Caffe Nonna, ChaChah, Jimmy Kelly's, Noshville Deli, Suzy Wong's House of Yum – these are all one-of-a-kind restaurants that add to Nashville's unique flavor and flair. There are even distinct restaurants at Nashville International Airport, including Gibson Café, Neely's Bar-B-Que, Provence Breads & Café, and Swett's. Here is a brief overview of the Music City dining scene:
Breakfast Is Big in Nashville
For starters, head on over to one of Nashville’s many famous breakfast spots. But be prepared to wait awhile. At the Pancake Pantry, the line is almost always wrapped around the building, with locals and tourists alike trying to tickle their taste buds with a stack of those famous hot cakes.
Keeping the groove going is Fox’s Donut Den, where one can choose from a menu stocked with donuts, pastries, muffins and more.
Though its open for lunch and dinner, the Loveless Café serves breakfast all day and is renowned for its scratch biscuits and traditional Southern cuisine.
Nashville's Top Spots for Coffee
If your taste buds are tired, wake them up at one of Nashville's many quality coffee houses, which offer some of Nashville’s best caffeinated or non-caffeinated beverages for even the hardest-to-please palate. Many Germantown area residents' first stop in the morning is DrinkHaus Espresso + Tea, while Fido, located in Hillsboro Village near the Vanderbilt and Belmont campuses, holds a special spot in the hearts of its loyal patrons.
Other top independent spots for coffee are Ugly Mugs, Sip Cafe, and Bongo Java East, all in East Nashville; The Frothy Monkey in the 12South area; and Crema in the Rutledge Hill area near downtown. Of course, there are several Starbucks locations throughout town, and Dunn Bros. Coffee on Church Street is also known for its loyal following of downtown Nashville residents and workers.
The Yellow Porch near Berry Hill has favorite dishes like fresh fish paella and Mediterranean vegetable lasagna. Capitol Grille in the Hermitage Hotel has won several awards for its Southern-based menu lineup. Also earning both media attention and frequent "must-try" recommendations from residents is City House. For some of the best New York deli fare south of the Mason-Dixon Line, check out Noshville. With three locations around Nashville, it's easy to stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Other local favorites for quality food and a variety of menu choices include Bound'ry, Midtown Cafe, Germantown Cafe, Crow’s Nest, Mambu, Midtown Café, Nero’s Grill, Tayst, Tin Angel, F. Scott's Restaurant and Jazz Bar, Watermark Restaurant, Mere Bulles and Burger Up.
Barbecue, Hot Chicken and Other Comfort Foods
Jack's Bar-B-Que is home to St. Louis-style ribs and Texas sausage, while Prince's Hot Chicken Shack is the granddaddy of the city's hot-chicken emporiums, dating back to the 1940s. Other top spots include Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint, McDougal's Chicken Fingers & Wings,Bar-B-Cutie, 400 Degrees and Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish. For comfort food served family style, check out Monell's Dining and Catering.
Despite the name, San Antonio Taco Company is a Nashville original. With a friendly atmosphere and low-cost high-taste menu, it's no surprise that SATCO is always full of happy customers. Then The Local Taco, Salsarita's Fresh Cantina, Qdoba and Taco Mamacita will have you dancing South of the border without ever leaving Nashville.
Nashvillians looking for sushi and other Asian-inspired dishes can find them at Suzy Wong's House of Yum, August Moon, Seoul Garden and Goten. Another top destination, PM offers fusion-dishes such as strip steak teriyaki and a Thai-spiced burger prepared by Arnold Myint, an award-winning chef who was featured on the television show Top Chef: DC. If Vietnamese or Japanese get your tongue twirling, then choose from Far East Nashville or Zumi Sushi Japanese Kitchen.
Caribbean and International
Back to Cuba Café offers Cuban entrees and sandwiches like lechon asado, while Rumba has menu items from countries such as Africa, India, South America and Spain. Other excellent international food destinations are Couva Calypso Café, Eastland Café and Flyte World Dining & Wine.
Sole Mio has an impressive wine list and entrees such as ragu salad and scaloppine di vitello. Staying in tune are Maggiano's Little Italy and Amerigo, both offering some of the finest Italian food favorites. Known for its stone-oven pizza, MAFIAoZA's offers Italian delicacies in an inviting New York-style environment.
Bakeries and Sweets in Nashville
You should always save room for dessert in Nashville, which has many spots for sweet treats. At Sweet Cece's, customers create their own delicious frozen yogurt treats, selecting from a variety of flavors and toppings. Other great options for ice cream and frozen yogurt include Tasti D-Lite, Pied Piper, Mike's Ice Cream, Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream and Pinkberry.
If you are in the mood for more exotic cool treats, be sure to try the gourmet popsicles at Las Paletas in the 12South neighborhood, where flavor options include plum, hibiscus and avocado.
The cupcake craze is well represented in Nashville, too; it's just a matter of finding your favorite. Originated in Nashville, Gigi's Cupcakes offers a stellar menu of confectionary treats that keep customers coming back for more as do The Cupcake Collection, Sweet 16th and Sweet 'n Sassy Bakery. And if the lone cupcake isn't enough, then the Nothing Bundt Cakes location on White Bridge Road might help.
Just Ask Your Bartender
From local beer to expertly mixed cocktails, you'll be in high spirits at Music City’s premier bars and pubs. The most discriminating drinkers prefer Holland House Bar and Refuge, Patterson House and No. 308 for skilled bartender service and sophisticated drink menu options.
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