A Tasting Tour of the Best East Nashville Restaurants
The next time you find yourself in East Nashville, check out some of the best dining this side of town has to offer.
When you’ve finished scouring the best sightseeing spots in downtown Nashville, you will probably be ready to venture a little away from the main tourist venues and see what else the city has to offer. Head to East Nashville, a largely residential and business district outside the city center, to delve into Music City life in a whole new way. This is a beautiful part of town filled with public parks and bordered by the Cumberland River, and it can provide you and your family with a great way to spend a day in the city. While you’re visiting East Nashville, be sure to check out one or more of the excellent restaurants that this part of town is known for, and relax with your meal in a more open and spacious Nashville district.
Lockeland Table is a popular community-driven dining experience located in one of Nashville’s most historic districts. The restaurant is located in a building that dates back to the 1930s, when it housed a dry goods store, and the storefront has been lovingly rebuilt to look just as it would have all those years ago. Inside, the restaurant has an industrial, pseudo-rustic vibe that gives it an inviting atmosphere with a modern charm that is just as pleasing to the eye as the menu is to the taste. Locals flock to the Lockeland Table to enjoy community events, as well as the Community Hour, Monday through Saturday from 4pm to 6pm. During this nightly event, part of the restaurant’s earnings go to support the Lockeland Design Center.
Order some steamed mussels with arugula, fennel, saffron, and orange to start your meal in style, or choose the locally-sourced chicken liver pate with bacon fat and smoked peach preserves in a jar for something uniquely Tennessee. Try the duck with smoked peach barbecue sauce for your entrée, or go for the more classic locally-made spaghetti with house-made meatballs instead. For dessert, try the Tennessee apple crisp made with brown butter cinnamon caramel and topped with vanilla gelato and spiced pecans.
Lockeland Table is located at 1520 Woodland Street in Nashville.
The modern vibe of Little Octopus fits in perfectly with the East Nashville scene, and visitors and locals both flock to this restaurant to enjoy a wide variety of taste sensations. The restaurant’s influence comes from Miami, where meals are largely based around seafood, and flavors perfectly blend the exotic with the local. At Little Octopus, these beach-inspired tastes make their home in Tennessee, alongside fresh ingredients from local sources that make the dishes really pop.
Enjoy some raw oysters with lime and hot sauce or shrimp ceviche with Worcestershire and aioli for one of the tastiest raw options in Nashville. If you prefer a different kind of meal, try a cold cooked king crab with Dijon mustard, or go for a green papaya salad with mint and cilantro. For a hot dish, try the grilled scallops with fermented honey, braised lentils, and kimchi, or the steak with butternut squash and truffle mole. Those with more adventurous tastes might like to try the Congee, which is made with shiitake mushrooms, pumpkin, and the infamous durian fruit. If you still have room for more when dessert rolls around, don’t miss out on the Pear Brulee with limoncello!
Little Octopus is located at 604 Gallatin Avenue in Nashville.
If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, stop by The Treehouse. It’s so far away from the public eye that it is located in an alleyway, so you might have to do a little exploring to find it. Once home to a famous fiddle player, the building was converted in 2012 into the popular restaurant and bar that it is today. Many of the restaurant’s ingredients come from its own farm, which is located about an hour’s drive away from the city, so the food is always fresh and frequently organic at this East Nashville eatery.
Begin your meal with the aptly named Simple Salad, made of goat cheese and pickled trinity topped with red wine vinaigrette, or order some charred carrots with onion, bacon, garlic, and serrano chiles to spice up your appetite. For your main meal, try the chicken fricassee, a classic favorite served over egg noodles with peas, potatoes, and root veggies. The local trout is another great selection, paired with green beans, potato dumplings, and leeks. The Treehouse’s selections do change depending on what is available at the time, so call ahead if there’s something specific you have in mind to try when you visit.
The Treehouse is located at 1011 Clearview Avenue in Nashville.
Holland House is a newcomer to Nashville’s restaurant scene, having only been open since 2010, but it has grown into a popular place in just five short years. This restaurant is located in what was once a small town grocery store, and now, Holland House strives to give back to the community just as much as that little grocery once did. The food served at Holland House is elegant but simple, and the atmosphere is equally sophisticated and relaxed. Come for a casual dinner with friends or take a business lunch here to enjoy tasty dishes and excellent cocktails as well.
