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Jun 25, 2013 02:13 PM

Downtown Nashville Eats

The BF and I just moved to Nashville a week ago and haven't ventured out of our neighborhood (nolesville/antioch area) yet, but want to have a date night downtown soon. I am trying to figure where we should go to kick start our new Nashville lives. We are thinking dinner and a movie and are pretty open to all cuisines. We are from Portland, OR so we have had lots of delicious meals there. I would love to get a great steak or maybe some sushi, but anything ethnic would also be great, we are VERY adventurous eaters. The main stipulation in our decision is price point. We don't want to spend an incredible amount on dinner considering the move took quite a chunk out of our bank accounts. We don't want to spend more that $25ish per entree, but less than that would be awesome too. Ideas? HELP!

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  1. If you're in the Nolensville area, try Martin's BBQ for an inexpensive meal. If you head towards Nashville on Nolensville road, you'll find countless ethnic options.

    A local blogger ate and documented many places on Nolensville. Check out his entries for some ideas.

    If you're in the downtown (ish) area try:

    City House
    Rolf & Daughters
    Germantown Cafe
    Lockland Table

    All those places meet your price point requirement.

    8 Replies
    1. re: pete k

      Thanks Pete.
      Yeah even in the short week we have been here we have gathered the awesome amount of ethnic food close to us. We already hit up Shish Kabob (loved it!) so that makes very happy. Just need to find my go to Pupusa, Ethiopian Restaraunt, Pho place and I am good to go. Haha

      Lockeland Table looks amazing, and right up our alley with the chicken lover pate and bone marrow.

      Do you have any recommendations for an awesome steakhouse? It doesn't have to be downtown or in the Nolensville area.

      1. re: Rachael5000

        A lot of people enjoy Las Americas on Nolensville for pupusas, but if you want true Salvadorian, try La Usuluteca on Murfreesboro Road.

        King Market in Antioch services some of the best Asian food in the City. It's all Laotian with a touch of Thai, but they serve a decent pho. All the Vietnamese joints are on the west side of the city. My favorite place is Kien Giang (cash only), in the same shopping strip you'll also find Miss Saigon. Those are probably the top 2 places for pho in Nashville.

        Kayne Prime (locally owned) is considered the best steakhouse in the city. They're located in The Gulch area of downtown.

        Gojo Ethiopian is right off Nolensville on the corner of Thomson Lane.


        1. re: pete k

          Pete, Have you been to Gojo? I love ethiopian so I need it!!!

          1. re: Rachael5000

            I know I'm pretty late here and you may have tried it by this point, but Gojo is, in my opinion, the place to go for Ethiopian in Nashville. At least it's mine and my wife's go-to place. Food is great, the owners are friendly, the injera isn't too overpowering. Mesob in Antioch's not bad too, but I find Gojo to be more flavorful.

            As far as papusas, Las Americas is the old standby, while Papuseria Salvadorena is the more newly popular place. It's on Welch, a side street just behind the WalMart off Nolensville. I haven't heard of La Usuluteca, so it sounds like I need to add that to my own list.

            I'm with Pete on the Vietnamese/pho. Charlotte Ave is a hike for you, but those are the two best. I too prefer Kien Giang's pho to Miss Saigon's, which I find a little overly oily and not as much depth.

            While this thread has gone off on a bit of a tangent, while we're on the topic of "ethnic" food, we do have a couple good Korean places in town if you're interested, namely Korea House on Charlotte and So Dong Gong, which specializes in sundubu jigae, in Antioch (next to Mesob).

            I'm guessing you don't need a response really to the original post anymore, and Pete K's recs are very good anyway.

            1. re: gkm23

              gkm23 Thanks you SO much with the Ethiopian help it is my fav and I have been dying to have some, Gojo it is!

              I have heard so much about Las Americas and it is about 3 minutes from me! I have been wanting to go for a while so now it is def going to happen, thanks!

              The BF and I went to Seoul Garden the other day and it was ok, but not a huge selection of meats so we will def try Korea House.

              1. re: Rachael5000

                Seoul Garden is the only place in Nashville that has the bbq tables. Korea House will cook the meat and bring it to you.
                I'm not sure if there are more options or not at Korea House.
                It's been a while since I've been.

                1. re: pete k

                  Yeah thats why we went to seoul garden, we love the self cook aspect so we can get it nice and crispy :)

                  1. re: Rachael5000

                    Yes, no self-cooking at Korea House. To my knowledge, Seoul Garden is the only Korean BBQ place in the city (there apparently used to be one in Madison, though I don't think it's there anymore). Korea House is more of a general Korean restaurant, so you'll find things from bibimbap and bulgogi to manduguk and naengmyun (which is good for the summertime). Sort of similar at So Dong Gong, though we really just go there for the tofu stews that they really specialize in.

                    Oh, and you're welcome re: Gojo. I hope you enjoy it.

    2. Welcome to TN! I'm two hours west of you and will be watching this thread and looking for your posts on food hunting in Nashville. You're in a great area. Please keep us posted on your food excursions!

      1. I have some friends visiting from CA and I think even though it is a tourist trap we are going to hot Jack's BBQ downtown then go out for drinks before hitting up Mercy Lounge on a Monday for 8 on 8th. Thoughts on where to go for drinks somewhere downtown?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Rachael5000

          Definitely skip Jack's downtown. In fact, there's a much better BBQ joint closer to the Mercy Lounge that just opened about 4 weeks ago, Peg Leg Porker.
          The restaurant is located in The Gulch on Gleaves right behind the Yazoo Brewery.

          I would suggest going to Pour House or Flying Saucer for drinks if you're going to ML.

          1. re: pete k

            Awesome, yah I wanted to avoid Jacks but it seemed to be the best option for BBQ downtown, but Peg Leg looks awesome. Yazoo is perfect for me and our visits, we are all from Portland, so we love our handcrafted beer. And the flying saucer with the pool tables is perfect too, thanks!

        2. You picked a great place if you like to eat. Nashville punches well above it's weight class.

          On our last trip home we stopped at Rotier's and loved it. It dates back to the Second World War and is just a great, casual, local watering hole with some damned good food.

          George Motz of Hamburger America and Burger Land fame featured it in his book and on the show.
          The burger is in Jimmy Buffet's Parrot Head Handbook as one of his Top 10 burgers.


          2 Replies
          1. re: Davwud

            Back during my time there, Rotier's and Brown's Diner each had their fierce partisans. I always had this dream about its coming down to a taste-off, with me as one of the judges … Last time I was at each one, on visits back there, they were both as good as I remembered. Rotier's cheeseburger on French roll may actually be my favorite, though.

            City House was the best artisanal-food restaurant I think I've ever been to, even better than the very good and nearby Germantown Cafe. Most of the Gulch places we've gone to haven't been quite as good as they think they are. Miel, off Charlotte, was brilliant when we went there, and then there were difficulties, but I've read better things of them lately.