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May 11, 2011 12:53 PM

Local Nashville Food?

I'm going to Nashville, TN over Memorial Weekend for my first time in that city. Is there a local food that you can recommend. For example, Minneapolis-Juicy Lucy, Colorado-Green Chilie, Hawaii-Plate lunch, Chicago-Deep dish pizza and Chicago dog. I think you get what I mean. We will be staying downtown. I like hole in the wall places like you see on Dinners, Dives, and Drive-Inns. I have already read about Loveless Cafe and Jacks BBQ. Also any place for good country music? As in the good acoustical guy or gal playing the guitar singing solo or with a small band.

Are there food trucks in Nashville?

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  1. What you've asked would almost require a book to answer. Here's a short version:

    Local specialties would encompass the "meat and three" or what in other places might be called soul food or just "southern food." Purveyors would include Arnold's, Swett's, Southern Bred, Sylvan Park, Puckett's (downtown and in Franklin & the original in Leiper's Fork). There is also Monell's (a little more than a meat-and-three), plus Loveless.

    The uber-local specialty is Hot Chicken, with its sidekick Hot Fish. Prince's is the most famous, but don't overlook 400 Degrees and Bolton's.

    Many people will tell you that Nashville isn't a great BBQ town. Still, I think there's decent BBQ in town. Jack's downtown is not the best location; the one on Trinity Lane is where to go. I also like B&C (Bacon & Caviar) in the Farmer's Market & in Melrose. The most renowned BBQ is south of Nashville in Nolensville, Martin's. They've also been on some TV show or another ...

    There are places in town that have been on that TV show but they are a Greek-American place and an Italian deli. Not really what you come to Nashville for.

    Lots of food trucks, most are awesome. Follow @NashFoodTrucks on Twitter to find out where they will be on a given day.

    As for music, most tourists simply wander up and down lower Broadway (from the river up to about 5th Ave) and pop in and out of the numerous honky-tonks and watering holes. There is good music all over town, but that tourist zone is what most people want when they come to Nashville.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TLF

      Thanks for the twitter account info! I'm headed to Nashville for work next week.

    2. Bottom line: if you're here on a weekday for lunch, go to Arnold's. If you're not, go to Monell's. I promise you will not be disappointed.

      For music, hit the honky tonks on Lower Broadway at night. Again, you will not be disappointed.

      1. Thanks for all the tips. I did find this website from a foodie that has some good photos of the local places.

        1. Here is my review of my Nashville weekend. The winner goes to Arnolds for the best meat and three! Tried a little of everything. The deserts are great too. Swetts was fair but we got there an hour before closing and it is in da hood. Loveless was great despite the 45 min wait due to be a tourist spot. 400 degrees kicks ass and the owner herself was cooking which gave it the extra TLC (I went to the one on Peabody). Jacks BBQ downtown didn't look good so we ate across the street at Rippy's which was good. Pucketts is decent. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to give the other places a try.

          Swett's Restaurant
          2725 Clifton Ave, Nashville, TN 37209

          429 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203