Nashville Travel: A Guide To Music City

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Nashville's Top 10 Restaurants

  • Prince's Hot Chicken Shack

    123 Ewing Dr
    Nashville, TN 37207
    (615) 226-9442

    One of the few things Nashvillians take as seriously as country music is their hot chicken. From the moment you walk into this hole-in-the-wall joint, you know Prince's means business. Not to be confused with Buffalo wings, the signature dish is typically a cut of chicken marinated in buttermilk, breaded and then sauced using a super-secret paste spiced with cayenne peppers to bring the heat. After being pan-fried in a cast iron skillet, it's served up with a couple of slices of white bread. Temperatures range from mild, medium, hot to extra hot. Fair warning: even the mild packs a serious punch. And for first timers, don't even try ordering the hot. They won't sell it to you.

  • City House

    1222 4th Ave N
    Nashville, TN 37208
    (615) 736-5838
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    Keep it simple. That's the motto for this restaurant that has found a home in historic Germantown, an historic 18-block neighborhood located just north of Nashville's downtown capitol building. The menu is kept lean and mean with unique dishes prepared using local produce, fresh pastas and delicious house-cured meats. The Food Network Magazine chose the signature Belly Ham Pizza as tops in Tennessee for its "50 States, 50 Pizzas" feature. Saddle up to the bar and order old-school cocktails (like the Sazerac) that are prepared with an astonishing amount of tender loving care.

  • Merchant's

    401 Broadway
    Nashville, TN 37203
    (615) 254-1892
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    Located downtown in a beautifully-restored hotel where Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn once stayed, Merchant's offers two unique dining options. The first floor, with wonderfully maintained original marble counters and tile, is a casual bistro that keeps dishes under $20 for lunch and dinner. The wood-paneled second floor offers a more distinguished (and pricier) dining experience. A typical lunch will see a nice mix of tourists and the business crowd. Co-owner Benjamin Goldberg describes Merchant's menu as "modern American food with a Southern Soul" with a contemporary take on comfort food.

  • Loveless Cafe and Motel

    8400 Highway 100
    Nashville, TN 37221
    (615) 646-9700
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    If you're staying in downtown Nashville, it's a bit of a drive to get out to the Loveless Café. But after you bite into that first biscuit, you'll soon realize that for your next trip to Nashville, you'd be willing to walk barefoot on broken glass to get back. Featured in too many publications to even try to mention, the Loveless Café is the quintessential southern dining experience. The mouth-watering breakfast is served all day, but the lunch and dinner menu is just as popular with the locals. Reservations are only for parties of 12 or more, so to avoid a long wait try to plan your visit at an off-peak time, like a weekday.

  • MAFIAoZA's

    2400 12th Avenue South
    Nashville, TN 37204
    (615) 269-4646
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    If you find yourself hankering for a pizza while honky tonkin' in Nashville, try this pizza palace in the city's popular 12 South neighborhood. Bringing a 1920s New York vibe to Nashville, MAFIAoZA's specialty is thin-crust pizza sold by the slice or the whole pie. The atmosphere is extremely family friendly and on a nice day the patio is a great place to enjoy a glass of vino from their extensive wine list. You can even work off the meal with a post-pizza walk to the several unique stores in the area.

  • Pancake Pantry

    1796 21st Avenue South
    Nashville, TN 37212
    (615) 383-9333
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    When it comes to the battle for the best breakfast in Music City, this landmark restaurant throws a ten-gallon hat into the ring. A line to get in forms in the early a.m. and tends to stay long throughout the day. But thanks to the complimentary coffee offered on the sidewalk and the stacks of heaven that are being served inside, it's well worth the wait.

    More than 20 options of pancakes are listed on the menu – everything from good old-fashioned buttermilk to the more decadent Swiss Chocolate Chip. If you're feeling really adventurous, try the Sweet Potato Pancakes sprinkled with sugar and powdered cinnamon.

  • Fido

    1812 21st Avenue South
    Nashville, TN 37212
    (615) 777-3436
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    Need a jolt of caffeine on your trip – and your run-of-the-mill cup o' joe just won't do? Make your way to this extremely popular local spot. One of Nashville's first coffee houses when it opened next to Vanderbilt University back in the mid-90s, Fido's breakfast and lunch menus have become one of the best kept secrets in Nashville, so consider ordering more than just a cup. It's also a great place to do a little star-gazing. Taylor Swift, Jack White, Dierks Bentley, and Nicole Kidman are just a few of the A-listers that have been spotted getting their caffeine fix.

  • Noshville

    1918 Broadway
    Nashville, TN 37203
    (615) 329-6674
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    As far as taking care of business in the country music industry, forget the boardroom. It's a breakfast or lunch at this authentic New York Delicatessen where many a deal gets done. You might not recognize their faces, but there is a good chance a big wig songwriter, producer, or Music Row exec is talking shop over bacon and eggs, corned beef hash or a giant slice of cheesecake in a booth near you. Free pickles and pickled tomatoes are on the table for the taking.

  • Burger Up

    2901 12th Avenue South
    Nashville, TN 37204
    (615) 279-3767
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    Nothing beats a tasty burger, and it all starts with what's between the buns. When owner Miranda Whitcomb Pontes was in the early stages of planning Burger Up, she knew only the best beef would do. Miranda found it just up the road at the Triple L Ranch in nearby Williamson County. That philosophy of buying local can be seen all over the menu. One of the most popular items: The Woodstock, served with Benton's Bacon (Madisonville, TN) and Tennessee Sweetwater White Cheddar (Philadelphia, TN). And if you're looking for an appetizer, you can't go wrong with the fried pickle chips.

  • Monell's Dining & Catering

    1235 6th Ave North
    Nashville, TN 37208
    (615) 248-4747
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    The moment you take your seat at the table inside in this refurbished Victorian home, you'll realize you're about to have a meal like no other. Yes, the food is fantastic, but it's the way it's served that makes Monell's unique. Classic southern entrees like pork chops, fried chicken and country fried steaks with all the fixings are passed around family-style at tables that hold up to a dozen folks. That means if you're part of a smaller party, get ready to make some new friends.

    Breakfast is also served and the weekend brunch is fantastic. It's first come, first serve, so if you're coming on the weekend, block out enough time to wait for a spot. It's well worth the wait.

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