We used to talk about crossing the river for great food in town and we all knew that meant going to East Nashville. But at this point, crossing the river for good food goes both ways as downtown, the Gulch, Germantown, 12South, WeHo, Sylvan Park and yes, Charlotte Ave, are all claiming some of Nashville’s best restaurants, in addition to East Nashville. Neighborhood restaurants are truly taking off in many parts of Nashville — and that is a great thing.
All this to say, have you driven down Charlotte Avenue lately? In particular, the section from 40th Avenue to 52nd Avenue has exploded with great restaurants with good reason, as the connecting neighborhoods of Sylvan Park, Sylvan Heights and The Nations are so hot. Here is a cheat sheet for where to eat and why.
Restaurants on Charlotte Avenue in Nashville
(between 40th and 52nd Avenues)
Salt & Vine: opened July 2016
4001 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 800-8517
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (market and counter service lunch until seated service starts at 4 p.m.); Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (see notes above for counter service vs. seated service)
Salt & Vine is a combination of gourmet specialty market, wine bar, tasting bar and restaurant that recently opened in Hill Center’s newest Sylvan Heights development, which spans Charlotte Avenue’s 40th and 41st Avenues. Friends keep texting and emailing saying how fabulous this place is, so it’s one to check out with lots of positive buzz! Inspired by a harvest season in Napa, which owner Mattie Jackson spent with Joseph Phelps, and the down-to-earth daily appreciation of wine, Salt & Vine aims to bring this same daily flavorful experience to Nashville patrons. Menu items are meant to be shared and include items like spiced lamb meatballs with couscous, tzatziki and pomegranate; grilled trout panzanella with squash, goat cheese and arugula; burrata, grilled corn, peach and basil oil; as well as many more items, including snacks and sweets. Wine tastings are $30 and happen each month with owner and sommelier Mattie Jackson.
Double Dogs: opened July 2016
4017 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209 • (629) 777-8500
Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
This sports bars has locations in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Knoxville, Tennessee, as well as a location in Nashville’s Hillsboro Village. And they just opened a second Nashville location in Sylvan Heights. Go for lots of TVs — as in 40 of them — sandwiches, salads, burgers, hot dogs, pizza, wings, beer and, of course, the nachos, which are served in a dog bowl. You read that right. And as a note to all the dog lovers reading this, they will have dog treats on hand for dog walkers — and the patio is fido friendly!
The Urban Juicer: coming soon
4018 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Urban Juicer is a Nashville company that makes freshly juiced-to-order drinks, as well as offers healthy snacks and sandwiches. With no juice bars currently on this side of town, we’re expecting it to really take off and be hugely successful.
Farm Burger: coming soon
Keep your ears open for word of this burger joint opening in Sylvan Heights. They promise chef-driven, seasonal and locally-sourced menu items, with grass-fed, dry-aged beef burgers as the primary focus.
Flip Burger: opened 2015
4111 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 454-2917
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Flip Burger offers a wide array of burgers made from different meats and substitutes (beef, lamb, tuna, vegetables), as well as a few entrees and salads. The cocktails and milkshakes come with a fabulous presentation, which includes dry ice smoke, and the decor is more diner-style than typically found in Nashville. As an insider tip, the hours-long dinner wait found when they first opened has waned. Currently, you can usually snag a table on a Friday and Saturday night and avoid a long wait while enjoying delicious food.
The Beer Pale: opened 2015
4109 Charlotte Ave., 42nd Ave. N., Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 454-6887
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Known for an excellent selection of local beers, as well as an educated staff to help you select the right brew, The Beer Pale has a loyal following. The dining menu is filled with salads, smoked meats, panini sandwiches, gourmet dogs and more. If you aren’t sticking around for a bite to eat, fill up your growlers with some of the best craft beer found locally. The Beer Pale has a sign that is hard to read from the street but it’s directly to the left of Flip Burger, so that should eliminate any confusion.
M.L. Rose: opened 2012
4408 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 750-2920
Hours: Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
M. L. Rose is sports bar food elevated. In addition to lunch and dinner, they also have a weekend brunch menu, so be sure to go by and check it out — and order the Bloody Mary. While the food menu will delight all, the beer menu is a beer lover’s paradise with options galore. A few staff favorites are the Cobb Salad (and, if you ask nicely, they will substitute a fried egg for the hard boiled one) and the fried okra, which comes with a side of thick, delicious ranch dressing.
Porter Road Butcher: opened 2013
4816 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 454-2995
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m to 7 p.m. (lunch served Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. via the drive-thru); Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (breakfast served from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. via the drive-thru)
If you are looking for locally raised cuts of meat, a true craft for butchering, as well as gourmet pantry items, this is where you need to go. You’ll find beef, poultry, pork, eggs and more (we’ve even bought a 4.5 pound ribeye here!) at this neighborhood butchery. They also have breakfast and lunch sandwiches, which are served through the drive-thru window (see hours for specifics).
Betty’s Grill: opened 2006
407 49th Ave. N., Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 297-7257
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Even longtime residents to this area may have missed knowing about Betty’s but regulars know a good thing and, apparently, the cheeseburger is a damn good thing. Maybe the secret has been kept out of fear of it being another dive bar turned “hipster hangout.” Yes, this is a total dive, in the best of ways: It’s dark, the beer is cheap and there’s a jukebox. It runs down the side of 49th Avenue, hidden from Charlotte Avenue. Once you notice it, you’ll wonder how you never did.
