The ongoing influx of people moving to the Tennessee capital means many things, including a revamping of the best Nashville restaurants: as folks from different cultures start calling the city home, they are influencing the sorts of food served at local eateries. And we’re oh-so-happy about it.
Not only that: chefs are taking advantage of a grander number of diners in their establishments, also enjoying the access to new flavors and ingredients. Locals, on their part, are reveling in culinary choices that involve more than the (very good) hot chicken that Nashville is known for. Winners all around.
So, before embarking on a tour of the city’s top attractions and things to do, grab a quick, fresh breakfast taco in the morning, enjoy a yakitori skewer and a mai tai while soaking up the Southern sun at lunch or opt for a three-hour, multi-course exploration at dinner.
But there is more: Tennessee’s climate and agricultural history give cooks easy access to local ingredients, so even if you’re feasting on an Israeli dish, you’re likely biting into an eggplant grown a few miles away. Southern dishes are inspired by the traditions of the Appalachian Mountains to the east (and more places with that focus, including Sean Brock’s anticipated eatery, are in the works). Other trends include wood-fired grills charring dishes to perfection, and restaurant owners teaming with others to maximize the use of their space as rent prices have increased.
Ready to eat? One caveat: we’re not including any of the eponymous Nashville hot chicken places in this ranking; we have a whole separate list for that particular delicacy.