ABC’s Nashville returned for its much-anticipated second season Wednesday night. And though (spoiler alert), there were no character casualties to season one’s cliff-hanger car crash, all signs point to a continuation of dramatic plot developments along the lines of love triangles, paternity issues, backroom political machinations, closeted cowboys and impromptu duets all over town. All the theatrics, singing and on-location staging must be exhausting to all involved, so we couldn’t help but wonder where the cast and crew eat, drink and re-fuel in Music City (aside from the craft service table) when they’re not on set. We surveyed a few parties on the inside to find out which restaurants the cast and crew frequent. Below are some of their favorites.
Downtown Rutledge Hill's Crema coffeehouse takes its expertly crafted coffee and espresso drinks seriously. Coffee beans come roasted from local purveyors, with pastries, sandwiches, bagels and quiche also locally produced.
Named in honor of its previous occupant (a pet store), this oft-packed, longtime Hillsboro Village staple boasts an excellent breakfast/brunch menu featuring the likes of fantastic breakfast burritos, the Huevos Cubano, and the always reliable Eggs McFido — scrambled eggs, choice of cheese (cheddar, Swiss or cream) on a bagel.
Inspired by its New York City brethren down to a miniature Statue of Liberty on the roof of its Midtown location, native Nashville owner Tom Loventhal's Noshville aptly recreates the sights, sounds and most importantly the taste of a classic deli.
12 South Taproom
The Taproom is an ideal neighborhood spot for craft beers on tap, reliably good live music and expertly prepared pub food. Families, beer nerds and bearded cycling enthusiasts alike pack the funky indoor dining space and the sizable patio.
Kingpin caretaker of the meat-and-three genre, owner Jack Arnold has handed the reins to his son Kahlil, who oversees the daily activity at this unassuming iconic eatery just south of downtown. Shake a hand; make a friend at this place: You and your banana pudding-laden tray may be sharing a table in the cozy confines.
Proudly serving “the coldest beer in town,” this classic Nashville trailer-turned-restaurant still turns out one fantastic burger — simple, unfussy and cooked medium-well on a griddle with plenty of character. A pitcher and a burger won’t set you back much here.
Five Points Pizza
East Nashville’s Five Points Pizza did a bang up job creating a cozy little bi-level space you'd want to sit down in and linger over a pie and a couple of beers. As for the excellent pizza itself, the thinnish, chewy yet slightly crispy crust really steals the show.
Hattie B's Hot Chicken
Hattie B's provides a convenient Midtown option for those wanting to take on Nashville's most beloved indigenous foodstuff: hot chicken. Though the quarter breast plate is the traditional way to go at most hot chicken joints, Hattie B's particularly excels with their sizable hot tenders (pro tip: ask for a bottle of honey).
This tiny Inglewood sandwich stalwart has cultivated a devoted following from East Nashville and beyond. The curried chicken salad, turkey bacon avocado and Asian flank steak sandwiches come highly recommended, though it’s difficult to go wrong.
Dinner/ Upscale Dining
Rolf and Daughters
Rolf and Daughters has drawn early praise from the likes of Bon Appetit magazine for what chef-owner Philip Krajeck has described as 'modern peasant food.' What, pray tell, is modern peasant food? Think hearty, European-inspired, locally sourced fare. The sublime garganelli verde is not to be missed.
City House sports multilevel seating and an expansive chef's table/main bar: all the better to watch James Beard Award-nominated chef/owner Tandy Wilson and crew work their magic with contemporary rustic Southern-influenced Italian cuisine in front of a wood-burning oven. Required eating: the octopus appetizer and belly ham pizza.
The Southern Steak & Oyster
Named one of Esquire magazine's Best New Restaurants of 2012, The Southern manages to be country and citified at the same time, not unlike a lot of the hit tunes cut in Music City recording studios.