Nashville has become so popular a tourist destination that every day now feels like the weekend, what with fans of visiting NFL teams extending their trips until Tuesday to lick their wounds after a thrashing by the Titans and the hordes of bachelorettes arriving on Wednesday to get a head start on their Fireball-fueled assault on Lower Broad. So it’s important to take steps to keep the actual weekend sacred -- and what's more special about Saturday and Sunday than brunch? The answer is nothing. An extended boozy brunch with friends is the essential weekend ritual, and we've done our part to maintain this by handpicking the best Nashville restaurants serving brunch in your neighborhood. This way your afternoon isn't even tainted by the neverending group text about where to go.
This Restaurant Gives Brunch a Punjabi Twist
Suzy Wong’s House of Yum Adding some camp to Church St In this town where long-time residents still give directions using churches and service stations as landmarks, it’s a lovely irony that the best drag show brunch in town is at Suzy Wong’s on Church Street. The kitschy Asian eatery with its tapas-style menu of sushi, shared plates, and “yum” bowls is worth a visit any day of the week for some irreverent fun, but their “Drag’n Brunch” from 10am until 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays is where the real action is.
Woolworth on 5th Brunch at the site of civil rights history The original Woolworth store at this address was the site of some of the earliest lunch counter civil rights protests of the 1960s that eventually led to the desegregation of restaurants in Nashville. You can still see some of the original counter stools on the mezzanine level at Woolworth, and historical photos from the era are an important part of the decor. The new downstairs lunch counter is also a full bar, so you can enjoy a fine screwdriver as you brunch on traditional morning favorites like sweet potato pancakes and fried chicken biscuits.
Butcher & Bee A taste of the Middle East on the East Side The Israeli-inspired menu at Butcher & Bee lends itself to an enjoyable vegetarian experience, even for hardcore carnivores. It does serve meat, but small flavorful plates like the popular whipped feta and honey with cracked black pepper and mains such as their addictive avocado crispy rice make it pretty easy to go veggie every Sunday from 10-2.
Rudy’s Jazz Room Jazz, cocktail flights, and New Orleans cuisine If you thought that jazz was just the soundtrack of the witching hour, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this subterranean music venue where the smooth tunes kick off at 11am on Sundays. In addition to the music, the New Orleans-inspired brunch menu is also accompanied by $5 mimosas and Bloody Marys and $15 cocktail flights from 2pm-5pm if you choose to extend the party.
Marché Artisan Foods Ever-popular European-style cafe This popular European-style cafe serves seasonal brunch dishes every morning, but it is especially popular on weekends when neighborhood residents wake up at the crack of noon for sustenance after an evening out. They don’t take reservations, so make new friends in line and maybe even team up to share a table for quicker seating. The menu changes daily, but you can always expect an array of delightful pastries, salads, and sandwiches, as well as heartier breakfast fare like traditional bacon and eggs.
Henrietta Red Inventive cuisine in a whimsical environment Henrietta Red is best known for their work with seafood, and there are certainly some ocean delights on the brunch menu from roasted oysters to citrus-cured salmon. But weekend mornings are when the kitchen plays with other fun dishes like spicy shakshuka and a filling kimchi farro bowl. The decor of the lovely dining space is a treat for the eyes, and the pleasant buzz of excited diners provides the soundtrack.
Etc. Upscale vibe with twists on the classics At Etc., the ambiance is classy, and the plates are classics, but with a twist. Add lamb meatballs for the Mediterranean scramble for a touch of protein to the eggs, veggies, and basil crema. Gluten-free diners (or heck, anyone) will enjoy the clever carrot pecan waffle served with grilled pineapple.
Marsh House Seafood and chambongs! You have to hand it to New Orleans; they know how to brunch. At this Louisiana-inspired eatery in the lobby of the hip Thompson Hotel, they show their NOLA roots with a menu of shrimp toast, crab fingers, and a plate of shrimp & grits as good as any in town. In case you were looking to make your champagne drinking more efficient, Marsh House also offers chambong service with open-ended flutes designed to shotgun the bubbly down your gullet at warp speed.
Biscuit Love The same food they line up for in the Gulch, but with smaller crowds The queue of hungry patrons waiting to get into the original Biscuit Love in the Gulch are smart enough to know the cozy eatery’s biscuit sandwiches are something special. They’re just not smart enough to realize that the second location five minutes away in Hillsboro Village serves the same menu of biscuits and gravy, hot chicken biscuit sandwiches, and the biscuit/donut clone known as the “bonut” as in the Gulch, but with smaller crowds. Be doubly smart.
Redheaded Stranger Southwestern specialties in East Nashville The menu at the new Redheaded Stranger isn’t very long -- a tight list of breakfast tacos served on flour tortillas (like God intended), a burrito stuffed with eggs, chorizo, cheese, and crispy hash browns, and a green chili cheeseburger that will make you think you’re dining at Sparky’s in Hatch, New Mexico. Still, that doesn’t mean the choices are easy, so you’ll want to make multiple visits to this cozy neighborhood taco shop to work your way through the entire menu.
The Sutler Bluegrass, beer, booze, brisket, and biscuits The Sutler has been a neighborhood institution for decades, back to when it was more of a smoky dive bar than the fantastic restaurant, saloon, and music venue it has evolved into. Their weekend Bluegrass Brunch is quite popular with music fans arriving early for the first-come-first-seated meal of down home breakfast classics like chicken & waffles, biscuits & gravy, and smoked brisket hash accompanied by festive authentic bluegrass music from the stage. Wash it all down with a glass or three of their seasonal specialty sangrias for a perfect Sunday fun day.
