Four Under-the-Radar Foodie Paradises in Nashville

Nashville has no shortage of Southern cuisine, whether you’re looking for meat and three or haute. But less well known are the bustling international food experiences to be enjoyed all across the city. As my husband and I continue to explore all Nashville has to offer, I thought I’d share some of the more recent findings from some tasty forays into less mainstream parts of town.

  1. Kirin Sushi 
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    Image credit to Valorie from Yelp

    This new sushi restaurant seems to be getting decent reviews without help from me, but as it is new and located in Antioch, I wanted to give it some love. We were looking for dinner near the $2 movie theater before our show, and I was craving sushi (when am I not?). Low and behold just off of Bell Road is the new Kirin Sushi offering a wide range of Japanese favorites from sushi to hibachi to udon soup. The restaurant provides a welcoming interior great for dates. We ordered several rolls and a bowl of Udon. I kept a menu on the table in case we needed more, but the rolls were bursting with seafood goodness and the bowl of Udon turned out to be bigger than my head! We ended up taking most of the soup home, along with a large plate of tasty tempura, and it was just as delicious and umami-packed the next day. We will be returning.

  2. So Gong Dong Tofu House Restaurant
    So, apparently, this place is a chain. We found out about it from our cousins from Chicago who came to visit and wondered if their favorite Korean restaurant had a location here. Lucky for us, rich soups and hearty bibimpab and seafood pancakes are just down the road. You wouldn’t know it to look at the questionable strip mall in which it sits, but stepping inside you discover a lovely, homey restaurant that feels worlds away from the nearby busy Harding Road. Seriously, I have never had tastier Korean food. Ever.
  3. Goha Ethiopian Restaurant 

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    Another Yelp Photo

    A bit out of the way (unless you already live in Antioch), this charming Ethiopian restaurant is located in a converted house. You dine in the living room or on the front porch, whichever you choose. The menu is extensive and the food comes fast and flavorful along with piles of spongy injera. This place is great whether you are novice to the cuisine or a long-time connoisseur. There are only a handful of Ethiopian restaurants in town, but so far this one is the overall winner for flavor, service, and ambiance.

  4. The Shawarma Sandwiches at Newroz Market 
    There is a string of Kurdish markets along Nolensville Pike that serve the needs of Nashville’s substantial Kurdish population. They also serve the rest of us delicious shawarma sandwiches at Newroz Market, made to order on your choice of freshly baked breads, with chicken or beef or mixed, and any veggies or sauces that tickle your fancy. Best of all, you can stuff yourself full of tasty shawarma for only $4! Everyone inside is very kind and willing to explain all the choices available. While you are there, you can also pick up bucketloads of dried chickpeas, homemade tahini paste, and date syrup for your Mediterranean cooking adventures.
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