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Jul 30, 2008 02:42 PM

New to Nashville...ethnic? off the beaten path?

This is my first post so please bear with me. I have used Chowhound for years but never actually joined until now.

I just moved to Nashville. Before I moved I scoured the site looking for recs but this can be a very daunting task. I think I have all of the major players down, but I love ethnic food and can't easily find recs for ethnic food. I also love to find those "off the beaten path, hole-in-the-wall" kinds of places.

I would love to get people's opinions together for as many recs as I can get since I plan to be here for a while. I like all types of ethnic food so I'll take recs on anything, bring it on...Mexican, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, anything from the Middle East to Africa to Peru and back. I am just looking to test out the city.

Likewise, I would love to find some places that are good to grab food that might not be a rec for someone just here for the weekend or a vaca, you know the local dive that tourists would never see. I thank everyone in advance for suggestions, sorry so long winded.

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  1. While I was in Nashville on vacation, I found this really great Korean place. It's called Korea House. They're on 6410 Charlotte Pike in Nashville.

    1. I'm limited on time right now, so I won't go into details, but here are a few of my favorites:

      Mexican/Central American:
      Las Americas on Nolensville Rd
      El Manjar on Nolensville Rd
      La Hacienda on Nolensville Rd

      Woodlands on West End Ave
      Cuisine of India on 21st Ave S

      Jasmine in Cool Springs

      Koreana on Gallatin Rd (Korean + Japanese)
      Korea House on Charlotte Ave
      there is another good one near the intersection of Nolensville and Edmondson Pike that I can't remember the name of...

      Kien Giang on Charlotte Ave

      NONE :((((

      I have never really "gotten" African food. I guess the most appealing one that's I've been to in this area is either Lalibela on Thompson Ln near Nolensville, or Horn of Africa on Murfreesboro Rd

      Middle East:
      Parisa on Nolensville Rd
      Kalamata's on Hillsboro Rd

      El Inca on Murfreesboro Rd

      Back to Cuba Cafe at Trousdale Dr and Harding Place

      ALSO, as soon as possible, you need to eat at the following three places:
      Prince's Hot Chicken
      Arnold's Country Kitchen
      Margot Cafe

      3 Replies
      1. re: jamiecarroll

        I'll throw out a few that aren't necessarily ethnic, but just good places that aren't "destinations" but more every day places.

        I'll add Baja Burriton on Thompson Lane to the "Baja/TexMex" category.

        PM Cafe on Belmont for sushi/Asian + a great burger, drinks and patio.

        Rumba on West End -- IMO one of the most underrated restaurants around; got a great review in the Scene recently. Their category is "Caribbean/Satay Bar" I guess, but they do so much more and I enjoy it every time. Great salads, steaks, special entrees, appetizers, flatbread pizzas. Great drinks and patio as well.

        Kalamata's is delish as JamieCarroll mentioned, as is Back to Cuba.

        You must try a popsicle at Las Paletas on 12th South and Kirkwood.

        As others come to mind I'll add them.

        Welcome to Nashville!

        1. re: jamiecarroll

          Great list, but El Inca recently closed.

          1. re: jamiecarroll

            I would argue that Sitar is far superior to Taste of India, and that the pho at Miss Saigon is better than at Kien Gang. And I would add Hot Kebab on White Bridge Road to the Middle Eastern list -- despite the name, it's a wonderful Persian restaurant. A pretty good Greek restaurant is Greek Islands/The Breeze on Demonbreun. And I think the Korean place on Nolensville that Jamie means is Seoul Garden.

            For Chinese food, the weekend lunch at Golden Coast on West End is good; DO NOT go there during the week as it's a different chef and is lousy even by Nashville's low standards for Chinese food. Also, Ou Yang out on Nolensville has started serving what they call dim sum at lunch (I'm not sure whether this is just on the weekend) cooked by the chef who used to be at Shanghai Cafe. And there is apparently a new, secret menu in Chinese that they will give you if you ask for it. I know this by report only; when I ate at Ou Yang, it was stale and greasy steam table stuff, but if the Shanghai Cafe chef has moved over there I am prepared to be very pleased.

            Finally, a good resource for off-the-beaten-track stuff is the Nashville Restaurants blog at http://nashvillerestaurants.blogspot....

          2. Siam Cuisine on White Bridge is quite good. The jerk chicken and salads at Calypso are good and a great value. You should check out back reviews at

            1. I must second the votes for Kien Giang and Korea House. I love the shrimp and pork pancake at KG.

              1. We get the kitfo, w'et and injera from Lalibela on Thompson Lane about twice a year. It's good, quality varies, but is a nice change and is cheap. The Rice Bowl at the corner of Thompson Lane and Berry Hill Rd has either changed hands again, or seen the light, and the cooking is back to the superb level of several years ago. Thai/Lao food. The larb gai was superb, nam sod was great, pad thai was so much better than you usually get.

                I love Athens Family Restaurant on 8th Avenue. Fresh, cheap Greek food, well cooked.