Now that we’re nice and settled in our new East Nashville home, us Groupies have had time to scope out and nom on some of the best eats in the city.
In another life (i.e. three months ago) I wrote for a food magazine about restaurants, recipes and lots in between. Old habits die hard – since my first day in my new job and city I set out to find the best eating surrounding work. It’s pretty lucky then that the Bradford Group’s offices are smack dab in the middle of one of the country’s most vibrant food scenes.
So here it is, a recovering foodie’s favorite restaurants in East Nashville:
This deli is an oasis of sorts. You’re driving down a fairly nondescript road then BOOM the shiny and new Mitchell Deli building hits you. And the sandwich shop’s flavors hit with equal force. Menu options include Turkey Apple Brie, Grilled Chicken Portobello, even BBQ Asian Tofu. Each nestled on soft wheat or crusty hoagie bread and tucked up in parchment paper and a pickle. Just as it should be.
There are food trucks and then there are food vintage VW minibuses. I Dream of Weenie could easily be too precious with its twinkle lights, exotic offerings and patrons sprawled on picnic blankets. But the “weenery” manages to sidestep kitsch because the food, service and ambience are just that good. With both all-beef and tofu dogs available, order one of their specialties like the Triple H dog, with hashbrown casserole, hollandaise sauce and jalapenos, or the Porter Road Butcher Chorizo, with jicama-tomatillo slaw, avocado and sour cream.
How great that whenever East Nashvillians feel a bit sluggish they can casually pop over to (arguably) the country’s best/tastiest/coolest coffee shop. This place revels in its awesomeness. The repurposed garage is filled with coffee contraptions, haute-couture chocolates, work from local artisans and card-carrying members of Nashville’s hipset. Since the current 90-degree weather isn’t particularly conducive for hot lattes, go for their summer special The Shoeless Joe, which combines coffee, cola and lime in equally delicious measure. And yeah, the biscuits are as good as everyone says.
Nashville finally has a ramen house! And boy is it a good one. Two Ten Jack serves up noodle variations you won’t find anywhere else in town. And, as far as I’m concerned, the best way to eat a meal is small-plate style with friends, which happens to be Two Ten Jack’s other specialty. The place is vibey with an ambitious menu and moody décor, but still manages to maintain that neighborhood hub feel.
Here’s the thing, Nashville has an especially large number of upscale burger joints. They’re all pretty good, kind of pricey, and a bit predictable. And then there’s Pharmacy Burger. I don’t know if it’s the house-made everything, sprawling biergarten, stellar service or a combo of all that makes this place stand out from the crowd. But it does. If I want a sit-down burger in town, this is the only place I’m going.
You want to know another thing Nashville has plenty of? Taco shops. Mas Tacos is my favorite because of what goes alongside the tacos. Pozole with thick chunks of chicken and fresh cilantro, lightly fried plantains with sweet cream, elote street corn with lime and cotija. All the ingredients are fresh, flavorful and rarely do I feel the need to drown them in Cholula. When you get to the counter and see two huge vats of agua fresca, go ahead and order the green one. You won’t be disappointed. This joint is cash only, so come ready. The long line of hungry patrons won’t be amused with your scramble to the nearby ATM.
Did I miss your favorite? Comment below on where I should try next!