Anthony Bourdain in Nashville: 7 Spots Where Tony Ate

Nashville is known for a lot of things – and that’s putting it mildly. It’s the birthplace of bluegrass and the home of country music. You can find a former president’s resting place here. And there’s a unique dish that bears the city’s name and either inspires or scares away visitors: Nashville hot chicken. Unsurprisingly, Anthony Bourdain tried Nashville hot chicken – among many other Southern and American flavors – during his visit to Music City back in 2016.

Anthony Bourdain visited Nashville to film season 8 (episode 2) of Parts Unknown; it was his only visit to Nashville on-screen, but part of his ongoing quest to show the diversity of life and culture across the United States.

Anthony Bourdain in Nashville Hero

If you’re planning a trip to Nashville, you could do a lot worse than using “Uncle Tony” as a guide. In this post, you’ll find the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Nashville, as well as what he eats. From Southern flavors to local specialties, each of the places Tony ate in Nashville offers a different slice of life – sometimes literally.

Grab a napkin and perhaps an antacid, and let’s dive in.

Want to watch the episode where Anthony Bourdain visits Nashville?
The Parts Unknown episode is available on Amazon and Apple TV.

In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the ᏣᎳᎫᏪᏘᏱ Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East), S’atsoyaha (Yuchi), and Shawandasse Tula (Shawanwaki/Shawnee) peoples, among others. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.


To start out, Bourdain heads to East Nashville with some local chefs to try out Dino’s, a burger joint and dive bar that has been in business since the 70s. Tony gets the classic burger and a side of “hot fries,” a basket of straight-cut fries, seasoned with hot chicken seasoning, and smothered in Velveeta cheese – these can be customized in tons of different ways if that sounds like too much for you.

Dandgure’s (CLOSED)

Anthony Bourdain in Nashville - Meat & Three

Next up, Tony heads downtown. Dandgure’s in Downtown Nashville is a cafeteria-style, “meat & three” food hall. (If you’re not familiar, this is a southern style of ordering food where you get a meat main and three sides.)

The beauty of Dandgure’s is that it’s a melting pot for Nashville locals, a perfect place to see “iconic Nashville” and be surrounded by all different types of locals. Bourdain decides to get the chicken and his three sides are okra, cornbread, and mac and cheese. 

Unfortunately, Dandgure’s closed permanently at the end of June 2022; there are lots of other Meat & Three restaurants in Nashville to choose from.


Anthony Bourdain in Nashville - Nashville Hot Chicken

It would not be a trip to Nashville without having some type of hot chicken, right?

Tony next heads to Bolton’s with friends Alison Mosshart, lead singer of The Kills, and her brother Matthew Mosshart, Nashville-based chef, and caterer. He gets all three spice levels of the hot chicken and gives multiple warnings that these spices are no joke, even saying the heat from the hottest level made him “hallucinate” and punished him for the next 12 hours of his day. You have been warned!

City House

Next, Bourdain and good friend and musician, Dean Fertita, head over to City House in Germantown for some pizza and red wine. Sounds like the perfect follow up after hot chicken!

Patterson House/The Catbird Seat

Anthony Bourdain in Nashville - Linguini

Opened in 2011, Josh Habinger moved from Chicago to get in on the Nashville food scene and bring his knowledge of mixology, food, and business. Tony and Josh share a cocktail downstairs in the Patterson House, a sort of speakeasy-styled cocktail lounge before heading upstairs for the tasting menu at The Catbird Seat. Catbird Seat is an open-concept, U-shaped bar that switches its tasting menus up nearly every night.

On this night, Bourdain got to try the risotto, except instead of it being made with rice, Chef Poli and his staff use sunflower seeds. Next, he tries their take on a Japanese-style linguini, made from seaweed bucatini, yuzu kosho for the little bit of spice, and dried, smoked scallops grated finally to top it off.

Pinewood Social

Anthony Bourdain in Nashville - Hash

The final place Tony visits in Nashville is Pinewood Social. Pinewood Social is an open-floor, industrial-style restaurant that offers great brunch and cocktails. Bourdain and friends have some Bloody Marys and mimosas before heading to the bowling alley that Pinewood offers. He orders himself a short rib hash, perfect for smothering a hangover. 

Nashville Food Tours to Try

While you can absolutely visit all of the spots visited by Anthony Bourdain in Nashville, you might have extra time to try even more. In that case, a food tour is a good option to allow a local guide to show you the other flavors Nashville has to offer. Here are some good food tours to inspire you:

Have any other questions about the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Nashville? Let me know in the comments below!

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Ricky has worked off and on in the restaurant industry since high school, filling positions from host to line cook to sous chef all in California and Kentucky. He has always had a desire for food and travel, so discovering Anthony’s writings and shows years back was like meeting a great new friend.

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