Tavern International gastropub fare with the in-crowd Tavern is one of the best spots to see and be seen in all of Midtown, particularly on fall Saturdays when fans cheer on their favorite football teams over international gastropub fare like huevos rancheros and Singapore stir fry. American classics like red velvet waffles, Philly cheesesteak egg rolls, and a really solid Tavern burger are also fine choices. They also offer a generous happy hour until 3pm on their brunch cocktails.
Nicky’s Coal Fired Italian-inspired brunch dishes plus bubbles Nicky’s pumps some fantastic pizzas out of their coal-fired Italian oven, and the novel breakfast pies like the “Pep it up a Notch” made with garlic cream, spinach, mozzarella & pepperoni and the “Scattered, Smothered, Chunked and Covered” homage to Waffle House featuring potatoes, roasted onions, ham, cheddar, & egg are worthy additions to the Nicky’s canon of masterpieces. Pair your pie with a glass of Prosecco or a frozen Aperol spritz for a meal that’s molto buono!
The Mockingbird Eat, drink, and be especially merry The Mockingbird knows what you want out of weekend brunch. The festive atmosphere at this party palace encourages appropriately irresponsible behavior among friends, and the available bowls of boozy punch with your choice of alcoholic spirit for sharing turns everything up a notch. The menu is filled with delicious dishes bearing punny names like a cinnamon roll dish called “Dat Bun, Dough!” and a Mexican-inspired platter named “Taco the Town.”
Husk Inventive takes on classic Southern dishes Husk is best known for inventive takes on classic Southern dishes made with heritage ingredients. It also has an incredible selection of spirits in the cozy bar downstairs. Combine these two factors and you have a perfect recipe for a transcendent Southern breakfast, where options include quail with red-eye gravy, johnnycakes, a poached egg, sweet potato glaze, and hollandaise. Luckily, that famous Husk cheeseburger is also available during brunch hours, which run from 10am-2pm on weekends.
Liberty Common A slice of Paris in the middle of SoBro Liberty Common is a stunner of a restaurant, with soaring ceilings and huge windows flooding the space with natural light. When the weather allows them to open the windows over the bar, the dining area spills over to a cozy Parisian-style patio offering a view of Ascend Amphitheater mere steps away. The menu is a combo of French style and Southern traditions highlighted in dishes like a perfectly fried crispy boneless chicken thigh perched atop a buttery golden biscuit and a swipe of honey dijonnaise or the waffle madame with ham, gruyere and a runny egg served over waffles and syrup. Lively jazz accompanies the brunch to elevate the mood.
Chaatable Celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan’s latest restaurant is a riot of colors and flavors After opening multiple restaurants in her new adopted hometown of Nashville, Maneet Chauhan returns to her roots for her latest venture, a throwback to the street foods of her youth in India. The kitchen has elevated the street cart food to new levels of spice, sweet, crunchy, creamy, and salty. From small bite snacks to interesting American/Indian hybrid main dishes, Chaatable offers explosions of flavors that will perk you up and get you ready to start another week. The vibrant decor of the quirky dining room mirrors the burst of spices in the food with a rainbow of colors.
Hathorne Restaurant Veggie-forward plates and a proper French omelet Brunch doesn’t have to be unhealthy to be decadent and enjoyable. At this West Nashville restaurant in the remodeled fellowship hall of a former church, the kitchen at Hathorne presents fabulous plates that won’t clog your arteries and leave you feeling regret for the rest of the day. From their famous pan-seared steel cut oatmeal with berries and brown sugar to crispy fried cauliflower, Hathorne offers healthful options that still feel special. They also specialize in the sort of authentic French omelet that is rarely seen outside of the toniest of restaurants.
Josephine Central Pennsylvania cuisine combined with Southern classics and continental techniques Chef Andy Little hails from Pennsylvania and is a classically trained culinarian. He combines this varied background with the flavors of his adopted region to create unique brunch items like elevated fried bologna sandwiches and a namesake Josephine benedict with poached eggs, scrapple, country ham, and brown butter hollandaise sauce that are unlike any other weekend menu in Nashville. The talented pastry staff offers up some fine donuts and maple bourbon pecan sticky buns to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Saltine See food, seafood, eat food Saltine has one thing that raises them above a lot of other Midtown brunch restaurant options, ample free parking. Beyond that, there are plenty of other reasons to visit this seafood-centric eatery for the weekend morning meal. Plow your way through dishes like an oyster frittata, blue crab and asparagus scramble, and a Maine lobster grilled cheese topped with tarragon crème fraîche for a taste of the sea in this utterly landlocked town.
Earnest Bar & Hideaway One more reason to hate Mondays The good folks at Earnest know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so they offer their brunch menu every day of the week except Monday when they are closed. This is a real benefit for hospitality professionals who have to work during weekend brunch hours and would like the chance to enjoy an occasional cocktail with their morning meal alongside dishes like brown butter pancakes, breakfast tacos, and poutine Benedict. Don’t worry; the rest of us civilians are welcome too!
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Chris Chamberlain is a food, drink and travel writer based out of his hometown of Nashville. If you see him out at brunch, odds are it means that he overslept past last call for Egg McMuffins. Wake his butt up on Twitter @CeeElCee.