When you first make your way through downtown Nashville, it’s easy to see the city’s backbone is made up of music and BBQ. But over the past decade, Nashville has quickly built a mouthwatering food and restaurant scene with some amazing spots. So, when you’ve had your fill of pulled pork and ribs, swing over to one of these places for your next meal!
Sunda – 592 12th Ave S.
Three words, wagyu crispy rice. You wouldn’t expect to have a groundbreaking Japanese meal in Nashville, but Sunda is the definition of ‘expect the unexpected.’ Try some of your favorite classic rolls or indulge in their original Seoul hot wings. Located in the town’s hip shopping district, The Gulch, this upscale restaurant will have you gasping from appetizers to dessert.
Emmy Squared – 404 12th Ave S.
In my opinion, the only thing better than round pizza is square pizza. Starting in Brooklyn, New York, Emmy’s pizzas were not only praised for their shape, but also for their fluffy dough and unique toppings. The menu consists of an entire list of red pies and white pies to choose from, next to a column of their equally famous burgers and sandwiches.
Black Dynasty – 514 Rep. John Lewis Way S.
This spot holds the holy trinity – eccentric décor, delicious cocktails, and heaping bolls of ramen. Secretly located at the back of Bar Sovereign, half the locals may consider this spot their favorite bar, while the other half know it as the best soup joint. So whether you’re in the mood for an Old Fashioned or hot miso, the music’s bumping and you’re in the right place.
Once Upon A Time in France – 1102 Gallatin Ave.
Incredible things come in small packages. This family business got its start after French musician and owner, Melvil Arnt, moved to Music City in 2016. He realized what the city was desperately missing, and his family soon came from Europe to help create Nashville’s true authentic French bistro. The spot is cozy and quaint, unlike their large portions. And while the room may be filled with strangers, you’ll feel right at home.
Husk – 37 Rutledge St.
Get dressed and head to this sleek, historic mansion for a memorable meal. After you spend an evening here, it will be hard to enjoy a perfect Southern meal anywhere else. Built in 1882, there are tons of stories woven into these walls. The menu often changes with the fresh local produce, and “if it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door.”
Steam Boys – 1200 2nd Ave N.
There is never a bad time for dumplings. The Steam Boys pride themselves on bringing Chinese comfort food to Nashville and boy did they succeed! From assorted bao buns the size of your head to hearty noodle bowls, you’ll have to pace yourself if you want to make it to the fresh boba tea.
Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen – 2905 Gallatin Pike
The best way to describe this spot is ‘an Italian Chipotle.’ Just walk down the counter line as you choose your pasta shape, sauce, protein, and any toppings you could ever want. While this is not your typical sit-down restaurant, it houses some of the best handmade pasta in town. For ultimate convenience, place your order online and then swiftly pick it up from their walk-up window.
The Baked Bear – 1809 Division St.
From one professional sweet tooth to another, look no further for your next dessert. We all loved buying those frozen ice cream sandwiches when we were kids, but now we’re adults and we build our own. Both a bakery and a creamery, here you can choose the top of your sandwich, the bottom, and whatever flavor you want wedged in between. They recommend a chocolate chip cookie on top and a brownie on the bottom, and we just can’t disagree with that.
Nashville Farmers Market – 900 Rosa L Parks Blvd.
The perfect spot for those large and indecisive groups. While the outdoor portion is a hub for local foods and handmade trinkets, the indoor food court has really made a name for itself. With over 20 restaurant merchants set up inside, everyone in your party can wander and decide what they want, then meet back at your dining table. From Greek gyros to Mexican burritos, everyone can pick something they truly crave, with no waiters or splitting checks involved.
Gray & Dudley – 221 2nd Ave N.
This restaurant is located in the 21c Museum Hotel and is a utopia of arts, culture, and food. Beth Cavener’s large, ceramic sculptures line the walls and you can always spot something fun out of the corner of your eye. The menu may be short, but each dish is curated just as beautifully as the art it sits next to. Perfect for a date night, let the dim lights and cocktails set the mood.