These Neighborhoods Spice Up Nashville’s Culinary Scene
Nashville is made up of several neighborhoods, each with its own flair and personality. But a few of them just happen to be prominent food and drink communities. Whether one is looking for something casual or high-end, these particular neighborhoods stand out above the rest in Music City.
Established in the 1850s, Germantown sits on the northwestern bank of the Cumberland River. Industrial warehouses mingle with Victorian homes along the streets with restaurants in charming storefronts woven in. If visitors are looking to escape the woohoo!’s of bachelorette parties in favor of something quieter, Germantown is the place to go. It does get rowdy for Octoberfest, though. It is Germantown, after all.
Perhaps one of Nashville’s best-known restaurants is City House. Opened by Tandy Wilson in 2007, City House brought notoriety to Nashville with its blend of Southern seasonality and rustic Italian food. This fusion is best displayed in a pizza topped with corn, parmesan, buttermilk cottage cheese, garlic and parsley. Nearby 5th and Taylor, helmed by Chattanooga-based chef Daniel Lindley, opened in 2015. Set in a warehouse, the space is lofty with an open kitchen. Favorites on the menu include sausage-cheddar biscuits, bacon-wrapped quail and the Duck’am, which is duck wrapped in ham.
It’s not all upscale dining in Germantown. The Cupcake Collection is a popular destination for those with a sweet tooth. Opened by New Orleans native Mignon Francis, Cupcake Collection’s flavors change throughout the year. Its signature offerings are red velvet and sweet potato cupcakes; both are topped with cream cheese frosting.
The quirky, hipster neighborhood East Nashville is across the river from downtown. Here, you’ll find vibrant street art, record stores and unique shops. Historic bungalows and cottages abound and new development has sprung up on the outskirts, making it a destination for young professionals.
East Nashville has a seemingly endless amount of opportunities for people to graze. One of the most iconic spots is the cheeky I Dream of Weenie. More of a grab and go spot—it’s run out of a VW bus with patio tables only—the stop turns out hot dogs in amazing varieties. Truffle mac and cheese dog, anyone?
Another eatery with a cool, unusual atmosphere is The Pharmacy Burger Parlor. On the inside, the space resembles an old-fashioned malt shop, and the outside offers a communal, beer garden atmosphere. The standout is the Pharmacy burger, a simple beef patty topped with lettuce, tomato and yellow mustard. It should be paired with a chocolate malt, of course. On the other end of the spectrum is The Treehouse Restaurant. Sourcing food from its farm 50 miles west of the city, Treehouse creates beautifully plated dishes focused on seasonal fare.
Named after the avenue that runs through it, 12South is small, yet tightly packed with delicious eateries. Formerly industrial warehouses have been converted into lofty restaurants and retail spaces. It’s the neighborhood for hip, young professionals who want more of an urban environment.
Edley’s BBQ is a Nashville institution. The 12South location is the original, and since it opened in 2011 several locations have sprung up. But you can’t beat the original for meat smoked over white oak and 10 side dishes—made from secret family recipes—to choose from. Other incredible eateries in the neighborhood include The Flipside, a retro diner known for fried chicken that’s pounded thin and topped with interesting combinations like the “Elvis Lives” (peanut butter, banana, honey); Las Paletas, a shop dedicated to house-made frozen pops; and Josephine, a restaurant known for beef cheeks and pastrami-cured pork belly.