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Seeking great food in Nashville

Last year I met my friend in Nashville and we had a great Sunday champagne brunch buffet at Loews Hotel. The following morning we ate at Loveless Café and enjoyed the place quite a bit.

This year, we are seeking another great Sunday champagne brunch buffet and another great place for breakfast the following Monday morning.

Also, any good recommendations for a great dinner dishes for Saturday and Sunday nights.

Thanks in advance

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  1. For Southern cooking brunch try Monell's. Not high brow but authentic. Even better for lunch during the week. For dinner try Zola's. Debra Paquette is the most inventive chef in the city. Her dishes are well seasoned and very nuanced. She is the dean of Nashville chefs. Watermark is also excellent and has great views of downtown. Ask for a table with a view. They do seafood particularly well. Also consider F.Scott's. The food is good and the wine service under the guidance of Elise will hold it's own with any in any city...not an understatement.

    1. Hi! I've lived in Nashville all of my life, so I hope my suggestion(s) work for you!

      Demos'. It is a locally owned (there are only 4 in TN) steak place! There is one downtown on 3rd and Commerce. It is inexpensive and WONDERFUL! I can't get enough of this place. Try their chicken and rice soup (instead of salad) and 6 oz sirlion. For the price, nothing beats it!
      Another wonderful, more upscale, steak place is Nick and Rudy's. It also has a piano bar!! You may need reservations!

      If you're looking for a great bar/restaurant try The Flying Saucer. They have a ton of beer on tap and pretty good food as well!

      Pancake Pantry in the Hillsboro area is wonderful. They ONLY take cash, so be prepared! They have more than just pancakes too!

      What types of foods do you like? Where are you staying (general area)? I hope I have helped!

      1 Reply
      1. re: emmyp

        I had breakfast at Pancake Pantry the on Wednesday, and was able to pay using a credit card. A good solid breakfast, but the hash browns, while freshly made, were over-rated on another thread.

      2. If you want a champagne brunch at a hotel restaurant, try the Capitol Grille at the Hermitage Hotel. Monell's has breakfast on the weekend, but not during the week. Pancake Pantry has a variety of nice pancakes; you will probably have to wait in line outside.

        I second the recommendation of Zola's. Try the trout.

        Avoid Demos'. Even if your standard of fine dining is hotel restaurants, you will find it below par.

        1. I would reiterate to avoid Demos.

          1. Just curious as to why you don't care for Demos'?

            1. Oh and where exactly is Zola?

              1. Another place to try is Radius 10. The chef/owner is a CIA graduate who trained in several Michelin rated restaurants in France.

                2 Replies
                1. re: brentk

                  Please, have you been to Radius-10? The place literally stinks and has some of the worst service. Their food may be OK, but I've never gotten to that point there.

                  1. re: koi_doc

                    Definitely not my experience about 6 months ago. Place smelled fine, food was well-prepared, elegantly plated, and tasted delicious. We had friendly, efficient service. And we are by no means part of the "beautiful" set. Sorry to hear about your experience. Brumm is very ambitious and very accomplished. I think he would want to know if the front of the house was treating people like that.

                2. Best place for Monday breakfast is Marche in East Nashville.

                  Best places for Saturday / Sunday dinner are Cafe Margot (East Nashville), Radius 10 (Gulch), Ombi (Elliston Place), and Parco Cafe (Downtown - Printers' Alley). Zola (Midtown) isn't bad either.

                  Definitely avoid Demos. Pancake Pantry is an institution, but I have mixed feelings as to whether it's worth the wait, particularly if it's cold out.

                  1. I agree on Zola, and if you want to get adventurous and cross the river there is a gem called cafe Margot in East Nashville. Pancake Panty is way too over-rated. Less that a block away wou can get a much better breakfast at Fido's, and the coffee and espresso drinks ther are stellar.

                    1. I will personally take Provence over Pancake Pantry any day. It's right across the street. And if you like coffee but must have the pancakes, do yourself a favor and get a cup from Provence while you wait in line. The Pantry's coffee is pretty awful.

                      1. Yeah, but if they want a champagne brunch buffet, Fido's is not the place. I like the pancakes at Pancake Pantry, I genuinely do. Whether they are worth waiting in line in anything but nice weather is another question.

                        1. I wouldn't miss Parco. Despite the odd/underground ambience, it's truly special. I've mostly had lunch there (some of the best sandwiches I've ever had) but dinner was terrific as well. Also had a wonderful meal at Margot.

                          Personally, I'd go to Prince's Hot Chicken for breakfast, lunch, dinner and/or dessert if I were in Nashville, but that's just me.

                          1. most good food in nashville is on the low end. think burgers, bbq and fried chicken. i second the pancake pantry, they make good fried eggs too. cafe margot has a really nice brunch on sunday too.

