HOME > Chowhound > Kentucky & Tennessee >


Dinner/Breakfast reservation in Nashville

Going to Nashville for a day and possibly an overnight in April. I've never been before and I'll be there on a Sunday and looking for a great restaurant. I know its now supposed to be this super hipstery area but I get enough of that here in SF. (Rolf and Daughters looks great, but that is seriously every restaurant in the Bay Area, something the folks in Nashville will learn soon enough, hipsters ruin everything). I want to go somewhere authentic, a locals spot, someplace Jack White would go. A hole in the wall with great food. Cuisine and price don't matter. Was thinking the The Southern but it seems kind of trendy. Same with The Pharmacy.

If I could double up on my requests, if any hounds could share a great breakfast spot, that would be aces. Pancake Pantry? Arnold's Country Kitchen? Thanks in advance for your time.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Whatever you do, please skip Pancake Pantry.

    For breakfast/brunch: Marche, Margot, Tavern, The Garden Brunch Cafe, Capital Grille inside The Hermitage Hotel, Silo, and Germantown Cafe just to name a few choices.

    If you're interested in a southern/country breakfast try Loveless Cafe or Monells.

    Unfortunately, Arnold's closes during the weekends.

    10 Replies
    1. re: pete k

      Pete, I can't get with "whatever you do, skip the Pancake Pantry".

      However, if you go to the Pancake Pantry, go early to avoid the lines. I usually tried to get there well before 8 am. And if you go, skip to two items...the Grill Cook's Medley (probably my favorite breakfast in Nashville with potatoes done crispy and eggs over easy) and ask them to give you sweet potato pancakes instead of the regular pancakes with it. Or just get the sweet potato pancakes. I really do miss their sweet potato pancakes.

      I'd be a lot likelier to say "Whatever you do, skip the Loveless". A true tourist trap.

      1. re: StrandedYankee

        I'm with Yankee. I could eat the biscuits and preserves at Loveless until I pop, but everything else there is so ordinary and tourist grade. Also, weekend breakfast waits can be 2-3 hours. You should know you are just going for the experience and the biscuits if that's your choice.

        PP is great for the variety of pancakes and breakfast fare. You aren't going to be on line there as long Loveless on a Sunday even though it will be a good long wait. If breakfast is Monday, you should be in in no time.

        1. re: vfthomps

          Thirded for Pancake Pantry.
          Ate brunch there last summer and it was a big hit among 4 of us. One who is a Nashville expat.
          The line up moves pretty quickly. We were well out the door and only waited 20 minutes or so.

          I'd suggest you get your hands on some hot chicken as well. A Nashville only tradition.


          1. re: Davwud

            Hoping to try hot chicken when I'm in Nashville next. That looks awesome.

              1. re: Davwud

                And at Prince's, it can actually chomp!

                I actually like Bolton's better. More of a true range of heat levels, delicious chicken, less attitude. However, the Extra Hot at Bolton's too can chomp...painfully!

                1. re: StrandedYankee

                  Ya. I ordered M, M & H when I was at Prince's. Hot really took a piece out of me.


                  1. re: Davwud

                    Funny...I have a high range for spicy hot tolerance, but at Prince's, I started making my orders between plain and mild. The problem wasn't the heat level as much as I couldn't taste the damn chicken under all that capcaisin paste! At Bolton's, I would get the hot, but the way they did it at Prince's all I would taste was capcaisin. Halfway between plain and mild at Prince's was still plenty hot, it was just a hot that permitted other flavors to come through.

                    1. re: StrandedYankee

                      I found the medium to be a good balance.


        2. re: StrandedYankee

          Does PP have line-ups for breakfast midweek? Which would be your 2nd choice for a weekday breakfasts(preferably close to downtown) after PP?

          On a tangent- does anyone have a rec for a great blackberry or peach cobbler in Nashville? Thanks for any ideas. Didn't want to start a new thread for such a specific dessert rec.

      2. The TV show "Breakfast Paradise" includes a segment on the Loveless Café in Nashville. You can check it out here:


        You might not trust them to have got it right - the writer of the script claims "breakfast" comes from Latin. :-( Skip to 8:30 for the Nashville segment.

        1. Breakfast is probably the Loveless's best meal. They use great eggs and their bacon is delish, but it's a shlep and the wait is considerable on the weekends. Pete K's recs sound a little more upscale then what I'm hearing that you're looking for. Monell's is a singular experience and I believe your best choice.

          1. Since breakfast would be on a Monday morning, Monell's is out regrettably. Loveless seems like a winner. Any ideas for dinner? I've had multiple people tell me to go to the City House, but I really don't like their website and it just seems like its Wood Tavern in Nashville (for those curious, excellent place on the Oakland/Berkeley border, on Michelin's Bib Gourmand list - http://www.woodtavern.net/). I'm sure its great but I'm looking for something more authentic, less like the restaurants in my area.

