Eat Seeker

Where To Eat in Nashville Right Now

We get it, times are weird when it comes to dining out. While some of Nashville’s finest dining establishments have finally re-opened their doors to indoor service, many are still operating with a hybrid takeout/delivery/dine-in model. We say that’s fine because everyone is trying their best to keep the health and safety of both staff and patrons as the highest priority. In addition to drawing your attention to some of the newest additions in the dining scene, we’re also focusing on some of the more successful new kids on the block from the past five years. Read along and plan your next restaurant adventure in Nashville. Remember to wear a mask and tip generously.

The Optimist

Germantown
The gist: Ford Fry’s long-awaited Germantown project has finally opened after years of anticipation, joining his Tex-Mex cantina Superica and two other upcoming projects to cement his place in the Nashville culinary pantheon.
The food: You can almost smell the salt air while perusing the seafood-centric menu. (Okay, it’s really just the Cumberland River.) But Fry’s take on elevated “fish camp” fare features fresh shellfish and fish sourced from seas across the world plus some fun Southern accents. Start out with an order of whiskey-smoked salmon and one of the restaurant's signature “Plateaux” piled high with shrimp, oysters, smoked fish dip, and lobster before plunging into the bounding mains like whole roasted flounder under a pecan meuniere sauce or red snapper cooked “en papillote” -- that’s “in paper” if your high school French fails you.
The cost: Apps are $15-20, the seafood platters start at $65, mains are $30-50, and cocktails are no more than $13.
How to order: Make reservations through OpenTable

Joyland

East Nashville
The gist: Internationally-lauded chef Sean Brock goes delightfully lowbrow at his new homage to one of his favorite types of cuisine -- gas station food -- at this converted coffee shop.
The food: You can’t go wrong with any section of the tight menu which revolves around biscuit sandwiches, burgers and the Oxford, Mississippi Chevron station specialty of chicken-on-a-stick. Brock has exhaustively investigated these dishes to come up with his versions, including a bacon egg and cheese biscuit topped with local favorite Gifford’s bacon, a fantastic griddled Joyburger made using the same Bear Creek Farm that Brock used to serve at Husk, and delightful fried chicken on skewers jazzed up with a tingly Momofuku spice blend.
The cost: A breakfast biscuits are $8-10, burgers and fried chicken sticks and sandwiches are $4-12. 
How to order: Order takeout online or delivery through Postmates

Setsun

East Nashville
The gist: This beloved pop-up from the former chef of The Treehouse has finally put down roots after taking over the kitchen at the fun and funky Van Dyke Bed & Beverage.
The food: Chef Jason Zygmont always had a taste for interesting wines, so he’s a perfect fit with the bevmasters at Van Dyke. From morning espresso and fresh-baked bagels to a menu of small plates to pair with that rotating wine list, Setsun offers an international tour of food. Think good old American burgers to sourdough cavatelli with a rich pork ragout to a spicy egg drop soup served with precious pork dumplings. The same plates get larger at the evening meal with notable additions like pork tonkatsu and ricotta agnolotti.
The cost: Grab a bagel and a schmear for $6, lunch dishes are $9-14, and dinner plates are $12-17.
How to order: Make reservations through OpenTable
The gist: While Nashville’s first and most acclaimed chef-driven tasting table has been around for a while, it’s been reinvented under the auspices of a brand new chef, local favorite Brian Baxter, who earned much love working in the kitchens at Husk and Bastion until most recently heading to Atlanta as the opening chef at Kevin Gillespie’s latest project, Cold Beer
The food: Baxter has thrown himself into creating a brand new menu of whimsical updates of traditional Southern treats like a delicious globe of tuna and raw beef flavored with watermelon dashi or a tiny little tomato sandwich made in the style of a Japanese sando, finished with yuzu and hard boiled egg cream and served with some caviar to add eggs to eggs.
The cost: The 13-course tasting menu will set you back $135 with optional beverage pairings available.
How to order: Make reservations through Tock
The gist: Black Dynasty is another Asian-inspired pop-up that found a permanent home during the pandemic, this time in residence at the delightfully quirky Bar Sovereign hidden away behind a tiny sign revealing its location in an industrial strip south of Broadway.
The food: You’ll know what’s on the menu at Black Dynasty when you see the paper lantern lit up at the back of the room at Bar Sovereign. The menu changes at the whim of the kitchen, but always includes a vegan shoyu option along with a couple of inventive noodle bowls, gyoza. and the occasional dessert treat like miso caramel banana pudding. 
The cost: Bowls are around $15 with side dishes and desserts for $6.
How to order: Use these instructions to Venmo, text, and pick up your food curbside

