A contrived café with a gourmet approach, Caviar & Bananas hails from the low country, as do its owners, Kris and Margaret Furniss. “It is interesting to think there might be a reason that we don’t know,” Kris says of Nashville’s draw for Charleston-based concepts. “Charleston is such a food city, and so is Nashville; and the two share cultural similarities.” While Husk and Sean Brock are known for the reinvention of Southern staples and Butcher & Bee for veggie-driven mezze, Caviar & Bananas rolls a coffee shop, boutique food market, sandwich and salad counter, and small-plate concept into one. After living in New York, Kris and Margaret relocated to Charleston, where they opened the original Caviar & Bananas. There are three locations in Charleston, SC, one location in Greenville, SC, and (as of June 21) one in Nashville. Located in Midtown, where 21st turns into Broadway, Caviar & Bananas has quickly become one of the most popular spots in Nashville. They are shifting the shape of all-day dining.

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

Having just opened in late June, Caviar & Bananas has quickly become a hot spot.

In New York, Kris was working in finance and Margaret in brand development. “I wasn’t passionate about what I was doing, so I decided to make a change,” Kris tells us. “I loved the restaurant business, but it was a party every night. I got involved with Dean & Deluca and that is what started my love for this type of environment and interaction with food. It opened my eyes to the retailed and packed food world — a whole different world that I loved.” This experience, and the couple’s regular habit of dining out, led them to begin thinking about opening a space of their own. “We became concept critics (in a nice way) and took what we believed to be good ideas and tried to put it all into one,” Kris shares. And thus, Caviar & Bananas was born.

“In Charleston, we envisioned a little cheese shop with a cheese and charcuterie counter and expected to sell a few sandwiches. We opened and were selling 150 sandwiches a day while only four people were buying cheese. We have had to evolve as we have grown. Nashville is a culmination of all of those years of ideas and edits and tweaks; we think of Nashville as our flagship,” Margaret shares.

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

“We had no idea what we were doing. I had grown up working in restaurants, but it is different when that restaurant is your own,” Margaret, pictured here with Kris, tells us.

The trick to a successful visit to Caviar & Bananas is navigating the space as a market, not a restaurant. “Adjust your mindset and design your own experience,” Margaret suggests. The 6,100-square-foot space in Nashville (compared to Charleston’s 3,300 square feet) is divided into sections based on type of cuisine. The salad bar features menu items, with The Far East and Seattle Caesar being the most popular, as well as the opportunity to design your own. Choose from fresh arugula, kale, mixed greens, romaine or spinach, and begin adding protein, cheese and toppings. This is truly the answer to our lunchtime prayers. The prepared food selection showcases daily items that range from chicken tenders and turkey burgers to roasted chicken and pecan salad and grilled eggplant stacks. “Seventy percent of the prepared food offerings are our staples throughout the company, and the other 30% is on rotation. If we were to remove the kale salad and chicken fingers, there would be a riot,” Kris tells us.

“We are a chef-driven concept. Everything is made here by scratch using ingredients that are responsibly sourced,” Margaret says. At the sandwich station, Executive Chef Joe Denomme created the Tennessee Trio, which is only found in Nashville. House-cured porchetta, crispy confit pork belly, Sweetwater Valley buttermilk cheddar, Tennessee whiskey bacon jam, pickled sunchokes and arugula are piled between two pieces of ciabatta to create this mouthwatering sandwich. Other combinations on the sandwich menu include duck confit and fig preserves, house-made pimento cheese, and bacon and hot smoked salmon with Alabama white sauce  — and of course the chance to create your own.

For breakfast, the coffee bar serves breakfast favorites, such as the sunrise sandwich, ricotta toast and overnight oats, until 11:30 a.m. When the space transforms into a wine bar, the selection changes from coffee and eggs to summer-inspired wines (for now) and small plates. The small plates menu has been a big hit. Diners choose one item for $8, three for $23 or six for $42. Each dish pairs perfectly with the selection of wines. “Nashville and Greenville both have the wine component, but Nashville is the drinking-est of any location, which is very fun,” Margaret says. The propensity for Nashvillians to enjoy a libation at almost any time of the day (and the scorching summer temps) even inspired the seasonal offering of “frozé,” a frozen rosé drink available during warmer months.

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

The Tennessee Trio is Chef Joe’s special creation.

The Far East: spinach, soy-roasted tofu, edamame, red bell pepper, fresh carrots, red cabbage, roasted peanuts, brown rice and sesame ginger vinaigrette

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

Dinner is ready to take home and put on the table thanks to the prepared food options!

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

The kale salad is one of the most popular pre-made items.

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

Start your day with coffee and fresh pastries!

If you choose dining in over taking your choices to go, seating options are plentiful. Gold metal chairs are pulled up to chic white tables that fit seamlessly with the white subway tiling and walls — all of which is offset by black accents. Artfully packaged food and art by Nashville artist Amanda Norman are the only subtle pops of color in the space. “The décor and design of the Nashville location differ in that it’s more modern, fresh, light and airy,” Margaret says.

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

The artisan food products are ripe for the picking!

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

Sectioned off from the rest of the space, the wine shop has us saying “YAY WINE!”

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

Through September, Nashville artist Amanda Norman will be Caviar & Bananas’ featured artist. Check out her work, which livens the space while complementing its chic design.

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

Fresh greens! Caviar & Bananas is changing the lunch game in Nashville — as well as in Charleston and Greenville.

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

Stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and take advantage of the free WiFi, or pick up something to go!

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

Find fresh pastries, coffee and breakfast items each morning!

Welcome to Caviar & Bananas!

Experience all Caviar & Bananas has to offer!

“We both love Nashville and think it is a great city — a city that is growing. We expand into cities we want to be in; we are hands-on owners. Nashville was the right environment for what we are doing, and we are glad to be part of this development that is bringing more life to Midtown.” Margaret says. “In nine years we have opened five locations — three in the last year. It’s time to take a breath and let the dust settle.”

Caviar & Bananas is located at 2031 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Click here to see additional locations.

******

Nashville’s restaurant scene continues to thrive! Check out a list of new restaurants here. And be sure to download the free SB App to have all of the best restaurants, shopping, events, articles and more in some of the South’s most popular cities, right at your fingertips.