            1. If you truly want to avoid the hipsters and get a breakfast you simply will not be able to get in SF (at least, I can't replicate it now that I'm living back in Philadelphia PA, a place that does not lack for food options), try a place called Silver Sands. It's near the Nashville Farmer's Market, less than 2 blocks away. Their smothered chicken wings and smothered pork chops were my favorite hardcore southern breakfasts in Nashville. With hash browns, lots of gravy, and fried apples. I also liked the salmon cakes when they had them for breakfast, but NOT the liver! Ick! See if they'll give you extra onions with your hash browns. Take cash, they don't take cards. Do NOT expect ambiance! If they have it, grab a piece or two of chess pie to eat later. If you use a cab to get there, TIP THE DRIVER WELL and ask for his cell# so he can pick you up later. The neighborhood is in a part of town cab drivers usually avoid. However, if after breakfast you wanted to walk over to the Farmer's Market, it would be less than 3 blocks and a perfectly safe walk.

              If you want yummy, non-trendy, and non-hipster infested, Silver Sands. I ate there most of the time at least once every couple of weeks or so when I was in Nashville. I'm really surprised I have never seen that place recommended on here.

              1. I'm not sure hipsters really do ruin everything. I'm also not sure that someplace Jack White would go will always be an authentic locals spot (though it certainly can be). It's probably important to have an idea where you're staying and how able/willing you are going to be to drive a little.

                Pete K's breakfast recs look good to me. Tavern's a little trendy, but I think it's the best breakfast/brunch place in town, along with Marche (where you will definitely run into hipsters). Not sure if Tavern's early menu on Monday's matches with the Sunday brunch menu, but the dinner and brunch menus have some carry-over, and you'll notice a number of Singaporean and other Pacific-influenced dishes that you might not see much elsewhere, an effect of their recently-relocated former chef's travels to that part of the globe. Depending on what part of the day breakfast has to be, Arnold's would also be a great option. It's more lunch than breakfast, but it's also the best meat & three in town. Hattie B's in Midtown would also be an option (I think they open at 11 am on Monday), as they've been getting favorable comparisons to even the venerable, but more out of the way, Prince's. It's excellent hot chicken, which is a true Nashville specialty.

                As far as dinner goes, keep in mind that there are a lot of "authentic locals spots" that close well before dinner hours, or aren't open on Sundays at all. This will be especially true for a lot of the meat & three restaurants (like Arnold's). You're also not really going to be completely avoiding hipsters, even at the "locals" spots.

                I understand the desire to avoid something you can get in San Francisco, as I attempt the same thing when traveling, but keep in mind that these restaurants are generally using locally-sourced products with southern cooking in mind. While Rolf & Daughters certainly has things in common with places like Incanto, SPQR, A16, etc, it's more "Southern US-Ital" as opposed to "Cal-Ital". I'm not sure I would consider The Southern trendy, but I also wouldn't consider it a true "locals spot" (though it is good, and we do eat there). The Pharmacy is a locals spot, but I wouldn't vote for it as the one place for you to eat at on a visit to Nashville, especially if you want to avoid hipster-heavy areas/restaurants, as this is one of the heaviest.

                In the end, my vote would be for City House, which is, in my opinion, still the best meal you will get in this city on a Sunday night. This is not just because of what else is open, but because it's an incredible restaurant (one of the two best in town), and also because that's when Chef Tandy Wilson (a Beard Award semifinalist 4 or 5 years in a row now) has his pork, small plates, and pizza-heavy Sunday Suppers. With this place I would particularly reiterate my sentiment that even though it may appear on paper to be similar to certain places in the Bay Area, there's such a heavy southern US influence on the ingredients and techniques that it will be different enough. I've never even really thought of it as an "Italian" restaurant, even in the way that Rolf & Daughters is. Excellent drinks and desserts there as well. Give it another look, because I think you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to.

                1. We have loved the Southern for brunch. While some may not think of it as a local spot, it has a great collection of photographs from the 70's and 80's and it has what I think of as a great Nashville feel. I agree with not doing the Pancake Pantry. While I love it, I would not stand in that line, which was out the door this past Saturday at lunch. If you can get a reservation at City House, that would also be my pick. We ate there several weeks ago at the bar without a reservation but they were slammed and you should get a reservation if at all possible.

                  1. Thanks everyone for all the great recommendations. A lot to choose from. I booked a table at City House for Sunday dinner and will probably end up at the Southern for breakfast on Monday before driving back to the ATL.