Note from Whitney: I love road trips. One of the fun
things about traveling to support your team is that you get to visit new
places. When I'm on the road looking for restaurants, I'm not only
looking for good food, but also for restaurants with a local flavor.
Whether it's the cuisine, the location, or the decor, those are the places
that I try to find.
This list is for fans like me, the ones who have traveled to support
their team and are interested in getting a taste of Nashville while
they're here. Nashville has dozens of good restaurants, so this isn't a
comprehensive list by any means. I didn't even touch downtown (a fun place
to go!) , Green Hills, or the Opryland Area. Rather, it's a list of a
wide variety of places relatively near the Vanderbilt campus that I'd
recommend to a friend, all assembled in one convenient place, just the
kind of a list that I'd like to have on a road trip.
I hope you have a great time here in Music City, USA and wish the best
of luck to your team -- unless they're playing the 'Dores!
Immediate Vanderbilt area
Sam's Place Sports Bar and Grill. Located in
Hillsboro Village, Sam's is a favorite hangout for Vanderbilt students and fans
to gather to watch the games on TV. Menu is typical sports bar fare --
burgers, sandwiches, pizza -- but they do a good job with it. Added
plus is that they're open till 2 am, so you can even watch the late games
1803 21st Ave. South (615-383-3601)
11 am-2 am daily
Pancake Pantry. Located in the Hillsboro Village area
near the corner of 21st Avenue South and Blakemore, it's a local
institution. Waiting outside in line is a Nashville tradition, so don't go
there when you're in a hurry unless it's very early or very late. They're
famous for pancakes, but the scrumptious French toast and the hash
browns are favorites, too. It's a good place to look for country stars,
1796 21st Ave South (615-383-9333)
Mon-Fri 6 am-3 pm; Sat-Sun 6 am-4 pm
Sunset Grill. Also located in Hillsboro Village, it's
a great place for a really nice dinner or lunch. Upscale, a little
pricey, with trendy, exceptionally good, eclectic food that covers the
spectrum. Nice wine list, too. Reservations recommended. There's a
parking lot across street behind the restaurant.
2001 Belcourt Ave. (615-386-3663)
Mon 4:45 pm-1:30 am; Tue-Fri 11 am-1:30 am; Sat 4:45 pm-1:30 pm; Sun
4:45 pm-11:00 pm. (Late night menu after midnight)
Fido. This Hillsboro cafe gets it's unusual name from
the previous tenant of the building, Jones' Pet Shop. The old sign
still hangs over the side walk. The baristas have tattoos and piercings,
but the clientele ranges from students to young professionals to aging
hippies. Besides a variety of coffee drinks (it's a second location of
the Bongo Java Brewing Company), there's good solid food and free
wireless internet for customers.
1812 21st Ave South (615-777-3436)
Mon-Thurs 7 am-11 pm; Fri 7 am-midnight; Sat 8 am-midnight; Sun 8
SATCO. It's real name is the "San Antonio Taco
Company," but everybody calls it "SATCO." You order food from a line,
specifying exactly what ingredients you want for your tacos (soft or hard),
then take your food and maybe a bucket of beer out to the big front deck
which overlooks 21st Avenue. It isn't fancy cuisine, but it's a great
place to hang out when the weather''s nice.
416 21st Ave South (615-327-4322)
Sun-Thurs 11 am-11 pm; Fri-Sat 11 am-midnight
Rotier's. Location on
Elliston Place just a stone's throw away from Memorial Gym, Rotier's looks
like a dive, but it's famous for their burgers and milkshakes. They're
also a "meat and three". ("Meat and three" is the local phrase for a
plate with one meat and three vegetables cooked southern style, or for a
restaurant that specializes in serving them.)
2413 Elliston Place (615-327-9892)
Mon-Sat 10:30 am-9:30; closed Sunday.
Bread & Company. This bakery and restaurant is a great
place for lunch. It's located in the Borders plaza on West End directly
behind Memorial Gym. Go there for the salads, soups and incredibly
delicious sandwiches. They also have a variety of pastries, cookies and
desserts. For breakfast, omlettes are a specialty. Free wireless internet
is available to customers.
2525 West End Ave. (615-329-1400)
Mon-Fri 6:30 am- 8 pm; Sat-Sun 8 am-8 pm
Blackstone Restaurant and Brewery. This micro-brewery
and restaurant is located on West End about five blocks from Memorial
Gym. Besides excellent beer (try the Nut Brown Ale or the Chaser Pale),
the food's very good. In addition to "pub fare" includes Shepherd's Pie
and Steak and Biscuits, they've got good burgers and dinner entrees
including steak and seafood.
1918 West End Ave (615-327-9969)
Mon-Thurs 11 am-11 pm; Fri-Sat 11 am-12 am; Sun noon-10 pm
Cafe CoCo: Cafe Coco is a
combination coffee house, bar, and restaurant in an old house on Louise
Avenue, just off Elliston Place. It's one of the few places that serves
food 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including breakfast most of the
time. Food includes burgers, sandwiches, wraps, pizza, salads, pasta,
quesadillas, and desserts. An added attraction is free wireless Internet
210 Louise Ave. (615-321-2626)
24 hours a day, seven days a week
Tin Angel. Located on West End near 31st Avenue, this
"American bistro" is another place that's nice enough for a date, but
still has a neighborhood feeling. Interesting menu with salads, pasta,
chicken, seafood and vegetarian dishes with an emphasis on fresh foods.
