Music City Flats
While we lived in Nashville, this restaurant went by a different name: Urban Flats. I’ve been told that it is even better than before, which is hard for me to imagine. I don’t see exactly what we used to order on the menu anymore, probably because of the fact that it was a secret combination of things that a server once recommended to us, but I bet they could still make it for you. Ask if they can make you a white out with buffalo chicken flat bread. If they say yes, get ready to have a happy mouth! If not, then get the Turkey, Apple and Brie or the Fig & Prosciutto. Mmmmmm. If you’re super hungry, then get the Hummus appetizer. Oh wow. Their macadamia nut hummus is my favorite. If you’re super duper hungry, get one of their dessert pizzas. Let me just paint you a picture of The Elvis Flatbread here: peanut butter, bacon crumbles, caramelized bananas with chocolate drizzles. Sign me up, baby!
Have you ever been to Italy? I have. Thank goodness I went in my skinnier days or else I would have been doomed. I went there with two girlfriends from college. We were just walking along, minding our own business and then we saw it…gelato. One bite had us hooked. So much so, that we started panicking that we would miss out on the opportunity to try a new flavor. I am ashamed to say that on one particular day just ten minutes after swallowing my first helping of gelato, I ran down to the next gelato store to indulge in another flavor. When I came back to the States that summer, all ice cream tasted like toothpaste to me compared to the creamy goodness of Italian gelato. You should have seen the delight on my face when we discovered Nucci’s in Franklin. Their gelato is on equal playing fields with the gelato of Italy. I’m partial to their Hazelnut gelato. But then again, I have never been disappointed by any of the other flavors they have to offer. If you’re in Nashville on one of its scorching hot Summer days, head on over to Nucci’s!
Old Spaghetti Factory
Speaking of Spaghetti, if you’re downtown Nashville, this is a great dining option. Wonderful for dates and group outings alike, you’ll enjoy the atmosphere of exposed brick walls, gorgeous chandeliers, velvet chairs, and even a cable car in which you have the option to dine. While their menu offers a host of delicious options, I have to say that I get the same thing every single time. I get the Spaghetti with Mizithra Cheese & Browned Butter Sauce along with a salad dressed with some of the most fantastic creamy pesto sauce. If you’re extra hungry, might I recommend their Olive Tapenade as an appetizer? It’s exquisite as well!
The Pancake Pantry
A staple of Nashville cuisine is The Pancake Pantry. It’s not unusual to see a line wrapped around the building to get in. Let me just tell you, it’s worth it. If you happen to be there on a cold day, they’ve been known to bring out an urn of coffee to warm you up, so stick around and get ready to experience a scrumptious breakfast. I can’t even begin to tell you how yummy their chocolate chip pancakes, drizzled with house-made syrup are. Add a side of crisp bacon and ding! Stick a fork in me; I’m done.
My only regret about The Pharmacy is that we didn’t discover it sooner. They have some of the best burgers you’ll ever put in your mouth. I’ve got to say, The Stroganoff Burger makes my mouth water just thinking about it. My husband is all about The Pharmacy Burger himself. He has a rule that you should always order what the restaurant is known for. I give him props for it because he’s usually right. They also have some of the best homemade cream sodas you’ll ever taste. They call them Phosphates…like old school soda fountains did. Our favorites are The Creamsicle and The Pharmacy Cream Soda. Ah. So refreshing.
You’ll love the atmosphere there…especially if you’re dining on a nice day. Their garden seating area is so chill and fun. It’s not uncommon to see little kids running up and down the hill playing. Honestly, it reminds me of Germany. I’m not into alcoholic beverages, but whilst visiting there, we did visit a Bier Garden, which we learned was just a great restaurant in the middle of a lovely garden with a beautiful view. You’ll love The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden, nestled in the heart of East Nashville.
Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack
I’m ashamed to say that I never ate here during my time in Nashville. Utterly ashamed. It’s world-renowned and we never were able to get there. I know people who did eat there, though, and raved about it. Will you please go try it for me? I hope so!
Puckett’s Grocery in Franklin
So you’re in Music City, right? Well, Puckett’s is one of the best places to experience the music vibe. They often host live music, which only adds to the charming experience of dining in an old grocery story. There are several locations around town. We have been to their Leiper’s Fork, Downtown Nashville, and Downtown Franklin Locations. In my opinion, the one in Franklin is the best! They also have a Boat House in Franklin, which I haven’t tried yet. I’d recommend that you start with the Puckett’s Grocery. My husband gets a burger just about every time we go. I love their barbecue. But you know what I love more? Their Fried Green Tomato B.L.T. with Pimento Cheese. Now that’s a taste of the South if ever there was one! They should write a song about it. Be sure to get some of their sweet potato fries to go with it.
San Antonio Taco Company (AKA- SATCO Taco)
OK. There are only two things you NEED to know about this delectable place. Their ground beef hard tacos are amazing and their queso is out of this world. Get them both in your order and you will be one happy camper.
The atmosphere of STACO Taco is so fun- especially in nice weather. It’s so pleasant to sit under an umbrella on their deck and watch the world go by around Vanderbilt University. A word to the wise- be sure to be careful about where you park. The surrounding restaurants get really perturbed when you park in their lot and have people employed to stand guard to be sure you really go in their restaurants if you park there or else they tow. Don’t let this stop you from eating here, though. It’s totally worth the hype!
I’m so glad that our last Wedding Anniversary in Nashville was spent at this fine dining establishment. It was absolutely magical. The ambiance of this historical house was second to none. Hosting the hearth that Andrew Jackson and his wife, Rachel, renewed their wedding vows in front of, it’s no wonder that Allison Kraus and Brad Paisley filmed the music video for Whiskey Lullaby here. Our table was in front of a beautiful fireplace; surrounded by old books, antique mirrors, and gorgeous chandeliers. Our very attentive waiter bore with us as we made the impromptu decision to dance and then gave us a tour of the beautiful old home once owned by an optometrist/inventor of the white lines on the road with which we are all familiar. The food was exquisite as well. The unique “Bacon Wrapped Bacon with Speckled Butter Bean & Sweet Corn Succotash”” and “The New Standard Bone-in Filet of Beef with White Truffle Hash Brown Casserole & Bordelaise Sauce” were the items that adorned our plates. If you need a place to go on a special occasion, you will not be sorry you chose The Standard.
Swanky’s Taco Shop
I found out about Swanky’s through a mailer I received from them one Cinco de Mayo. We decided to give it a whirl and were ecstatic about our new find by the end of our meal. Swanky’s is a good name for them because that’s just what they are: Gourmet Tenn-Mex at an affordable price. We get hard-shelled tacos every time. Their ground beef is out of this world. As is their pulled pork and barbacoa. I have to tell you, though; the very best part about eating here is their spicy ranch dressing. I could drink it. (Actually, I may or may not have done just that…) Get a little cup or two of it on the side. You’re welcome.
The frozen yogurt (Fro-Yo) fad is sweeping the country by storm. Though big franchises are popping up all over the place, Sweet CeCe’s offers a down home, local vibe with colorful, spritely decorations that match the feeling you get when filling up your cup with yogurt and piling on the toppings. My favorite branch is the one in Franklin. While strolling through downtown Franklin at night, it’s not uncommon to see trash cans overflowing with Sweet CeCe’s cups. If you ask me, that’s a good sign of happy customers.