1. Rolf & Daughters

When chefs visit Nashville from out of town, this Germantown eatery is almost always on their eat-inerary. Starting off with one of the most eclectic wine lists in Nashville designed to get your juices flowing for an extraordinary meal, Rolf & Daughters is a delight with salvo after salvo of small plates from the kitchen served in a welcoming space with a neighborhood vibe. Dishes exhibit unexpected bursts of flavor from ingredients preserved, fermented or pickled as part of chef Philip Krajeck’s culinary obsessions which change frequently.

2. Silver Sands Restaurant
Hope Gardens

If you’re one of the many Nashvillians still licking your wounds over the closure of the city’s most iconic meat-and-three restaurant, Arnold’s Country Kitchen, we may have an option to help you work through your sadness. Silver Sands Cafe also serves a rotating menu of delicious Southern classics from a steam table just like Arnold’s, and your choices of dishes are even more soulful. Daily dishes include fried chicken and fish along with pork chops and pig feet. Oxtails on Thursday and Friday are standouts worth marking your calendar for.

3. Butcher & Bee
East Nashville

Riffing on Mediterranean cuisine using Southern ingredients is the calling card of this popular East Side eatery that offers a variety of small mezze plates and dips as starters along with large-format dishes served family-style for the table. The whipped feta with fermented honey is the “can’t miss” appetizer, or diners can take advantage of the “Order Like a Pro” option and receive all the mezzes coursed out like a meal. Another fun opportunity is the “Eat Like a Chef” deal where the kitchen sends out a series of their current favorite dishes for a fixed price.

4. Yolan

Chef Tony Mantuano earned Michelin stars for his work at Chicago’s gone-but-not-forgotten restaurant, Spiaggia, and now he has brought his immense talents with Italian food to Nashville at Yolan. Diners can choose from an à la carte menu or five-course or eight-course tasting menus for a seasonal culinary tour through Italy featuring desserts crafted by James Beard-nominated pastry chef Noelle Marchetti. For an even more intimate experience, opt for “La Tavola en la Cucina,” a table literally in the kitchen where you can watch the artists at work.

5. Tailor Nashville

Chef Vivek Surti is a first-generation American of Indian descent who tells the story of his culinary journeys through prix fixe dining experiences that are really more like an intimate dinner party. The engaging chef introduces each course to the room, sharing the philosophy behind and the evolution of each dish, many of which combine spices and flavors he learned about cooking at his mother’s side in their home kitchen with modern techniques that elevate the cuisine to fine dining status. Thoughtful optional beverage pairings complement each plate, and they’re pretty much mandatory.

6. Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack
Nolensville Rd. & Downtown

The legendary inventor of Nashville’s most iconic regional dish, hot chicken, is still the champion. The newest location in the Assembly Food Hall downtown makes it even more convenient to get your fix. Serving objectively fantastic fried chicken as a base (even if you order it “mild,” wimp), Prince’s has heat levels to please and punish any fan of the fiery fowl. Often described as a spiritual experience, eating the hottest levels of Prince’s chicken may actually make you feel like you have left your body.

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