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The Bird is the Word | (c) Emily B. Hall
The Bird is the Word | (c) Emily B. Hall

12 Must-Try Dishes in Nashville, Tennessee

Picture of Leena Kollar
Updated: 21 February 2018

It’s hard to choose just one must-try dish in Nashville. That’s why we’ve decided on twelve. These are dishes that go beyond a normal meal and cross into creative menu items that portray the diverse food selection in Nashville. If you try anything from a local restaurant, it’s got to be one (or all) of these top picks.

Hot Chicken Pakoras at Chauhan Ale & Masala House

Celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan cooks up Indian-inspired southern dishes at Chauhan Ale & Masala House in The Gulch neighborhood. Among the best menu items are the Hot Chicken Pakoras. This dish features crispy chicken topped with ghost pepper sauce and a house blend spice mix.

Chauhan Ale & Masala House, 123 12th Ave N, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 242 8426


Hot Chicken Pakoras | (c) Chauhan Ale & Masala House

Slugburger at Hugh-Baby’s BBQ & Burger Shop

The bad news? The Slugburger from Hugh Baby’s BBQ & Burger Shop is only available on Fridays. The good news? It’s well worth waiting until the end of the week for. The burger is deep fried using ground pork and soy meal, then topped with pickles, chopped onions and mustard.

Hugh Baby’s BBQ & Burger Shop, 4816 Charlotte Ave, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 610 3340

Sugar and Spice Pancakes at Pancake Pantry

With more than fifteen flavors on the menu, it’s hard to choose which pancakes to enjoy at Pancake Pantry. But the sugar and spice ones are sure to please. Topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon, these sweet cakes are served with apple sauce and have just the right amount of spice.

Pancake Pantry, 1796 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 383 9333

Hot Chicken at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack

Since Nashville is known for its spicy chicken, a plate full of the bird is a must at Prince’s Hot Chicken. Choose from mildly spicy to XXX hot, and enjoy with a side of potato salad, baked beans or coleslaw.

Prince’s Hot Chicken, 5814 Nolensville Pike #110, Nashville, TN, USA,, +1 615 810 9388

Scrapple at Josephine

A scrapple is a method of cooking that uses every part of an animal. Chef Andy Little of Josephine serves his scrapple three different ways: traditional, Nashville Hot, or in an eggs Benedict. Late American food writer Josh Ozersky even called Little’s scrapple one of the greatest things he ever ate.

Josephine, 2316 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 292 7766

Garganelli with Pork Ragout at Rolf and Daughters

Bring out your Italian side with a non-traditional plate of pasta. The flavors of pork, spinach and tomato come together for this pasta dish from Rolf and Daughters. Garganelli verdi is a spinach pasta that gets topped with heritage pork and sarvecchio.

Rolf and Daughters, 700 Taylor St, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 866 9897

The Bird is the Word at The Mockingbird

Southern dishes are all about toppings, condiments and sides. The Bird is the Word is a classic southern dish (with a twist) that checks all three of these off the list. Executive Chef at The Mockingbird, Brian Riggenbach, creates this by covering chicken fried chicken thighs in white chorizo gravy and serving it with salsa verde mashed potatoes.

The Mockingbird, 121 12th Ave N, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 741 9900

Butterscotch Habanero Bread Pudding at Midtown Cafe

Pudding is more than a term of endearment in Nashville. It’s also a delicious dessert offered by Midtown Cafe. The tasty Butterscotch Habanero Bread Pudding is made doubly delectable by being topped with vanilla bean ice cream and white chocolate sauce.

Midtown Cafe, 102 19th Ave S, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 320 7176

Greg Brady Burger from Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint

Made from 100% natural wagyu beef, the Greg Brady Burger is just one of the tasty items off the award-winning menu at Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint. The burger impresses with its toppings- mac n’ cheese and BBQ potato chips. There’s no burger more southern than that.

Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint, 1123 3rd Ave N, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 818 0318

Biscuits and Country Ham at The Loveless Cafe

The Loveless Cafe is known for its hot biscuits and country ham. So if you try anything from the restaurant, it’s got to be the infamous duo. Biscuits are served with every meal at Loveless Cafe, so just order some ham and you’re ready to enjoy the foods that make the restaurant a staple in Nashville.

Loveless Cafe, 8400 TN-100, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 646 9700

Brunch for Two at Party Fowl

A meal and drink in one, Party Fowl serves the Brunch for Two, which is a Bloody Mary topped with hot Nashville chicken, scotch eggs, fried okra and avocado.

Party Fowl, 719 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 624 8255