A Foodie weekend in Nashville
Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton have all spent quite some time in Nashville, Tennessee as it’s known for its friendly hospitality, country music and bourbon. Surprisingly enough, it’s also known for being a great bachelor/bachelorette destination, but that’s irrelevant (and really not our cup of tea).
It also has quite a few good foodie spots. If you want to avoid any loud tourists, here is our eclectic list of restaurants and bars (which doesn’t include any Honky Tonks).
Photo credit: @hattiebs
Hot chicken is one of Nashville’s specialties and the best place to try it would have to be Hattie B’s. You can choose to order brown or white meat, spiced from mild to shut the cluck up extra spicy! Whatever you pick, the chicken is always deliciously crispy, and your poultry comes with two sides ($8.50 for small and $10.50 for large). The queue is quite long though – but the reward is worth the wait and the friendly waiter can help you choose a refreshing local beer once you’ve made it to the beginning of the line.
Photo credit: @dontbelieveinjetlag
Mas Tacos was by far our favourite food spot in Nashville (and apparently a local favourite too). If you have to pick only one taco (they’re priced at $3 each), go for the fried avocado – or do what we did and order all of them (for two people) but careful as that’s A LOT of food! The way it works is that you order at the counter and they’ll call your name out once it’s ready. We recommend sitting at their very cool looking bar in the back. The bartender makes some mean tequila cocktails.
Photo credit: @thetreehousenashville
This award-wining restaurant is located in the very trendy East Nashville. Its romantic (and yet very laid back) setting really sets the mood. But the best thing about this place has to be the food. Chef Jason Zygmont has a very vegetable focused menu with a few meaty options, which changes seasonally, thanks to the restaurant’s vegetable garden, located 50 miles away from Nashville. We particularly enjoyed the beef tartare with Korean seasoning ($16) or any dish from the dough section, from their amazing pasta to their noodles and bun feast.
For those who like to start the party later or enjoy a snack after a few cocktails, the restaurant also has a “late night” menu, available from 10pm to 1am.
Photo credit: @martinsbbq
You can’t visit Tennessee (or anywhere in the Southern states) without eating barbecue. The downtown location of Martin’s BBQ makes a great lunch spot after visiting the museums. They have a huge beer garden where you can admire – from a distance – whole hogs being roasted in a very eye-scratching-makes-you-want-to-cough-your-lungs-out smoky area (huge respect to the guy in charge of this).
Their 2lbs. of pork ribs with 2 sides ($15.99) were finger licken’ good.
Photo credit: @dontbelieveinjetlag
With its huge bay windows, white brick walls, Scandinavian furniture, marble top bar and gorgeous geometrical tiles on the floor, Henrietta Red has a very trendy look. This restaurant in Germantown is known to be a good brunch spot, thanks to its raw bar full of oysters, clams and fish ceviche (did you know that seafood is known to be a good hangover cure?). We had their creamy mushroom polenta with almonds, poached egg and parmesan ($15) and were not disappointed!
Photo credit: @rbqnashville
East Nashville is where you want to party – and Rosemary and Beauty Queen is usually on top of the go to list of bars. The smaller more residential streets in the neighbourhood are made of traditional wooden houses and each has a front porch. Rosemary is located in one of these houses, which makes you feel like you’re going to a house party. Once you’ve walked in, you’ll see a DJ playing in the living room, a bar in the entrance hall and people smoking in the back garden.
Photo credit: @attaboynashville
Just like the New York bar, Attaboy in Nashville doesn’t have a menu. The bartender will ask you a couple of questions: favourite alcohol, what mood you’re in, etc. and will create your perfect drink. Again, just like New York, the seating capacity is tiny, so be prepared to leave your name and number at the door and head to The Crying Wolf next door until they give you a call.
Once you’ve passed the long and dark corridor, you’ll see a massive bar with an impressive collection of wolf taxidermy. Also known to serve food, the Crying Wolf is especially known for its bourbon-based cocktails. We’re not usually the biggest fans of these drinks but the heavily tattooed bartenders did a pretty good job at changing our minds. Their vintage photo booth is also an added bonus which we found hard to resist (cf below).