My Annual Nashville Restaurant Journal And Watch List, 2024

Stoney Keeley looks back at the new restaurants added to the 'Nashville Reviews' catalog in 2023 and looks ahead to new spots to try in 2024.

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Another year of getting out there and reviewing Nashville area restaurants is in the books, and another year of planning where to go next is in front of me. Am I food critic? No. That’s not lost on me – I’m sure people read ‘Nashville Reviews’ and think I’m a caveman. That’s fine. I also have the palate of a raccoon, so as I’ve told friends before, my opinion on food probably shouldn’t matter all that much because I’m easy to please. I’m perfectly content with a bin of trash for dinner on Friday night. Nonetheless, the spirit of this series on this website is just to let you guys know what’s out there, snap some food pics so you can decide if you want to try it for yourself, and let you know what our experiences were like. Let’s recap 2023 before I list a few places I’d like to get out and try this year.

New Nashville Area Restaurants I Tried in 2023

  • The Papermillfull review – Stoked to have The Papermill in town. It’s one of my favorite spots around Mount Juliet – great burgers, good beer list, love the queso. They do the basics right. It doesn’t break the bank. And, our service has always been on point.
  • Halls Chophouse – Aura and I had a nice little brunch with some friends at Halls Chophouse this year. It was simply exquisite.
  • Local Joe’s – I’m willing to give Local Joe’s another shot. It’s a popular lunch spot out here in Mount Juliet, but the time I tried it this year was around 5PM and maybe the food just wasn’t the freshest. I definitely get the infatuation with this place, though.
  • Slim & Husky’sfull review – The best Nashville hot chicken pizza in town. It’s the real deal, not some bullshit buffalo riff. I love the chicken, but the peppers add a nice crunch to the texture, and the ranch cools things down to keep it from being overbearing. It’s perfect. One of my favorite meals in town.
  • Sixty Vines – Yes, I am a fancy bitch that loves to sip on $25 glasses of wine with my pinky up. It’s such a nice spot…so much of Nashville has gotten way too loud for this old soul. I like a rooftop when the weather’s perfect to slowly sip on some bottled poetry and relax.
  • Hathornefull review – While I’d say Audrey is the best restaurant in town, I think Hathorne might be my favorite. A creative menu paired with a setting that has some real character makes for the perfect date night spot in Nashville.
  • The Barrel Housefull review – I mean, it’s basically Catch 22 and I loved Catch 22 so count it.
  • Lockeland Tablefull review – I had one of the most substantial, satisfying, and interesting meals of my life at this spot. It’s no wonder it’s a Nashville staple.
  • Wild Wasabi – Full disclosure, I stop in here to drink beer and eat gyoza while I wait for my wife sometimes because it’s a nice little tucked away spot that’s never crowded. It’s fantastic, but one day, I’d like to try a real meal here.
  • Adele’s – That brunch buffet is no fucking joke. I think I ate five pounds of food one Sunday morning when I was extremely hung over and sweating my way through town.
  • Wedge Pizza & Pubfull review – Another tucked away spot that’s just my speed. The Nashville hot chicken wings are among the best I’ve had in the city, but man, they are fucking hot.
  • The Rolling Recipefull review – Instantly became my favorite food truck in Nashville.
  • DraftKings Sportsbook and Social (is that the name?) – I don’t remember what this place is called and at this point in the night, I’m not making the effort to look it up because you guys know exactly what I’m talking about, but it was cool in the sense that I could tell I would’ve loved it in my 20s. I just don’t have the energy at 37.
  • Butchertown Hallfull review – I could bathe in that Smoke Stack and smear it across my bare chest.
  • Little Hatsfull review – Props to Sean for going to bat for Little Hats. I’m glad I listened…it’s the best sub I’ve had in this city by a mile.
  • Velvet Taco full review – It’s the best queso in town.
  • Snooze full review coming soon! – I love breakfast, and I have to say, the corned beef hash at Snooze rivals any breakfast dish I’ve had in Nashville. A trendy spot with good vibes.

2024 Watch List

I have a long list of places to get to. Believe me – how ambitious it is to say I want to get every area restaurant I possibly can into our grand catalog of ‘Nashville Reviews’ is not lost on me. It sounds insane, and that gives me an incredibly deep pool of options to write about every year. But, as we wind down for the holidays every year, I do take a gander at what’s opening, and I listen to what people are saying on social media, and I do circle a few names to make a concerted effort to get to in the following year to write about. This is that list today!

  • Shotgun Willie’s BBQ – After mentioning Shotgun Willie’s to me two years ago, I’m surprised Sean hasn’t already kicked my ass for not making the time to check it out. That needs to change ASAP. Shotgun Willie’s has been called the best BBQ in Nashville by several people whose opinion I trust and value.
  • Dicey’s Tavern – I have two sources reporting this is some good pizza and a fun spot. Good pizza and fun spots are two things I covet greatly.
  • Noble’s – I’ve had some serious fomo seeing all the picks of the cold beers and the good times my friends are having on social media.
  • Two Ten Jack – ffs, my wife and I have been saying “we need to try that” for as long as I can remember. The problem? We’re usually remembering it as we’re stuffing our face with Jeni’s or Five Daughters. This is the year we make it happen. I can just feel it.
  • SweetMilk – We need more breakfast spots out here east of town, so I’m stoked to see this place open up out here. Given the names attached to this one, I’m confident that any time we choose to go will be packed and I’ll have to wait in line (which I hate doing). But, I have to know what these biscuits are all about.
  • Joyland – Cool concept from a fabled culinary icon in this city. I can’t believe I haven’t tried it yet, but it keeps popping up in conversation, so I’m going to make it happen this year.
  • Brave Idiot – Brittany and Jesse stay telling me about Brave Idiot, and to be fair, some of the creations I’ve seen on their social media have looked ungodly. It looks like my kind of food, something I’ll need a triple bypass after. Whatever – I ain’t here for a long time. I’m here for a good time.
  • Also, for what it’s worth, I’ve never had Indian food and I really want to try Indian food, so someone drop me a suggestion.

Got a spot in mind for me to try? Drop it in those comments.

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley

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