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Where To Eat In Nashville, Downtown

Old Jul 23rd, 2011, 01:32 PM
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Where To Eat In Nashville, Downtown

We have one night, we're near the Convention Center, and want to eat non-tourist or where locals go, too. Would prefer to be able to walk to dinner. Want a good and memorable meal that perhaps we could get only in Nashville. Who are the city's top chefs?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2011, 02:16 PM
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Well, the city's top chefs generally aren't right downtown, so if you need to stay in the downtown area or don't have a car, that could be a problem. It depends on what you want - are you going for traditional Southern food? Fine dining or just a mid-priced good meal?

For traditional Southern food, Puckett's Grocery started a downtown branch recently, and I really enjoyed the one meal I've had there so far. (The first location is in Leiper's Fork, a tiny town southwest of the city.) Demos's is a Nashville institution, and is great especially if you don't have adventurous eaters, but it's not stupendous food (it's good, just not amazing). Both of those are easily walkable from the convention center, along with some other places.

If you have a car and are willing to drive just a little bit, that gives you MUCH more flexibility. Monell's is family-style Southern food in Germantown (the area just barely north of downtown). It is a LOT of food. Make sure you know dinner hours - their web site says they're only open till 8:30. Also in that area are Germantown Cafe and City House. Across the river in East Nashville is Margot (probably 10 minutes from the convention center). I haven't been to Margot itself, but the chef's other restaurant, Marche, is my favorite place in town for brunch. It's great, simple, seasonal food (though not really "Southern," if that's what you're going for). In the West End/Vanderbilt area, also about ten minutes from downtown, there's tayst - also good for seasonal, local food. Cabana in that area is fun for a trendy spot, and I also like Sunset Grill across the street. Midtown Grill, closer to downtown, is owned by the same person as Sunset, though I haven't tried it.

If you really want "top chefs," Arnold Myint from one of the seasons of Top Chef has three restaurants in town: PM, ChaChah and Suzy Wong's House of Yum. PM is Asian fusion but has a really great wasabi burger; ChaChah is focused on tapas. Both of those are in the Belmont/Vanderbilt area. Suzy Wong's is, as you might expect, also Asian-inspired, and is on Church Street west of downtown.

And if all else fails, check out nashvilleoriginals.com - it's a group of independent, local places, all kinds of prices and cuisines.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2011, 02:30 PM
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We visited Nashville back in June and had a great meal at the Capitol Grille in the Hermitage Hotel. We had another good meal upstairs at Merchants. I realize they are probably touristy, but the food was good.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2011, 03:18 PM
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I'd say "Monell's." It's worth the short taxi ride -- if you want authentic, delicious regional food.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2011, 04:15 PM
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Another vote for Monells. Go for breakfast which is awesome.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2011, 08:28 PM
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I also agree about Monells. Great food and service.
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Old Jul 24th, 2011, 12:44 PM
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Demos is a local restaurant downtown-not top chefs, but good. There are plenty of locals there.
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Old Jul 25th, 2011, 07:50 AM
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Another voice here enthusiastically in favor of Monell's. If you're a hearty walker and don't mind the hills in the area, you can get there on foot. A cab will work, too.

Arnold's is a lunchtime cafeteria style meat-and-three located slightly south of downtown that is also excellent. It's a bit of a walk, the place is a little dumpy. The area where it's located feels a bit industrial and scruffy, but should be okay in the daytime -- or consider a cab or bus.

Jack's BBQ is right downtown on Broadway and does good BBQ.

The Pancake Pantry is a worthy place for breakfast, located a decent bit west of downtown and not that far from Vanderbilt. You'd need to take a bus or cab there, too far to walk. Go early, because long lines can form there, especially on weekends.

Especially if you have a car, consider finding a hot chicken spot. Prince's is one well known example (haven't been) -- note that the area where it's located is supposedly dicey. I've been to Bolton's, which is a hearty walk across the bridge from downtown -- and while the place is really dumpy, the food is excellent.
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Old Jul 25th, 2011, 08:12 AM
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Las Paletas for a snack. The only thing they have are popsicles $2.50. Guaranteed to be the best you've ever had.
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 09:21 AM
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Thanks for the helpful replies. I think we'll try ChaChah. We liked the online menu.
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