’s fairly inexpensive but still high quality.

Quick Picks:

  • Bagels: S.T.A.R. Bagel

  • Barbecue: Error 404: Extension Not Found

  • Breakfast: The Pancake Pantry

  • Brunch: Marché (Traditional) The Southern (Upscale) Chaatable (Interesting)

  • Burger: Burger Republic (Specialty) Patterson House (Normal)

  • Chinese: Dao Bistro (Normal) Tansuo (Upscale)

  • Coffee: Frothy Monkey (Traditional) Barista Parlour (Upscale)

  • Contemporary American: Henrietta Red

  • Donuts: Donut & The Dog

  • Greek: Athens

  • Healthy: Calypso Cafe (Normal) TrueFood Kitchen (Upscale)

  • Hot Chicken: Hattie B’s

  • Ice Cream: Mike’s (Normal) Jeni’s (Specialty)

  • Indian: Chaatable

  • Irish: McNamara’s

  • Italian: Giovanni’s (Normal) Rolf & Daughters (Upscale)

  • Japanese: Bar Otaku

  • Juice: Urban Juicer

  • Korean: Soy Bistro (Also a tad Japanese)

  • Late Night: Flying Saucer (Early) Hermitage Cafe (Real Late)

  • Middle Eastern: Cafe Rakka

  • Pho: Kien Ghang

  • Pizza: DeSano (Specialty) Pizza Perfect (Normal) 5 Points (Late)

  • Ramen: Two Ten Jack

  • Salad: Chopt (Normal) Etch (Upscale)

  • Soul/Meat & Three: Arnold’s Country Kitchen

  • Southern: The Loveless Cafe

  • Special Occasion: The Catbird Seat (Hella Special) Rolf & Daughters

  • Sushi: Samurai Sushi (Normal) Wild Ginger (Upscale)

  • Tacos: Mas Tacos Por Favor

  • Thai: Thai Esane

  • Vegan/Vegetarian: Avo