Diners, Drive-ins and Dives: The Nashville Tour

Guy Fieri couldn't get enough of these 12 Nashville-area eateries

Guy Fieri's knack for picking out any city's most flavorful restaurants has led to many new favorites for his viewers. And those who can't get enough of Fieri's favorites will find almost two dozen delicious Nashville restaurants to dish about. From the area's best barbecue to Greek cuisine to food trucks-turned-mortar, here are the Mayor of Flavortown's favorites in and around the Music City. 


MARTIN'S BAR-B-QUE JOINT

Season 9, Episode 5 (2010)

Given Fieri's love of barbecue, it didn't take him long to discover one of Nashville's favorite 'que joints, Martin’s, where hogs are roasted in their entirety, covered with a signature spice blend and cooked over hickory wood for 24 hours. Fieri visited the very first Martin's location, in Nolensville, and went "whole hog" for the platter. 


ATHENS FAMILY RESTAURANT

Season 9, Episode 11 (2010)

This beloved locals' breakfast favorite hit Fieri's radar long before it received kudos in the Tennessean's 2017 Toast of Music City reader's choice awards. Fieri said the restaurant's kotopita chicken turnover is his type of breakfast; he also had eyes for its bacon and lamb burgers and Suzukakia, baked meatballs in a light tomato sauce. 


ARNOLD'S COUNTRY KITCHEN

Season 9, Episode 13 (2010)

Mom-and-pop sensation Arnold's Country Kitchen won a James Beard American Classics Award in 2009 for its take on a Southern classic: the "meat + 3." Fieri stopped in to savor the plump chicken dumplings and "super tasty" turnip greens; the Chess Pie, cornbread, black-eyed peas and country-fried steak are also well worth a bite. 


BRO'S CAJUN CUISINE

Season 10, Episode 3 (2010)

The first Nashville entry in Season 10 saw a true take on Cajun cuisine. The Breaux family, transplants from Lafayette, Louisana, greeted Fieri with a classic bayou crawfish boil with house-smoked sausage. According to Fieri, the gumbo, red beans and rice and Cajun-style pork chops are also not to be missed.


CAFE RAKKA

Season 10, Episode 6 (2010)

A Mediterranean restaurant with scratch-made cuisine, Fiera called Cafe Rakka a "Nashville-Mediterranean-Indian experience in Music City" where you'll find country music legends among the regulars. Tops here: filet mignon kabobs cooked on a sizzling Himalayan salt block, lamb rakka and Mediterranean staples such as hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel and tabbouleh.


Jamaica Way Nashville Farmers' Market Guy Fieri Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

JAMAICA WAY

Season 10, Episode 12 (2010)

Located inside the Nashville Farmers' Market, this is Music City's go-to spot for Jamaican cuisine. The silky ackee and salt fish intrigued Fieri; he also enjoyed the crunchy fried chicken with mango chutney, curried goat and oxtail stew. 


CENTER POINT BARBECUE

Season 18, Episode 11 (2013)

Fieri revisited his love of barbecue at this Hendersonville joint that smokes its pork until it turns "black as night." The family-owned restaurant, open since the '50s, is also known for its holiday-based ham that gets a four-day brine and six-hour smoke, then is sprinkled with sugar and torched. Its fried green tomatoes are topped with yum yum sauce, sour cream and chives.

MAS TACOS POR FAVOR

Season 18, Episode 11 (2013)

Doubling up on Nashville cuisine, the second Music City restaurant featured in this episode is a Mexican eatery that got its start in a Winnebago. Fieri asked for Mas Tacos Por Favor, in particular, the holiday tamales and quinoa tacos. As for the pozole verde soup, Fieri said the "depth of the broth is ridiculous."


CAFE NONNA

Season 18, Episode 12 (2013)

On the aptly named "Family Time" episode, Fieri first visited this neighborhood restaurant with dishes inspired by the chef's grandmother, Nonna. Fieri couldn't get enough of the rustic Lasagna Nonna, an eight-layer dish packed with butternut squash, spinach, sauteed Swiss chard, ricotta and two sauces. 

Pimento Mac & Chee from The Grilled Cheeserie Nashville Guy Fieri Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

THE GRILLED CHEESERIE

Season 18, Episode 12 (2013)

Solely a food truck on Fieri's visit, The Grilled Cheeserie now also has two brick-and-mortar locations. Fieri said the Pimento Mac & Chee reminded him of his childhood—served with tomato soup, the best-seller sandwich is piled high with pimento and cheddar cheeses, macaroni, bacon bits and sliced tomato on country white bread.


55 SOUTH

Season 18, Episode 13 (2013)

Fieri took a quick jaunt south of Nashville to visit historic Franklin, Tennesee, and 55 South, where he dined on traditional Southern dishes such as Nashville hot chicken and chicken and sausage jambalaya. But he also discoved that Music City is a great place for seafood, and loved the "wood smoke component" of the char-grilled oysters topped with garlic-lemon butter and Parmesan.

PHAT BITES

Season 18, Episode 13 (2013)

An even shorter drive east in Donelson is another food truck-turned-mortar, the funky Phat Bites. Fieri's a fan of the Long Life Salad, chock full of good-for-you ingredients such as kale, black-eyed peas, Christmas lima beans, lentils, red quinoa, dried cranberries, gold raisins, plums and mangoes, topped with a citrus vinagrette. Sandwich lovers will delight in the Big Jerk, with jerk pork, cheese and onions.

 

Editor's Note: The show also visited Hillsboro Village's Savarino's Cucina—the restaurant has since closed. 

 

Jennifer McKee
About the author

Jennifer is the Managing Editor of Morris Visitor Publications, where she has worked since 2005. She grew up in small...