brown's diner
Sara Norris/Thrillist

Brown's Diner


Nashville's oldest beer license can be found in an old converted trolley car in Hillsboro Village, otherwise known as Brown's Diner. Brown's has been open since 1927, but beer is only part of the draw. You are unequivocally here for the cheeseburger, a greasy diner patty with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and grilled onions on an untoasted, seedless bun. Its beauty lies in its simplicity, cheap price tag, and the fact that it's remained virtually unchanged since the Great Depression.

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The rumor is that the reason Brown’s burgers and fries are so damned good is that they haven’t changed the grease in the fryer or the griddle in years, but that’s not true. They change it religiously—on Easter and Christmas. For an authentic experience, get the cheeseburger with mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle, and don’t forget to remove that toothpick holding it all together before you bite down. The iconic trolley car diner is under new ownership, but they promise not to mess with anything sacred and have added a new enclosed deck in front of the trolley to offer more dining space.

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