Nashville is a city known for its vibrant music, culture, and cuisine. But among all the delicious food options, few are as beloved or iconic as the humble burger. Whether you're a local or a visitor, it's hard to resist the allure of a juicy patty, fresh toppings, and a toasted bun. In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the world of burgers in Music City, exploring everything from the top-rated burger joints to the latest trends, tips for making your own at home, and more.
10 top-rated burger joints in Nashville
When it comes to finding the best burger in Nashville, there's no shortage of options. Some of the top-rated spots include:- Jack Brown's Beer and Burger Joint: This popular chain has a location in Nashville, and it's known for its unique toppings like mac and cheese and peanut butter.- Burger Republic: With several locations throughout the city, Burger Republic offers a range of gourmet burgers made with high-quality ingredients.- Gabby's Burgers and Fries: This family-owned joint has been serving up classic burgers and hand-cut fries since 2009.- Pharmacy Burger: Located in East Nashville, Pharmacy Burger is known for its old-fashioned soda fountain and creative burgers like the Farm Burger with bacon and a sunny-side-up egg.- Husk: This upscale restaurant in downtown Nashville is famous for its farm-to-table cuisine, and its burger is no exception. Made with Tennessee beef, bacon, and pimento cheese, it's a true taste of the South.
Other notable burger spots in Nashville include Burger Up, 5th and Taylor, M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers, and The Grilled Cheeserie. No matter where you go, you're sure to find a burger that hits the spot.
The history of burgers in Nashville
Like many American cities, Nashville has a rich history when it comes to burgers. The first fast food chain, White Castle, was founded in Wichita, Kansas in 1921, and soon spread throughout the country. In the decades that followed, burgers became a staple of American cuisine, thanks in part to the rise of drive-in restaurants and diners.
Here in Nashville, burgers have long been a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Some of the city's oldest burger joints include Brown's Diner, which opened in 1927, and Rotier's Restaurant, which has been serving up burgers and milkshakes since 1945.
Burger trends in Nashville: What's new and hot?
As with any food, burgers are subject to trends and fads. In recent years, some of the top trends in Nashville burgers include:- The rise of gourmet toppings and condiments, such as truffle aioli, pickled onions, and avocado.- The popularity of plant-based burgers, with many restaurants now offering options made with ingredients like mushrooms, black beans, and soy protein.- The use of unique bun options, such as brioche, pretzel, and even grilled cheese sandwiches.- The incorporation of global flavors and spices, like Korean BBQ, curry, and harissa.- The emphasis on local and sustainable ingredients, with many restaurants sourcing their beef from nearby farms and ranches.
No matter what your preferences or dietary restrictions may be, there's a burger trend in Nashville for everyone.
Expert tips for making the perfect burger in Nashville
If you're looking to recreate the perfect Nashville burger at home, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. First and foremost, start with high-quality ingredients. Choose a good blend of ground beef with a higher fat content for maximum flavor and juiciness. Season the meat well with salt and pepper, and consider adding in spices or herbs to complement your toppings.
Next, pay attention to the cooking method. Grilling is a popular choice, but pan-frying or broiling can be effective as well. Just be sure not to overcook the meat, as this can lead to a dry and tough burger. Finally, choose your toppings wisely. Fresh lettuce, tomato, and onion are classic choices, but don't be afraid to get creative with items like bacon, cheese, pickles, and assorted sauces.
Nashville's best-kept burger secrets
While there are plenty of well-known burger spots in Nashville, there are also a few hidden gems that locals swear by. Some of these include:- The Slider House: This small chain has a location in downtown Nashville and offers a variety of mini burgers with unique toppings like queso and jalapenos.- Dino's: This dive bar in East Nashville is known for its burgers, which are cooked on a flat-top grill for maximum flavor.- Gracie's Milkshake Bar: Located on the west side of town, Gracie's serves up burgers and milkshakes in a retro-inspired setting.- Sky Blue Cafe: This cozy brunch spot in East Nashville also offers a delicious burger with toppings like avocado and goat cheese.
Next time you're on the hunt for a burger in Nashville, be sure to check out these hidden gems.
A guide to the different types of burgers available in Nashville
Burgers may seem like a simple dish, but there are actually many different variations and styles to choose from. Some of the most popular types of burgers in Nashville include:
- Classic cheeseburger: A standard burger patty with melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and ketchup.
- Double cheeseburger: Two patties with double the cheese and toppings.
- BBQ burger: Topped with barbecue sauce, bacon, and onion rings.
- Pimento cheeseburger: A Southern favorite with a creamy pimento cheese spread.
- Mushroom Swiss burger: Topped with sautéed mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese.
- Greek burger: Flavored with feta cheese, tzatziki sauce, and Mediterranean herbs.
Of course, these are just a few examples - the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating the perfect burger in Nashville.
How to find the best vegetarian and vegan burgers in Nashville
For those who don't eat meat, there are still plenty of delicious burger options in Nashville. Many restaurants now offer veggie and vegan burgers made with plant-based ingredients like black beans, quinoa, and tofu. Some of the top spots for vegetarian and vegan burgers include:- The Wild Cow: This East Nashville restaurant offers a variety of plant-based burgers with unique toppings like avocado and coconut bacon.- Avo: This upscale vegan restaurant in the Hillsboro Village neighborhood serves up a delicious beet burger with cashew cheese and romesco sauce.- Sunflower Cafe: Known for its health-focused menu, Sunflower Cafe offers a tasty veggie burger made with quinoa, black beans, and sweet potatoes.
