When you think of Nashville, you think of casual, Southern-style, comfort food. But in recent years, chefs from around the country have been flocking to Music City to create innovative restaurant concepts that fit nicely alongside some of Nashville’s favorite spots. On your next trip to Middle Tennessee, be sure to check out some of the best foodie finds the city has to offer.
In Nashville, if you want hot fried chicken, you go to the most popular joint in town: Hattie B’s. You can select how hot you want it with Hattie B’s Heat Level Scale, ranging from “Southern” (a touch of heat) to “Shut the Cluck Up” (burn notice). Round out your meal with some southern greens, pimento mac and cheese and banana pudding (their most popular dessert), and you’ll be licking your fingers all day long.
A combination of high-end coffeehouse and casual restaurant, Fido focuses on organic and local food in a relaxed-vibe setting. If you like your burgers, don’t miss their local burger, made from local grass-fed beef and lamb, topped with white cheddar, caramelized fennel and fig aioli. The Steak and Hash isn’t to be missed, featuring grilled marinated flank steak, hash browns, cheese, aioli, pesto and veggies. The Hillsboro Village neighborhood is young, vibrant and the perfect place to walk off that cheesecake brownie you won’t be able to resist.
Arnold’s is the quintessential, hearty “meat and three” restaurant with a menu that changes daily. People from all walks of life wait in a long line for this fresh take on traditional soul food, but don’t start hoofing it the other way — the line moves quickly. The meats range from roast beef, grouper or sugar-cured ham to chicken and dumplings. The side selection includes creamed corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, fried green tomatoes, fried apples, mac and cheese, and all the fixings your heart desires.
Butcher & Bee
An iteration of the popular farm-to-table Charleston, South Carolina, restaurant, Butcher & Bee has quickly become a hot spot in East Nashville. All about honest-to-goodness eats with a Mediterranean twist, the starter menu includes bacon-wrapped dates and honey-and-pepper-hinted whipped feta with pita. Larger plates feature everything from Southern classics like a bone-in pork chop with coconut collard greens to lamb meatballs paired with a lime yogurt sauce. Other rock-star menu items include the charred broccoli, octopus poke and braised lamb. The extensive cocktail menu makes this spot a great first date spot or a casual night out after work.
Treehouse is considered to be one of the best late-night eats in Nashville. It features an eclectic and cozy atmosphere, provided by a large tree house and separate rooms. The delicious menu is what really puts it over the top. With a wide variety of small plates for sharing and family-style plates for passing around the table, the internationally themed menu created by Chef Jason Zygmont leaves the restaurant with a lot to be proud of. Highlights of the small plates include the DIY steamed duck buns with spicy cherry sauce and half-sour pickles, as well as the brightly flavored scallop crudo. Round out your meal with a specialty cocktail or the to-die-for spiced chocolate souffle.
This local favorite, smack dab in the heart of The Gulch, is the perfect place to get Southern breakfast staples. This popular spot usually builds up a line, but it’s well worth the wait just to order “Bonuts” for the table. Other mouth-watering choices include the “Southern Benny,” which features made from scratch biscuits and gravy; the “Princess,” which has hot chicken; and the “Blacklock Hash.” The down-home favorites, including the biscuits and gravy, will instantly make you feel like you’re at grandma’s breakfast table.