Because not all Tennessee barbecue is created equal.
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler
Tell us about your first impressions when you arrived.
Dark wood, dangling string lights, and American flags define this fast-casual restaurant. It’s low-slung and stretches down 12 South with an outdoor area that's pet-friendly.
What's the crowd like?
Locals with their dogs, bearded hipsters, bachelorette parties, and university students fill this place on any given day.
What should we be drinking?
A decent selection of beers and a full bar, but Edley’s really shines when you order a Bushwacker, Nashville's signature beverage. This blindingly strong milkshake is as stout as a cocktail comes; you can just get a half Bushwacker if you need to be presentable later. If not: add a flavored shot.
Main event: the food. Give us the lowdown—especially what not to miss.
Southern goodness. Definitely order the hot chicken sandwich with sides (that's why we're here, right?) and the Tuck Special–a few slices of smoked brisket, pork, chicken, or turkey; made-in-house pimento cheese; an over-easy egg; red and white sauce; and pickles, slapped between sandwich bread. Tacos in various shades also stand out. The locally grown institution has resonated enough with customers that it has three locations in town, and two elsewhere.
And how did the front-of-house folks treat you?
It's a little like having your mom and the cafeteria lunch lady ladle out food to the line. They clearly care about their product and your experience dining there. Stand in line, order at the counter, take a number, and have a seat. Everything else is just dirty napkins. Pro tip: If you head directly to the bar in the back left corner, you can also order food while avoiding an oft-long line.
What’s the real-real on why we’re coming here?
This place is a funny mix of families, friends out for a chatty meal, and college students on dates. Service is speedy; you can enjoy a quick or lazy meal depending on your mood. This Nashville classic has two additional locations in East and West Nashville, but we recommend the tried-and-true original.