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The 18 Essential Nashville Restaurants, July 2013

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enash-icon.jpgWelcome to the inaugural Nashville Eater 18. Here we try to help answer the question,"Can you recommend a restaurant..," for both locals and visitors alike. We have covered a wide array of cuisines, geographic areas and price points, so there is something for every occasion or craving. Every few months, we will revisit this list and add restaurants that have stepped up their game or were too new to be included.

Don't see your favorite? Please leave us your thoughts in the comments. It's much more therapeutic than yelling at your computer.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Arnold's Country Kitchen

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No trip is complete without a pilgrimage to this pioneering meat and three. Serving lines of hungry Nashvillians and tourists alike for over three decades, this James Beard America's Classic award winner is the gold standard by which all others are judged. Plus, what's not to like about a restaurant where dessert comes first? [Photo via TripAdvisor]

Capitol Grille

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Located downtown in the historic Hermitage Hotel, the Capitol Grille is a standard bearer for fine dining in Nashville. Executive chef Tyler Brown is serious about the local movement, sourcing his ingredients from the Farm at Glen Leven, run by the restaurant since 2010. And while you're there, make sure you stop in for a drink at the Oak Bar, one of the city's best.

The Catbird Seat

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No other restaurant in Middle Tennessee has garnered as much national attention as The Catbird Seat. With 32 seats wrapped around a U-shaped kitchen, diners have the opportunity to interact with the chefs as they are taken on a set, multi-course journey. With the very recent departure of Josh Habiger, one-half of the executive chef team, there are sure to be a few changes. But it will no doubt be smooth sailing under the continued watch of chef Erik Anderson. [Photo via Nashville Lifestyles]

City House

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This Germantown hot spot has garnered near universal praise since opening at the end of 2007. Chef Tandy Wilson's rustic offerings change frequently, based on the freshest product available, and his house-cured meats are a menu highlight. And judging by his turn as a recent James Beard nominee for Best Chef Southeast, there is no slowing down. [Photo via 365Nashville]

F. Scott's Restaurant and Jazz Bar

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This Green Hills' institution, in operation for over 25 years, has many times over been the launching pad for some of Nashville's best culinary talent. Currently, executive chef Kevin Ramquist, a long time veteran of F.Scott's, is winning over diners with his unique French/Southern blend of cooking. And for the best deal in town, head there after 9 p.m., when all menu items are half price in the dining room. [Photo via 10Best]

Flyte World Dining and Wine

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Since opening in 2006, Flyte has consistently been one of the most interesting dining experiences in Nashville. Executive chef Matt Lackey, recently named a 2013 Eater Young Gun, has brought true focus to the menu, utilizing modern techniques to highlight the best local products. Don't miss out on pastry chef Tony Galzin's unique creations and the best by-the-glass wine list in the city.

Kien Giang Restaurant

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Over the years, a number of Vietnamese eateries have made their home along Charlotte Pike. But with over two decades behind it, this is still the one to beat. While steaming bowls of pho are the main attraction, don't miss out on the fresh spring rolls or the classic banh mi sandwich. And don't forget to bring cash, no cards accepted. [Photo via Tennessean]

Korea House

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Located in a nondescript strip mall on Charlotte Pike, you can expect big flavor out of this tiny space. Run by the Choi family, all the traditional dishes, such as bibimbap and bulgogi, are there. No frills, just good food cooked with care.

La Hacienda Taqueria Mexican Restaurant

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While Nashville has an impressive array of Mexican restaurants to choose from, this colorful landmark on Nolensville Road is king. With a voluminous menu, there is something for everyone. For more adventurous dining, try the tripe or beef tongue tacos. And be sure to stop in for their weekend specials, such as the hearty goat meat stew. [Photo via Nashville Life]

Loveless Cafe

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Admittedly, the crush of tourists here can sometimes be a little overwhelming, but for anyone with an appreciation of country cooking, the Loveless Cafe is an essential stop. Even though their legendary biscuits tend to be the main focus, don't miss out on other items such as the fried chicken and homemade desserts. [Photo via Benton.us.com]

Marché Artisan Food

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While chef Margot McCormack first put East Nashville on the culinary map with her eponymous upscale restaurant, Marche is the younger, more casual sibling that draws the crowds. Serving light, seasonal fare for every meal of the day, Marche perhaps shines brightest on the weekends, offering one of the best brunches in town. [Photo via Delta Sky Mag]

Martin's Bar-B-Que

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This temple to smoked meats, run by award winning pitmaster Pat Martin, continues to draw Nashvillians from their usual stomping grounds and down to Nolensville. Try their classic 'Redneck Taco,' or go for the ribs with Memphis dry rub. And with a new location just opened in Mt. Juliet and one planned for Belmont, it's even easier to go 'whole hog.'

Mitchell Deli

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Pound-for-pound the best sandwiches in the city. Opened in East Nashville in 2008, the small deli is consistently packed with an eclectic lunch crowd. Be sure to check out their daily specials, including the much-loved Monday special: Asian flank steak. [Photo via Nashville Lifestyles]

Monell's Dining & Catering

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It doesn't get much more Southern than Monell's. Housed in a 19th century Victorian in historic Germantown, dishes such as spinach lasagna and skillet fried chicken are passed around the table family-style. Be prepared for a wait on the weekends, their country breakfast is legendary. [Photo via Vanderbilt.Scout.com]

Pancake Pantry

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It's not difficult to find the Pancake Pantry. Just head towards Hillsboro Village and look for the line wrapped around the building. Owned and operated by the Baldwin family since 1961, this true house of pancakes has hordes of devoted followers lining up every morning to get their fill of everything from sweet potato to Santa Fe cornmeal pancakes.