It's got a great Sunday brunch, too.
3201 West End Ave (615-298-3444)
Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm; Fri 11am-11pm; Sat 5pm-11pm; Sun 11am-3pm
Longhorn Steakhouse. Even though it's part of the
national chain, it feels local. Music Row is only a few blocks away, and
it's popular with folks in the music biz, including an occasional country
music star. Even if you don't actually see one, it feels like a place
where you might see one.
110 Lyle Ave. (615-329-9195)
Mon-Thurs 11 am-10:30 pm; Fri 11 am-11 pm: Sat noon-11 pm; Sun 11
Elliston Place Soda Shop.
When you walk into this diner on Elliston Place, you'll feel like
you've stepped fifty years back in time. This isn't a retro diner, trying to
look like a 50s diner. It's the real thing. It's a meat-and-three, open
for breakfast and lunch. It's also known for burgers and old-fashioned
2111 Elliston Place (615-327-1090)
7 am-7pm, Mon-Fri; 7 am-5 pm, Sat; closed Sunday.
Germantown Cafe. "Germantown" is an older neighborhood
near downtown that's been undergoing a revival in the past decade or
two. The Germantown Cafe is a small, bistro-style restaurant. Nice enough
atmosphere for a date, and with an interesting and eclectic menu.
Sunday brunch includes French toast made with the homemade bread of the day,
often peach bread. Yum!
1200 Fifth Ave North (615-242-3226)
Mon-Fri 11 am-2 pm, 5pm-close; Sat 5 pm-close, Sun 10:30 am-2 pm, 5
Monell's. Also located in
Germantown, Monell's offers real, old-fashioned Southern food. With the
food, the decor, and a little imagination, you might feel like you're
sitting in Great Aunt Bea's dining room. Other guests may join you at
your table. There are no menu decisions; big bowls and platters of
salads, vegetables, meats, and bread are brought to the table and passed
around family-style. The dishes vary from day to day, but skillet fried
chicken is served at all meals, including breakfast.
1235 6th Ave. North (615-248-4747)
Mon 10:30 am-2 pm; Tue-Fri 10:30am-2pm, 5-8:30 pm; Sat 8:30 am-1
pm, 5 pm-8:30 pm; Sun 8:30 am-11 pm, 11 am-4 pm
Arnold's Country Kitchen. This meat-and-three, located
on 8th Avenue South near downtown, is a Nashville classic. The
clientele is a cross-section of Nashville, and during lunch, you're as likely
to see a Lexus as a pickup truck in the parking lot. The southern-style
food is served in a cafeteria line, and the servings are generous.
605 8th Ave. S (615-256-4455)
Mon-Fri 6 am-2:30 pm
White Trash Cafe. Located
near the Fairgrounds about 3 miles from Memorial Gym, the decor of this
meat-and-three leaves you wondering whether they're serious, whether
it's a joke, or both. It's a fun place to go to lunch with friends,
especially if they've never been before. If you want to get dessert, go
early, because once they sell out of something, it's gone. You're also at
risk of being called "Honey," so if that bothers you, don't go there!
1914 Bransford Avenue (615-383-0109)
10 am-3 pm Mon-Sat
McCabe Pub. It's a real neighborhood pub, with pine
paneling and sports memorabilia on the walls, located a couple of miles
from campus. A nice, comfy place, almost entirely filled with locals.
Food includes burgers, sandwiches, comfort food, pasta, and salads.
They also have a very tasty sour cream coconut cake and a delicious Hersey
4410 Murphy Road (615-269-9406)
Mon-Sat 11 am-11 pm (kitchen closes at 10 pm); closed Sunday
Brown's Diner. Located
less than two miles from campus just off 21st Avenue South, Brown's is a
favorite neighborhood "greasy spoon." In "Best of" contests, Brown's is
often in head-to-head contention with Rotier's for "Best Burger."
Burgers are the main attraction, and they promise "same day service." It's a
favorite spot for softball teams to gather to drink beer after games,
and every once in a while, you might spot a country music star in there,
2102 Blair Blvd. (615-269-5509)
Mon-Fri 10:45 am-11: pm; Sun 11 am-10 pm (kitchen closes about an hour
before closing time)
Loveless Cafe. The Loveless Cafe is about 15 miles
from campus out Highway 100, the extension of West End Avenue. At rush
hour, the traffic's awful, but in the morning, it's an interesting drive
with pleasant scenery. Food is strictly Southern, specializing in
country ham and southern biscuits. The new owners have spiffed up the
property, but it's still looks like the old country motel cafe that it's been
for more than 50 years.
8400 Highway 100 (615-646-9700)
7 am - 9 pm daily
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