Over the past few years the options for great restaurants in Nashville has evolved to the point where it almost rivals the city's legendary music scene. In fact, the culinary competition has gotten incredibly stiff in the Music City, making it difficult for locals and visitors alike to decide just where to eat when heading out for a night on the town. If you've been struggling with that decision yourself, perhaps we can help. These are our picks for the absolute best restaurants in the city.
Known for their handmade pastas and fresh ingredients, Rolf & Daughters is the kind of place that can take simple recipes and turn them into works of art. The menu is always evolving with unique options added on a regular basis. Deciding exactly which items you want to try can be a real challenge, so be sure to order the sourdough bread and seaweed butter while you decide. A pasta dish is always a safe and scrumptious choice, but it's hard to go wrong with anything on the menu.
When it comes to elevated cuisine it is tough to top City House. This is one of the restaurants that has set the standard by which all others in Nashville are compared for some time. From mouthwatering appetizers to tantalizing desserts, the menu is stacked with tasty options. The belly ham and mozzarella pizza is one of the favorites amongst the locals although the pork sausage is amazing too. City House has a fantastic beer and wine list, as well as excellent cocktails and bourbons too.
Tucked away in Nashville's historic and trendy east side, Lockeland Table has made a name for itself thanks to its locally sourced ingredients and imaginative dishes. Start your meal with a few empanadas while sipping a refreshing cocktail, then move on to the main course from there. The wood fried pizzas are always a good choice, but the steak and duck dishes are especially tasty too. If you're still hungry afterwards, enjoy the banana foster bread pudding. You won't regret it.
The food isn't the only thing that is refined at Josephine, where guests will also experience excellence service and hospitality. The restaurant is known for serving heaven on a plate, with the a menu that changes regularly with the seasons. The best bet is to go for the X|X (ten by ten) experience, which is offered on Friday and Saturday nights and by reservation only. After you arrive at the restaurant you won't have to make any choices at all as the chef curates a menu based on the best available ingredients, creating a personalized meal for customers.
At Husk, the cuisine is decidedly Southern in its roots, but taken to an entirely new level in terms of taste and creativity. The result is a menu filled with dishes that you've probably had at some point in your life, although you've never had them quite like this. Everything from the deviled eggs and pimento cheese to the fried chicken and catfish will surprise and delight. The freshest ingredients mixed with an even fresh approach to cooking make this a fantastic place for lunch and dinner.
It didn't take long for this relative newcomer to the Nashville culinary scene to leave its mark. Adele's menu shifts with seasons, picking the best ingredients from local farmers and markets to create dishes that will amaze you with both their simplicity and unique tastes. The restaurant has a fantastic cocktail menu and an array of whiskies to choose from as well. Those pair nicely with the classic New York strip steak or the rack of lamb, which the chef prepares to perfection. Start things off with an order of crispy shrimp appetizers, and finish with the peach crumble topped with brown butter bourbon ice cream for an amazing dining experience.
The idea behind Butcher & Bee was to create a gourmet experience in the form of a sandwich. To that end, the Nashville restaurant — and its Charleston-based sister location — have partnered with local farmers, ranchers, and fishermen to bring in the freshest possible ingredients. Since its founding however, the menu has expanded to include other items as well, including a wide variety of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You'll even find exceptional breads and pastries made fresh daily in the on-site bakery.
Located in the heart of downtown Nashville, Etch is an elegant and refined experience where the menu is filled with classic favorites and surprising culinary offerings. For example, the roasted cauliflower is the perfect appetizer to start your dining experience. From there, give the veal and shiitake meatballs or the lamb loin a go. The olive oil almond cake is heavenly for an after-dinner palette cleanser as well.
Brunch is on the menu all day long at Marche, where visitors will feel as if they've stumbled into a European cafe. Sophisticated and charming, the ambiance is only outweighed by the excellent food, which includes such options as French toast made from croissants, both sweet and savory crepes, and a croque madame that's to die for. Of course, this is still Nashville after all, so the buttermilk biscuit and pork sausage gravy is still delicious too.
For more than a decade Mitchell Delicatessen has been serving up incredible sandwiches that offer combinations of ingredients that shouldn't always work well together, but are surprisingly delicious nonetheless. The menu has more than 20 options to choose from, all made fresh right before your eyes. Honestly, there isn't a bad choice amongst the entire list, although the corned beef reuben is a true classic and the smoked barbecue beef brisket is a crowd-pleaser as well.
If you're craving pizza while you're in the Music City, Slim & Husky's has you more than covered. With several locations to choose from, this artisan pizza restaurant will let you build your own concoction or choose one of the options from its menu. Either way, you can't go wrong thanks to the thin, flakey crust, signature sauces, and the incredibly fresh ingredients. The music-themed signature pizzas include the Cee No Green for meat lovers and the Nothing But a "V" Thang for the veggie lovers.
Known for its outstanding barbecue, its safe to say that just about everything is delicious on the Edley's menu. This is good old fashioned barbecue at its finest, although it is often taken in new and creative ways. For instance, the BBQ nachos are a revelation for those who haven't tried them before and the brisket tacos are an excellent choice too. The Tuck Special is an absolute favorite, mixing brisket, pimento cheese, an over-easy egg, and a variety of other ingredients into a sandwich that has to be eaten to be believed. Don't forget to try the mac and cheese and banana pudding for your sides.
The chef at Answer draws inspiration from a wide variety of cultures and destinations from around the globe, putting a vibrant and modern spin on those creations. As you would expect, the ingredients are fresh and locally sourced, which helps to raise the bar even further. Menu options can change at a moment's notice, but some favorites include the scallops and the bucatini. An array of cocktails, beers, and an extensive wine list help round out the experience, in an atmosphere that is conducive to conversation and connections with those around you.
Fun and exuberant, Chaatable brings the spice and unique character of Indian food to Nashville in unique and exciting ways. The place is as colorful and interesting as the food that the chefs put on the plate, with obvious care and attention to detail placed on the entire experience. Even those who aren't necessarily fans of Indian food will find something to love here as there are just so many tasty options to choose from. Give the Street Ballin' buttered potato fritters or Shammi the Way kebab sliders a go to see what we mean.
It is practically a crime if you come to Nashville and don't eat at the Loveless Cafe. This place has been a city institution for decades, serving up some of the best Southern food around in an atmosphere that feels like you're a guest in someone's home. The menu is decidedly down-home, but in the best way possible, offering biscuits and gravy, chicken and waffles, fried pork chops, and country fried steak. Loveless is well known for its great food, but its country ham is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. You haven't had Nashville Southern food until you've been here.