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Nashville, TN’s Real Foodie Scene Isn’t Where You Think It Is

Hidden on the south side of town is a road with some of the best, most eclectic dining you'll ever taste.

By Susanna Pilny on April 26, 2016

Nashville

Nashville’s real foodie scene: Nolensville Pike

Nashville is well known for being a foodie town, especially areas like East Nashville. But people sometimes forget about another region fit to bursting with foodie-enthralling eateries—namely, Nolensville Pike. Nolensville is a hub of the international community (which makes up about 12% of the city’s population, according to The Tennessean), and the markets, cafes, food trucks, and restaurants reflect this wonderfully. Here’s a list of some of our favorite options for diving mouth-first down Nolensville:

 

Gojo Ethiopian Cafe and Restaurant

As its name indicates, Gojo features Ethiopian food, including an all-you-can-eat buffet and vegetarian options. The décor is somewhat sparse, but the food more than makes up for it—and plus, it’s BYOB. I would recommend a combination plate if you’re new to the restaurant, so as to try multiple options and feel out what you like best.

 

InterAsian Market & Deli

Stocked with a wide variety of high-quality Southeast Asian products, InterAsian Market has been supplying Nolensville for more than 20 years. But a pleasant surprise comes in the deli section, from which you can buy foods like fried bananas and sesame rolls on the weekends. Their bahn mi sandwiches are a big favorite—the pate is made in-house! However, remember to bring cash—no credit cards accepted.

 

Istanbul Restaurant

Istanbul is a rather simple venue, but the food stands out. It has all of the favorites you’d expect in a Turkish restaurant—hummus, gyros, falafel, baklava—and it does them well. Its soups are a pretty big stand-out: Both the yogurt and beans soups are delicious.

 

Carniceria Y Taqueria Don Juan

If you’re craving tacos, Don Juan is the place to go. They’re full of flavor, they’re incredibly cheap ($1.25 apiece!), and there’s even a drive-through if you’re looking to get tacos on the run. Plus, the options are endless, ranging from chicken and grilled beef to pork stomach and beef tongue—and there are other food choices if you’re not in the mood for tacos, too.

 

Siam Cafe

Like most restaurants on Nolensville, Siam Cafe is a bit of a hole in the wall—and delicious. Founded more than 25 years ago, it’s a well-ingrained Nashville establishment, and is known for its fresh Thai food. Regulars especially love their curry dishes.

 

Botan Market

If you’re looking for those hard-to-find ingredients for Indian, Middle Eastern, and North African dishes—or if you’d just like to try some new food products—Botan is the place to go. There’s an in-house halal butcher, fresh-baked pita bread, specialty treats, spices, grains, and more.

 

Twin Kegs

Twin Kegs is frequently rated as having one of the best burgers in town, which, paired with its cheap beer, makes it a winner in my book. Of course, it’s a dive bar—don’t go in expecting something you’d see on Broadway. Beer is served in plastic cups, and smoking is allowed inside. (They do takeout, for those who don’t want to be around the smoke.)

 

Taj Indian Restaurant

Taj Indian Restaurant is often packed, and for good reason: Their food is delicious. The weekend lunch buffet is especially popular (and a great way to sample a variety of choices), and they have vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options as well.

 

Nashville’s real foodie scene: Nolensville Pike

Nashville is well known for being a foodie town, especially areas like East Nashville. But people sometimes forget about another region fit to bursting with foodie-enthralling eateries—namely, Nolensville Pike. Nolensville is a hub of the international community (which makes up about 12% of the city’s population, according to The Tennessean), and the markets, cafes, food trucks, and restaurants reflect this wonderfully. Here’s a list of some of our favorite options for diving mouth-first down Nolensville:

 

Gojo Ethiopian Cafe and Restaurant

As its name indicates, Gojo features Ethiopian food, including an all-you-can-eat buffet and vegetarian options. The décor is somewhat sparse, but the food more than makes up for it—and plus, it’s BYOB. I would recommend a combination plate if you’re new to the restaurant, so as to try multiple options and feel out what you like best.

 

InterAsian Market & Deli

Stocked with a wide variety of high-quality Southeast Asian products, InterAsian Market has been supplying Nolensville for more than 20 years. But a pleasant surprise comes in the deli section, from which you can buy foods like fried bananas and sesame rolls on the weekends. Their bahn mi sandwiches are a big favorite—the pate is made in-house! However, remember to bring cash—no credit cards accepted.

 

Istanbul Restaurant

Istanbul is a rather simple venue, but the food stands out. It has all of the favorites you’d expect in a Turkish restaurant—hummus, gyros, falafel, baklava—and it does them well. Its soups are a pretty big stand-out: Both the yogurt and beans soups are delicious.

 

Carniceria Y Taqueria Don Juan

If you’re craving tacos, Don Juan is the place to go. They’re full of flavor, they’re incredibly cheap ($1.25 apiece!), and there’s even a drive-through if you’re looking to get tacos on the run. Plus, the options are endless, ranging from chicken and grilled beef to pork stomach and beef tongue—and there are other food choices if you’re not in the mood for tacos, too.

 

Siam Cafe

Like most restaurants on Nolensville, Siam Cafe is a bit of a hole in the wall—and delicious. Founded more than 25 years ago, it’s a well-ingrained Nashville establishment, and is known for its fresh Thai food. Regulars especially love their curry dishes.

 

Botan Market

If you’re looking for those hard-to-find ingredients for Indian, Middle Eastern, and North African dishes—or if you’d just like to try some new food products—Botan is the place to go. There’s an in-house halal butcher, fresh-baked pita bread, specialty treats, spices, grains, and more.

 

Twin Kegs

Twin Kegs is frequently rated as having one of the best burgers in town, which, paired with its cheap beer, makes it a winner in my book. Of course, it’s a dive bar—don’t go in expecting something you’d see on Broadway. Beer is served in plastic cups, and smoking is allowed inside. (They do takeout, for those who don’t want to be around the smoke.)

 

Taj Indian Restaurant

Taj Indian Restaurant is often packed, and for good reason: Their food is delicious. The weekend lunch buffet is especially popular (and a great way to sample a variety of choices), and they have vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options as well

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