Tennessee

Restaurants in Tennessee

From barbecue to James Beard-nominated fine dining, restaurants in Tennessee fit every cuisine profile and can appease even the pickiest taste buds. These are some famous Tennessee restaurants and cuisines to try:

Tennessee barbecue is all about the pig. Throughout the state, you’ll be able to find juicy, smoky pulled pork, served on a plate or between two buns. If you head over to Memphis, you’ll also get your hands on Memphis-style ribs. These are served “wet” – basted in sauce before, during, and after the slow cooking – or “dry” – seasoned with a flavorful rub.

The state also has more than its fair share of down-home joints. This ranges from classic “meat and three” spots throughout the state that’ll ladle up famous Southern and soul specialties, like fried okra and cobblers, to simple fried chicken shacks. An amazing specialty in the state is Nashville’s hot chicken: the fried poultry here comes extra spicy and, therefore, extra delicious.

There’s also plenty of fine dining throughout the state. Memphis, Nashville, and Chattanooga all play host to James Beard-nominated chefs, creative cocktails, and playful takes on classic French, Italian, and American cuisines.

In the cutting-edge Five Points neighborhood, chef Margot McCormack prepares Mediterranean-inspired dishes with a Tennessee flair, including clams, snapper, and cobia in a tomato-and-fennel broth.

They’re not wet; they’re not dry. They’re “’Vous-style” ribs and they’re famous. Basted just before serving with a vinegar solution and followed by a dusting of spices (including bay leaf and oregano), the savory ribs’ bright flavor is a nod to the founding family’s Greek heritage.

Tree-shaded restaurant

Open since 2002, and full of students from nearby colleges, Central has a breezy, spring-break feel and outdoor deck seating to match. Order a pork plate with extra “bark” (the dark, heavily smoked crust).

Locals line up for a superb rendition of chopped pork on a bun, as well as excellent grilled short ribs.

Snack on the thin-crust pizza at this local joint located in a former artists' studio in north Nashville's up-and- coming Germantown neighborhood

Southern bistro and bar

Start off the day with an omelette sepcial like the organic corn and tomato with fresh mozzarella at this French bistro and gourmet market in hip East Nashville.