Favorite restaurants in 2018 (so far)

Here are some of the highlights from this year so far in the realm of restaurants in Nashville. There are new restaurants and old alike. Hope you enjoy.

bartaco – This one will always be on the list of good restaurants in Nashville. I’m definitely biased with a boyfriend who is a manager but I never get tired of their tacos. Plus the margaritas are the best in town. The new secret lobster taco is fire! It is super popular so I usually sit at the bar instead of waiting for a table. 

5th & Taylor – I do work here so am obviously biased but I definitely think it is one of the best restaurants in the city. The beef tartare app is my favorite. We also just started a new crab claw dish that is delicious. Can’t go wrong with any of the grilled meats. The mac and cheese has andouille sausage in it and incredible flavor. Apriori is the rosé that is available by the glass and it’s one of my favorites! Brunch is awesome. We also just did a patio renovation so you should def check that out when the weather gets cooler. C91A1381Holston house’s TENN – this is a new restaurant inside of the boutique Holston House hotel. We got to go for the soft opening and try most of the menu. All of it is super delicious. My favorite item is the smoked trout dip. 

Holston House’s TENN on Top – Rooftop bar with a pool and amazing views of the city.  They have a frozen margarita that is delicious. It’s really fun to watch all the cranes that you can see from the rooftop while there is still so much construction happening in Nashville.

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Bakersfield – Love their margaritas and queso! Like seriously, the queso is amazing. I have gone there several times just for queso but their other food is really good as well! My friends are bartenders there so I will generally be sitting at the bar rather than a table. 36560201_10216744705792851_138414791516487680_n

Hattie B’s – I love their hot chicken! Now I live close to one of the locations which is very dangerous. My spice level go to is their “hot” and always get the mac and cheese as well. 

The Fox – a super fun cocktail bar in East Nashville. Really cool vibe and my drink had gold flecks in it! On busy nights there might be a wait to get in because it is kind of small. The wallpaper is gorgeous. Their cocktail menu changes all the time so you will never get bored of the menu. 

barcelona – Brian’s and my date night spot. We love this place and are never disappointed with the food. Brunch is awesome as well as dinner. We always get the guns and rosés sangria. The menu changes pretty often so there is a new dish to try whenever we go. Chicken pimientos is  a staple on the menu. It takes about 30 minutes to prepare but it is worth the wait. The flavor is so incredible. Other faves include the whipped sheep’s cheese, drunken goat cheese, gambas, hangar steak and croquetas. For brunch, there is a hot chicken and churros dish that is fire. I’m so happy that it exists on the menu and loved every bite. 

Sinema – I need to go back for dinner but brunch was amazing! It is a buffet (but you can also order a la carte if you want) and they have bottomless mimosas. You feel like you are a movie star if you go into the bathroom because it is massive and set up like a dressing room. 

Headquarters – really cool arcade bar downtown. On Wednesday nights they have savage bingo which gets super rowdy and is a really good time. 

Mafioza’s – go to for late night pizza. I have had their pizza too many times to count. Sometimes I will branch out but Brian and I usually get the same thing. That is the appetizer called the Tony with pepperoni and pesto added. It’s like a smaller version of pizza that is super cheesy and delicious. Always with a few sides of ranch. Their ranch sauce is my favorite and I’m a little addicted to it.

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Urban Grub – one of my favorite brunch places. Always amazing to start off brunch with a dozen oysters and mimosas. Also, the pork fries are delicious. In 2017, this was our first and last meal. We had brunch on January 1st and dinner right before midnight on December 31st. 

Hopsmith – the nachos are massive and incredible! And I know my nachos. There are so many topping with a great chip to topping ratio.

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Martin’s bbq – Every time we go, we get so much food! The spare ribs are the best in Nashville. The flavor is just really good barbecue! Love to get brisket too because of my Texas roots. img_0224.jpg

Henley – I went here for a random brunch on a whim. It is a really cool space in the Aertson complex. All the brunch food was delicious and I want to go back for dinner! Brian ordered a rosé tequila cocktail that I didn’t even notice on the menu. Must try are the trailer baby crackers and the roasted mushroom toast. The toast has shiitake bacon which I didn’t even know existed and it blew my mind. 

