Kate.Dearman culinary image

Construction seems to define Nashville and its surrounding neighborhoods these days, and while the cranes and blocked roads may be a pain for those who call the city home, the new developments are allowing some incredible dining options to emerge. But, a look beyond all the “new” in Nashville will introduce plenty of hidden culinary gems sprinkled across the region. 

From revitalized kitchens inside historic homes to incredible dishes found behind unassuming storefronts, expand your palate and your footprint this year. Here are some of the best off-the-beaten-path restaurants you may not know about, but should be regulars in your rotation. 


A trip to the charming Leiper’s Fork is guaranteed to be a day well spent, and we’ve got just the place to reserve dinner. Set inside a home more than 130 years old, 1892 (named for the year it was built) is a quaint, rustic spot from local chef Dylan Morrison and his wife, Jordan, located right in the village’s center. While the menu rotates daily, expect to enjoy anything from steaks to pastas sourced from nearby farms (or their onsite garden!). 


For an intimate and elevated meal in East Nashville, head to lou, a historic home-turned-restaurant with cozy interiors accented by a beautiful brick fireplace. While the menu has an emphasis on California-inspired “healthy-ish” cuisine, the bar follows suit with a collection of natural wines pouring all day long. With chef and owner Mailea Weger at the helm, lou draws inspiration from Paris, where a second iteration just recently opened. 

Nectar Urban Cantina

Nectar Urban Cantina may be located on a quiet side street in Donelson, but stepping foot through the front door or around back will unveil a bevy of patrons enjoying Mexican-inspired cuisine, cocktails and even coffee. Part coffee shop and part cantina, Nectar is a destination for outdoor dining and entertainment thanks to its collection of picnic tables and adirondacks placed before an outdoor stage.

615 ChuTNey

Blink and you’d miss it — 615 ChuTNey is nestled within a Bellevue strip mall, and while the menu packed with Indian favorites like pakora and tikka masala will keep you coming back time and again, the service is the star of the show. A pandemic addition, Singam the server is a delightful robot programmed to deliver food to your table. 

Southside Grill

Serving steakhouse favorites with a Greek twist, Nashville-meets-Nolensville’s Southside Grill is a hidden neighborhood gem. Enjoy a daily happy hour from 4–7 (and all day Sundays!) on the patio decorated with hanging lights and warmed with a central fireplace, or celebrate date night with shareables like calamari or beef bruschetta.