Soul Food

9 Wendell Smith's
Located in the back of a liquor store, this meat-and-three features breakfast all day, homemade desserts, and true Southern decor. Fresh turnip greens, excellent sandwiches, and an array of traditional veggies keep locals coming back for more. (615-383-7114)

8 Hermitage Cafe
When the bars close, the downtown crowd heads to the Hermitage Cafe. This all-night establishment serves diner food all night, including the popular steak-and-eggs and country-fried-steak. Pictures of local country stars adorn the cinder-block walls, and the jukebox plays favorites all night. This is the real thing: quick and friendly service, homey decor, and maybe a country star or two. (615-254-8871)

7 Elliston Place Soda Shop
Originally a soda shop, this Elliston Place mainstay is a throwback to the 50s with its fountain service and old school counter seating. The restaurant, while still serving soda-shop fare like club sandwiches and cheeseburgers, is mainly a meat-and-three. Don't forget to try one of their famous milkshakes! (615-327-1090)

6 Corky's Bar — B — Q
Corky's Bar-B-Q brings the sweet flavor of Memphis-style BBQ to Music City. The diner-like atmosphere is made complete with classic rock and roll and sharp-tongued waitresses — you get the feeling that the clocks here are permanently stuck on 1959. The menu is impressive for a barbecue joint, including everything from pork sandwiches and coleslaw to tamales and a half chicken dinner. If the traditional fare doesn't tempt your taste buds, have a go at one of their massive baked potatoes, which comes disguised as a heaping pile of toppings. (615-373-1020)

5 Swett's Restaurant
Swett's began as a tavern in 1920, but turned to the meat-and-three scene in 1954. The family-owned business is proud of the diversity of its clientele. Recipes at Swetts are never written down, ensuring a different experience every time you visit. The cooks put their heart and soul into this food, and the popularity of their dishes attest to the care and attention paid to the items. (615-329-4418)

4 Prince's Hot Chicken Shack
At this Nashville landmark, you'll discover fried chicken with a twist: the chicken is HOT. Even for people who swear they can stand anything, Prince's hot chicken presents a challenge. You can opt for four levels of heat, from mild to extra-hot. However, their "mild" is what most people would consider "spicy," so beware of what you order! Late at night, the wait can be fairly long, so you might want to call in ahead of time. (615-226-9442)

3 Hog Heaven
In a shabby white shack behind McDonald's and facing Centennial Park, you'll find a great little barbecue joint. Unlike many Tennessee barbecue places, Hog Heaven offers not only pork, chicken, and ribs but also beef brisket and turkey, as well as a vegetable plate. To see what the place is all about, try a pulled pork plate with cornbread, black-eyed peas, turnip greens, and a BBQ pickle spear, followed by homemade peach or blackberry cobbler. (615-329-1234)

2 Rotier's Restaurant
This popular family-style restaurant offers one of the best meals for the money in Nashville. Close to the Vanderbilt campus, Rotier's menu is distinctly Southern, including an awesome meat and three lunch special. For those looking for greasy spoon fare, the mouth-watering cheeseburger plate with onion rings is a must and, of course, begs to be chased with a shake. (615-327-9892)

1 Monell's Dining and Catering
Monell's occupies an historic Victorian house in Germantown. Dining is communal, and long wooden tables and an all-you-eat menu (choices of entree, vegetables, breads, and desserts) set the scene. Simply ask fellow diners to pass around the family-style dishes and you'll have all you'll need — the attentive staff refills dishes constantly. (615-248-4747, 615-726-4938)


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Maps and Directions

1
Wendell Smith's 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Soul Food, Southern
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: Belle Meade
COST: $
2
Hermitage Cafe 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Diner, Soul Food
Dining Options: Counter Seating, Smoking
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $
3
Elliston Place Soda Shop 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Soul Food, Southern
Dining Options: Counter Seating, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: Elliston Place
COST: $
4
Corky's Bar — B — Q 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, Soul Food
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Brentwood
COST: $
5
Swett's Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Soul Food, Southern
Dining Options: Catering, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: West End Avenue
COST: $
6
Prince's Hot Chicken Shack 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Local Specialty, Soul Food
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: NORTH NASHVILLE
COST: $
7
Hog Heaven 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, Soul Food
Dining Options: Catering, Delivery, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Neighborhood: West End Avenue
COST: $
8
Rotier's Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Regional, Soul Food
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Elliston Place
COST: $
9
Monell's Dining and Catering 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Soul Food, Southern
Dining Options: Catering, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $$