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Looking for butchers & seafood markets in Nashville

  • t

Hello Everyone,

I am new to Nashville and so far like it very much. It's a pretty place and the people have been very nice indeed. What I'm really missing though is an old fashioned butcher & seafood monger. I want high quality products and can't seem to find anything. Todd's Butcher Shop looked promising but is now closed it seems. I'm sick of going to Kroger and never finding any decent meat or fish. The only places that seems to carry decent meat are Whole Foods, and Harris Teater but they are obscenely expensive. Publix looks good but is far away from me. Costco also has good products but it's all in bulk. The problem with all of them is that they don't always have proper butchers that know what they're talking about and can give you the exact product and amount that you need. It's all pre-packaged. The same thing goes for fish. The fish at Harris Teater looks abomidable. Is Whole Foods the only place in town to get decent fish? I'd prefer better fish than that frankly! Help! I'm from NYC and am used to the fish markets in the Arthur Avenue area in the Bronx or down in Chinatown. It's no wonder that so many Americans don't like fish - they don't have quality fish available to them and think that's it's supposed to be smelly and nasty...

OK, enough ranting. I just want to find a place where I can find something other than chuck ground beef. I tried to make meatballs last month and had to go to 5 stores to get some beef, veal and pork. It was preposterous.

Thanks in advance!


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  1. i'll be interested in finding what others have to say in response. i too am a former manhattanite (and why on earth you are liking nashville is a topic for another board) who is really disappointed that there are no good butchers or fish mongers in a city of this size. there are several used-to-be's, like todd's, but nothing i know of currently open.

    whole foods seems to be the surest bet for selection and - to give them credit - usually quality. if you're flexible enough to roll with whatever is available and fresh on any given day, there is decent seafood at K&S international market on nolensville road just south of harding over in the antioch area. tanks of some live fish, blue crabs in season, etc., but you have to know what you're looking for and how to use it as the counterfolks are of limited help - much like chinatown. as for butchers, i can't offer even a bad alternative to whole paychecks.

    best of luck to us both! i really hope someone offers up a good place or two; if so, i'm sure we'll run into one another often.

    1. I've been in Nashville a year and I'll tell you, I never loved a super market until I found Publix in Bellevue. The green grocers, butchers and fish mongers treat you like it's their own shop. They always have what I need for meat balls. And if you need another reason to make the schlep there's Alpha Bakery also on 70S. Absolutely NY quality baked goods. Have you tried the Farmer's Market in German Town? I haven't been yet but I hear good things. Good luck and let us know your results.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Cameraman

        Thanks to you both. Let's hope we get some good info from other readers! I've heard of K&S but haven't gone there yet. There is apparently another one too on Charlotte. Publix does seem really nice and certainly has better prices but is not close to me unfortunately. I am near the Farmers Market though and it has good things currently since the summer veggies are finally here. There are some lovely heirloom tomatoes and besides the vegetable market there is an Indian Market with some good international ingredients. The farmers/sellers are always helpful too and seem to really appreciate the business. It feels much better giving them your money than the big chains! They sometimes have meat too but that's usually only on Saturdays. Oh, they have lovely fresh eggs too on Saturdays.

        I didn't mean to write anything inappropriate for this board by mentioning the people & town, I just didn't want to come across as a Manhattan snob out to hate it here! I'm merely surprised that a town of this size doesn't have a proper butcher shop as you said. I know that they are dying across the country but was not prepared to find them all dead yet... It seems odd that in BBQ country there wouldn't be a place to get really good meat. To not find lamb and veal in every grocery store big or small is also strange to me. I guess they are too ethnic...

        If you don't know yet, Trader Joe's is on the way soon, so that is great!

        1. re: tmp24

          Pubix is coming to West End and White Bridge. Be patient.

