Located in the heart of the SoBro district downtown, The Southern Steak and Oyster does all kinds of things just right. Take their Bananas Foster bread pudding for example. Perfectly fine to order in the morning, but you should maybe start with some of their delicious coffee first. Then, move on to chicken and waffles or steak Benedict. Other winners are the oh-so-southern deviled eggs and barbecue shrimp. They take grits to another level when they go red and sweet thanks to berries, tapioca and creme anglaise. The atmosphere is lively but it can tend to be on the cold side the hotter it gets outside. Bring a jacket.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: Chicken and waffles are just one of the reasons to try The Southern for brunch.
Hollie's expert tip: Go ahead and park in the Pinnacle garage and be sure to ask for validation.
Germantown has really come into its own as a dining destination, and places like The Red Bicycle certainly help. A spinoff of the original location in Chapel Hill, N.C., the goal is to make customers regulars with friendly service and tasty fare. So far, they are doing it just right. Coffee is a big deal here, and their beans come from Joe Van Gogh in Hillsboroug, N.C., who source their beans direct with the farms or in consultation with a handful of trusted brokers, ensuring high-quality green beans. Seasonal ans specialty drinks join the other star, the crepes, which can be sweet like the Cinnamon Roll with brown sugar cream cheese icing, or savory like the Thai with chicken, onion, carrots and peanut sauce.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: A full service coffee shop that offers a wide-ranging menu of savory and sweet crepes for lunch, dinner and dessert.
Hollie's expert tip: Nutella crepe. Need we say more?
Concepted as a place where chefs would want to spend their precious time off, the gastro-pub fare is fun and creative, yet accessible. The bar features an extensive list of wines, spirits, beers, and cocktails. Cozy yet buzzy on the inside, the wraparound booths and mezzanine seating offer great views of the energetic bar scene. Fourteen televisions make it a good game day spot - along with the Philly cheese steak eggrolls and a bowl of "bazooka" guacamole with pistachios and goat cheese. DJs spin music and videos later into the night, and a large, bi-level patio offers al fresco dining and socializing. Tavern also offers private rooms for special events.
Mad Donna's in East Nashville serves up Saturday and Sunday brunch that includes a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Angus beef burgers, chorizo hash, Captain Crunch French toast (which were featured on the Food Network), and Eash Nash beignets - funnel cakes dusted with powdered sugar and fresh berry sauce are just a few menu items you can expect. The quiche of the day can be filled with any number of fresh ingredients, and The Big Don features grilled Provence bread stuffed with eggs, bacon, pepper jack cheese, tomato, and dijon mayonnaise served with cheddar cheese grits or rosemary potatoes. Service can get a little backed up only because of the popularity, but if you stick around, live music plays in the evenings in the upstairs loft.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: With a DIY Bloody Mary Bar and full brunch menu, this place gets packed on the weekends.
Hollie's expert tip: If you're a mimosa fan, they have a variety of different juice options.
This cozy cafe and coffeehouse, located near the Oaks Mall, serves excellent breakfast and lunch items, from bagels and pastries to soups and sandwiches. Smoothies are a favorite, like the "Chill Pill" with strawberries, bananas, peaches, pineapple juice and St. John's Wort. Of course, the desserts and coffee blends are what draw in the evening crowds, who use the relative quiet of the place to reflect on their day or discuss current events over a "TLT Deluxe" with spice seasoned tofu, lettuce, tomato, pesto, cracked wheat, avocado and cucumber. Parking can be a pain, so avoid rushes when you can.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: Breakfast and lunch are served all day long, so go ahead and get soup with that bacon.
Hollie's expert tip: You can't go wrong with one of their coffee drinks, and vegetarians will find plenty of palate-pleasing options.
Sunday brunch is a bountiful buffet but they are known for their delicious omelets made to order and mimosas. They also have a carving station, smoked salmon, biscuits and gravy, and fresh fruits and pastries. During the week, they offer a variety of European-inspired sandwiches, wraps salads, and meat and threes. Two locations are available, (downtown and Green Hills). Note: they are not open on Saturdays. Diners near their SoBro location have the benefit of cashing in on their limited scooter-delivered lunch service. And with brunch limited to just one day a week, expect long lines after church lets out.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: Can you say buffet? With a carving station, omelets made-to-order and options like baked brie, this is a must.
Hollie's expert tip: They're known for their delicious omelets and mimosas.
Swanky, elegant, and eclectic, Germantown Cafe showcases straightforward cuisine is at its best. The fresh, delectable cuisine comes at affordable prices and they are known for their classics with a twist - like the BrieLT with fried green tomatoes, lettuce, bacon and brie on Tuscan bread with red pepper sauce, served with a black bean salad. Situated just blocks from downtown, Germantown is the perfect place to start a night out, or cap a night off with one of their lip-smacking-good desserts. At lunch, try their classic French onion soup, simmered to salty-gooey perfection.
At this popular upscale eatery, diners enjoy seasonally-changing fare with French and Italian influences, such as pan-roasted halibut, fennel-ubbed poussin, and spaghetti bolognese. The cozy brick-walled dining room creates the perfect setting for a quiet, romantic dinner out. The Sunday brunch also offers to patrons a unique menu with varied dishes like smoked trout with crispy potato cake and French toast croissants with powdered sugar and warm syrup. The menu changes daily but the foundation remains constant with six appetizer choices, seven entrees, and five desserts. The menu is dictated by what's fresh that day, so diners can come back multiple times each week and never run out of innovative dishes to try.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: Everyone makes it a point to bring out-of-town guests to Margot for brunch, it's that good.
Hollie's expert tip: One of the few places in town where you can't order wrong.
Brie, brie, brie! Calling all cheese lovers. Located in the heart of historic East Nashville, Marche Artisan Foods is a cafe with European flair. Situated inside the Walnut Exchange, a former telephone switching building, this cafe boasts a rustic feel that ratchets up its unparalleled ambiance. In addition to the full coffee and espresso bar, diners can find house-made pastries, fresh fish, meats, cheeses and other decadent grocery items. Breakfast and lunch menus change seasonally, and the other dinner menu options are updated monthly. Of course, backed by East Nashville favorite Margot McCormack, diners expect nothing less than delicious perfection.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: Marche is packed to the gills all day on weekends for good reason - the outstanding food.
Hollie's expert tip: Shop the shelves for interesting ingredients to try at home.