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Dumplings, whole fish, and shrimp on various white plates on bright red menus with Asian script Sunda

Where to Celebrate the Lunar New Year in Nashville

These spots will help you usher in the year of the dragon

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Kicking off on February 10, Lunar New Year is timed with the lunar calendar and marks the arrival of spring. It’s one of the most important celebrations in many Asian cultures, marked by honoring ancestors and deities — and enjoying plenty of fireworks, parades, and, of course, food. 2024 welcomes the year of the wood dragon, which symbolizes qualities like power, honor, luck, and success.

Here’s where to celebrate Lunar New Year in Nashville.

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This Gulch staple serves up excellent Asian cuisine all year long but will offer a special Lunar New Year menu during the month of February. Enjoy special mains like cumin lamb dumplings with pickled mustard greens, scallop and shrimp-topped seafood lo mein, pan-seared rainbow trout, and a “luck and wealth” assortment of cookies and oranges. A special cocktail — the Lion’s Tail Cocktail with Suntory Toki whisky, allspice dram, lime, and bitters — will also be offered along with sake.

Dumplings in soy sauce in a white bowl Sunda

On February 24, celebrate the Year of the Dragon at the W Nashville’s rooftop lounge, Proof. From 7 to midnight, you’ll find a special Lunar New Year signature cocktail, a live DJ, and Lion Dancer performances at 8 and 10 p.m. When you purchase the Lunar New Year specialty cocktail, part of the proceeds will benefit API Middle Tennessee, and you’ll also receive a red envelope with a surprise giveaway inside. Admission to the event is free.

Red paper lanterns hanging from a black ceiling Proof

Plaza Mariachi

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In partnership with the Chinese Arts Alliance, Plaza Mariachi will host a Chinese New Year celebration on Saturday, February 17 from 4 to 6 p.m. The free event will feature arts and crafts, Chinese naming, calligraphy, a martial arts workshop, and Chinese dance, with the plaza’s collection of international restaurants open for dining.

Xiao Bao

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This Charleston transplant opened its doors in East Nashville in fall 2022, delighting diners with their bao buns, dumplings, and noodles ever since. This year, the restaurant is teaming up with chef Jonathan Wu of New York’s Michelin-rated Fung Tu for its annual Lunar New Year Dragon dinner on February 11. Three seatings will be offered: 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8 p.m. and tickets are $91 per person (add $50 for the optional wine pairing). Tickets can be purchased here.

Steam Boys

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Get your Chinese comfort food fix at Steam Boys, which has expanded to six locations around Middle Tennessee. Enjoy bao buns or dumplings steamed, boiled, or seared, but you can also opt for a brothy noodle bowl to warm you from the inside out.

Mi Kitchen

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This Cool Springs strip mall find not only impresses with its modern, striking interiors but the tapas-style menu features hit after hit. Celebrate with friends over sharable plates like soy-glazed steak served with feta grits, tuna or salmon poke, or the local favorite Korean-style wings.

Sichuan Hot Pot & Asian Cuisine

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Gather around a steaming hot pot to celebrate the Lunar New Year at Nolensville Pike’s Sichuan Hot Pot. Choose from various broths ranging from herbal to spicy, and tomato-based or curry, each served with generous portions of add-ins. If you’re a hot pot first-timer, the attentive staff is excellent at helping you navigate the menu.

Punk Wok

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While Punk Wok may be known for its sushi, the scratch-made noodle options here are not to be missed. Choose from vegetable, beef, or chicken lo mein, or try the popular dan dan noodles topped with ground pork, chilis, Sichuan peppercorns, pickled mustard, and sesame paste.

From crispy chicken dishes to well-dressed fried rice bowls, there are plenty of hearty options at East Nashville’s TKO. Described as “Chinese food-adjacent,” the restaurant regularly serves up specials that put a unique twist on traditional dishes, like the highly-coveted steak and gravy-packed bao bun. The only thing better than the menu here is the Instagram account and its unhinged captions—definitely worth a follow.

Sunda

This Gulch staple serves up excellent Asian cuisine all year long but will offer a special Lunar New Year menu during the month of February. Enjoy special mains like cumin lamb dumplings with pickled mustard greens, scallop and shrimp-topped seafood lo mein, pan-seared rainbow trout, and a “luck and wealth” assortment of cookies and oranges. A special cocktail — the Lion’s Tail Cocktail with Suntory Toki whisky, allspice dram, lime, and bitters — will also be offered along with sake.

Dumplings in soy sauce in a white bowl Sunda

Proof

On February 24, celebrate the Year of the Dragon at the W Nashville’s rooftop lounge, Proof. From 7 to midnight, you’ll find a special Lunar New Year signature cocktail, a live DJ, and Lion Dancer performances at 8 and 10 p.m. When you purchase the Lunar New Year specialty cocktail, part of the proceeds will benefit API Middle Tennessee, and you’ll also receive a red envelope with a surprise giveaway inside. Admission to the event is free.

Red paper lanterns hanging from a black ceiling Proof

Plaza Mariachi

In partnership with the Chinese Arts Alliance, Plaza Mariachi will host a Chinese New Year celebration on Saturday, February 17 from 4 to 6 p.m. The free event will feature arts and crafts, Chinese naming, calligraphy, a martial arts workshop, and Chinese dance, with the plaza’s collection of international restaurants open for dining.

Xiao Bao

This Charleston transplant opened its doors in East Nashville in fall 2022, delighting diners with their bao buns, dumplings, and noodles ever since. This year, the restaurant is teaming up with chef Jonathan Wu of New York’s Michelin-rated Fung Tu for its annual Lunar New Year Dragon dinner on February 11. Three seatings will be offered: 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8 p.m. and tickets are $91 per person (add $50 for the optional wine pairing). Tickets can be purchased here.

Steam Boys

Get your Chinese comfort food fix at Steam Boys, which has expanded to six locations around Middle Tennessee. Enjoy bao buns or dumplings steamed, boiled, or seared, but you can also opt for a brothy noodle bowl to warm you from the inside out.

Mi Kitchen

This Cool Springs strip mall find not only impresses with its modern, striking interiors but the tapas-style menu features hit after hit. Celebrate with friends over sharable plates like soy-glazed steak served with feta grits, tuna or salmon poke, or the local favorite Korean-style wings.

Sichuan Hot Pot & Asian Cuisine

Gather around a steaming hot pot to celebrate the Lunar New Year at Nolensville Pike’s Sichuan Hot Pot. Choose from various broths ranging from herbal to spicy, and tomato-based or curry, each served with generous portions of add-ins. If you’re a hot pot first-timer, the attentive staff is excellent at helping you navigate the menu.

Punk Wok

While Punk Wok may be known for its sushi, the scratch-made noodle options here are not to be missed. Choose from vegetable, beef, or chicken lo mein, or try the popular dan dan noodles topped with ground pork, chilis, Sichuan peppercorns, pickled mustard, and sesame paste.

TKO

From crispy chicken dishes to well-dressed fried rice bowls, there are plenty of hearty options at East Nashville’s TKO. Described as “Chinese food-adjacent,” the restaurant regularly serves up specials that put a unique twist on traditional dishes, like the highly-coveted steak and gravy-packed bao bun. The only thing better than the menu here is the Instagram account and its unhinged captions—definitely worth a follow.

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