More than hot chicken: Nashville, part 2

In my last Nashville post, we debunked Nashville’s honky tonk reputation. In today’s post, let’s uncover Nashville food myths! Hot chicken, barbecue and good ol’ southern cooking are staples in the city. But I’m going to let you in on a secret: Music City is home to some of the most diverse, innovative cuisine around!

As an avid vacation researcher, I spend a lot of time looking for outstanding restaurants my husband and I will enjoy. We gravitate toward restaurants with interesting menus featuring locally-sourced, organic food and/or sustainable practices, and we don’t turn our noses up at vegetarian menus.

Next time you’re looking for a Nashville dining spot, give these a whirl:

Epice

A Lebanese restaurant with 4.5 stars and 300+ reviews on Yelp? Sign me up. If you’re not familiar with Lebanese food, I liken it to Mediterranean, with stuffed grape leaves, pita and hummus, kabobs, etc. Epice’s decor is crisp white and contemporary, but somehow still feels warm. Service impeccable. Drinks strong. And the food? Each course better than the last. Definitely recommend as a date night destination.

Little Octopus/Bar Otaku

This restaurant left us speechless. The food was seemingly simple, but brought to a new life with flavor combinations we’d never experienced before. I’m sad to say Little Octopus closed a week after we ate there, BUT…the owner and chef revamped the spot into Bar Otaku, an izakaya serving Japanese soul food. I have no doubt it will be incredible, given our experience at Little Octopus.

Wild Cow Vegetarian Restaurant

East Nashville is right up my alley, with a quirky, artistic vibe, which is evident at Wild Cow. As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy vegetarian restaurants — I feel like sometimes they try harder so they can appeal to wider tastes — and Wild Cow didn’t disappoint! They don’t have a microwave or freezer on-site, so everything is made fresh and to order. It’s a fun and casual spot close to other shops and restaurants, perfect for an afternoon outing.

Sunflower Vegetarian Cafe

One more vegetarian stop for you is Sunflower Vegetarian Cafe. It has a mini cafeteria vibe to it, with daily chef specials to select from as you make your way through the line.  It’s a tiny space and was packed for lunch, but you won’t be disappointed. The veggie burger, which they are known for, and an Asian-inspired quinoa tofu bowl were fantastic!

Grabbagreen

I generally avoid chain restaurants when I can, but to be fair, I didn’t realize Grabbagreen was a chain when I went there. I was out in the Nashville suburbs and desperate to infuse my system with healthy food. Enter: Grabbagreen. Offering a diverse menu with smoothies, bowls, juices and more, it has something for everyone — and makes healthy food flavorful. Give it a try when you’re in a pinch.

Question: Nashville has SO MANY RESTAURANTS. I wish I had been able to try so many others. Tell me in the comments: where are some of your favorite spots to eat in Music City? I’ll add them to my list for my next visit there.

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About Stephanie @ Seeking Stephanie Travel Blog

Travel gives me an extra skip in my step to push through the workweek. Exploring new places through outdoor spaces, food, animals and music are just a few of my favorite things.