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The New Restaurants and Pop-Ups That Excited Nashville Dining Experts in 2021

Nashville food writers and chefs reflect back on the most exciting new restaurants and pop-ups to open this year

As 2021 draws to a close, and, as is tradition, Eater surveyed Nashville food writers and restaurant industry authorities on everything from their favorite new restaurant or pop-up and best meal of the year to what they hope to start seeing on the city’s dining scene in 2022.

This time, we asked our experts to share their favorite new restaurant to open or pop-up from 2021. Check back throughout the rest of the week for more Year in Eater feedback from the experts and from our readers.

Nancy Vienneau, food journalist, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine: St. Vito’s chef Michael Hanna’s Sicilian-inspired food, especially since his residency at Hathorne, is super. I look forward to seeing where and when he lands in a place of his own — which I think he will.

Chris Chamberlain, food writer at Nashville Scene, Sounds Like Nashville, and other publications: Andrew Carmellini’s two restaurants in the W (The Dutch and Carne Mare) have been an exciting addition to the scene.

Ellen Fort, senior editor and food writer at Saveur Magazine, former editor of Eater SF: Alebrije! Kisser BBQ!

Andy Little, executive chef at Josephine and James Beard semi-finalist: Locust.

Delia Jo Ramsey, Eater Nashville editor: Beyond echoing once again Locust and The Continental, Emery Wood Fired, Audrey, Drusie & Darr, The Twelve Thirty Club, Assembly Food Hall, Church & Union, the Continental, and Carne Mare were all big scores for Nashville. The Myints’ International Market and Elliston Place Soda Shop’s return were also news we all needed in 2021.