Yes, when you visit Nashville and go to the Green Hills area, you're excited that there's a Cheescake Factory and a California Pizza Kitchen. There's not one in your town!  You loved the one you visited in another city! You're best friend's hairdresser says you can't miss it! 

Do yourself a favor, though, and skip the corporate quantity-over-quality output and try one of the many, many local favorites in the area. Some are "chains" in that they have multiple local locations, but all were born and raised in the Nashville area. Most of these restaurants have web sites; most are also listed in the Dining Guide published by the Nashville Scene.

  1. Shalimar - One of the oldest Indian restaurants in Nashville. Small, friendly, tasty.
  2. Kalamata's - Fast casual with a Mediterranean focus. You'd never know the delicious dishes were developed by a certified dietician and are not only good to eat, but good for you.
  3. Donut Den - Generations of Nashvillians have wolfed down donuts and other treats at this beloved shop. The neon sign is a Nashville icon. Avoid the after-school crowds from the high school next door, though!
  4. Cheeseburger Charley's - The Green Hills outpost of this Nashville chain has an old-time diner feel with tile floors, red booths, and chrome. Charley (the creator of the original O'Charley's restaurant) serves up not only tasty beef burgers, onion rings, and real french fries, but veggie burgers, salmon burgers, beefalo burgers, and more. Dress your sandwich with the fixings of your choice at the large condiment-and-toppings bar.
  5. Bronte Bistro - Located on the lower floor of Nashville institution Davis-Kidd Booksellers, just inside the mall, Bronte is good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  6. Shintomi - A favorite Japanese restaurant for many years, Shintomi has been thanked in the liner notes of more than one country album. Smile and wave when the sushi chef greets you by yelling across the room when you enter the restaurant. Sit at the sushi bar, get a table, or ask for one of the traditional private rooms.
  7. Firefly Grille -The casual, funky decor and atmosphere belie the satisfying, sophisticated food that comes from the kitchen. The dishes may sound a little down-home -- shrimp and grits, coconut cake -- but the execution is excellent.
  8. Provence Breads & Cafe - The owners of Provence Breads spent time in France studying bread baking before opening the first location in Hillsboro Village. Provence is more than a bread bakery, though -- you can get a quality coffee or tea, a fabulous pastry or other sweet, or a full breakfast or lunch. The large, sunny room makes it a pleasure to linger over your treats.
  9. Bread & Company - Similar to Provence, with a larger menu and somewhat higher prices. Still a good choice, and you may even run into Nicole Kidman if she's in town.
  10. Christie Cookies - If you've ever had one of the famous "Doubletree cookies" you've had a Christie Cookie. The Christie shops do not sell the Doubletree, but they do sell a spectacular white chocolate macadamia, chocolate chunk, peanut butter, snickerdoodle, and more. Also on tap are brownies and bars, an excellent gelato, frozen yogurt, and beverages. The cookies are stunningly rich and unforgettable. Enjoy one in the shop, then buy a tin to take home with you.

 A Google Map is available with each of these locations marked at:  Restaurants in Green Hills - 10 Reasons to Give the Chains a Pass