Traditionally a whiskey town, Music City now has a slew of home-grown brews served everywhere from hot chicken stands to honky-tonks. Fitting, then, that its most notable breakfast spots have a flair for local provisions, too.
By Maria Carter
It’s hard to overlook The Southern’s massive bar—a handsome, well-stocked piece of furniture running half the length of the dining room. Thankfully, Nashville law allows for a.m. cocktails; signature concoctions like Corsair Absinthe and vanilla-bean-infused Old Forester bourbon are available, though we prefer a little Whisper Creek sipping cream with our coffee. Try the Cuban, black beans and “skillet debris” topped with pork tenderloin, or savor the jumbo lump crab Apalach Omelet drizzled with béarnaise sauce; the adventurous dive right into Chef Matt Farley’s My Way, an offbeat breakfast of linguini, goat cheese, bacon lardons and fried eggs.
This Hillsboro Village hangout, part coffeehouse, part locavore eatery, serves breakfast all day— a major selling point for night owls who want to have their shut-eye and eat their pancakes, too. Fast service, wallet-friendly price points and organic coffee from nearby roaster Bongo Java draw a crowd of musicians and Vanderbilt students to Fido’s sidewalk tables and tall wooden booths. Menu highlights like the Hangover Bagel with cream cheese and local sausage, house-made hash browns and Pete’s Breakfast Torta, an oversized tortilla sandwich of scrambled eggs, chorizo and cheese, provide savory fuel for the day, no matter how late it starts.
Occupying a pseudo-industrial space of whitewashed brick— the center of which is a collection of elaborate-looking, glass-siphon coffee pots—in trendy East Nashville, Barista Parlor offers the antithesis of hair of the dog. Chocolates from around the world; exotic espressos with flavor notes like apple, peach and jasmine; and take-home growlers of chilled coffee kick-start the day. Lest you think the food is an afterthought, house-made buttermilk biscuits piled with Swiss cheese, eggs from nearby Willow Farm and smoked ham from Porter Road Butcher next door, and Georgia-peach-topped waffles with bourbon-vanilla maple syrup declare otherwise.
Late-night bite: After last call, skip the drive-thru: Cafe Coco stays open 24 hours, catering to a crowd of insomniacs, honky-tonk stragglers and servers unwinding after work with filling breakfast sandwiches and the Famous Club: ham, turkey, crispy bacon and Swiss layered between three slices of wheat.