Must Eat Places in Nashville, TN
I'm going semi-blind here, but I'll put in a rec for MamBu. Disclaimer: I'm a friend of the owner/chef. I last ate there ten years ago. There were Issues with a partner, resolved by his recent departure, and now apparently Anita's very good food is garnering the appreciation it deserves. I can tell you more after our visit this next October, but since this thread is four years old I assume we aren't in a hurry...
For yer basic slap-yer-granny meat'n'three, you still can't possibly beat Arnold's for lunch. Go on Monday, which is Fried Chicken Day...
The Copper Kettle is a great place to sample what could be called a 'high end meat and three'. You gotta try the jalapeno cheese grits and meatloaf! They have several locations around town, and also do an excellent Sunday brunch. Definitely a place with a steady local following,and continued great reviews from local press. Good prices, too.
I also agree with the above comments about F. Scott's, and Margot. Both great places, and are considered Nville establishments.
Definitely try Parco in Printers Alley, it is the best veggie burger ever!! Be patient with the service, it is family owned and the chef makes everything from scratch. The veggie burger takes a while so if you are in a hurry call ahead and they will have it ready. Don't skip dessert, this is where he shines.
I second Parco Cafe as a great place to eat. Be sure to try the chowder en croute (I don't recall the exact name). And absolutely save room for dessert. We have eaten there several times with the food being excellent, but on the second visit the service was off. I believe that it was because it was a Tuesday night and probably the only people cooking and serving were the owners.
We have recently eaten several times at Cabana which describes its menu as Casual Southern Comfort Cuisine. If you go, be sure to try the Lobster Brie Mac and Cheese. Also delicious is the Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna and the Chicken and Black Bean Ravioli. Check out the menu at
I also agree on Bound'ry and Park Cafe.
I am going to split off from the pack on Loveless, though. I think it is just a lot of fried food that is not that great. It is a popular destination, but I just don't get it.
No one has mentioned Prince's Hot Chicken and you might want to add that to your list if you want a different experience. Be sure to check the hours--it's closed several days ( think Sun-Tue, but I'm not sure).
I guess I'll take a stab as well - I'll try to include as much local flavor as possible. Burger - Rotiers or Brown's Diner. I personally go w/ Brown's. It's more of a beer-n-burger place, while Rotier's is meat and three. Not a burger, but another local spot that gets overlooked is Bro's, a real cajun joint w/ great, simple menu and daily specials. Think about that for lunch. On Charlotte.
If you are a beer drinker, check out Yazoo Brewery's tasting room in the Marathon Village. Great beers - their Amarillo Pale Ale is about the only beer of any kind I drink any more. Also available at many local pubs. Broadway Brewhouse (Midtown) has the best wings I've had anywhere - meaty and oven roasted, as opposed to fried.
For breakfast, my vote is for Loveless. A little bit of a ride, but plenty of shops around it now for looking around while you wait. A very different, and very old Nashville spot awaits at Wendell Smith's on Charlotte, if you have an interest in diner/meet-n-three breakfasts.
I think Margot and Zola are generally regarded as top two food experiences. For a slightly less $$, there are some great options. Germantown Cafe is very good and reasonable w/ a view of downtown, MamBu is solid (Midtown). Bound'ry is more exciting w/ a variety of combinations and opportunity to order tapas style for sharing. Also a lively bar scene there. Cafe Nonna (traditional Italian in a cozy, comfortable setting) and Park Cafe (upscale southern?) are personal favorites and within a block of one another in Sylvan Park. Park Cafe is perhaps my favorite for consistency, quality, and interesting combinations.
Have a great trip.
Although I'm a Nashville native, I'm currently living in DC. However, when I was in Nashville, I loved Zola on West End for a nice night out. I also liked Bosco's (a little up the street from the Pancake Pantry). Tin Angel is also good. Rotier's for burgers. Are you noticing a trend? I went to Vanderbilt so I covered the area pretty well. Dalt's in Lion's Head is a good bet too (especially their milkshakes and homemade potato chips). Jimmy Kelly's has great steaks also.
Also, for "Nashville experiences," don't forget the Pancake Pantry or Loveless Motel for breakfast. If you're wanting some good Southern food you could go for a meat-and-three (meat and three veggies) meal at Swetts, Monells (the one downtown), or Vittles. I could go on and on...Wow! now I'm getting homesick!
I had another excellent dinner at Cafe Margot (East Nashville) last night. Place was packed on a Wednesday night, which should tell you something. I think it's still the best show in town.
For haute cuisine and the prices to go with it, consider Radius 10 or Watermark, both near the Gulch. I prefer Radius 10. You will spend plenty of dough, but won't leave disappointed.
The best restaurant downtown is Parco Cafe in Printer's Alley. Don't let the iffy surroundings or dining room scare you, the food is wonderful.
Reviews of many other places to eat in Nashville -- high and low -- on my blog.
I saw your post in passing and since you didn't have any replies I thought I'd throw out a suggestion: F. Scott's Restaurant and Jazz Bar. This is a bit dated, but I had a very nice dinner there with quality entertainment about three years ago. At the time, they had a special after 9 (2nd entree for half price; I was a starvin' grad student),so we had drinks in the jazz bar, then had a great dinner in the restaurant. Current info is here:
Maybe someone else can vouch whether this is still worthwhile.