Gray & Dudley – this place is super cool. It is in the 21C hotel so you can grab drinks then walk around the hotel which is also an art museum. I haven’t had food there yet but the drinks are good. The art changes seasonally so you can go back and everything will be different! Such a fun place to explore.

Cafe Roze – I barely ever make it over to East Nashville but finally made it to try Cafe Roze! I took some friends who were visiting from Houston and we really enjoyed it! The steak and frites paired really well with the bottle of rosé that we shared. 

Walden – Another little East Nashville newcomer. Walden is a cute cocktail bar with a great earthy vibe. The rosé sangria has gin in it and is incredible! The cool part is that all of their cocktails are on tap. Really like the vibe of this place.

Nashville Underground – the ironic part of the name is that is has a massive rooftop patio. Part of it looks out towards Broadway but it also stretches back to the other end of the building to have a view towards the Gulch as well. This is now added to my list of places I will go on Broadway because it has an amazing rooftop. There is even corn hole!rarebird – Downtown keeps getting cooler and cooler! Rarebird is the Noelle hotel’s new rooftop bar. It is north of Broadway by Printer’s Alley and you can see the river from the rooftop. This bar also has some really amazing cocktails that are on tap. Seating wraps all around the bar and there is cabana style seating as well.  If it is a busy night, you might have to wait to get up in the elevator and into the bar. 

Black Rabbit – This one is right near the Noelle Hotel and Gray & Dudley which can make for a fun night of bar hopping. I have only had apps here but want to go back for a full meal. Everything I tried was delicious and their cocktail menu is amazing. 

Virago – always a fave. This is one of the best places to get sushi in Nashville. We always go on Monday when they have half price specials on quite a few sushi rolls and a couple cocktails. One of our friend’s came up with a cocktail there that is not on the menu called the “Mom’s martini” and we are minorly obsessed with it. 

Fenwick’s 300 – Fave new brunch place! I have not had a bad item yet. The whipped goat cheese appetizer is incredible and the monte cristo sandwich is really good as well. It has a laid back vibe and is very comfortable.

Mockingbird – I definitely want to go back here. We came with family after filling up on apps at 5th & Taylor as our second meal. They have a super fun punch bag cocktail that was delicious. We only got to try a few things because everyone was struggling to keep eating more food but it was all delicious. We came right after a storm and had the whole patio area to ourselves. 

Flamingo (connected to a coffee shop so it’s full name is Falcon + Flamingo) – when the coffee shop closes, the cocktail lounge opens. Super Miami vibe with a great dance feel. We went during the first week it was open and everyone was having a great time. They were still working on the patio so I can’t wait to see what that is like when it is done. There is a flamingo cocktail punch that you can get to share with friends if you are feeling bold. 

Hemingway’s Bar & Hideaway – another wedgewood/houston option near Flamingo. I hadn’t been back to this place since the day it opened and really liked it! We came late night so the menu was limited. The burger is absolutely incredible. I want to go back for the $72 ribeye for a date night. Love the whole Hemingway vibe of this place. 

Saltine – fave new happy hour. $5 rosé, a daily punch and oysters specials are such a great combination. The oysters were delicious. Can’t wait to go back and try some of the other food options. 

Union Common – I have passed by this place so many times and always thought to myself that I should go. I finally did and was not disappointed. My cocktail was delicious and I tried foie gras for the first time ever. Really enjoyed the whole experience of this restaurant!

Restoration Hardware – super boujee. The most massive Restoration Hardware store I have ever seen and the whole bottom floor is their restaurant. You get to sit on the furniture while you eat incredible food. I love the whole thing but it was pretty pricey. It does have retail hours instead of restaurant hours so last call is really early. There is a wine bar separate from the seated part of the restaurant where you can grab a glass and walk around the store while you drink. 

BONUS – this one isn’t in Nashville, it’s in Boston.

Toro – a Spanish tapas bar in the South End. I went with my cousin and his friend and we ate so much incredible food. I tried beef heart, blue cheese dates wrapped in ham, octopus, the best oyster I have ever had, chicken wings, duck and corn. We also drank wine from a parrón. It’s a spanish party vessel where you pour wine straight into your mouth instead of sipping from a glass. Mind blowing meal and experience! Boston is so fun!

I am trying to eat at home more and spend less money at restaurants. That being said, I am still looking forward to going to some new fun places the rest of this year! Let me know if there are any that I am missing!

Cheers.

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