Tennessee gems?

We have three days each in Nashville and Memphis next week. Please share your recent hidden gems. Thanks.


One of my favorite places is on the road between the 2 cities – Ramey’s BBQ in Parsons, just over the TN River. It’s wonderful old-school place. Another classic barbecue place is Helen’s in Brownsville, a short detour. Both are truly hidden gems. In Nashville, we. like the Tavern, a very nice gastro-pub in Midtown, and Jack Stack’s BBQ in Midtown. We had trouble getting into lower Broadway because of all the party buses with bachelorette parties (you wouldn’t believe it), but had a great time at the Listening Room. Oh, and breakfast at the not-hidden Loveless Cafe: the biscuits are worth the drive.

In Memphis, the barbecue place to go is Payne’s. Avoid Central and Corky’s. I haven’t eaten at other restaurants there in years.


Many thanks John. I’ll make a note of these and try to get to some.
Re the Nashville buses - I think we’re booked on the Redneck one. LOL.

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Yay! Planning a trip to Nashville in early Jun. We are going for a conference, but I have family there as well as in nearby Alabama. Last there about three years ago.

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Not hidden, and I haven’t been there yet, found it interesting that JG Vongerichten is running the restaurant in the historic Hermitage Hotel. I visited that space when it was The Capitol Grille (not the same as the chain The Capital Grille), which was the nicest dinner I had in Nashville 9 years ago.

Vongerichten’s Drusie and Darr Instagram profile

I sent a gift from Nashville, as a care package, to my uncle at the beginning of the Pandemic. Just including the link to give an idea of some local stuff you might be interested in purchasing.
Taste of Nashville


You might try the hot tub party bus.

Great idea! Can catch Covid, an STD and a wicked hangover, all for the price of a single ticket.


Maybe some local craft Syphilis? :rofl:

Alberta has seasonal craft Syphilis, the season starts during Stampede. I bet Nashville is able to offer it year-round.

I am sure you have made your trip by now but just in case…

  • Nashville- The Redheaded Stranger, Mickeys Diner, The Nashville Biscuit House.

  • Jackson (about halfway berween Memphis and Nashville on I40- Exit 87 BBQ, Old Town Spaghetti Store, Old Country Store, Redbones

  • Memphis-Gus’s World Famous Chicken, Hueys, Rendezvous, The Butcher’s Shop Cordova

  • If you venture off I40- Hagy’s Catfish Hotel- Shiloh, The Wall- Henderson, Junkyard Dog- Hohenwald.,


Thanks. I don’t think we ate at any of those, but I still remember BB Kings ribs in Memphis. Went twice in March.

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Headed to Nashville later this month and wondering if anyone has any updated recos :slight_smile:

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Lucky! I enjoyed Nashville. But that was already 11 years ago. LOL.

I missed out on the pancake place.

Near Vanderbilt, try the following:

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@mig I was just in Nashville a couple of weeks ago for vacation. It was my first visit. I haven’t started writing a trip report up yet, but some places I enjoyed were:

Prince’s Hot Chicken (location in the Assembly Food Hall downtown) - for me was a bit better than Hattie B’s which was the other Nashville hot chicken place I tried. Their downtown locations are very close to each other if you feel like doing a comparison.

Monell’s - unique family style Southern meal where you dine with strangers in a shared table.

Audrey - Chef Sean Brock’s restaurant focusing on Appalachian cuisine.

Arnold’s - a classic meat n 3.

Peg Leg Porker - great Memphis style dry rub BBQ ribs.

City House - great Neapolitan-ish style pizza out of a wood fired oven.

Also had some great cocktails at Attaboy, a bar that doesn’t have menus.


Glad to see that Monell’s is still there and still good. I have only been to Nashville once, probably 20 years ago, but we ate there and had a great meal. Rolled out the door.

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thank you very much!

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You definitely will not leave Monell’s hungry!

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Combo plate at Martin’s BBQ in Nashville. Brisket, spare ribs, green beans and hoe cake.

This was my first hoe cake: thin, hot, delicious and not that sweet. I used a Little honey on the side. The stewed beans were also excellent, cooked with some smoked meat and nicely seasoned

I preferred the brisket over the ribs; the latter were a bit chewy. I’ll take them to go and have them for breakfast tomorrow.


Prince’s Hot Chicken. I chose Prince’s over Hattie B’s based on a review upthread. The stand is located in the Assembly Food Hall.

This was fine - chicken was very hot (temperature) and nicely seasoned. Overall though …. It’s a chicken sandwich. Hard to get super excited about.

The three dollar side of greens, though…. Damn tasty.

The cornbread was so sweet it was basically a cupcake.


I’m back from a trip to Nashville. I didn’t do any fine dining at all, all BBQ and hot chicken and stuff like that. Needless to say, I was literally dreaming about subsisting on crunchy green salads before I even got on the plane to come home :slight_smile:

BBQ: I wasn’t sure what Nashville “style” was before I started eating it. Pork ribs are sort of my personal barometer for a given regional style. The ones I had (at Martin’s) were fairly dry and honestly a little tough, with too much dry seasoning rub sprinkled on top (I wound up trying to wipe it off.) Of course, that’s just one trial at one place, but it wasn’t a resounding success. The brisket was what you’d expect, mine was medium-fatty, fall-apart and beautifully seasoned. The pulled pork I had at another famous local joint was good, but not particularly noteworthy. To be honest, I enjoyed the sides more overall; smoked flat green beans especially. I also ordered collard greens wherever they could be found.

I often find myself happiest with BBQ chicken, but I didn’t order any this trip.

At Peg Leg Porkers, the featured desserts were banana pudding (not something I go out of my way to eat, even in the south) and a house-made “fried pie” that the server assured me was the way to go. It was indeed handmade pastry, but again I wasn’t wow’ed by it.

The hot chicken sandwich I had (at Prince’s in Assembly Food Hall) was fine, but nothing I’d go out of my way to have again.

Right next door to my hotel was a fancy donut place called Parlor Donuts. I read up on them before stopping in. The donuts are laminated, enormous, come in lots of extravagant flavor combos, and extremely sweet. I suspect the raspberry-pistachio one I had was 500 calories.

I suspect I’ll return to Nashville again - there’s so much to see music-wise, and I only scratched the surface. I’ll be more deliberate with branching out, culinarily, next time. I love BBQ and was excited to try lots of different spots, but honestly I found it a little monotonous and heavy, and my body didn’t thank me for eating it.