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Jul 18, 2008 12:31 PM

Looking for butchers & seafood markets in Nashville

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!!! 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!!