          1. re: tmp24

            didn't find your remarks inappropriate at all. i'm totally sympatico! having been raised in a southern household, i appreciate the charm of nashville; but i am really disappointed at the mediocre selection of certain (seemingly essential) services here. i think it's slowly improving. a truly great farmer's market would be a big step - we're really behind other cities in that respect.

            agreed....trader joe's is soooo welcome. and 3 blocks from my house!

            1. re: tmp24

              WHAT!!! TJs in Nashville? OMG!!!!! I never thought they'd come to TN, with the liquor distributors and all.....wow.....wow.....WOW!!! I live outside of Jackson and have driven to St. Louis for a TJ stock up run. I'm going to TJ's web site right now to confirm.....oh BOY!!!

              And I'm envying you all for having Publix. I have Kroger (HATE IT) and a couple decent local butchers within 30 minutes. Yoders (in Paris) has decent meat and you can order anything. That's about a hour from me.

          2. There used to be a very good fish market at the Farmer's Market, that was pushed out by the remodeling. They have reopened in Franklin. That's too far for me to travel for my food, but if you're nearby it's surely worth a visit.

            I used to live on 187th and Lorillard in the Bronx, right around the corner from Arthur Avenue, and I feel your pain. Oh, for a butcher like the ones there!

            1 Reply
            1. re: nm1

              I know! There were so many! I envy that you were that close! I lived in Astoria and still treked up there! My now husband lived on 157th and B'way so that was better but still a trek. I long for those markets, bakeries & restaurants! It's so great up there!

              If you guys haven't gone there yet, you have to check out City House! It's run by a Nashville native but he's in love with Italian culture and food and has a wonderful Italian menu and a wood burning oven that makes some wonderful pizzas! They also cure their own meats. I can't wait to try them. He travelled extensively in Italy and worked out at Tre Vigne in CA with Michael Chairello. It's the best Italian I've had to far with better prices than the bad Italian spots.

              I'll write if I find info about butchers and such. It seems like Franklin does have a lot to offer. It's not close to me though... Pretty place.

            2. Todd's is closed??? Nooo!!!! That makes me so sad. He was phenominally talented. He was born to be a butcher. I wonder where he is now. Is the shop locked and dark? Maybe he's just on vacation?

              I go to K&S for fish. It's the best we can do and it's fine most of the time, but it's no Fulton Street Fish Mkt (may it rest in peace). Their meat is okay, and you may find what you want, but the pork selection is strangely limited and there's no ground veal, so you'll still have to visit 2 stores to make meatballs.

              1 Reply
              1. re: fluffernutter

                Thanks. I'll check it out. Todd's was dark when I tried to go there with a for rent sigh. I was very disappointed because his website looked great. We can hope he's just moved.

              2. I've found that it seems to vary by store - I'm in franklin, and while the Publix @ 96 has an ok fish selection, the guy behind the counter was clueless -- but the fish guy down at the Publix in Spring Hill totally knew his stuff.
                I second whoever said K&S - I was pretty pleased with the selection there - and honestly, sometimes WholeFoods is the way to go. The coming of Trader Joe's is WONDERFUL but won't solve the butcher/fishmonger issue. I've just bought meat from West Wind Farms - they come to the Franklin Farmer's Market but also do a number of Nashville area drop offs - and we just got a sack of oysters from the seafood supplier in the Franklin Factory. It takes some looking....

                1 Reply
                1. re: MsAC

                  Thanks. I will check them out! Oysters would be great!!

                2. I too have just moved to Nashville from the East Coast and have been desperately looking for places to buy good food. The markets are appalling--will try Publix based on these comments--and the quest for good meat and numerous specialty items goes on. Where oh where are the Italian specialty stores? The small ethnic grocers and bakeries? The live poulterers? I went to Y&S and agree it meets many needs, but not all--there were a few what I consider to be basic Chinese staples that I couldn't find. I did locate Lazzaroli in Germantown, which makes pasta and sells a few additional items but I can't find anyone who has imported Italian and Spanish prok products and cuts them to order, can you?


