When it comes to writing about our favorite neighborhood spots and hidden gems, there’s always a moment of hesitation. While we are here to keep you in the loop on Nashville’s hottest spots, there are a few we’re tempted to keep for ourselves. One of those is a bodega in The Nations. We’re not alone in our desire to keep this place quiet either. A quick search and you’ll find rave Reddit posts with comments pleading the user to delete the post, and Yelp reviews from couples who haven’t even told their friends about it.
On the corner of Centennial Boulevard and 51st Avenue North, find 51st Deli, an unassuming spot that was Savemore Super Market until March of last year. Having just relocated StyleBlueprint headquarters to West Nashville, our team is quickly becoming regulars at this hidden gem! One visit to 51st Deli, and you’ll see why.
When you walk in, you’ll see a deli counter filled with Boar’s Head meats and cheeses stocked to make any of the 23 sandwiches on the menu (plus, a build-your-own option!). You’ll also find a fresh salad bar with all of the fixins as well as and prepared salads, like chicken, egg and tuna. We love the build-your-own veggie sandwich on toasted wheat, topped with pickled onions that give it crunch and a vinegary bite. But the West/Nasty — with breaded chicken breast, Capicola ham, jalapeño, bacon, pepper jack cheese and sabi sauce on a hero — has a loyal following. Beneath the salad bar and deli counter you’ll find rows and rows (and rows) of potato chips to enjoy alongside your sammy.
The deli opens their doors at 6 a.m. on weekday and Saturday mornings, but even if you’re not an early bird, you can enjoy their breakfast menu all day long. It includes 16 different breakfast items, and each makes a case for the menu highlight. We’re partial to the 51st Morning Burrito, which wraps egg, cheese, potatoes, peppers, onions and your choice of steak, chicken or chorizo (or avocado for the vegetarians out there) in a toasty tortilla, and it’s out-of-this-world delicious. The melty cheese and soft potatoes paired with the crunch of onions and peppers create a satisfying bite — made better only by a dip in one of their homemade salsas. Additionally, the Beta-Feta, which is egg, tomato, avocado and feta served on an everything bagel; the breakfast Reuben sandwich, with corned beef, eggs, Swiss, sauerkraut and brown mustard on rye; and the Nashville hot chicken and waffles are each filled with flavor to fuel your day.
If it’s not breakfast, sandwiches or salads you’re in the mood for, you still have more options. One of 51st Deli’s specialties is Mexican food. Authentic and flavorful … and cheap and simple … there are burritos, tacos, tortas and quesadillas on the menu. Choose from steak, chicken, pork, carnitas, barbacoa, chorizo, shrimp, falafel, hot chicken and fish to fill your Mexican dish of choice, and prepare to be wowed. Add grilled jalapeños, and ask for their red and green homemade salsas. You can thank us later.
The back wall of 51st is one long, open freezer, home to more than 100 different drinks. (We counted.) From sparkling water to iced tea to bottles of Coke to Jarritos Mexican soft drinks, kombucha and more, if you can’t find what you’re craving here, we don’t know where you will. (The StyleBlueprint office is on a Topo Chico kick, so we always grab one of the ice-cold mineral waters before leaving the deli.) The adjacent wall houses domestic beer, Nashville-brewed beer and spiked seltzer, cold and ready to serve.
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As if that wasn’t enough, there’s one more section of the bodega worth mentioning. The open freezer beside the entrance is filled with produce, including jalapeños, lemons, limes, avocados, pineapples, grapes and more if you’re in need of a few items. You can also grab freshly cut fruit or yogurt parfaits to go, or a slice of cake to satisfy your sweet tooth. The 51st Deli crew makes fresh salsa, guacamole and cheese dip every day, ideal for grabbing with some tortilla chips before your next summer fiesta.
What sets 51st Deli apart from all the rest is their ability to provide a wide variety of options without sacrificing quality or flavor. You’ll find that they’re known for everything from their avocado toast and coffee to their drink selection and authentic carnitas tacos. The menu is long, but the heart and soul that goes into preparation is evident in the flavor of every single dish. Their service is top-notch, with to-go orders usually ready in 10 minutes or less, and they offer patio seating with brand new picnic tables if you feel like dining al fresco. Grab a Christie Cookie from the counter, visit during happy hour, or pick up some dips on the way to your next pool party. Enjoy the many things that 51st Deli has to offer … but not all at once, if you don’t mind.
Visit 51st Deli at 1314 51st Ave N, Nashville, TN 37209. Hours are Monday through Saturday; 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. To see the large and variety-packed menu, and to find more information, visit 51stdeli.com. And stay tuned, because they recently announced a new venture: Burger Joint.
For more local restaurants we love, visit the archives right here!