Butcher & Bee

East Nashville
The gist: Fantastic modern takes on Mediterranean cuisine made using seasonal local ingredients and served in the hip environs of an architectural stunner of a dining room.
The food: It’s the law that all meals at Butcher & Bee must begin with an order of the cultishly-popular whipped feta dip with fermented honey and black pepper. Then move on to B&B’s avocado crispy rice, an umami bomb with delightful textural contrasts between the fried Carolina Gold rice, collards, and peanuts set off with a zing of serrano chiles. Don’t sleep on the burger topped with calabrian salsa and -- you guessed it -- more whipped feta.
The cost: Mezzes and dips are $6-10, mains are $12-22, cocktails and wines by the glass are $12-16.
How to order: Make a reservation through Resy, order takeout through Upserve, or get delivery through Uber Eats

Bastion

Wedgewood-Houston
The gist: In this pandemic period, the tiny dining room at this beloved chef’s table has spilled out into the larger main bar, so there’s plenty of elbow room to enjoy chef Josh Habiger and his team’s culinary explorations.
The food: The chefs at Bastion are extremely imaginative in their treatment of small plates, so they ask you to use your imagination as well. The menu is just a simple grid of short descriptions like “onion + gruyère” or “lettuce + whiskey” or “duck + beets,” which forces diners to have faith and take the plunge. It’s worth the risk, because the dishes are universally thoughtful and delicious. For the time being, Bastion has temporarily shifted to more of a set menu for parties of 2-4 to simplify the cooking and dining experience.
The cost: Choose one small plate from each of five lines of the grid for $75 or share them all for $200. The set menu is currently $80 per person.
How to order: Make a reservation through Tock

Henrietta Red

Germantown
The gist: James Beard nominee Julia Sullivan serves fun unpretentious seafood dishes in a vibrant atmosphere that welcomes tourists and neighbors alike.
The food: While the atmosphere in the dining room and bar is delightfully busy, the open kitchen hums with quiet efficiency pumping out platters of shellfish from both coasts, dishes like Poppy’s caviar made from paddlefish roe with sour cream and a spring onion vinaigrette, delicious rich seafood curries, and some surprising Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as clams and nduja and panzanella with seasonal vegetables and mushrooms.
The cost: Small plates are $11-16, larger share plates top out at $26, and an impressive French wine list offers bargain glasses from $11-16.
How to order: Order curbside takeout or delivery through ToastTab

Hathorne

West Nashville
The gist: Veggie-centric meals served in a former church fellowship hall have many foodies in town worshipping at Hathrone’s altar.
The food: Currently available for carryout only, Hathorne continues to impress. The plant-forward menu includes nuanced internationally-inspired dishes like curried kohlrabi and cucumbers, grilled cabbage with anchovy dressing, cippolini onions and feta, or something as seeming mundane as a grilled chicken leg quarter made transcendent by the addition of a nutty salsa matcha inspired by the cuisine of Veracruz, Mexico.
The cost: Most of the menu items are $10-13, tagliatelle for two is $30, and a full plate of shrimp ceviche and quinoa is $23.
How to order: Order takeout through ToastTab

