Dinning Area at  5th & Taylor, Nashville, American South

5th & Taylor

Located in the charming Germantown neighborhood, 5th & Taylor made a big splash when it opened in 2015, and the buzz has not subsided. Housed in a textile warehouse turned restaurant, the creative spot serves Southern American cuisine like onion-bacon tarts with fromage blanc and beer can chicken. The dining room is as well thought out as each dish, featuring sky-high ceilings, a partially open kitchen and a massive sculpture of a man riding a horse in the center of the dining room.

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Interior View - Adele's, Nashville, American South


What once was an auto-repair shop in the Gulch is now Adele’s, a chic New American restaurant from chef Jonathan Waxman, a contestant on Top Chef Masters and the owner of Barbuto in New York. Staying true to its roots, the restaurant has an industrial aesthetic, with bare walls, high ceilings and glass garage windows that are opened during nice weather. Named after Waxman’s mother, the restaurant also serves some of its namesake’s best recipes, including the indulgent Adele’s burger, which comes topped with bacon-onion jam and buttermilk cheddar. Additional highlights include the JW chicken and the coconut cake. Dinner is served daily, but lunch is only offered on Fridays and Saturdays and brunch is a Sunday-only affair.

Food at Biscuit Love, Nashville, American South

Biscuit Love

Visitors seeking casual Southern fare need to look no further than Biscuit Love, located in the hip Gulch neighborhood. The near-constant line (often wrapped around the block on weekends) is a testament to the food, and the convivial dining room is the perfect place for a lazy brunch. Some favorite menu items are the Nasty Princess breakfast sandwich (Nashville-style hot chicken and cheddar galore), the Bonuts, a biscuit–donut hole mash-up and the Chronic Bacon bloody mary.

Food at Butcher & Bee, Nashville, American South

Butcher & Bee

Sometimes when a restaurant decides to open a second location, the result is a lesser version of the first. That is not the case for Butcher & Bee, an iconic Charleston sandwich spot that opened an outpost in a former mattress store in East Nashville in late 2015. This new restaurant has its own vibe, primarily because it is a proper restaurant with a full bar. The eatery features an open kitchen with a wood-burning grill, ample indoor and outdoor seating and a unique loft area perfect for private parties. The interior décor is minimalist and elegant, allowing the sole focus to be on the food. The menu stays true to the flagship restaurant’s roots, with creative takes on classics including turnip cacio e pepe and lamb and grits with goat cheese croquettes.

Exterior View - City House, Nashville, American South

City House

City House is one of those restaurants where most of the ingredients sound foreign but come together to make something magical. In a homey brick building in Germantown, this Goop-approved haunt is a reliable Nashville classic. Chef Tandy Wilson does simple Italian so well that you would be remiss not to order multiple pizzas and pastas for the table.

With interesting preparations of seasonal veggies to complement the main course, City House never misses the mark. The menu switches over to a family-style Sunday Supper every week, and pork is usually the star; scrapple gets an upgrade with pepper sauce and the thin-crust options include a light and flavorful pizza with peppers, corn, ricotta, garlic and oregano.

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Food at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Nashville, American South

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

With five levels of heat—southern (no heat), mild, hot, damn hot and “Shut the Cluck Up”—Hattie B’s fried chicken offers something for everyone, but the iconic spot is known for its hottest variety. The popular joint is low-key and casual, with counter service and a crowd that is always bustling. The line can get long, but locals and visitors who have tasted the flaming-hot chicken can attest that it’s worth the wait.

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Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

This is the place to go for dessert in Nashville, evidenced by the 30-minute lines on a Friday or Saturday night.
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Interiors at Rolf & Daughters, Nashville, American South

Rolf & Daughters

A pasta-lovers heaven, Rolf & Daughters opened to applause in late 2012, and was ranked third on Bon Appétit’s list of Best New Restaurants of 2013. In a redesigned dining room in Nashville’s Werthan Mills Factory, the eatery has a chic industrial, occasionally noisy, interior and a lovely outdoor patio. On a recent Sunday, I enjoyed their spaghetti carbonara and a glass of wine al fresco, and it was the ideal, comforting Sunday meal. The garganelli verde with pork ragout is another must-order entrée.

Interior at The Catbird Seat, Nashville, American South

The Catbird Seat

This culinary experience is in a class of its own in Nashville. Chef Trevor Moran, who previously worked at Copenhagen's Michelin-starred Noma, serves 32 guests per seating, around a u-shaped bar so diners can watch him work. It’s a tough reservation to score, but it is truly the finest dining experience in Nashville. While the seven-to-nine-course tasting menu changes daily, one of the biggest hits is an amuse bouche of crisp chicken skin topped with chile powder, dill salt and a light and fluffy Wonder Bread puree.

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