The Pharmacy

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This East Nashville neighborhood spot quickly rose through the ranks of the city's best burger joints. With a solid selection of wursts, a rotating selection of beers on tap, old-school house-made sodas and floats and a great outdoor space, The Pharmacy does it right. [Photo via ElizabethGatlin.com]

Prince's Hot Chicken Shack

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70 years as Nashville's original 'hot chicken shack.' 2013 James Beard Foundation America's Classic. Enough said. [Photo via RoadFood.com]

Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant

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Just off Main Street in downtown Franklin sits Puckett's, the most prominent expansion of the original storefront eatery. Owned and operated by Andy Marshall, it serves up the classics right, but it also serves as a popular live music venue, hosting local singers and songwriters most every day of the week. [Photo via FranklinHomePage.com]

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Arnold's Country Kitchen

No trip is complete without a pilgrimage to this pioneering meat and three. Serving lines of hungry Nashvillians and tourists alike for over three decades, this James Beard America's Classic award winner is the gold standard by which all others are judged. Plus, what's not to like about a restaurant where dessert comes first? [Photo via TripAdvisor]

Capitol Grille

Located downtown in the historic Hermitage Hotel, the Capitol Grille is a standard bearer for fine dining in Nashville. Executive chef Tyler Brown is serious about the local movement, sourcing his ingredients from the Farm at Glen Leven, run by the restaurant since 2010. And while you're there, make sure you stop in for a drink at the Oak Bar, one of the city's best.

The Catbird Seat

No other restaurant in Middle Tennessee has garnered as much national attention as The Catbird Seat. With 32 seats wrapped around a U-shaped kitchen, diners have the opportunity to interact with the chefs as they are taken on a set, multi-course journey. With the very recent departure of Josh Habiger, one-half of the executive chef team, there are sure to be a few changes. But it will no doubt be smooth sailing under the continued watch of chef Erik Anderson. [Photo via Nashville Lifestyles]

City House

This Germantown hot spot has garnered near universal praise since opening at the end of 2007. Chef Tandy Wilson's rustic offerings change frequently, based on the freshest product available, and his house-cured meats are a menu highlight. And judging by his turn as a recent James Beard nominee for Best Chef Southeast, there is no slowing down. [Photo via 365Nashville]

F. Scott's Restaurant and Jazz Bar

This Green Hills' institution, in operation for over 25 years, has many times over been the launching pad for some of Nashville's best culinary talent. Currently, executive chef Kevin Ramquist, a long time veteran of F.Scott's, is winning over diners with his unique French/Southern blend of cooking. And for the best deal in town, head there after 9 p.m., when all menu items are half price in the dining room. [Photo via 10Best]

Flyte World Dining and Wine

Since opening in 2006, Flyte has consistently been one of the most interesting dining experiences in Nashville. Executive chef Matt Lackey, recently named a 2013 Eater Young Gun, has brought true focus to the menu, utilizing modern techniques to highlight the best local products. Don't miss out on pastry chef Tony Galzin's unique creations and the best by-the-glass wine list in the city.

Kien Giang Restaurant

Over the years, a number of Vietnamese eateries have made their home along Charlotte Pike. But with over two decades behind it, this is still the one to beat. While steaming bowls of pho are the main attraction, don't miss out on the fresh spring rolls or the classic banh mi sandwich. And don't forget to bring cash, no cards accepted. [Photo via Tennessean]

Korea House

Located in a nondescript strip mall on Charlotte Pike, you can expect big flavor out of this tiny space. Run by the Choi family, all the traditional dishes, such as bibimbap and bulgogi, are there. No frills, just good food cooked with care.

La Hacienda Taqueria Mexican Restaurant

While Nashville has an impressive array of Mexican restaurants to choose from, this colorful landmark on Nolensville Road is king. With a voluminous menu, there is something for everyone. For more adventurous dining, try the tripe or beef tongue tacos. And be sure to stop in for their weekend specials, such as the hearty goat meat stew. [Photo via Nashville Life]

Loveless Cafe

Admittedly, the crush of tourists here can sometimes be a little overwhelming, but for anyone with an appreciation of country cooking, the Loveless Cafe is an essential stop. Even though their legendary biscuits tend to be the main focus, don't miss out on other items such as the fried chicken and homemade desserts. [Photo via Benton.us.com]

Marché Artisan Food

While chef Margot McCormack first put East Nashville on the culinary map with her eponymous upscale restaurant, Marche is the younger, more casual sibling that draws the crowds. Serving light, seasonal fare for every meal of the day, Marche perhaps shines brightest on the weekends, offering one of the best brunches in town. [Photo via Delta Sky Mag]

Martin's Bar-B-Que

This temple to smoked meats, run by award winning pitmaster Pat Martin, continues to draw Nashvillians from their usual stomping grounds and down to Nolensville. Try their classic 'Redneck Taco,' or go for the ribs with Memphis dry rub. And with a new location just opened in Mt. Juliet and one planned for Belmont, it's even easier to go 'whole hog.'

Mitchell Deli

Pound-for-pound the best sandwiches in the city. Opened in East Nashville in 2008, the small deli is consistently packed with an eclectic lunch crowd. Be sure to check out their daily specials, including the much-loved Monday special: Asian flank steak. [Photo via Nashville Lifestyles]

Monell's Dining & Catering

It doesn't get much more Southern than Monell's. Housed in a 19th century Victorian in historic Germantown, dishes such as spinach lasagna and skillet fried chicken are passed around the table family-style. Be prepared for a wait on the weekends, their country breakfast is legendary. [Photo via Vanderbilt.Scout.com]

Pancake Pantry