Riddim N Spice

North Nashville
The gist: Soulful Carribean cuisine with plenty of heat and some vegan options are great reasons to visit this vibrant eatery.
The food: The cultural heritage of Riddim n’ Spice is clear if you know that the co-owners grew up working alongside their mother in the kitchen of Nashville’s favorite Caribbean restaurant, Jamaicaway. The brothers have moved from a food truck to their own bright space near Meharry Medical College where they are serving their own takes on island food. Build a bowl from a list of proteins including lamb, honey jerk chicken, curried shrimp, or vegan jackfruit and then pile on up to four toppings from a dizzying variety of veggies ranging from Cuban black beans to tangy peppers or queso fresco. The last decision is your desired heat level, but choose wisely because the fire ratchets up quickly as you move up the capsaicin continuum.
The cost: Bowls are $10-14 plate dinners are $10-18, quarts of the rum punch or cucumber lime cocktails are $15.
How to order: Order takeout through ToastTab

Chaatable

West Nashville
The gist: Television chef Maneet Chauhan embraces the Indian street food of her youth with playful takes on traditional dishes served in a lively environment decorated in a riot of colors.
The food: From umbrellas on ceiling to a wall covered with thousands of chef Chauhan’s sparkly signature bangles, there’s a lot to look at inside the cozy dining room. But focus on the menu. You have work to do choosing between small plates (chaats) for the table like an airy semolina puff filled with potatoes and moong daal, spicy hand pies stuffed with potatoes and green peas, or the puffed rice snack that you can customize with your choice of add-ins that Chauhan cheekily calls “Build-a-Bhel.” Larger plates revolve around flavorful curries and kabobs if you’re not the type to share.
The cost: Chaats are $6, larger apps are $9-12, entrees are $15-25, and fun drinks are $7-13. 
How to order: Make reservations on OpenTable or order takeout and delivery through Grubhub

Two Ten Jack

East Nashville
The gist: Nashville’s most authentic Japanese izakaya experience leads diners on a food and drink journey from course to course.
The food: The idea behind opening a Japanese neighborhood pub in East Nashville was not only to introduce local diners to the cuisine of the traditional Tokyo izakaya, but also the entire gestalt of the experience. Ask your server to take you through it, matching beer, cocktails, and sake with small snack plates like edamame, seasonal pickled vegetables and dumplings, skewered meats and veggies cooked over a yakitori grill, and bowls of deeply flavorful ramen. 
The cost: Small plates are $6-14, larger dishes and ramen bowls are $8-15, and cocktails are $10-11.
How to order: Make reservations through Resy or order takeout online
The gist: Pizzas, pastas, and vegetables cooked in a massive coal oven with a view of the industrious cooking crew working in the open kitchen make for dinner and a show.
The food: Nicky’s antipasti plates feature house-made charcuterie, pickled veggies, and exotic cheeses to perk up your appetite. Pastas are also made fresh by hand and dressed with classic sauces and the option of adding an order of “Mama G’s Meatballs.” (Pretty much mandatory.) The roster of pizzas always includes both red and white sauce options plus a “pie of the day” that benefits from the seasonality of available ingredients. The bar offers the best selection of Italian beers, wines, and spirits.
The cost: Starters are $10-20, pizzas are $15-19, and pasta dishes are $18-22. 
How to order: Order takeout through Tock or delivery through DoorDash

‘za

Hillsboro Village
The gist: Inventive wood-fired pizzas are topped with Southern-inspired ingredients.
The food: The owners of the popular Biscuit Love restaurants have branched out to make a whole different kind of dough with their unique long-proof sourdough pizza crust recipe. The delightfully tangy crust is set off with toppings like pepperoni cups appropriately filled with their own spicy juices, peppery arugula and prosciutto from the East Tennessee bacon king Benton’s Smoky Mountain Hams, and an intriguing combination of lamb sausage, mozz, and mint on a pie named The Rescuer. While The Yell Talker isn’t first date food thanks to pureed onions, caramelized onions, scallions, and chives, it is a spectacular choice to share with someone who already likes you.
The cost: Pies are $12-15, so you should have spare change left over to order a $7 app of pizza dough with whipped ricotta and a drizzle of local honey.
How to order: Open for dine-in service or order takeout and delivery online

