Nashville First, the bad news: we are all eventually going to head up to the big brunch in the sky. But the good news is that before that happens, we get to head to the big brunch, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time down here. And in Nashville, that’s a particularly delicious prospect -- so here are the 50 foods you need to eat before you leave town/this mortal coil...
1. The Hoss burger
Hoss’ Loaded Burger (address and info)
Arguably one of the BEST damn burgers in all of Nashville, The Hoss is a cheddar cheese-stuffed beef patty that’s topped with crispy pieces of Benton’s bacon and onion crispers. This burger can be made even more mouth-watering with the addition of a fried egg on top and extra cheese (highly recommended!). Locate this food truck and order this burger ASAP (or at least before you die).
2. Fish & chips
Fleet Street (address and info)
If you weren’t specifically looking for it, you would probably pass right by Fleet Street without even knowing that it’s there. This British-inspired pub in Printer’s Alley serves traditional English food and drinks including a very delicious plate of fish and chips. If you happen to be a soccer fan, Fleet Street is also a great spot to grab a beer (with your fish and chips, of course) and watch the game. More Stuff You Will Like
Biscuit Love Brunch (address and info)
What started out as a modest food truck has now become one of Nashville’s favorite biscuit joints. But, in case you didn’t know, Biscuit Love serves more than just biscuits. Well, technically the Bonuts are part biscuit and part donut but they’re completely delicious. These are often ordered to share with the table but we recommend that you just go ahead and order some all for yourself.
4. Duck-fat tater tots
Merchants (address and info) Downtown This delicious app is precisely what it sounds like: crispy tater tots cooked in delicious duck fat. These tater tots could easily be enjoyed as they are but just to sweeten the deal, you're given three different dipping sauces to enjoy with your tots: ketchup (duh), chipotle mayo, and a really yummy bearnaise. Continue Reading
5. Pork broth ramen
Two Ten Jack (address and info) East Nashville The ramen scene in Nashville isn’t very large but it sure is tasty. Our favorite: Two Ten Jack’s pork broth ramen (on the menu as tonkotsu). Seriously, SO GOOD. And if pork isn’t your thing, there's also a great veggie option.
6. Hot chicken
Pepperfire (address and info) East Nashville This one is a big no-brainer, right? If you haven’t already tried Nashville’s famous hot chicken then we suspect it’s because you’re scared of the heat. But, you really haven’t lived until you’ve burned your mouth off a little by some of this delicious fried chicken. Our all-time favorite hot chicken joint: Pepperfire.
7. Hot chicken AGAIN (because it’s Nashville)
Prince’s Hot Chicken (address and info) East Nashville So here’s the deal: hot chicken is so important to Nashville that you really need to try out several different places before you die. It’s absolutely necessary actually. And since Prince’s Hot Chicken is the original hot chicken joint, we think it should also be on your list.
8. BLT bagel
Bagel Face Bakery (address and info) East Nashville Bagel Face’s BLT bagel is no ordinary bagel. It’s smothered with one of the house-made schmears of your choice (we recommend the veggie) and topped with lettuce, tomato, and crispy bacon that’s fresh from the butcher right down the road.
The Red Bicycle (address and info) Germantown & Woodbine Crepes aren’t just for dessert. The Red Bicycle serves crepes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all times in between. While we love a good crepe filled with Nutella and fruit, we’re also big fans of savory crepes for breakfast. The menu has lots of great crepe dishes to choose from but if you don’t see exactly what you want, you can also just design your own crepe and add in whatever pleases you.
Mas Tacos Por Favor (address and info) East Nashville There really are a lot of great taco joints in Nashville but Mas Tacos wins our hearts (and our stomachs) every time. The building is small and the parking practically non-existent, but the tacos really are just so, so good. While all of the taco options are great, we’re partial to the tilapia tacos.
11. Chicken & waffles
The Southern Steak & Oyster (address and info) Downtown Who doesn’t love a classic dish of chicken and waffles? The Southern’s chicken and waffles (on the menu as “The Highway”) is simple but delicious and definitely something that should be on your bucket list. The chicken is fried up to perfection and paired with some of the fluffiest waffles you’ll ever taste. And, of course, it’s all covered in a generous dose of maple syrup.
12. Garlic knots
Five Points Pizza (address and info) East Nashville Five Points Pizza’s garlic knots are what foodie dreams are made of. They’re so soft, so cheesy, and just so damn delicious. This is another dish that’s good to share but even better all to yourself.
Savarino’s Cucina (address and info) Hillsboro Village There’s just something so very satisfying about a freshly filled cannoli from your local Italian eatery. Savarino’s cannolis are some of the best in town and they’re served up fresh by the family that runs the restaurant. These cannolis are on the smaller side, though, so go ahead and order yourself a few.
