The City of Music isn’t famous only for Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton. It’s also the home of amazing fried chicken, buttery biscuits, boozy milkshakes and the best damn shrimp and grits we’ve ever tasted. Between sets of live music and ogling a replica of the Parthenon, we discovered the best things to eat while hanging out in the Athens of the South.
14 Incredible Dishes You Have to Eat When You’re Visiting Nashville
Shrimp And Grits At Husk
These aren’t your grandma’s shrimp and grits. Husk, the beloved Nashville institution by chef Sean Brock, makes a ridiculously rich and creamy shrimp and grits. The crunchy sweet corn and tangy banana peppers take this traditional Southern dish into the stratosphere.
37 Rutledge St., Nashville, TN; 615-256-6565 or husknashville.com
Skillet Of Lisa’s Cruze Buttermilk Biscuits At The Marsh House
We’ve followed chef Lisa Marie White all the way from New Orleans to Nashville just to get a taste of her glorious, buttery biscuits again. These things have spawned a serious cult following. At John Besh’s Marsh House in the Thompson Hotel, you can get a skillet of Chef White’s little masterpieces made with Tennessee local Cruze buttermilk.
401 11th Ave. S., Nashville, TN; 615-262-6001 or marshhouserestaurant.com
Whiskey Caramel Latte At Barista Parlor
This trendy shop is a former auto repair garage turned café and boutique, so you know it’s cool. Even the most serious coffee drinkers approve of the Whiskey Caramel Latte. George Dickel Tennessee whiskey is paired with caramel sauce, organic milk and espresso, served hot or over ice. It’s the perfect companion to Barista Parlor’s homemade Moto buttermilk biscuit with thick-cut bacon.
610 Magazine St., Nashville, TN; 615-227-4782 or baristaparlor.com
The East Nasty At Biscuit Love
Asking us to choose just one single item from Biscuit Love is like asking us to choose our favorite child. But the East Nasty sandwich is worth the hour-plus waits during Saturday brunch. It’s a hot biscuit topped with a giant piece of fried chicken, then smothered with cheese and sausage gravy on top (yep, heaven).
316 11th Ave. S., Nashville, TN; 615-490-9584 or biscuitlove.com
Roast Beef At Arnold’s Country Kitchen
This classic meat-and-three joint is about as true Nashville as you can get. Stand in line with the locals for the succulent roast beef—it’s the only protein on the menu that’s served every day, Monday through Friday. But don’t even think about sitting down without piling your tray with fried green tomatoes, mac and cheese, turnip greens and banana pudding.
605 Eighth Ave. S., Nashville, TN; 615-256-4455 or arnoldscountrykitchen.com
Bushwacker At 3 Crow Bar
Along with bachlorette parties and live music, Bushwackers are a Nashville staple (the city’s unofficial beverage, if you will). The Bushwacker is pretty much a boozy Wendy’s Frosty milkshake. At 3 Crow Bar, it’s filled with an assortment of liquor, but mostly rum (order it the “Nashville way” to replace the rum with whiskey).
1020 Woodland St., Nashville, TN; 615-262-3345 or 3crowbar.com
Hot Chicken At Hattie B’s
If you don’t get hot chicken in Nashville, were you really ever in Nashville at all? Pair this fiery fried chicken with a side of coleslaw and white bread. You’ll need both to cool off your scorching mouth.
Multiple locations in Nashville; 615-678-4794 or hattieb.com
Cheeseburgers And Fries At Dino’s
This cool, laid-back dive bar in East Nashville makes a killer cheeseburger and crispy fries. Get your burger animal-style (that’s covered in cheese, folks) if you want to live your best life.
411 Gallatin Ave., Nashville, TN; 615-226-3566 or dinosnashville.com
Radish Toast At Salt & Vine
We’re so obsessed with this toast in Sylvan Heights, we’d travel across the country for it. It’s a double-cream-cheese dream with two different types of radishes (classic and watermelon), smoked salt and a spritz of lemon.
4001 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN; 615-800-8517 or saltandvinenashville.com
Fried Chicken And Waffles At Americano
The dish to order at this buzzy brunch spot on West End Avenue? Hands down, the fried chicken and waffles. Make sure you get your chicken spicy and a crispy piece of bacon draped over the top.
1720 West End Ave. #100, Nashville, TN; 615-321-2209 or americanonashville.com
Chicken Tortilla Soup At Mas Tacos Por Favor
These guys have the best tacos in town, and a tortilla soup that “saves lives,” according to locals. Each bowl is overflowing with chicken, veggies, sliced avocado and crunchy fried tortilla strips.
732 McFerrin Ave., Nashville, TN; 615-543-6271
Curry Fried Chicken At Fort Louise
This brand-new spot by Chicago chef Greg Biggers is putting a flavorful spin on fried chicken by lacing it with curry and honey and sticking it in a bucket. Count us in.
1304 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN; 615-730-6273 or hungrylikeafort.com