Redheaded Stranger

McFerrin Park
The gist: Nashville finally gets the legit breakfast taco joint it never knew it needed.
The food: From the same team that brought you Butcher & Bee comes this cozy homage to Southwestern breakfast tacos that features nine creative iterations of traditional morning meals tucked in a tortilla. Plus, you can enjoy an outrageous breakfast burrito overstuffed with scrambled eggs, chorizo, pork Hatch green chile sauce, tater tots, and a cheese blend. Those green chiles also top Redheaded Stranger’s cheeseburger, which ranks among the best in town.
The cost: Tacos are $3.95 apiece, burritos are $8, andburgers are $6-10.
How to order: Open for patio and dine-in service or order takeout by calling 615-544-8226

Folk

McFerrin Park
The gist: Rolf & Daughters chef Philp Krajeck has taken his talents across the Cumberland River to open Italian-influenced Folk.
The food: Krajeck and his staff have a particular talent with funky, fermented flavors that show up in the pizza dough, vegetables, and pastas that they serve at Folk. Don’t look for your typical pepperoni pie on the menu as the kitchen specializes in more exotic ingredients like fermented mushrooms, seasonal squash, or house-made sausages. You won’t miss that ’roni a whit once you dig into the lemony clam pizza with chili, bonito flakes, and parsley.
The cost: Pizzas are $15-20 and vegetable side dishes are $12-14.
How to order: Patio is open (with no service) to enjoy online takeout orders or get delivery through Postmates, Uber Eats, or DoorDash
The gist: Classic Provençale bistro fare served in an environment reminiscent of a cozy Parisian cafe has quickly become a neighborhood favorite.
The food: When a Nashville musician and recording engineer asked his French chef father to partner with him on a cozy bistro, magic happened. This delightful little cafe features a menu of traditional takes on appetizer dishes like escargot, country pâte with cornichons, steak tartare. and foie gras. Entrees are just as prototypical including a Beef Bourguignon that would make Julia Child blush and steak frites that patrons can top off with their choice of escargot butter, Roquefort sauce, or green peppercorn sauce. 
The cost: Starters are $10-18 and entrees are $20-25.
How to order: Visit the restaurant for dine-in or carryout orders

E3 Chophouse

Hillsboro Village
The gist: This second outpost of the elegant Colorado-based steakhouse serves beef raised on its own ranch with all the classic accoutrements.
The food: The decor in the massive three-story E3 Chophouse is rustically bold and modern, but the menu is decidedly old school. From chilled shrimp cocktails to baked oysters to a “so simple it’s brilliant” dish of bacon with apple/jalapeño jam and salted peanut crumbs, the appetizers bring a smile to the face of avowed meat eaters. Salads are also impressive, especially the classic Caesar that can be prepared tableside by request. Of course, the highlights of the menu are the steaks -- cuts of premium dry-aged beef cooked to order and served with a choice of optional toppings and sauces.
The cost: Appetizers and small plates are $16-26, premium steaks are $44-66, steakhouse sides like creamed spinach or truffle fries are $12-15 apiece.
How to order: Make a reservation on OpenTable

Lyra

Cleveland Park
The gist: Modern Middle Eastern food served in sultry environs in a converted grocery store is a delightful addition to the East Side.
The food: From artisan bread perfuming the air as it bakes in a wood-fired oven to several varieties of hummus to heavily -spiced vegetable plates and inventive meats and seafoods, Lyra merits multiple visits. Particular standout dishes include lamb kefta kabobs under a fruity amba glaze, trout fried in a chickpea batter, and M’ahani lamb sausage and mussels served with tomato sauce and an herbal Lebanese garlic sauce.
The cost: Dips and hummus are $7-10, veggies are $9-15, and mains are $15-27.
How to order: Make a reservation through Resy