No matter what your dietary restrictions may be, you're sure to find a delicious burger option in Nashville.
The most Instagram-worthy burgers in Nashville
Let's face it: in today's social media-driven world, presentation is everything. Luckily, Nashville has plenty of beautiful and Instagram-worthy burgers. Some of the most photogenic options include:
- Mac Attack Burger from Jack Brown's Beer and Burger Joint
- Green Chile Cheeseburger from Burger Republic
- The Original Rotier's Burger from Rotier's Restaurant
- The Farm Burger from Pharmacy Burger
- The Southern Burger from Husk
No filter needed for these picturesque burgers.
The ultimate burger crawl: How to try all the best burgers in Nashville
For the true burger aficionado, there's nothing better than embarking on a burger crawl - a tour of multiple burger joints in one day. Here's a suggested itinerary for a burger crawl in Nashville:
- Start at Gabby's Burgers and Fries for an old-school cheeseburger and fries.
- Head to Jack Brown's Beer and Burger Joint for a unique burger topped with mac and cheese.
- Make your way downtown to Burger Republic for a juicy gourmet burger.
- Stop by The Grilled Cheeserie for a burger sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches.
- End the night at The Pharmacy Burger in East Nashville for a Farm Burger and an old-fashioned soda.
Of course, this is just one possible burger crawl route - feel free to mix and match based on your own preferences.
From classic to creative: The diverse burger scene in Nashville
One of the things that makes Nashville's burger scene so exciting is the sheer variety of options available. Whether you're in the mood for a classic cheeseburger or a creative and outlandish creation, you're sure to find something that fits the bill. Some restaurants put their own spin on the burger with unique toppings or cooking methods, while others stick to the tried-and-true formula. Whatever your preference, there's a burger in Nashville that's sure to satisfy.
What makes a burger truly great? Insights from top chefs in Nashville
Finally, what is it that sets a truly great burger apart from the rest? We asked some top chefs in Nashville for their thoughts on what makes a burger exceptional. Here's what they had to say:
- Using high-quality ingredients, such as locally sourced beef and fresh produce.
- Creating bold and unique flavors through spices, toppings, and sauces.
- Cooking the burger to the perfect temperature - not too rare or too well done.
- Serving the burger on a fresh and toasted bun that complements the flavors of the patty and toppings.
- Making the burger with care and attention to detail.
At the end of the day, a great burger is about more than just the sum of its parts - it's about the love and passion that goes into creating it.
The best burger deals and discounts in Nashville
While burgers are a beloved culinary indulgence, they can also be quite pricey. Luckily, there are plenty of deals and discounts to be found throughout Nashville for the frugal burger lover. Some options include:
- Happy hour specials at Burger Up, with discounted burgers and drinks.
- Two-for-one burger nights at 5th and Taylor.
- Discounted burgers on Mondays at M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers.
- BOGO burgers on Tuesdays at The Slider House.
Keep an eye out for these specials and more to save money while still indulging in your burger cravings.
How to pair your burger with the perfect beer or cocktail in Nashville
Finally, no burger experience is complete without a tasty beverage to accompany it. Beer and burgers are a classic pairing, but cocktails and wine can work well too. Here are a few tips for choosing the perfect beverage to go with your burger:
- For a classic pairing, choose a lager or pale ale to complement the beefy flavors of the burger.
- If you're feeling adventurous, try a sour beer or fruit-forward IPA to contrast with the salty and savory burger.
- For a cocktail, consider something with bold flavors like a Bloody Mary or margarita.
- If you prefer wine, go for a bold and tannic red like a cabernet sauvignon or zinfandel.
Experiment with different combinations to find the perfect burger and drink pairing for you.
A spotlight on the local farms and ingredients that make up Nashville's top burgers
Finally, it's worth acknowledging the local farmers and ranchers whose hard work and dedication make Nashville's burger scene possible. Many of the top burger joints in the city source their beef and produce directly from nearby farms and markets, ensuring the highest quality and freshest flavors possible.
Some of the local farms and suppliers that contribute to Nashville's burger scene include:- Bear Creek Farm: This family-owned farm in Leiper's Fork specializes in grass-fed, hormone-free beef.- Porter Road Butcher: With two locations in Nashville, Porter Road Butcher offers a wide variety of locally sourced meats and cheeses, including beef for burgers.- Bloomsbury Farm: This organic farm in Smyrna supplies fresh produce and herbs to many Nashville restaurants, including Burger Up and The Wild Cow.
By supporting these local businesses and farms, you're not only getting a delicious burger - you're also contributing to Nashville's thriving food scene and economy.
The Best Burger in Nashville: Conclusion
There you have it - a comprehensive guide to all things burgers in Nashville. Whether you're a longtime resident or a first-time visitor, we hope this article has given you some valuable insights and inspiration for your next burger adventure. From the classic cheeseburgers at Rotier's to the unique and creative offerings at Jack Brown's and beyond, Nashville's burger scene truly offers something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Grab a napkin, dig in, and enjoy the best burgers that Music City has to offer.