Where to eat in Nashville

Lead photography by Edley’s Bar-B-Que

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November 2018

From smokin’ BBQ joints to pioneering coffee houses, Nashville’s foodie scene is buzzing - particularly during the festive season, when you can expect your Southern cooking with a side of yuletide spirit. Here’s where should be on your must-visit list - Christmas or otherwise.

Cheap and cheerful


No Nashville festivities would be complete without a trip to Monell’s for their annual Victorian Christmas Dinner. This historic family-style restaurant, located inside a 19th-century townhouse in Germantown, is all about honest, southern soul food. Come December, folk flock here to sit at the communal tables and feast on holiday favourites like stuffed jalapeños, Tennessee bread soup and beef with Béarnaise sauce. Carolers, decked out in Victorian garb, entertain diners before everyone joins in for a candlelit sing-a-long at the end of the meal. Book early - this sells out quickly.

If you only eat one thing: Stuffed Chicken Monell’s aka chicken breast filled with smoked turkey, eggplant, tomatoes and cheese.

Find it: 1235 6th Ave N, 37208

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The Hermitage Hotel does the yuletide season with aplomb, but it’s the Christmas Day Feast which steals the show

  • Exterior of Barista Parlor, Germantown.


    A humble suburb of Nashville, Germantown has a reputation as a food district. With its old brick townhouses it feels suburban, but there are great bars and eateries too, including Barista Parlor

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Hidden gem

If you’re serious about coffee then Barista Parlor, located in a former auto repair shop in East Nashville, is the place to satisfy your caffeine needs. The house special is a delicious biscuit filled with molten cheese and crispy, streaky bacon. You can also have waffles or donuts, but these are delicious side orders in a place where coffee is the main event, thanks to an exceptional selection of specialty roasters. The artisan coffeehouse is so popular there are now three other branches in the city. The best bit? They do a gift card - surely a perfect festive gift for the caffeine lover in your life.

If you only eat one thing: Make it a Moto biscuit, and Golden Sound roast beans in the cup.

Find it: 519B Gallatin Ave, 37206

  • Hot chicken at Hattie B’s.

    Hot stuff

    Fuel up at lunchtime at Hattie B’s so you have the energy for Nashville’s top sights. Don’t miss the recording studios, museums and honky tonks that keep Nashville’s country music scene alive, kicking and as hot as its hot chicken.

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  • People ordering at Mas Tacos ©Jennifer Wright / Alamy Stock Photo.

    Secret recipe

    Mas Tacos didn’t even have a sign on its door for the first two years. But people still found it. And the queues keep coming. Book return flights to Nashville from£281 return

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  • Ribs at Edley’s Bar-B-Que.

    Eat well

    Order the medley of meats at Edley’s Bar-B-Que and take some sides along for the ride. Barbecue is a hotly-contested topic in the south – Tennessee, Texas and North Carolina all have seriously respected smoke houses.

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Grab and go


Edley’s Bar-B-Que - a fast, casual eatery - serves up pork, chicken, turkey, brisket, ribs, wings, and so much more, all of which is smoked daily using local White Oak wood. The brisket and burnt ends tend to sell out quick, so grab them while you can. ‘Meat and three’ is one of the classics - it’s a southern favourite, denoting meat and three sides of your choice. Luckily, the daily-changing sides at this Nashville institution are delicious.

If you only eat one thing: Save some room for the banana pudding, the ultimate comfort food.

Find it: 908 Main Street, 37206

Hidden gem

Many claim that Mas Tacos is the best thing to have happened in Nashville since country music. You’d never guess from the unassuming exterior, which would probably pass you by if it wasn’t for the throng of hungry people queueing out of the door. It can get hot and cramped inside, but this is all worth it for the food. The guys here serve mouth-watering Mexican dishes such as corn soup, tamales, horchata, and, of course, tacos. Order two for your plate, so you can sample the different fillings (pulled pork and chicken are always popular). And take cash so that you don’t get caught out.

If you only eat one thing: Elote (grilled Mexican street corn) is the perfect companion for your tacos.

Find it: 732 Mcferrin Ave, Nashville, 37206

Splash the cash


As you’d expect from Nashville’s oldest and grandest establishment, The Hermitage Hotel does the yuletide season with aplomb, from its fairy-lit trees to the festive live music. But it’s the annual Christmas Day Feast in the Grand Lobby, which steals the show. This decadent buffet covers off every holiday dish imaginable. Kids will love the Belgian waffle station, while grown-ups should hit the carving stations, particularly for the beef sirloin from the hotel’s own herd of cows. Alternatively, signature restaurant Capitol Grille offers a special prix fixe dinner menu on Christmas night.

If you only eat one thing: YYou won’t be able to resist the Macaroni and Tennessee Cheddar Cheese and the Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Crumble sides.

Find it: 231 6th Avenue N, 37219

Hidden gem

Nashville’s ever-popular farm-to-table restaurant The Farm House offers southern staples with a modern day twist. Using quality ingredients from local and regional farms (as well as fresh vegetables from his own Davidson County garden), chef-owner Trey Cioccia produces a seasonal menu with highlights including house-cured meats and fresh Tennessee trout. The weekend brunch is particularly popular, with locals gathering to sip bloody marys and discuss their week over delicious plates of hickory smoked wings and biscuit panzanella (fried biscuit, sausage, eggs, jalapeno, gravy and cheddar).

If you only eat one thing: Order a selection of the playful fusion snacks - the pimiento cheese beignets are stand-out.

Find it: 210 Almond St, 37201