Nashville, Tennessee is a Southern city that not only makes waves in country music and tourism, but also for their culinary scene. Nashville’s famous Hot Chicken is mentioned in magazines, TV shows, and now being copied on menus around the country. While it is a tasty dish, Nashville has more to eat than just hot chicken. See what Foodies in Nashville are eating and what this Southern TravelingMom is recommending as a frequent visitor to Music City USA.
Places That Foodies in Nashville Will Love
Nashville, Tennessee, known as Music City USA, has a tasty food scene with a wide variety of restaurants. Some of these restaurants showcase trendy new dishes, while others steer towards classic menu items. Nashville also several has food tour offerings. Having traveled to Nashville for 25 years, I consider myself an expert on the city. I have enjoyed watching foodies in Nashville help the city rise to become one of America’s favorite eating cities.
Each year, my daughters, Taylor and Peyton, and I attend the CMA Music Festival, which showcases our favorite country music artists. We try to expand our culinary palates by adding five to six new eateries during our week-long visit. Here are five appealing dining spots in Nashville, Tennessee that we feel are perfect for you and your children, no matter the age.
bartaco restaurant is one of Nashville’s favorites since opening in the 12 South neighborhood in 2015. Buzzfeed claims bartaco has one of the best tacos in America. Their upscale street food menu and coastal vibe add to the ambiance of this hot spot. The chunky guacamole and spicy salsa were both big hits. Both were served with bartaco’s tortilla chips, big, fat, freshly fried ones that did not crumble when dunked into the guacamole. That’s what I’m talking about!
We tried the Tuna Tatakos (lettuce leaf, no taco shells), Grilled Corn on the Cob ( lime, cayenne, and cojita…plus they will remove from the cob for you!), plantains, Chicken Quesadilla, and amazing Cauliflower Tacos. Every dish received praises. The margaritas at bartaco were pricey, but their cheaper food prices made up for it. A kid’s menu was also available.
2. Flying Saucer
Connected to stately Union Station Hotel, the Flying Saucer restaurant is worth a visit. Hundreds of collector plates (saucers) and outer space decor decorated the restaurant. The Flying Saucer is a chain, mostly in the South, with 15 locations. My daughter and I shared the Saucer Dipster sandwich with fries. Packed full of shaved roast beef on a tasty roll with melted Swiss cheese, it was definitely a good choice. The stout au jus (dipping juice) was rich and perfect to dip the billowy bread in.
You must order Loaded Rocket Tots; these golden brown jalapeño babies are dotted with goat cheese, bacon, green onions, and topped with a fried egg. Holy goodness, they were amazing! German inspired dishes were also on the menu. On Tuesday nights, Flying Saucer has trivia.
3. Pharmacy Burger
This hipster burger and soda joint is a popular eatery with friendly bartenders and cool burger creations. My daughter read about the Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden online and suggested that we visit. I loved Pharmacy Burger’s pure cane sugar soda choices and opted for a Creamsicle soda (orange soda, cream, vanilla syrup). Pharmacy Burger’s organic burger toppings and combinations were sheer genius, but for me, they did not have enough seasoning. I applaud them for their clever recipe creations and use of quality ingredients.
For dinner, I had the Stroganoff Burger with mushrooms, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and béchamel. Yum, that saucy combo and the billowy light buns. Other dishes we tried were the Chicken Sandwich, Chili Burger, and side items including tater tots, black bean & corn salad, and hand-cut sweet potato fries. Kids plates were on the menu as well.
Located in the trendy 12 South area, Josephine’s is a restaurant that serves American farmhouse cuisine. They had a relaxed atmosphere and stylish contemporary decor. After reading Josephine’s brunch menu selections, my daughter and I decided to try it out. For starters, we began with a killer dish: Peach Tartine. The bruschetta (tartine) was topped with creamy goat cheese, arugula, pecans, grilled peaches, radish slices and a rich balsamic drizzle. Kudos to Chef Andrew Little for creating this sublime dish.
Peyton had the Chicken and Biscuit, which was was just that, two pieces of fried chicken with a biscuit and fries. I opted for the Spinach Quiche with creamy goat cheese and thyme, served with fries and a side salad. The prices were steep, but we both enjoyed Josephine’s food and dining experience.
5. McDougal’s Chicken Fingers & Wings
If you love chicken, as my daughters do, this is the place for you. McDougal’s Chicken Fingers & Wings is located in the Belmont/Hillsboro Village neighborhood. McDougal’s knows how to do chicken right; you can get it in wing or chicken strip form, fried, grilled, or tossed in a sauce. The fresh hand-cut fries were phenomenal and the homemade dipping sauce was a must. Everything about this restaurant was super casual and affordable.
We all had McDougal’s chicken basket meals, which came with fries, a drink, and slice of Tennessee toast. My favorite thing about McDougal’s is that they only use high-quality ingredients and fresh chicken; they have no freezers, microwaves, or ovens. Do not forget to get your free soft serve ice cream cup.