Visit Nashville’s thriving and diverse restaurants

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If all you know about the Nashville food scene is hot chicken, we’ve got some great news. There is much, much more to explore, from a new Jewish deli to delicious Kurdish cuisine to a hotel offering fine Italian cuisine.

Take, for example, Shep’s Delicatessen, which saved Music City from the deli slump when it opened this spring in the bustling Five Points neighborhood of East Nashville. The Jewish deli serves breakfast all day, with bagels, bialys, and blintzes as well as breakfast Reuben sandwiches, babka French toast, and, of course, cookies (because it’s the South) .

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Although Husk’s founding chef, Sean Brock, didn’t spark Nashville’s culinary renaissance on his own, the culinary star is quickly becoming its face, having made East Nashville his home port (where he plans to d ‘open its flagship restaurant, Audrey). In 2020, Brock opened Joyland in the neighborhood, his homage to fast food, with burgers, fried chicken sandwiches and cookies. Also not to be missed on the East Side is the Mas Tacos Por Favor, a trendy place perfect to relax with a paloma, a bowl of pozole verde and some tacos.

Find other weekend getaways:12 Great Vacation Destinations Direct Flight From Columbus

Chef Sean Brock

East Nashville’s dining scene has exploded over the past 20 years, but chef Margot McCormack was the trailblazer. The Margot Café & Bar, McCormack’s French and Italian inspired restaurant that opened in 2001, remains one of the best restaurants in town, with a menu that always adapts to what’s fresh. The most recent in the area are two small restaurants located a short walk from each other: Pelican & Pig and Once Upon a Time in France. The first, owned by husband and wife restaurateurs, expertly prepares meat and vegetables on a wood-burning fireplace. The latter, owned by a French father-son duo, is a small bistro with a menu and an interior that transports you to Paris.

To get your fix of Southern food (and plenty), head to the Germantown institution known as Monell’s, where fried chicken, corn pudding, and green beans are served with the family around the table. . The restaurant also serves breakfast daily.

The brand new Assembly Food Hall in downtown Nashville, overlooking the neighboring Ryman Auditorium, is perfect for searching for various dining options in one location. Prince’s Hot Chicken, the place that started it all, is here, with Kurdish food, sushi, Thai, Indian, burgers, kids, ice cream and several bars. If you want to further explore the city‘s rich offer of Turkish and Kurdish cuisine, head to South Nashville’s Edessa Restaurant for friendly service and dishes like gozleme (Turkish-style stuffed flatbread) and hanging chicken kebabs. on skewers.

Prince's Hot Chicken

Lately, there is no shortage of lively chef-run restaurants in Nashville. Germantown’s Henrietta Red (led by James Beard semi-finalist Julia Sullivan) is a nice break from the typical heaviness of Southern cooking, with a raw oyster bar and a menu focused on seafood and vegetables. For an elegant evening, the year-old Italian restaurant Yolan offers five- or eight-course tasting menus with optional wine pairings. Led by Michelin-starred chef Tony Mantuano (formerly of Chicago’s Spiaggia), Yolan is located inside The Joseph Hotel, the luxurious 21-story boutique hotel conceptualized by none other than The Pizzuti Cos of Columbus.

If you dare, end your evening with a PBR and a fried bologna sandwich at Lower Broadway’s best honky tonk: Robert’s Western World. The altered music mecca has stayed true to its classic country roots (think: Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, and Patsy Cline) even though Nashville has changed dramatically over the years.

Flights from Columbus to Nashville

Southwest, one per day to Nashville International Airport

Where to stay in Nashville

Van Dyke Bed and Beverage is a fun option for foodies. It’s in the heart of the East Nashville dining hotspot, a pedestrianized neighborhood that provides a nice break from the city’s noisy downtown area. Plus, as the cheeky name of this boutique hotel suggests, check-in takes place at a handsome lobby bar.

This story is from the October 2021 issue of Columbus monthly.

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