An influx of new and inventive restaurants in Nashville continues in the new year, adding spots from big-name chefs and local newcomers alike. Whether you’re seeking a sleek and elegant steakhouse experience, an airy Mediterranean lunch, or a meticulously executed cocktail, these are the Nashville hotspots to try right now.
Sadie’s (Edgehill Village)
As the newest addition to the growing Edgehill Village food scene, Sadie’s, which opened in October, brings a local vibe with a Mediterranean twist. Owned by Red Pebbles Hospitality, the same group that delivered Nashville favorites Adele’s and 404 Kitchen, Sadie’s, with boho-chic chandeliers and fresh flower arrangements throughout, aims to be a casual, all-day cafe. It’s currently serving lunch, dinner, and brunch on the weekends, but plans to begin breakfast service in the future. Brunch options include shakshuka with baked farm eggs and Lebanese yogurt with carrot cake marmalade and dried fruits. The dinner menu features some traditional Middle Eastern fare, such as Moroccan spiced lamb kebabs and lentil stew, but also serves classic American dishes with Mediterranean accents, like grilled skirt steak with hummus, tomato-feta, and pickled onion relish.
Carne Mare (West Nashville)
The newest spot from chef and restaurateur Andrew Carmellini—the mind behind critically acclaimed spots such as New York City’s Locanda Verde—Carne Mare joined sibling restaurant The Dutch at the W Hotel in November. Channeling an Italian chophouse as its trattoria-inspired interiors—brass flourishes, walnut millwork, and leather banquettes—suggest, it focuses on prime steaks, seafood, and Italian specialties. Begin your meal here with snacks, such as the mozzarella sticks with caviar or sheep’s milk ricotta drizzled with truffle honey. Steak lovers will appreciate the range of options, including wagyu cuts, prime boneless ribeye, or a 45-day dry-aged porterhouse done Florentine style to share. For a lighter dish, try the lobster with calabrian chile and citrus or the salt-baked Florida red snapper.
Punk Wok (West Nashville)
A self-proclaimed “American izakaya”, newly opened Punk Wok, which debuted in December, brings a rare and eclectic mix of Japanese- and Chinese-inspired small plates to Sylvan Park. The menu at this convivial spot offers a selection of hot and cold dishes to share, such as spicy Sichuan street noodles with house-made egg noodles and chile oil, Southern-inspired crab rangoon with pimento cheese, and red curry mussels in a fragrant coconut broth, best paired with a Japanese whisky or beer. Don’t be fooled by its compact size—Punk Wok is a party hub that punches far above its weight, thanks to bold menu add-ons. Ask for the “Russian roulette” option with your sushi order, and the chef will hide a spicy pepper in one of the rolls—the diner who eats it is rewarded with a shot. Pop in for lunch and try a “blueplate bento”, a daily changing lunchbox special that features items such as a chicken katsu sando, sushi rolls, and chicken yakitori.
Supper Club – The Twelve Thirty Club (Downtown Nashville)
Opened in September by native Tennessean Justin Timberlake and restaurateur Sam Fox, Supper Club is part of a three-story restaurant concept located in the heart of downtown Nashville. The restaurant is a swanky respite on the second floor, safe from the chaos of Broadway’s honky-tonk scene. Designed with the classic supper club in mind, its moody lighting, burgundy curtains, and plush velvet banquettes pair perfectly with a martini and live nightly jazz. The menu offers a hit list of 1960s-inspired American classics, including a raw bar with oysters and chilled king crab, a wide selection of prime cuts of beef, and a plethora of decadent sides like smoked mozzarella and chive scalloped potatoes.
The Optimist (Germantown)
After opening its doors in the summer of 2021, The Optimist quickly became one of Nashville’s most sought-after restaurants, thanks to the fresh, sustainable seafood it brought to landlocked Nashvillians. Offerings range from stunning seafood towers decked with oysters, shrimp, ceviche, and lobster tails to wood-grilled king salmon with salsa verde and lemon. The highly anticipated recent addition of Le Loup, a sexy cocktail bar above the main dining room, makes for a dynamic duo. The cocktail menu is extensive, from a section dedicated to martini variations through the ages to forgotten classics such as the moonwalk, an elegant mixture of Champagne, dry curaçao, rose, and grapefruit, served in a coupe. Pair it with fresh oysters, steak tartare, or the duck liver and foie gras parfait. Le Loup is open from 5 pm till late, making it a perfect spot for happy hour drinks and snacks, a nightcap, and everything in between.
Lola, the newest spot from the restaurant group that created Greek favorite Santo, exudes the warmth of a neighborhood joint. Nestled in Sylvan Park, amongst other longtime favorite restaurants such as Park Cafe and Caffe Nonna, Lola stands out with its crisp, airy European interiors and shareable Spanish menu. The plates are reminiscent of what you might find in Madrid, piled high with tuna gildas with pickled peppers and olives, famous Ibérico ham, and a rotating croquetas selection. Keep the wine flowing with the wide variety of Spanish and Portuguese bottles or try a cocktail with a Spanish twist, like the sidecar with Spanish brandy or the vino negroni, with citrusy gin, Spanish vermouth, and Spanish vanilla liqueur.
Tried them all? Check out other options here.