Nashville’s food landscape is ever-changing, with a hip new restaurant opening every day, or so it seems. Some of those are flashes in the frying pan, and others sustain a loyal following. This year, though, our readers tilted strongly towards perennial favorites, proving that, while new is fun, sometimes you just can’t beat local traditions. But, then, sometimes you can.
Best First Date – Lockeland Table
Lockeland Table Community Kitchen and Bar pays homage to its East Nashville neighborhood roots. It’s reconstructed 1930’s storefront is a portal to a simpler time, but it’s interior and its menu are an elegant blend of tradition and experimentation. As the BBC put it, “The place is a top to bottom testament to East Nashville’s community roots: everything has a story and the theme of preservation runs deep.” If you haven’t already, you owe it to yourself to check out this year’s readers’ choice for best first date restaurant.
Nashville’s food scene, like that of the South in general, has been largely centered on meats, but a growing number of high quality vegetarian dining options are popping up, and this year’s favorite vegetarian option is Sunflower Café. Known for gourmet veggie burgers and vegan barbecue, Sunflower Cafe also offers a wide selection of vegan and gluten-free options. Variety is the spice of life, so the restaurant has variable daily chef specials and seasonal menus, so be sure to check them out often.
Local Chef—Margot McCormack
Margot McCormack, who was featured on the cover of O&AN in 2013, retains her crown as the purveyor of Nashville’s Best Fine Dining, and retakes the top spot as best local chef and best overall restaurant. Margot Café & Bar has been a fixture of Nashville fine dining for twenty years now, with its innovative, daily-changing menus and intimate atmosphere. Margot has has received accolades from all of Nashville’s major print outlets, and we have no doubt this will continue into the foreseeable future. So keep track of the restaurant online and on social media so that you’ll be on top of things when your favorite ingredients hit the menu.
Pizza – Five Points Pizza
For an amazing fifth year in a row, Five Points Pizza tops LGBT Nashville’s list of best pizzerias. Located in the heart of East Nashville, Five Points is a great place to grab a slice while you explore this eclectic neighborhood or before you hit your favorite bars. Check it out and you’ll agree that Five Points Pizza is one of, if not, the best pizza in the region.
Ru San's Sushi restaurant is known for its modern take on classic dishes, and is a local favorite in Nashville, and has been recognized for its delicious cuisine, excellent service and friendly staff.
Breakfast—The Nashville Biscuit House
The Nashville Biscuit House is an old-fashioned, southern-style joint that hits the spot. They offer breakfast all day, as well as terrific lunch specials every day of the week! The wait staff is a credit to southern hospitality, so when you’re ready for a hearty breakfast, this is the place to go.
Brunch – Tavern
This year, Tavern Midtown unseated traditional LGBT favorite brunch spots—no small feat when you consider that brunch is an LGBT tradition. Tavern has been described as a cool-casual "gastro-pub" concept and is known not only for its divine brunch, but also for dazzling cocktails and innovative menu. So some weekend, wander in late-morning and check out what’s inspired all the hype.
Coffee – Frothy Monkey
Frothy Monkey—hot local beverage chain—has a drink menu that will make any enthusiast happy, with coffees on tap and rotating seasonal beverages. Frothy Monkey patrons appreciate the cafés for more than coffee though. Frothy Monkey locations have hip, friendly staffs and cozy atmospheres, as well as great food and snacks. Frothy Monkey is a great alternative to the big national chains and our readers love it.
Patio – 3 Crow
3 Crow’s patio remains one of LGBT Nashville’s favorite gather places, especially on temperate afternoons and evenings. This bar’s porch an almost irresistible draw, and it’s a prime Sunday stop for Nashville’s LGBT sporting leagues. With its laid back vibe, it’s a great place to unwind with friends.