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Jul 4, 2011 01:24 PM

Belmont/12th South - where to go for dinner

Hello. Hope you can help. We have a couple of nights in Nashville and will be staying on Linden Avenue, a few minutes walk from 12th South Ave. We fly in from the UK early evening on a Friday and I want to find a casual restaurant that's walking distance. Where would you recommend?? I've done some reasearch and found Burger Up and 12 South Taproom as possible choices. Any thoughts on these? Or other recommendations welcome! Thank you.

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  1. I like 12 South Taproom, but have only been for lunch. Very casual, very neighborhoody. Not been to Burger Up, but it is VERY popular. They certainly get high marks for local beef. Those are really the top two places on 12th for me for meals. Also worth a visit is Las Paletas for house-made Mexican-style popsicles in an amazing array of flavors. There are other restaurants along that strip. Fish & Co is good and would be interesting for you because it specializes in "low country" southern coastal cuisine and is run by an award-winning chef. Be aware, though, it's a little pricy. There's also Mafiozza's that is popular and you may get recommendations for, but I would absolutely skip it -- mediocre at best.

    On Belmont my top choice is ChaChah. Not cheap but inventive, largely Spanish-influenced food. The same owner/chef (Arnold Myint) runs PM two doors down, and it's also worth a look. Across the street is International Market, decidedly more casual and run by Arnold's mother for, oh, 30+ years.

    All of these restaurants, regardless of price range, would fit comfortably into the description of "casual," although on the higher end you'll see some people dressed a little better.

    International Market & Restaurant
    1500 N Main St, Monticello, KY 42633

    6 Replies
    1. re: TLF

      thank you! this is so helpful. i'll look into all your suggestions, really appreciated. i've heard of las paletas, i'll make sure to go there as well.

      do you have any suggestions for downtown eating in the evening? it's touristy, but we want to go to the honky tonk bars on broadway on the saturday, so wondering where to grab some food. thanks again!

      1. re: belma79

        There is no truly great food in the downtown honky-tonk tourist zone. Your best bets are Merchants (the downstairs, casual part), Puckett's, or Jack's BBQ. It's not the best BBQ in town, not even the best Jack's location, but it's OK. If you want to venture a little outside of that central core area, but still downtown, look at Monell's for a real southern food, communal table experience. OR, what many consider the best restaurant in town (but you can still go dressed casually) is City House.

        City House
        1222 4th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37208

        1. re: TLF

          This is true but I will admit that I like the cheeseburgers at Robert's. I don't know why. Nothing special but you could certainly do worse.

          1. re: Boudleaux

            wonderful, thanks so much everyone!

      2. re: TLF

        Assuming this isn't too late.....I live in 12th South so welcome and enjoy! Burger Up is a great locally owned spot that specializes in local ingredients and great cocktails. Don't miss the fries either. They don't take reservations and usually have a wait but the neighborhood is fun and friendly.

        I would go for the wine bar on 12th -- Rumours -- or Cha Chah on Belmont over the 12th South taproom. It's a fine neighborhood spot but the food is average and service is beyond slow. I also think it's a bit overpriced for what it is.

        Frothy Monkey, Portland Brew a both great coffee shops on 12th.

        Not food related but a great spot to checkout is Imogene + Willie. Custom denim and other cool t's next door to Portland Brew.

        Report back and enjoy your stay in the 'hood!

        Frothy Monkey
        2509 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204

        1. re: jcr05

          thanks! it's not too late, we're not going for a few weeks. imogene + willie is already on my list, as well as the coffee shops you mention - glad you recommend them. i was wondering about rumours - good to hear you like it. we can go to 12th south taproom for a beer only - i'm a big fan of american microbrews. i'll be sure to report back on my stay and thanks again for your help.

      3. Burger Up is definitely a solid choice, good variety of interesting gourmet burgers. Personally, I would actually rank the burger at PM on Belmont Blvd (which, I think, should still be walking distance from you) above what I've had at Burger Up, but I also think that burger is one of the best, if not the best, in Nashville. PM also has a great curried tofu lettuce wrap appetizer, though I do think some of the entrees are a little pricey for what they are. Haven't been to ChaChah, though I know people love it. In the same neighborhood, Kalamatas recently moved in. It's a Mediterranean restaurant, very casual, that seems to be well-liked. I went once to a different location, and it was good, but doesn't compare to what you can get outside Detroit. Back to the main stretch of 12South, I do think Fish & Co warrants another mention. A little on the pricier side but the shrimp and grits are, in my non-southern opinion, incredible. And the avocado popsicle at Las Paletas is delicious. Oh, and Frothy Monkey has the best iced coffee I've ever had and a couch my wife is in love with.