I Dream of Weenie (address and info) East Nashville Who knew that there were SO many delicious ways to eat a hot dog? I Dream of Weenie has a rather extensive menu that includes brunch, constantly rotating daily specials, and a secret menu that’s only available to those who know to ask. You can order a normal weenie, a healthier turkey weenie option, or even a tofu weenie -- all for no extra charge. A must-try weenie for your bucket list: the chili-cheese weenie.
15. Grilled cheese
Grilled Cheeserie (address and info)
More than just melted cheese on toasted bread (although that sounds great too), the Grilled Cheeserie makes some gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches that will leave your taste buds in awe. It’s true, you might have to stand in line for a short time to get one of these delicious creations, but trust us when we say that it’s so worth the wait.
16. Lobster Brie mac and cheese
Midtown Cafe (address and info) Midtown This is not the mac n’ cheese from a box that you lived off of in college. Oh no. This mac and cheese is so creamy and so flavorful that you'll never be able to look at other mac n cheeses the same way again. Midtown Cafe’s lobster Brie mac and cheese is one of the best dishes in town and definitely something that every self-respecting foodie should have on their bucket list.
17. Stuffed French toast pancakes
Sky Blue Cafe (address and info) East Nashville These stuffed French toast pancakes (upgraded with Nutella and banana) are heavenly. They’re also hard to even imagine until the large plate is placed in front of you and you have a sudden urge to stuff it in your face all at once. It’s basically exactly what it sounds like: Nutella and banana stuffed inside of French toast that’s then sandwiched between two fluffy pancakes and topped with a bit more Nutella and banana. Yeah, it’s basically the best thing ever.
18. Red curry
Deg Thai (address and info)
Deg Thai is a bright-green and yellow food truck that serves some of the best Thai-fusion food in the city. For those that can handle a little heat, the red curry is definitely the way to go!
19. Buttery biscuits
Loveless Cafe (address and info) West Nashville Those biscuits! Loveless Cafe is another obvious choice to complete a well-rounded food bucket list. Tourists come from far away just to have a bite of these buttery and delicious biscuits. Despite the fact that Loveless Cafe has seen several owners since it first opened, the kitchen is still baking with the same top-secret biscuit recipe that has made it so famous.
20. Turkey leg
Renaissance Festival (address and info)
Okay, so this is a little unconventional but we thought it was definitely worth adding to the list. The Tennessee Renaissance Festival happens annually around Memorial Day and is a popular yearly event for many Nashvillians. While there, it’s absolutely necessary to order a turkey leg that’s as big as your face and attempt to eat the entire thing all by yourself.
21. Artisan chocolate
Chocolate F/X (address and info)
This new-ish shop prides itself in making delicious chocolate “with a fun rock and roll attitude.” And what’s even better than mouthwatering chocolate? Mouthwatering chocolate that’s covered in skulls or shaped liked mini robots.
22. Belly ham pizza
City House (address and info) Germantown While only a small part of the entire menu, City House’s pizza is raved about throughout Nashville. And while all of the pizza options are good, we’re especially partial to the belly ham pizza. But, please, don’t take our word for it.
23. Mexican street corn
Acme Feed & Seed (address and info) Downtown There are truly a lot of great reasons to head on over to Acme Feed & Seed ASAP. Like its great rooftop that overlooks the river and much of Downtown. But one of the best reasons of all is to cross its Mexican street corn off your food bucket list. We don’t typically get this excited over an ear of corn but when it’s covered in cotija cheese, lime aioli, and chili, we start to drool a little.
24. BBQ nachos
Edley’s Bar-B-Que (address and info) East Nashville We would be appalled to hear that you’ve never had Edley’s BBQ nachos before but if that is the case, GO NOW. Seriously, these nachos are one of our all-time favorite dishes in Nashville. Edley’s nachos start out with house-made crispy potato chips and are topped with SO much goodness including its famous BBQ and a really delicious cheese sauce. This is the kind of dish where you think you’ll only eat half of it but next thing you know, you’re practically licking the plate clean and wishing for more.
Ichiban (address and info) Downtown Sushi is just something that should be on your weekly bucket list, but in case it’s not, at least we’ve added it to this one for you. And if you’re going to have sushi, it needs to be good. For that, we recommend Ichiban which is easily home to some of the best sushi in Nashville.
Husk (address and info) SoBro Husk has become the wonder child of the foodie scene in Nashville recently and it’s for no reason other than the fact that the food (and the cocktails) are ridiculously amazing! We could have easily made this entire bucket list the Husk menu but, for now, its oysters will have to do. They’re simple and classic and oh so tasty.
