Nashville’s Award-Winning Food Scene

You’ll Want Second Helpings of Nashville’s Award-Winning Food Scene

These Nashville restaurants have locals and visitors alike coming back for more.

Nashville is a treasure trove of restaurants that cater to a variety of palates. It's why we’ve made a list of some of the best restaurants in Nashville which have been hailed by many publications and hold a number of accolades. Add these top restaurants to your dining list next time you’re in Music City.

Downtown Nashville Restaurants

Prince's Hot Chicken

Start with the mothership of Nashville Hot Chicken, and learn why hell hath no fury like a woman scorned at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. Find them in two locations: downtown in Assembly Food Hall at 5th + Broad and in South Nashville. The Jefferies family has been serving up their Scoville-worthy, recipe for nearly a century. The battered chicken is deep fried and served at varying degrees of spicy heat. Start with the mild and work your way up, if you dare. With Nashville Hot Chicken spreading across the country, Matriarch Andre Prince Jefferies’ secret patented recipe is preserved for generations to come.

Husk Nashville

As soon as you walk through the doors of historic Husk Nashville, the ember-fired grill wafts inviting aromas where a curated list of heirloom vegetables, pastured meats and food artisans across the Southeast entice. Do not leave until you’ve had “A Southern Plate of Vegetables” which usually includes  hot water grits alongside vegetables that look nothing like anything you’ve ever seen, and they taste even better. Even the cocktails are garden-to-glass using herbs from the garden patio just outside the restaurant. 

Restaurants in The Gulch

Peg Leg Porker

Perhaps, smoke is more your speed? Follow your nose over to The Gulch neighborhood in Nashville where Pitmaster Carey Bringle and crew prove their barbecue prowess at Peg Leg Porker. From Memphis Sushi (sausage cheese platter with saltines) to a full rack of dry-rubbed ribs, it’s as if you can almost see the Mississippi off in the distance with this Memphis-style barbecue. Don’t miss Bringle’s favorite “sauce”- Peg Leg Porker 12-year Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

The 404 Kitchen

Also in the Gulch is a tiny restaurant housed in a shipping container accommodating up to 56 guests nightly. Chef Matt Bolus and his team may work in tight quarters, but big flavors come out of The 404 Kitchen where Southern seasonal dishes speak to guests in a European vernacular. Start with the buttermilk burrata and work your way down the menu with accoutrement such as speckled butter beans dressed in schmaltz, estratto and breadcrumbs or Anson Mills cornbread with barrel-aged sorghum butter. 

Germantown Nashville Restaurants

Rolf and Daughters

Across town, Chef Philip Krajeck is at the helm of Germantown’s Rolf and Daughters. Upon entering the vintage Werthen Mills building, old is made new with Krajeck’s creations. Sourdough and seaweed butter set the tone, while offerings such as Stracciatella, Paccheri and Cecamariti are integrated with seasonal finds such as sugar snap peas, hokum carrots and herb pistou. Scratch-made flows freely at Rolf and Daughters.

City House 

No list of award-winning Nashville restaurants would be complete without a certain culinary pioneer. Chef Tandy Wilson is to Italian cuisine what turnip greens is to cornbread at City House, located in the Germantown Nashville neighborhood. Regarding culinary origins, Wilson starts with farms such as Turnbull Creek and Eaton’s Creek and Bear Creek Farms while changing the face of Southern cuisine with Italian inspirations. While most can’t resist his wood-fired Belly Ham Pizza, it’s notions of a Southern drawl that keep patrons trying an array of new and simple yet well-composed dishes. With a thoughtful wine and cocktail list, the only thing left to complete a perfect night at City House is Pastry Chef Rebekah Turshen’s cookie plate. They’ll have the whole table ordering seconds. Layer cakes, pies and custards are also her specialties.

East Nashville Restaurants 

Xiao Bao

Photo Credit: @xiaobao_nashville

In East Nashville, look for the giant strawberry art piece outside and you've arrived at Xiao Bao for Asian comfort food, unique cocktails and amazing wine and beer lists. Tuck into shared plates like la zi cauliflower, a Sichuan ma la classic stir fry with cauliflower or rendang, Indo chicken curry with sticky rice. Bao buns stuffed with pork belly, pickles and house-made bao, lemongrass pork dumplings and Biangbiang hand-pulled noodles with chili cumin brisket, mushrooms and yu choi are fan favorites. Lunch begins at 11 a.m. and dinner starts at 4 p.m. On Sundays, get there early for the Dim Sum brunch. 


Photo Credit: Plan A

East Nashville's oldest dive bar, Dino's is where you want to go for a late-night bite after a concert or a visit to Lower Broadway. Order the famous Dino's Cheeseburger and others, fried chicken sandwich, grilled cheese, fries (order them Joe's Style - Velveeta cheese, grilled onions, tartar sauce and hot oil - or Animal Style - Velveeta cheese, grilled onions and special sauce) and specials (check the board, first) like fish and chips and mozzarella sticks. Brunch is also served noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 

Still hungry? Explore more places to Eat & Drink from famous restaurants to tucked away, local eateries. 

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