Southern Foods to Savor in Greater Franklin, TN Area

Williamson County dining options range from upscale to down home

By Phil Newman on March 27, 2015 at 6:00 am EST
Wild Iris in Brentwood, TN

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Adkins

A wide variety of local restaurants give Williamson County residents and visitors unique dining options at a range of price points.

Upscale

$ Elevated Southern cuisine dubbed “urban country,” Mack and Kate's offers delicate dishes made with the love of the South.

$$ Catch the spring breeze on Wild Iris’ outdoor patio and snack on handcrafted appetizers or partake of the full bar. 

$$ Once Gray Drug Co., Gray's on Main has become a hotspot for dining and drinking with the best Southern spirits. Sunday night concerts highlight the weekend.

$$$ The Red Pony’s chef/owner Jason McConnell fosters a relaxed but upscale atmosphere where you can chat easily over a glass of wine or peer through a wall of glass into the kitchen as top chefs cook over an oak grill.

$$$ Cork & Cow serves entrees and sides with traditional Southern flair turned up a few notches.

$$ Fly South to Leiper's Fork for hearty soups, salads and burgers dreamed up by executive chef/Food Network champ Kristen Gregory, plus an ample beer-and-wine selection. (Reservations recommended.)

$$ Homestead Manor in Thompson's Station is an event-focused, farm-to-table dining destination under development by Puckett's owner Andy Marshall.

BBQ

$ Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint is a classic joint that's easy on your wallet without sacrificing deliciousness. You’ll bite into succulent burgers, brisket, catfish, stews and killer barbecue.

$ Todd Masters (the barbecue sauce guy) instituted Jack of Hearts Bar-B-Que after devising his prized recipe one night in his kitchen. Legendary sauces for sale on location.

$ Texas-sized pork, brisket, ribs and chicken make mouths water at Judge Bean's Bar-B-Que in Brentwood.

International

$$ Born of kitchen traditions, Sopapilla's conjures the flavors of New Mexico, from Margaritas to the tacos.

$$ Local Taco presents Tex Mex cuisine infused with Southern and local flavors.

$$$ Wild Ginger tenders an eclectic blend of Pan-Asian, South American and Western cuisine. “The fusion here is something you often find in a big city… you can experience so many blended cultures on one plate,” says frequent customer Kalina Neely.

Coffee & Juice Shops

Frothy Monkey incessantly smells of fresh-drip coffees and swirling lattes while locals enjoy caffeine breaks, lunch dates and even special evening events. Across town at Fat Bottom Brewery, find coffee-infused porter POTUS 44.

$ Known for its greens, roots and power shots, Juicebar in Brentwood makes healthy drinking taste delicious. 

Jamba Juice serves up classic smoothies, yogurt bowls and more at its McEwen Drive shop just south of Cool Springs.

Maui Wowi recently opened in fast-growing south Franklin near Peytonsville Road, offering fresh-fruit, nonfat smoothies and Hawaiian coffees with a tropical-island vibe.

Quick Bites

$ Begun by Meridee’s grandmother, who came from Sweden to Minnesota, in Merridee's Breadbasket you’ll find baked goods, boxed lunches, coffees and extended breakfast/lunch menus.

$ The fish tacos and burrito bowls are rivaled only by the margaritas at Swankys Taco Shop in Cool Springs.

Puckett's anchors Leiper's Fork with its country charm, Southern favorites and live music. The fare at its downtown Franklin and Nashville locations, along with seafood-friendly Puckett's Boat House in Franklin, is just as savory.

$$ Burger Up focuses on building a citizen collective in its communal space and purchasing from local farms, promoting sustainable local business while grilling its famous patties.

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