                            1. Thanks for all the recommendations. Last year we had dinner at a restaurant/lounge about two blocks from the Embassy Suites downtown. Can’t remember the name, but the food was great. We also eat at Zola’s and thought the food there was quite good as well.

                              1. I would stay out of the heart of downtown for Nashville's best. I agree the Margot cafe in East Nashville is a great choice, as are Germantown cafe and the Made Platter on 5th and 6th avenues, respectively. Margot cafe now serves a Sunday brunch that is definitely respectable, though I don't feel it touches the dinner options. Maybe Noshville on Broadway for a bit of a New York deli vibe for brunch. I would also recommend Zola, the chef is adventurous but typically nails nearly all of her creations (try the paella).

                                1. The food at Radius 10 is good but it is so intrusively noisy that it spoils the meal. Watermark gives you the same "hip" sensibility, a superior view, and you might even hear the person with you. Margot is a decent place for where it is located but the dishes are nowhere near as adventurous or interesting as either Zola, Watermark, or F. Scott's. Both Margot's and F. Scott involve a bit of a cab ride more than the others. Prince's Hot Chicken is great but for takeout. Few people actually eat there. It is a local phenomenon and has been written up in Gourmet. Don't go there for breakfast-- really takout only. The knock on Germantown cafe would be the same as for Margot. Decent food, nothing new or inventive. Safe but with a great view of the city. Pancake pantry is a local tradition. The food is decent and like LPM states I enjoy sitting at Provence with my pastry and espresso wondering why people are willing to wait so long for mid-range food.

                                  1. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Basco's Sunday Jazz Brunch in Hillsboro Village.
                                    Live jazz starting at 10:30a and a great brunch menu.
                                    Best micro brew in Nash'vegas!

                                    1. For the benefit of the OP who might not recognize the typo--the Sunday Jazz Brunch is at Bosco's. Never been there for brunch, so I can't comment on that.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: suebro

                                        Oooppsss.... my bad, thx for the correction suebro!

                                        I would like to add a vote for Amerigo on West End for a great Italian dinner.

                                        1. re: kelomaki

                                          Really? I've never eaten at Amerigo's, but my husband has been taken there a couple of times and he says that it's sort of imitation Italian, not even as good as the Carraba's chain. Is he wrong? I'd be delighted to hear it.

                                      2. In the battle of the chains, I would personally lean towards Carraba's, if only for the atmosphere. However, I have experienced enough great pasta renditions at Margot Cafe to recommend that over most Italian in the city. One good local Italian place is Cafe Nonna in the Sylvan Park Neighborhood.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: notgreg

                                          I've never ordered pasta at Margot. I do like Cafe Nonna, and I also like Sole Mio. And for a plain dish of sausage and peppers, or eggplant with red sauce, or mom-and-pop stuff like that, the Italian market on 51st St. is great. Savarino's Cucina in Hillsboro Village is pretty good, too, but (for me) a bit on the salty side. But if Amerigo's is better than I think it would widen the options....

                                        2. I usually coerce my girlfriend into ordering Margot's pasta so that I can exploit her smaller appetite while also ordering something like the grilled quail or fresh fish for myself. Been meaning to try Savarino's, I live in Hillsboro Village but haven't made the walk down yet, how extensive are their offerings? I know this is way off the OP but I must know.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: notgreg

                                            Savarino's menu is not very extensive on any given day. But their bread is good and their pastries are the real thing.

                                          2. Here's one that's a local secret - sunday brunch at The Copper Kettle. I don't know if there can be champagne involved, but the food is great.

                                            I have mixed feelings about Demo's - it's a great choice for inexpensive MOR dining downtown, but if you're looking for any kind of upscale experience it'll disappoint you.

                                            Pancake Pantry has worn out it's welcome with me - I used to be a regular, but just got tired of waiting in the ridiculous lines, and the food is just so-so. FWIW, they take plastic there also.

                                            Amerigo, Carrabas, both nice italian chain places - I like them both. For more authentic stuff, try Sole Mio downtown near the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

                                            1. Good luck finding great food in Nashville! A lot of OK places and a lot of places that try to hard and a lot of places that are overpriced for what you get. Even Southern cities like Birmingham have better food than Nashville. Just drive the 3.5 hours and go to real restaurants in Atlanta. Strip malls and chain restaurants....welcome to Nashville!

                                              If you must eat in Nashville, City House is very good. The Cocoa Tree is a great place for chocolate. Germantown Cafe is good too. The Acorn is good too, but there is a new chef. Watermark tries to hard and is overpriced. Arnold's is legit country cooking if you're in the mood for that. And McDougal's or SATCO are both fun places for lunch on a nice day.