27. Fish sandwich
Steadfast Coffee (address and info) Germantown In case you thought that Steadfast couldn’t possibly get any better than its coffee soda (which is to die for, by the way), its fish sandwich is here to prove you wrong. This perfectly cooked fish filet is topped with pickled onions, pea shoots, and avocado tartar sauce.
28. Buffalo cauliflower
Tavern (address and info)
When cauliflower meets the deep fryer and a bit of spice, things get extremely tasty. The Tavern’s Buffalo cauliflower is covered in a cornmeal crust, dipped in loads of Buffalo sauce, and served with a warm blue cheese fondue.
29. Redneck taco
Martin’s BBQ Joint (address and info)
We do live in Tennessee so why not partake in a little Redneck activity every once in awhile. Especially when said activity is a cornbread hoe-cake covered with BBQ, creamy sauce, and slaw.
30. Roast pork bánh mì
InterAsian Market & Deli (address and info) Nolensville Pike The InterAsian Market & Deli might be easily overlooked, due to its slightly scruffy exterior, but that would be such a sad mistake. Not only is the market itself great, but the deli serves deliciously crafted sandwiches that also happen to be super cheap. You can get a roast pork bánh mì with double meat for less than $5. This sandwich is a wonderful combination of salty-and-sweet roast pork and homemade pate with pickled carrots and papaya on freshly toasted French bread.
31. Egg in a jar
Pinewood Social (address and info) SoBro Something about putting food in a delicately prepared jar makes it all the more tasty. And this is the case with Pinewood Social’s egg in a jar breakfast dish. A poached egg, country ham, asparagus, brioche, and truffle hollandaise sauce (!!) are nestled together in a cute little jar with a lot flavor.
32. Fried chicken
Arnold’s Country Kitchen (address and info) The Gulch Arnold’s Country Kitchen, one of our favorite meat and threes in Nashville, has been open for over 30 years now and very little has changed since it first opened its doors. People come from all over to try the drool-worthy fried chicken and we highly recommend that you do the same. But read the menu carefully before going. While roast beef is served on a daily basis, the famous fried chicken is actually only served on Mondays.
33. House-made bacon
Kayne Prime (address and info) The Gulch We might have mentioned Kayne Prime’s house-made bacon a time or two because it’s seriously THAT good. This starter dish is made up of several very thick, and rather greasy pieces of bacon that're covered in peppercorns and topped with a very unique (and very, very tasty) piece of maple cotton candy.
34. Feta cheese fries
Two Bits (address and info) Demonbreun Hill Nicely made fries are enough to keep us happy... but when they’re stacked high with feta cheese, roasted poblano, and scallions, then we’re extremely happy. Two Bits has some of the best potato sticks in town, and a burger worth pairing them with too.
Las Paletas (address and info)
An entire restaurant dedicated solely to popsicles? Yes please! Las Paletas has several different categories on its menu including cream popsicles (such as Mexican caramel, hot chocolate, and coffee), fruit popsicles, and other unique flavor combinations created on a daily basis. One of the most popular paletas is the chocolate-dipped avocado.
36. Farm burger
The Pharmacy (address and info) East Nashville A lot of good burger joints have opened in Nashville over the past few years and we’re still pretty partial to the Pharmacy. The farm burger is what burger dreams are made of: a big beef patty on fresh bread, topped with bacon and a fried egg. It’s basically heaven.
37. Ice cream cone
Bobbie’s Dairy Dip (address and info) Downtown, Sylvan Park Bobbie’s Dairy Dip is a Nashville favorite of old and has been serving its juicy burgers and creamy dipped ice cream for well over 60 years now. There are several different dipping options and we suggest that you try out one of each.
Mitchell Deli (address and info) East Nashville We’re not really sure what kind of magic Mitchell Deli puts in its sandwiches to make them so damn delicious, we just hope it keeps doing it. Especially when it comes to the turkey, bacon, and avocado sandwich. This could probably be consumed on a daily basis and you’d never get sick of it.
Pfunky Griddle (address and info) Berry Hill The Pfunky Griddle is the spot for not only great pancakes but also a super-fun breakfast experience. Each table is equipped with a griddle in the middle where you can watch your food cooking and flip your own pancakes. For just $5.99, you can eat ALL of the fresh pancakes you want. And we highly encourage you to go a little crazy with the pancake toppings seeing as there are over 25 to choose from.
