On the surface, fruit tea – a Nashville staple – is simple; its basic ingredients almost everywhere are tea, sweetener, lemonade, and fruit juice. But despite the fundamental similarities, many places in Nashville have their own take on this classic Southern beverage. Read on for a guide to some of the best places in Nashville to sample this sweet twist on standard iced tea.
Bread & Company
Commonly referred to as Bread & Co., this casual breakfast and lunch spot specializes in straightforward staples such as sandwiches, soups, and salads. It is perhaps most well known, however, for its fruit tea – to the extent that numerous bloggers and fruit tea fanatics have even done their best to replicate Bread & Co’s take on the sweet beverage. Bread & Co. is a must-visit for those looking for the quintessential Nashville fruit tea, made with just the right amount of orange juice, lemonade, and pineapple.
Founded in 1983, The Picnic Cafe has long been known for its take on classic Southern breakfast, lunch, and dessert dishes, including homemade chicken salad, quiche, casseroles, cakes, and chessor pie. It is also, however, one of the most popular spots in the entire city for fruit tea – referred to by this traditional Nashville spot as ‘Cold Picnic Punch.’ With just enough sweet fruit flavor to balance out but not overwhelm the tea base, this beverage is perfect for both visitors and locals searching for some of the best fruit tea in Nashville.
Calypso Cafe is known primarily for its affordable, eclectic array of healthy offerings (including a plethora of options for those on vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets). The restaurant also offers a nearly-perfect take on fruit tea; moderately sweet but with all the fruit-packed punch Nashville natives have come to expect of the beverage, Calypso’s version will satisfy your sweet tea craving. (Bonus: it can also be purchased in gallon-sized portions for those hoping to bring home a little slice of Nashville.)
Most visitors to Nashville have, at the very least, heard of the Loveless Cafe and their legendary biscuits. (In fact, visitors often endure hour-plus waits to snag a table at this Southern-style comfort food eatery.) And while its food offerings – which include classic Southern staples such as biscuits and gravy, hot chicken, and chicken and dumplings – are certainly worth the hype, their fruit tea punch is also a can’t-miss. In fact, the beverage is so popular that Loveless even published a copy of their recipe, which stands out from many Nashville rivals due to its addition of cinnamon.
Located in the heart of Nashville’s Sylvan Park, a semi-residential neighborhood southwest of downtown, Star Bagel offers some of the best bagels in the Nashville area. This no-frills spot is a favorite amongst locals for its affordable prices and freshly baked bagels – and, of course, for its fruit tea. A classic take on the Nashville staple, Star Bagel’s fruit tea pairs perfectly with one of the bakery’s custom bagel sandwiches.
Frothy Monkey is one of Nashville’s most popular local coffee shop chains, and for good reason: its espresso drinks are consistently some of the best in town, and its full menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner offerings will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters (especially recommended: their build-your-own omelets and seasonal lattes). If you’re searching for an alternative – or an addition – to your daily coffee fix, however, Frothy’s iced fruit tea – made with just the perfect level of sweetness – is a failsafe option.
Hillsboro Village’s Fido is a favorite for locals, tourists, and college students alike. With perhaps the most comprehensive food menu of any Nashville coffee shop, this restaurant/cafe has something for every taste palette, from its all-day breakfast to a variety of off-the-wall seasonal coffee drinks to its robust selection of pastries (including a to-die-for blueberry lavender cake). Much like Frothy Monkey, however, while the joint may be most well-known for its caffeinated beverages, it also offers its own take on fruit tea. While Fido’s version may be a little more fruity and a little less tea-like, it is nonetheless a delicious way to quench your thirst on a warm summer day. (Or during winter, fruit tea in Nashville knows no seasonal boundaries.)
While a locally-owned independent burrito shop is perhaps not the first place that would jump to mind for those in search of classic Nashville fruit tea, Baja Burrito – located in Nashville’s Berry Hill neighborhood – is a must-try for its take on the Music City staple. Its bajafruit tea will satisfy any craving for the fruity sweet tea that you may be harboring, and while you’re at it, be sure to try a made-to-order burrito or taco plate.