Top 10 Foods To Try In Tennessee

food to try in tennessee usa
| 4 min read

If you want to look for delicious fried and spicy food, Southerners do it best. Tennessee is one of the best places to try Southern food. From fluffy pancakes, crispy chicken to yummy sweet potato fries, Tennessee has the best of Southern food on offer. From the generous mains to the delectable sides, you must try it all when in the state. We have curated a list of the most popular local food that you should sample when in Tennessee. Read on more to find out what this huge state has to offer and what food to try in Tennessee.

1. Sweet potato fries

Sweet Potato Fries
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sanjay Acharya used under CC BY-SA 3.0

With a crunchy exterior and soft fluffy interior, there’s no one in the whole wide world who can say no to french fries. Sweet potato fries are a popular variation of the usual potato ones and are a very famous variety from Nashville, Tennessee. Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant in downtown Nashville is an extremely popular local joint to savor this variety. Not just fries, they serve a great sweet potato pancake which is worth tasting too.

Puckett's Grocery and Restaurant

Address: 500 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219, USA

Business hours: 7.00 am to 10.00 pm everyday, Tuesday closed

Website: Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant

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2. Country ham

Country ham
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user John Goetzinger used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Country ham is produced by curing and smoking pieces of ham in a typical style special to a few states in the US like Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The moisture from the meat is dried up by using salt and then it is cured with selected spices for 75 to 90 days for the optimum taste. This exquisite dry meat is enjoyed by people throughout the country and Tennessee produces some of the best varieties. You can go to Loveless cafe - a Southern-style country cafe with old-school vibes for some of the most succulent dry-cured country hams you would have ever tasted.

Loveless Cafe

Address: 8400 TN-100, Nashville, TN 37221, USA

Business hours: 7.00 am to 9.00 pm every day, Tuesdays closed

Website: Loveless Cafe

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3. Flapjacks

AppleJack Flapjacks
Source: Photo by Flickr user Mooshuu used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Pancakes are usually referred to as Flapjacks in the US and they are soft golden discs of pan-fried batter made of flour, sugar, eggs, buttermilk and topped usually with different varieties of syrups. The smell of butter mixed with the sugary maple syrup is heaven for breakfast lovers all over the world. There are a host of cabin-style eateries very popular in Tennessee for sampling these flapjacks and Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is one of the best options if you are anywhere near Gatlinburg. People usually stop by before starting their hike in the nearby Smoky Mountains and the pitstop will be more than worth it!

Crockett's Breakfast Camp

Address: 1103 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, USA

Business hours: 7.00 am to 1.00 pm everyday

Website: Crockett’s Breakfast Camp

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4. Cornbread

Source: Photo by Flickr user Whitney used under CC BY 2.0

Cornbread is a popular variety of bread baked using cornmeal and is loved by the people of Southern states in the US. Tennesee is so in love with cornbread that it dedicates an entire festival to the bread in April. Edley’s Bar-B-Que in Nashville is one Southern barbecue joint that serves an amazing cornbread. Stop by for some sweet Tennessee deliciousness.

Edley’s Bar-B-Que

Address: 908 Main St, Nashville, TN 37206, USA

Business hours: 11.00 am to 10.00 pm

Website: Edley’s Bar-B-Que

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5. Catfish

Café de Paris Pan Fried Catfish
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ralph Daily used under CC BY 2.0

Catfish is an iconic food of the Southerners. The people of Tennessee love fishing so much, its no surprise that fries catfish - Southern style occupies a special place in all of the Tennessee people’s hearts. Again Puckett’s serves some of the best catfish as well so why not kill two birds with one stone and try some catfish while you’re there to taste the sweet potato fries?

Puckett's Grocery and Restaurant

Address: 500 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219, USA

Business hours: 7.00 am to 10.00 pm everyday, Tuesday closed

Website: Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant

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6. Dry ribs

Dry Rub Rack of Ribs Famous Dave's, Roseville Food
Source: Photo by Flickr user Steven Depolo used under CC BY 2.0

Dry ribs are usually made from the ribs of a pig and unlike the “wet” kind where they are slathered with barbecue sauce, dry ribs are marinated with dry spices before being grilled. While wet ribs take longer to cook, dry ribs can be prepared within two hours if the meat has been prepped. The Rendezvous is one such legendary place in Memphis where you can stop by for some best barbecue in Tennesee.

The Rendezvous

Address: 52 S 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38103, USA

Business hours: 4.30 pm to 10.30 pm on Tuesday through Thursday and 11.30 am to 11.00 pm on weekends

Website: The Rendezvous

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7. Fried pickles

Fried pickles closeup
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Guanaco used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Much like the love of Southerners for everything fried, they love to indulge in fried pickles - a snack popular in the Southern US states. Sliced dill pickles are deep fried after coating in a batter. They serve as a great appetizer or a side with a glass of your favorite drink. Robert’s Western World is a great stop in Nashville for a quick dose of fried pickles with spectacular live music.

Robert's Western World

Address: 416 Broadway B, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

Business hours: 11.00 am to 3.00 am everyday

Website: Robert’s Western World

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8. Goo Goo Clusters

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Evan-Amos

Popular since 1912, Goo Goo Clusters is a candy bar created by the Standard Candy Company born in Nashville, Tennessee. The candy is made of marshmallows, milk chocolate, nuts, and caramel. The Goo Goo Cluster is known to be on of the first combination bars in the world. The Goo Goo dessert bar in Nashville is a place where you will be able to explore how the chocolate is made and buy some merchandise as well.

Goo Goo Shop

Address: 116 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201, USA

Business hours: 10.00 am to 7.00 pm every day, closed on Monday and Tuesday

Website: Goo Goo Shop

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9. Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

The Budlong - Hot: Hot Chicken Sandwich on Brioche, roasted garlic aioli, farm slaw, pickels, pit beans ($12)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Lou Stejskal used under CC BY 2.0

Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich is a deep-fried chicken sandwich coated with hot sauces or more specifically a cayenne glaze. This dish is gaining international popularity now and is spotted on many international restaurant menus these days. This crispy and flavorful dish can be enjoyed at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken in Nashville.

Hattie B's Hot Chicken

Address: 112 19th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

Business hours: 11.00 am to 10.00 pm every day, till 12.00 am on weekends

Website: Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

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10. Meat and Three

#arnolds #nashville meat and three
Source: Photo by Flickr user Missy Caulk used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Meat and Three is simply one main dish of meat and three sides accompanying it - Southern style! Usually, the three sides are either picked by the customer or are part of the daily specials. It is also often served with cornbread and tea. The meat can include beef, chicken, ham, steak or meatloaf. An old favorite of Nashville people is Arnold’s Country Kitchen which serves other Southern soul food staples as well.

Arnold's Country Kitchen

Address: 605 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

Business hours: 10.30 am to 2.45 pm every day, closed on weekends

Website: Arnold’s Country Kitchen

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Tennessee is not just about country music

Tennessee Prepares Succotash for their Dinner Party
Source: Photo by Flickr user Dept of Energy So... used under CC BY-ND 2.0

The state is not just home to soulful country music and lush landscapes. The delicious culinary offerings make it a destination that has everything a traveler wants. Even though you might feel full because most of the food is deep fried and almost everything uses batter, it is something you should try once in your lifetime if you’re visiting Tennesee to feel like a real Southerner.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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