We've eaten our way through the Music City to find
Nashville's best dishes - and the restaurants in which you should
be ordering them.
Inthe years that country music became internationally
recognised, Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton made this their home. Now
the likes of Nicole Kidman can be spotted out and about, casually
doing her food shop, while recording studios cater to more diverse
sounds than country.
Nashville, Tennessee may well have earned its nickname of
"Music City", but these days it's serving up more than the odd
honkytonk for those boozing down Broadway.
"Most people have this idea of Southern food being unhealthy and
greasy and calorie heavy, but it's so much more than that," says
Nashville's greatest foodie export, chef Sean Brock, the man
credited with redefining comfort food both in the city and beyond.
Profiled in series six of Netflix's Chef's Table, Brock puts the
ingredients, plants, preserves and old traditions of the South into
the spotlight. Turning away from greasy fare, he focuses on good
old-fashioned home cooking inspired by his grandmother and the
culinary traditions of the Appalachian mountains. He first founded
Husk, the now award-winning restaurant in Downtown Nashville and
has since moved on to new ventures in East Nashville, which will
open in early 2020.
After a building boom that resulted in a complete regeneration
of the tired-looking Downtown district, Nashville's food scene has
blossomed thanks to a slew of chefs and eateries eager to raise the
city's culinary profile to match its star status. These are our
favourite dishes, and where to try them.
These are the best plates in Nashville
for shrimp and grits
The restaurant credited with elevating Southern fare in
Nashville, Husk takes the otherwise bland shrimp and grits (a
corn-kernel porridge) dish loved by locals and throws in extra
flare. Here, grits is delicately flavoured pimento cheese, thyme,
oregano, basil, garlic and a sprinkling of paprika and chilli
powder. It looks as pretty as it tastes, with large, coral-toned
shrimp elegantly plated atop the deeply warming cheesy grits and an
explosion of pickled purple beetroot and microgreens.
East Nashville is the place to head to for the young, hip and
in-the-know. Step into this pizza joint housed in a former
warehouse, and you'd be forgiven for thinking you're in
East London, with its exposed brick, open kitchen and eccentric
serving staff of musicians and actors. Pizza here is strictly thin
crust, made from sourdough and with toppings sourced from within a
three-mile radius of the restaurant. Try a classic iteration with
tomato, mozzarella and basil with extra parmesan for a slightly
saltier take on the classic.
The best burger in Nashville is undoubtedly the one served up
pool-side at The Dive Motel's Dive Bar (which is anything but).
Clad in a swimsuit, you should expect to get messy as you tuck into
a juicy hamburger. Add the "disco" shoestring fries with cheese,
spring onions and the house "dive" sauce as a fun side order. If
you're staying at The Dive Motel, enjoy your food in your room's
aesthetic onslaught of more-is-more wallpaper and disco-ball
lighting. Room service has never been more fun.
Southerners are obsessed with biscuits (no, not the British
kind). A biscuit in the southern states of the US is essentially a
scone - just a little less sweet. The only place to try these is
the Loveless Cafe. Set in a former motel on the outskirts of town,
the Loveless Cafe has become an institution since Lon and Annie
Loveless first started touting their buttermilk biscuits here in
the 50s. The recipe hasn't changed since then. Order the biscuit
sampler platter and enjoy toppings such as country ham and fried
A relaxed, modern diner with an upmarket feel right by an active
railway line, Parson's Chicken & Fish specialises in crispy
fried chicken (and, you guessed it, fish) and does it oh-so well -
a peppery coating gives way to only the most tender chicken.
Chicken and waffles makes for a classic order, while those with a
hankering for a burger can enjoy the chicken served in a rich
brioche bun. Pair with a side of hush puppies and a beer