Cupcake Collection (address and info)
It takes just the right balance to get the perfect cupcake. The cake needs to be fluffy and moist and the frosting needs to be stacked high, but not so high that you’ll need an insulin shot just to eat the cupcake. Luckily for Nashville, the Cupcake Collection has found perfect harmony on its cupcakes. There aretons of great flavors to choose from including campfire s’mores, peanut butter mousse, and cafe mocha.
41. Chicken fingers
McDougal’s (address and info)
Never underestimate a good basket of chicken fingers, especially when those chicken fingers are fresh from McDougal’s. While there are lots of different options, we recommend getting your chicken fingers tossed in one of the many sauces (the Tearjerker sauce perhaps) and served with a big basket of fries. Sometimes it’s all about the simple pleasures.
The Bang Candy Company (address and info)
It’s likely that you’ve seen the Bang Candy Company’s marshmallows for sale around town, but did you know that it also has a cafe where you can get a great cup of coffee AND freshly made marshmallows? The marshmallows are SO good and come in all kinds of great flavors such as chocolate chili, lemon lavender blueberry, and speciality flavors that are rotated out weekly. It is possible to go in and buy just one marshmallow, but why would you do that when you can go home with a whole box?
43. Chicken liver pâté
Lockeland Table (address and info) East Nashville After you hit up the burgers, pizza, and BBQ dishes on this list, you can settle down to something a little more sophisticated such as Lockeland Table’s chicken liver pâté. This pâté is cooked in Benton’s bacon fat and served in a jar with grilled Tuscan bread and delicious smoked peach preserves.
44. Premium Goo Goo Cluster
Goo Goo Shop (address and info) Downtown It’s true you can get one of Goo Goo’s original Nashville candies at just about any store you walk into these days (because yes, they’re that good). However, what you can’t get just anywhere is one of the Premium Goo Goo Clusters that are specially created and sold in the Downtown Nashville Goo Goo Shop. We suggest you make your way down there and try whichever delectable Premium Goo Goo Cluster the shop happens to be making fresh that day.
45. Dim sum
Lucky Bamboo China Bistro (address and info) Sylvan Park Sometimes there’s just nothing that satisfies a craving quite like the taste of Lucky Bamboo’s steamy and savory dim sum. Add to your bucket list: "enjoy dim sum with a large group of friends." Something about dim sum is just better with a nice big group and this also results in a larger variety of dumplings, buns, and all the good stuff to go around.
46. Beer can chicken
5th & Taylor (address and info)
You haven’t really lived until you’ve had 5th & Taylor’s beer can chicken. It’s quite simply what it sounds like, but even better than you can imagine. This dish comes with chicken that’s been roasted and soaked in one of the most delicious gravies you’ll ever eat in your life. When it’s brought to the table, it’s accompanied with a can of PBR which holds the beer gravy that you can drown your chicken in before practically inhaling the entire dish.
47. Big Easy frites
Germantown Cafe (address and info) Germantown This cafe is one of the true staples of the ever-growing Nashville foodie scene. Not only does it have a fun and relaxing environment and terrific food, but it also has a killer view of the Nashville skyline. While literally everything on the menu is great, we especially love the Big Easy frites which are house-made French fries drizzled in crawfish étouffée & créme fraiche. Even better than freshly made fries covered in sauce: the Big Easy frites are only $5 at happy hour.
48. Fried ravioli
Coco's Italian Market (address and info) Sylvan Park Some people go to Coco’s solely for the fried cheese ravioli. Realistically, any dish that has the words “fried” AND “cheese” in it is pretty much a no-brainer, right? We sure as heck think so. And Coco’s fried ravioli is even better than the rest. All of the ingredients are either locally sourced, house-made, or imported directly from Italy which results in some of the best Italian dishes in the city.
49. The 96 burger
Burger Republic (address and info) The Gulch What can we say? There are just a lot of really great burgers in Nashville and we wouldn’t want you to die without trying all of the best ones. The 96 burger from Burger Republic was the highest-scoring burger (with a score of 96) in the 2014 World Food Championship. So yeah, you really need to try this burger. The beef is blended with blue cheese and then topped with honey balsamic-glazed mushrooms, onion, and (of course) a good bit of bacon.
50. Banana pudding
Hattie B's Hot Chicken (address and info) Midtown Surely you must have known that we’d manage to sneak at least one more hot chicken joint onto the list. Hattie B’s banana pudding is a local favorite and we happen to love it as well. And while you’re there, you might as well start the meal with some hot chicken before getting to your dessert. Sign up here for our daily Nashville email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun the Music City has to offer.Brita Britnell is a Nashville writer & photographer who is ready for round two of everything on this list. Follow her adventures on Twitter.