While plenty of folks flock to Nashville for the music, with high hopes of seeing a celebrity or two, there are plenty of other good reasons to head for this friendly city with the "small town" vibe.
Food is at the top of the list. No matter where you find yourself in Music City, chances are good that you'll also find something great to eat! Locals love their "hot chicken," and the original Prince's Hot Chicken Shack on the north side is now joined by a second location in South Nashville. It's a Nashville tradition, and even if your palate can't stand the fire and spice you'll love the story! The thriving restaurant, now operated by the great niece of the founder, is a recipient of the coveted James Beard award, and has been dishing out the heat for more than 70 years!
Arnold's Classic Kitchen is another popular James Beard Award winner, and carries on a three-decade-plus tradition of "Meat and Three." You can't miss its bright red exterior, and you may have to wait in line, but it's all worth it for the down home fun of simple hearty food for lunch. Don't forget the delicious desserts. But be sure to remember that Arnold's is a lunch place—open only from 10:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.
When it moved out of its former "storage container" location in 2017, The 404 Kitchen not only expanded its seating capacity but also its menu. Quality, however, hasn't suffered, and Gertie's Bar on the lower level offers what some call the best selection of whiskey in the city! Located in The Gulch, it's across the street from a four-suite hotel of the same name that is a unique alternative to standard in-town lodging. What's not to love?
Another Gulch neighborhood staple, the newly-remodeled Kayne Prime now encompasses some 13,000 square feet of trendy space. It's big, but it's airy and unique, with private dining rooms, comfortable surroundings, numerous bar areas and original food options.
Husk was born in Charleston and received rave reviews; now in Nashville, it's the opinion of at least one critic that it has surpassed the original. Chef Sean Brock, another Beard-recognized master, continues to feature new Southern cuisine, from an original take on fried chicken to a thoroughly unique hamburger! The charming dining spot is located in a historic residence, just adding to its enviable Southern charm.
Trendy and Fresh
Another Charleston original that featured delectable sandwiches was transformed when it arrived in Nashville. Known for its vegetable dishes, the Butcher & Bee serves small plates that feature fresh, seasonal offerings just beckoning to be tried. Open seven days a week with varied hours, reservations are accepted but walk-ins are welcome.
Rolf & Daughters occupies another unique historic location, the former "boiling house" of of a textile bag factory. The menu features fresh, Mediterranean-influenced "peasant food," according to Philip Krajek, a multiple Beard award nominee. Plan your visit to this popular Germantown spot: It's usually packed!
This list barely scratches the surface of what's available in Nashville. But half the fun is finding personal favorites. Enjoy the search!
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