Nashville has been easing its way into the food scene for a fews years now, and it’s quickly becoming the go-to spot for foodies. Some of the best chefs have been moving to our city and opening noteworthy restaurants serving unique culinary masterpieces. With so many neighborhoods, cuisines and different styles of food to choose from, the most challenging part of eating in Nashville can be choosing where to go. Listed below are a few places you may have not heard of, and what, in my opinion, are the best items on the menu. Ranging from brunch, to dinner, to dessert: here are some of the best, worth the time and money to make a visit:
Cafe Roze for Breakfast / Brunch – East Nashville (115 Porter Road)
An interior with shades of pink, florals and beautiful marble countertops as well as a unique and exceptional menu, Cafe Roze coins itself as an all day cafe. It’s located right off of Porter Road in the quickly developing area of East Nashville. Serving Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, there is something here for everyone at any time of day. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 8am to Midnight and Sunday from 8am to 10pm. Three things that are a must on the menu are Savory Oats, described as a “pillow in your mouth,” – combines oats and spices for a savory, warm and filling meal. Top with a poached egg! Also, the Stout Waffles and Roze Bowl are also great options if you’re feeling a little less adventurous.
The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden for Lunch / Dinner in East Nashville
If you’ve ever read a list online of “top trending places to eat in Nashville,” The Pharmacy is always on the list, but for good reason. The choice is simple, whether you’re craving a burger and fries, or you just don’t know where to go, the Pharmacy is your place. A few tips, get there for an early dinner if you plan on going in the evening. Going from 5-7pm, you could risk waiting for at least an hour. If you arrive at either 4pm or 8pm – you’re golden. On the menu, their bratwurst is delicious, juicy and cooked perfectly, but my favorite is the Farm burger with sweet potato fries. Yes, there is an egg and bacon on the burger. This may sound odd, but it’s worth every bite.
Rolf and Daughters for dinner in Germantown
Described as an industrial-chic restaurant, Rolf and Daughters serves New American dishes, offers communal tables & has a cocktail menu that is nothing short of spectacular. The shining star on their menu is the Garganelli verde. (pictured above) It’s a handmade pasta with pork ragout and parmesano. The pork is always tender, the noodles cooked perfectly every time, and it feels like elevated comfort food. The best part, their pasta is handmade every single day. The garganelli verde is the only pasta that’s never rotated out of their menu — it’s their best selling dish. For a non-foodie, the names of dishes can be kind of intimidating, but the staff is so kind and patient. Ask about any dish – this is the place to try something new!
Nicky’s Coal Fired Pizza for lunch or dinner in The Nations
The Nations is a new area of town, located in West Nashville full of restaurants, shops and cute neighborhoods. Nicky’s Coal Fired Pizza is serving up fresh pizzas, delicious charcuterie boards and a large selection of wine, beer and house made cocktails. From the Di Forno portion of the menu, the porchetta and baby octopus are great starters, to ease into your meal. Then, from the pizza menu, #3 and #5 are excellent red-based pizzas and the #3 white-based pizza is also wonderful if you’re not feeling a traditional red sauce.
KOKOS Ice Cream for dessert or a snack in East Nashville
KOKOS ice cream is Nashville’s locally made dairy free, plant-based, nut free, ice cream company. Even if you aren’t dairy free or sensitive to regular ice cream, Koko’s is definitely worth a visit (or two.) Their coconut based ice cream is fluffy and creamy, with traditional and unique flavors. They recently opened a store on Porter Road in East Nashville, with several shops and restaurants surrounding it for a fun and sunny afternoon. My flavor suggestions: mint chip and cuban dark roast.
(Note: I do not own these photos)