Nashville Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
434 Houston St., Wedgewood-Houston
Bastion is the place to head when you can’t decide between a really fun bar, or a really great restaurant. That’s because it offers both, separated by a sliding door that creates two distinct spaces. Start in the bar with one of their specialty cocktails (we’d go for the Rosemallow Daisy, made with tequila, lime, and hibiscus), and follow it with the five-course tasting menu in the 24-seat restaurant. Helmed by chef Josh Habiger, it’s hard to predict what you’ll get, but part of the joy of a meal here is seeing your dinner prepared in the open kitchen, just beyond where you’re sitting.
823 Meridian St., East Nashville
Chef Philip Krajeck (of Rolf & Daughters) opened Folk earlier this year in McFerrin Park, an up-and-coming area of East Nashville that’s currently booming. First impressions are striking, with an interior that features custom artwork from local artists Alex Lockwood and Paul Collins, exposed brick walls, and plenty of light wood accents and potted greenery for that indoor-outdoor effect. As for the food, you can’t go wrong with one of the wood-fired pizzas, which are topped with ingredients like kale, fermented potato, pickled chilis, and preserved peppers.
Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint
410 4th Ave. S, Downtown
If nothing else, come here for the Redneck Taco. It’s famous in Nashville—and not just for the controversial name. It’s not so much a taco as a heaping pile of brisket, sausage, pulled pork, fried catfish (whatever you like) and coleslaw on top of a cornbread “hoe-cake.” We’ve never seen anything like it. There are long communal tables, and the huge space has a rustic cabin feel (plus dartboards and Ping-Pong tables), so it’s ideal for large groups and families.
Henrietta Red
1200 4th Ave. N, Germantown
We come to Henrietta Red as much for the surroundings as the food. It’s an immensely pretty dining room, spacious, flooded with natural light, and accented with tons of natural wood and beautifully designed contemporary furniture. But it’s also casual—a neighborhood spot in the middle of historic Germantown, with a homey, welcoming feel. Chef Julia Sullivan (she’s worked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Per Se) serves up food that’s both comforting and surprising (wood-fired bread slathered in anchovy butter; squash gratin with feta, lemon, and basil; mussels with saffron cream, mustard seed, fennel, and herbs), and the raw bar is possibly the best you’ll find in Nashville.
Husk Nashville
37 Rutledge St., Rutledge Hill
Chef Sean Brock grew up foraging, pickling, and preserving the South’s produce since childhood. His restaurant, Husk, captures that passion for the region and its food in dishes that are familiar (to Southerners, at least) and comforting: country ham with cheddar biscuits and pickles; shrimp and grits, hearth-fired cornbread; oyster stew with celery root. The menu changes constantly, but you get the idea. Every ingredient is grown in the South. And we are totally enamored with the setting: an 1870’s Victorian home.
Cafe Roze
1115 Porter Rd., East Nashville
Our favorite breakfast spot in the city is found in East Nashville, at Cafe Roze. Grab a seat at the long marble bar and settle in for a crazy good avocado shake (made with kale, banana, almond milk, and bee pollen) before a bowl of savory oats, served with a poached egg, mustard greens, and roasted shiitake mushrooms. The space itself is light-filled and cheerful, and it’s an ideal place to start the day (or for lunch, dinner and cocktails, too).