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: janeer

                    You can get a few Italian meats at Savarino's Cucina, and Savarino is a spectacularly good bread baker and pastry chef (he trained at Veniero's in NYC, if that means anything to you). And you can get a bunch of Eastern European foods, (including sausages and such, IIRC) at Aleksei's. There's an Asian (mostly Indian, a little Middle Eastern, and an increasing amount of Indo-Caribbean) store at the Farmer's Market that has a changing selection of bread and baked goods. Live poultry or any Spanish products are unknown here. In fact, there's hardly a butcher in town. Let us know if you find anything more, please.

                  2. Have you tried The Butcher Block in Brentwood yet? 9100 Carothers Pkwy. We stopped in Saturday as they were closing and grilled the very pleasant owner on what he had/could get ... very pleased with the answers. The meat in the cases looks nice (and in a smart marketing move, he sells the veg that go with a steak dinner as well) ... but the most interesting thing is that he can get just about anything with only a day's notice. He grinds all his meat on site and is willing to trim and size. He's not breaking down whole cows in the back, but he's a pretty good option.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MsAC

                      Butcher Block in Brentwood is wildly expensive and if you want to spend that much go to whole foods and get better quality and aged beef. I agree that Publix is a pretty solid store for meat / fish and deli, I can even get pork neck bones for my sunday ragu. I would say a great alternative is Fresh Market in Brentwood on Franklin Road, they are giving Whole Foods a run for there money and they have the best italian sausage in town. I went to the butcher block on charlotte to get hangar steak a few times but had to stop because it was filthy. BTW, the fiid scene has improved dramatically over the last 10 years but still has a way to go to match the northeast. The living is better though!!!

                    2. You could try Robert Regg.....he will give you the cut you want and special order meat. Kinda pricy. Limited on hand selection. http://nashville.citysearch.com/profi...

                      1. Have you tried Little's Fish Company? It's right across the street from the Nashville Farmer's Market.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: cwright

                          Little's fish company is disgusting...I walked in and almost immediatley walked out, I asked if they had halibut and they looked at me like I had 5 heads, if you are used to fish mongers in NYC, stay far away from Little Fish co....

                          1. re: I love Jersey

                            K&S is still the only way to go for fish in Nashville. You can get bluefish there when they're running! They're not complete by a long shot, but the closest thing to it around here.

                            1. re: nm1

                              All of KS fish is previously frozen, and a lot of it looks awful imo. Except for the fish in the tanks, and depending on how clean the water is that could be ok. I go there for bones and heads to make stock, and frozen cuttlefish but that's about it.

                              1. re: Oscillation

                                Yeah, their selection and quality have gone way downhill in the past 18 months or so. Four and a half years ago, though, both were very good.

                        2. Do you still live in Nashville??? Im a NYC area transplant as well! Maybe we can compare notes Im a TOTAL foodie!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: SarahBelles

                            Porter Road Butcher now has two locations. One of Gallatin and one on Charlotte. They source locally and seasonal meats, in addition to making their own sauces, bacon, etc...

                            You can get seafood at the farmers market, or K&S market on Charlotte and Nolensville road.

                            1. re: pete k

                              I really love the Publix on Charlotte and West End/ White Bridge. The workers there really know their stuff! We also regularly shop at Porter Road Butcher on Charlotte. I think they are a little high priced for their meat though.... my husband just spent a little over 100 for an 8 and change lb pork belly to make bacon. So while I do wish we had more butchers, fish mongers, cheese shops ect... I really don't like the prices. I do enjoy supporting our local shops though. Publix will also break packages . We just purchased a rib roast and had it cut into 2" thick rib-eyes at publix, got the ribs on the side and we got so much more meat than if we would have bought the already packaged rib-eyes.

                          2. You might want to check out Carniceria San Luis on Harding Pike just north of 24. Real deal, real prices.