(For more restaurants in The Nations, see our full article devoted to these restaurants, here.)
Coco’s Italian Market: opened 2006
411 51st Ave. N., Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 783-0114
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m to 8 p.m.
Known for some of the best Italian food in all of Nashville, this casual market/restaurant has been bringing in patrons for the past decade. When you dine at this Italian eatery, you will soon realize the obsession. Look for fresh pastas, delicious pizza and reasonably priced bottles of wine. And the weekend brunch menu is not to be missed (served from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays).
52nd Avenue to 53rd Avenue
Thistle Stop Cafe: opened 2013
5128 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 953-6440
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thistle Stop Cafe now serves both breakfast and lunch. And the coffee is really great, if you just want to run in and grab some to go along with a fresh baked muffin (It’s faster than Starbucks … promise!). An early morning visit to this cafe will help start your day with some positive energy. While the food is amazing and the place is charming (you may even hear live piano playing), know that you are doing good while eating here. The cafe supports the Thistle Farms program, which has been saving women from the streets for years — with a track record for success that is jaw dropping. Find out more about Thistle Farms, Thistle Stop Cafe and the fabulous program it supports, here.
Miel: opened 2008
343 53rd Ave. N., Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 298-3663
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
For a more upscale meal — with all the comforts of eating at your best friend’s home — head to Miel. This Nashville dining staple was using farm-to-table practices well before the term was as ubiquitous as it is today. Miel’s owner, Seema Prasad, is simply delightful and you’ll find her there most nights greeting patrons, bringing food to the table and insuring that everyone is having a great time. Whether it’s for a special occasion or if you just want to grab a stellar meal, Miel is your place.
If the weekend is upon you and you don’t think you can get reservations anywhere, cross your fingers and check with Miel. If there is a table, know that you’ve scored. If there’s not, go ahead and make reservations for your next night out. If you are dining with a large group and need a private dining venue, the barn at Miel is a local insider’s favorite.
To see our full article on Miel — and to read us gush more — please click here.
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken: opened 2014
5209 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 712-7137
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hot chicken and Nashville go together like … well … hot chicken and Nashville! You can get this Music City staple in a variety of heats, fried or grilled. If you try your chicken Damn Hot, expect to sweat. Or test the waters with a milder version. There is often a line out the door but it’s almost always shorter than the Midtown line and you can always call ahead and get it to go.
Hattie B’s is expanding outside of Nashville and just opened their doors in Birmingham, Alabama. To read all about it, check out our review from our sister city publication, StyleBlueprint Birmingham, here.
Bobbie’s Dairy Dip: opened 1951
5301 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 463-8088
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Since 1951, Nashvillians have been heading to Bobbie’s Dairy Dip for burgers, hot dogs and fries but it’s the ice cream and milkshakes that really draw a crowd. This restaurant is a long-standing Nashville joint that is embraced by old and new Nashville, alike. You can only visit this sweet eatery in the warmer months, so embrace the line. It can be long but it’s so worth it.
Bajo Sexto Taco Lounge: opened May 2016
5303 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 678-1049
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Bajo stands out as one of the very best Mexican places in Nashville — perhaps in the entire South. Really, it’s that good! It’s the perfect spot to sip a beer and snack on dips, or stay and enjoy a full meal. The tacos, salads, quesadillas and authentic Mexican plates appeal to people of all ages, including families and people on Date Nights. The food is consistently great and the atmosphere is relaxing. If the line is long, go to the bar, grab a seat and order directly from the bartender. Insider tip: The monster nachos are big enough for four people to share as a meal!
For more on Bajo Sexto Taco Lounge, see our full article, here.
Wendell Smith’s: opened 1952
5300 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 383-7114
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Wendell Smith’s, also known simply as “Wendell’s,” opened in 1952 and is one of Nashville’s oldest meat-and-threes. With folks coming to the area to try newly opened restaurants, Wendell’s is being newly discovered (or rediscovered) by many locals. In fact, this is what they have on their website: “In the past year, we have seen many great changes in the ‘hood but we still have that wonderful customer base that carried us thru all the years and the new so-called hipsters that are moving in are a great addition to the clientele we see daily in our little melting pot.” With old-school decor and food, this is the spot to go when you want to eat just like Grandma did.
Whitt’s BBQ: opened 1986
5211 Alabama Ave., Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 385-1553
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A long-standing brand for barbecue in Nashville, Whitt’s BBQ offers carryout, catering and wholesale for area restaurants. They first opened their doors in 1978 and have opened 25 locations across the area since then. The Charlotte spot offers drive thru pickup in addition to carryout.
Eio and the Hive: opening fall 2016
5300 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209
And, to wrap this up, we’re excited about this new restaurant opening next to Wendell Smith’s this fall, Eio and the Hive. Looks like it will serving healthy, organic food. We can’t wait to try it!
See what’s happening in the food scene next to Charlotte Avenue with our article on the exploding food scene in The Nations.
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