Order an appetizer of crispy sardines in chorizo oil to start your meal off right, then move on to a serving of lamb Merguez with potatoes and cabbage to really fill you up. The tri-tip steak frites is also quite good here, and for dessert, try the chocolate pudding with espresso crumble, butterscotch, and bee pollen. The cocktails here are just as good as the food, so give one a try if you have the chance to do so. The Back to the Bolshoi is a delicious treat made with local bourbon, vermouth, and bitters, and this is also one of the only places in the city to get an authentic Sazerac. The Fair Verona is another big hit from the bar, which includes vodka, agave, cucumber, lime, and crème de peche.
Holland House is located t 935 West Eastland Avenue in Nashville.
Five Points Pizza
Five Points Pizza is easily the most popular place to grab a pie in East Nashville. This pizza restaurant is almost always hopping, particularly because it is open seven days a week, and stays open until 3am on weekend nights. If you’re looking to grab a late night bite, look no further than Five Points Pizza! Of course, this is a great restaurant at any time of the day, so if you enjoy hand tossed, homemade pizzas packed with flavor and tons of tasty ingredients, be sure to stop by.
Stop by on weekdays between 2pm and 6pm for happy hour, when you can grab a slice of pizza and a beer for just $8. Otherwise, if you’re looking for a whole pizza to share with your family or friends, go for the Zeus, topped with spicy capicola, pepperoni, banana peppers, black olives, red onions, and feta cheese. The Hot Hawaiian is a tasty twist on the classic, with pineapple and jalapenos complementing the spicy capicola on top. For a very hot experience, try the Habanero Cream Sauce pizza, topped with tomatoes, bacon, garlic, onions, basil, and mozzarella.
Five Points Pizza is located t 1012 Woodland Street in Nashville.
Despite its strange name, The Pharmacy is an incredible place to eat in East Nashville, and one you definitely shouldn’t miss. With a heavy German influence in all of its dishes and an excellent biergarten as well, The Pharmacy seems like it would be a straight-up German restaurant, but this isn’t the case. On top of its excellent wursts and beers, this restaurant also serves tasty burgers and a wide variety of soda fountain drinks such as ice cream sodas, phosphates, and more. There’s a little of everything at The Pharmacy, and once you’ve sampled its offerings, you’ll want to visit again and again!
Bratwurst is the way to go for your first visit to The Pharmacy. If you really like German sausage, order the Biergarten Platter, which comes with a choice of three wurst as well as sauerkraut and a mustard selection. Of course, the burgers here are excellent too, and the standard Pharmacy Burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mustard, and yellow cheddar cheese is a classic you won’t want to miss. Wash it all down with a Kentucky Mint Phosphate for a unique experience you’re sure to love!
The Pharmacy is located at 731 Mcferrin Avenue in Nashville.
I Dream of Weenie
Technically, I Dream of Weenie isn’t a restaurant, but is in fact a popular stationary food truck with a deck attached to it. There is no seating available, and the whole operation is housed inside a classic VW bus, but if the weather is nice when you visit, you can bring a blanket and enjoy your food picnic-style on the grass surrounding the bus itself. This is very much a local-friendly place to grab a bite, so you might not run into many other tourists when you visit. Even so, it gets busy during lunchtime!
Since I Dream of Weenie is a food truck, the menu isn’t vast, but the few items it does contain are excellent all around. Try the Rebel Yelp, which is a hot dog topped with mustard, onions, jalapeno peppers, and Tennessee chow chow (cabbage and pepper relish). If you prefer simpler flavors, go for the Dill Weenie, which has only mustard, onions, and a dill pickle spear on top. The Pimento Cheese Weenie is a favorite with kids who love the taste of a hot dog piled high with house-made pimento cheese. Stop by on Sunday and have a weenie brunch, including an eggs Benedict weenie.
I Dream of Weenie is located at 113 South 11th Street in Nashville.
East Nashville is packed with plenty to see and do to keep you occupied for quite a few days. While you’re there, be sure to visit the best restaurants in the area, and see for yourself why these eateries keep locals and visitors both coming back again and again.
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