Music City has developed its own foodie scene that’s truly “whole hog." Come for the BBQ and stay for the Indian food with a Southern twist and the best hot chicken you’ll ever taste. Here’s where to eat when you visit.
The humble restaurant spaces complement the home-cooked feel of its food at prices you can't beat. (Edley's chef and GM, Bret Tuck, aims to keep all meals around $10). What to Order: Go for brunch on Saturdays for the breakfast burrito—get it with brisket and enjoy the "secret" ingredient. (Hint: It's tater tots.)
What started as a private men's club is now a favorite spot for locals, celebrities, and visitors at Nashville's prestigious Hermitage Hotel. All of the beef on the menu is from the hotel's own Double H Farms, just west of Nashville, and many of the vegetables are grown by the restaurant's culinary team a few miles from the hotel. What to Order: While the menu changes seasonally, the sweet onion bisque is a favorite and always makes its way onto the menu.
Fried Chicken Joint in Nashville, TN, United States
Take your pick of chicken meat (white or dark, thigh, wing, leg, or breast) and choose your heat level wisely. We could only have one bite of "Shut The Cluck Up!!!" What to Order: The black eyed pea salad, pimento mac & cheese, and homemade cole slaw are all excellent complements to your hot chicken dish of choice. And for desert, the banana pudding is to die for.
Gol guppa shots to start, which are typical Indian street food. Then order desi tiffin, Chauhan's take on a traditional "meat and three." This one is served with chef's choice of protein and sauce and three sides with naan, raita, and papadum. Also try the Saffron IPA (West Coast-style IPA with saffron and cardamom) and Japa (milk stout infused with chai tea) from Mantra.
American Restaurant in Nashville, TN, United States
The bacon-wrapped quail and beef tartare are excellent starters, followed by the fried chicken (a crowd favorite). Leave room for the Elvis moon pie—Chef Lindley's take on Elvis' favorite sandwich: peanut butter, banana, and bacon.
Bringle serves a true dry rib (hickory smoked with just salt) and is well known for his ribs and BBQ pork sandwich, so we recommended giving those a try. And don't leave without a bite of fried pie—chocolate, peach, or apple, that is.
If you ask any local where to eat no matter what kind of food they like, they'll tell you City House, an Italian-rooted restaurant with Southern flair in Germantown. Go for their Sunday Supper—a unique, always-changing menu meant for sharing. What to Order: If you go on a non-Sunday, the belly ham pizza is a must-try along with the catfish dish and pork sausage. Don't miss their extensive cocktail menu, whiskey and bourbon list, and wine selection.
Martin's is famous for its Redneck Taco—BBQ on top of cornbread hoe-cake with slaw and sauce. The wings in Alabama white sauce are incredible, as well as the catfish, wet ribs, and hush puppies. Surprisingly, Martin's burger is also a favorite—inspired by In-and-Out after a trip to California, he uses the Comeback Sauce as his "special sauce."
Southern / Soul Food Restaurant in Lynchburg, TN, United States
There's no menu here, just good ol' Southern comfort food. You need to make an advanced booking for an 11:00 a.m., 1 p.m., or sometimes 3:00 p.m. seating. When the dinner bell rings you will be escorted to your assigned room in the house and joined by a local host or hostess who will tell you endless stories or answer any questions you might have about the town.
You'll be waiting around the corner in Hillsboro Village to get into this breakfast-lover's heaven, but it's well worth the wait. Open until 3:00 p.m. we recommend going on the later end for a shorter wait. Must-try: Sweet Potato Pancakes.
In Hillsboro Village, you'll also find the coffeehouse Fido, which serves an all-day breakfast menu. Fido is part of the Bongo Java Company, which has its own roasting company, bakery, vegetarian restaurant, and desert cafe. Must-try: Any of the bagel sandwiches. Hangover and Bachelor are our favorite.
This coffeehouse concept restaurant chain roasts its coffee in Nashville and serves delicious breakfast items (until 5:00 p.m.) in addition to a sandwich, salad, and dinner menu. Must-try: Breakfast Bun and California (fried eggs with avocado, sprouts, toast, and homemade salsa).