Lunch in Nashville?
January 7, 2008 1:28 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for some lunchy type places in SW Nashville to try - more details inside.

Hey Nashville folks... I recently started a new job around the Vandy/music row area.

Since I don't have friends here yet, most of my lunches are with me, myself and a book. I live just a little too far away from home to drive up there for an hour lunch.

I'm not horribly familiar with the Nashville area, so I'm looking for some recommendations of new places to eat nearby.

I'd like some places to try that aren't hugely crowded (yeah, good luck, I know) and where a chick can eat alone without feeling like she's completely out of place.

Bonus points for getting into a table pretty quickly - I like to maximize my reading/not standing around time.

posted by finitejest to Food & Drink (12 answers total)
I work near the airport, off of I-24 and there are lots of little ethnic places just up M'boro pike from Harding Pl.. I found a Vietnamese place that makes darn good pho. It's tiny, but I've never had to wait for a table. It's probably 20-25 minutes from where you are, and that's a wild guess that leaves out the West End traffic situation. I've found (after moving here from Atlanta) that you can go longer distances quicker than you think.
posted by jquinby at 1:44 PM on January 7, 2008

Bongo Java on Belmont is a good place for sitting and reading. The service isn't super fast, but you order at the counter and they bring the food to your table so you could read while you wait. Fido on 21st is owned by the same people and is good as well, but I like the atmosphere at Bongo Java better. You wouldn't feel at all out of place alone with a book at either of those places.
posted by nixxon at 1:45 PM on January 7, 2008

along the same lines, provence in hillsboro village is good, as is calypso on elliston. in general, traffic along west end is MUCH more manageable than traffic along 21st because of the construction at the medical center.
posted by thinkingwoman at 2:27 PM on January 7, 2008

My old stomping grounds! I loved these place when I lived there, but not sure about how crowded they get for lunch.

I love Calypso Cafe on Elliston. The chicken salad and fruit tea are delicious.

Across the street is Rotier's, which claims to be the best burger in Nashville.

Elliston Place Soda Shop is great for the nostalgia factor.

And Noshville. now that I live in NYC, I can't call it entirely authentic, but it's pretty good!
posted by kimdog at 2:36 PM on January 7, 2008

I live in Nashville but I don't ever get out that way during lunch hour so I'm not sure about wait times but these are some of my favorite places.

I'll second Bongo, Fido, and Noshville. All are good choices. Sam's in Hillsboro Village has some pretty good food and is my favorite sports bar in town but you might feel a little out of place reading a book there. Also check out the International Market for some asian food right across the street from Bongo Java on Belmont. I think that would be a good spot to read during lunch.

And if you're ever out there late at night get the nachos at Sunset Grille. Heaven on a plate.
posted by PFL at 3:12 PM on January 7, 2008

I enjoy Noshville cause it reminds me of Ronnie's which I grew up one in Orlando. I really enjoy Samurai as well when I'm in Nashville. If you like sushi you'll enjoy it.
posted by nola at 3:21 PM on January 7, 2008

Former Nashville resident, grew up there (in fact in the Vandy neighborhood). Rotier's does make a great burger and is kinda divey. It's been there forever. I used to love the shakes at Elliston Place Soda shop. Coffee is good at both Bongo Java (though the name makes me cringe) and Fido's, I believe they are owned by the same people. I never thought of them as places to get lunch, though.

Sunset Grille used to do a half-price limited menu after 10:30. In my opinion it's definitely worth a visit some night, even though my favorite dish, the Beggar's Purse, is gone. They still have a lot of good stuff and are also an option for a slightly fancier lunch.
posted by lackutrol at 4:02 PM on January 7, 2008

whoops, I guess nixxon already confirmed that Bongo and Fido's are owned by the same people.
posted by lackutrol at 4:03 PM on January 7, 2008

My old favorites:

Pizza Perfect at 21st and Capers
San Antonio Taco Co. at 21st and Scarritt
Cafe Coco on Louise half a block off Elliston

I hit them each up at least once every time I'm back in town. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure if I've ever had lunch at any of them--but I definitely would. All are very reasonably priced and pretty fast.
posted by dsword at 4:24 PM on January 7, 2008

When I lived in Nashville and ate lunch alone, I enjoyed going to Hog Heaven next to Centennial Park and eating in the park. Though you might want to wait till it gets warmer.
posted by deepscene at 6:49 PM on January 7, 2008

thinkingwoman's Provence recommendation is a good one, but I think their location on 21st gets a little hectic during lunch time. But it reminded me that Provence runs the Iris Cafe in the Peabody library on Vanderbilt campus, where you can get your food (a small selection of sandwiches and salads) and sit in the library or on the patio to read and eat. They also have a shop at the downtown Nashville public library that would be a bit more of a hassle to get to but the library itself is well worth the occasional trip.
posted by nixxon at 7:12 PM on January 7, 2008

I guess a link/address might have been useful, but it looks like folks have got you covered for spots close by. For completeness sake, here's Vinh Long.
posted by jquinby at 7:22 AM on January 8, 2008

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