Fathom Favorites : Nashville Restaurants

1. Five Daughters Bakery

Their 100-layer doughnuts have locals and visitors lining up around the block on weekends at their 12 South location. Try dropping by any Barista Parlor (a locally-loved coffee shop that carries their doughnuts), or take a half-hour drive South to their factory location instead.

1110 Caruthers Ave.
Nashville, TN 37204

2. Las Paletas

A Mexican ice pop store makes for a great afternoon shopping break down 12 South. With flavors like avocado, chai tea, pineapple with chili peppers, and chocolate with chocolate chips, there's something for the whole family.

2911 12th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37204

3. Josephine

It's always a great meal from Culinary Institute of America alumnus Andrew Little, who draws from his time cooking in Pennsylvania-Dutch country to invent seasonal and delightfully surprising dishes in his X|X ten-course tasting menu. Served in casual atmosphere.

2316 12th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37204

4. Martin's BBQ

The best barbecue in town, hands down. (You may want to compare to Peg Leg Porker in The Gulch, which is a little more low-key.)

3108 Belmont Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37212

5. Rolf and Daughters

Start at the bar and order one of their phenomenal cocktails (we recommend Man About Town), followed by straciatella toast (toasted crusty bread with mozzarella curds wrapped) and any of the homemade pastas. You'll leave happy.

700 Taylor St.
Nashville, TN 37208

6. Biscuit Love

A beloved food truck-turned-breakfast spot, this place is packed every day of the week with locals, out-of-towners, and Vanderbilt sorority girls. Don't worry — the line moves quickly and there are usually seats at the bar, where you can chat with the friendly bartenders. We had biscuit French toast (unreal) and biscuits with homemade peach jam (perfection), but still suffered major menu regret when a waitress walked by with a basket of fresh biscuit donuts.

316 11th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37203

7. Husk

Sip Bloody Marys garnished with the signature house-cured ham and a homemade pickle. Eat warm, fluffy black pepper biscuits soaked in sausage gravy. Sample the most unbelievable charred cabbage salad, perfectly sweet beets, and collard greens made creamy by a poached egg. Brunch at the Nashville outpost of Sean Brock's celebrated Charleston restaurant is what food dreams are made of.

37 Rutledge St.
Nashville, TN

8. Hattie B's

Off-the-chart hot chicken fried to order and then coated in a spicy cayenne paste. It can get crowded, so consider trying for other classic hot chicken spots like Prince's and the lesser-known Acme Feed & Seed if you can't bear the wait (or like to do comparison taste-tests). 

112 19th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37203

9. Eastland Cafe

Eclectic, nouveau American menu (largely sourced locally), big comfy booths, beautiful outdoor patio, fun bar scene. Come early for the special $5 food and drink menu.

97 Chapel Ave.
Nashville, TN 37206

10. Margot Cafe & Bar

Daily, changing Provencal menu, just-picked veggies from the restaurant's garden, fantastic wine list, and some of the loveliest desserts in town. Snag a seat on the second floor for the best views.

1017 Woodland St.
Nashville, TN 37206

11. Mas Tacos Por Favor

The little food truck is now a rustic taco shop serving super-fresh Oaxaca-style tacos, grilled corn, soup, and agua frescas (including hibiscus, watermelon, and pineapple-cilantro). Go on Fridays for fantastic fish tacos.

732 Mcferrin Ave.
Nashville, TN 37206

12. Marché Artisan Foods

A casual European-style bakery and cafe from farm-to-table pioneer Margot McCormick, always has at least an hour wait for brunch (for good reason: the food's incredible). Though you'll always find the croissant French toast, and French presses filled with locally roasted Drew's Brews coffee, the rest of the menu changes seasonally.

1000 Main St. # 101
Nashville, TN 37206

13. The Catbird Seat

A much buzzed-about 30-seat restaurant with a U-shaped bar in lieu of tables, and a nightly changing seasonal tasting menu. Better reserve now; it's likely to be booked solid.

1711 Division St.
Nashville, TN 37203

14. Flyte

Fab outdoor patio and happy hour specials, and gets hopping around 4 p.m. But stay for dinner, as the eclectic globetrotting cuisine (sourced locally, of course!) is fantastic.

718 Division St.
Nashville, TN 37203

15. City House

Tucked away in a rustic little house, City House is one of the founding restaurants of Nashville's food scene revolution. Wood-fired pizzas (get the belly ham pizza), fresh pastas, and seasonal salads are served in a minimalist concrete-and-brick space in historic Germantown.

1222 4th Ave. N.
Nashville, TN 37208

16. Arnold's Country Kitchen

THE quintessential "meat-n-three." Arnold's dishes up a meat (could be fried chicken, meat loaf, or pork chops) with three sides (mac 'n cheese, green beans, mashed potatoes, etc.) weekdays at lunch, with plenty of sweet tea. Don't leave without trying a slice of one of their homemade pies, and their bread pudding is out-of-this-world great.

605 8th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37203

17. Burger Up

A popular 12 South burger joint that sources all its beef locally, and even manages to please its vegan clientele with a quinoa black bean version.

2901 12th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37204

18. Fido

A great place to bring your laptop, and join the crowds of college students and struggling writers for a cup of house-roasted coffee and an Egg McFido (scrambled eggs and cheese on a bagel). Drop by their parent, and the city's oldest, coffeehouse, Bongo Java in the neighborhood. Or head to Bongo East for a more casual, but equally creative, vibe.

1812 21st Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37212

19. Loveless Cafe

A quick half-hour drive from the city center, this former '50s hotel (and local institution) serves biscuits, country ham, gravy, hot cups of coffee, and a whole lot of "hi, honey" — Nashville's breakfast of champions.

8400 Hwy. 100
Nashville, TN 37221