What do you picture when you think of classic Southern soul food? If images of fried chicken, hush puppies, and country-style sides like green beans and biscuits come to mind, you need to visit Monell’s, one of Nashville’s best restaurants! Whether you’re hungry for brunch, lunch, or food coma-inducing dinner, you’ll find something delicious here. For more restaurant recommendations, check out our free Nashville Travel Guide! It’s packed with all of our best local tips.
Everything You Need to Know About Monell’s in Nashville
Nearly every beloved restaurant in Music City has a backstory, and no two are alike. Monell’s came to be in 1995 when Michael King, the owner, stumbled upon a Victorian property in a historic neighborhood. When he stepped into the home for the first time, he pinpointed a specific smell: Lilies. He learned that a woman named Ms. Lily Winston—who had eight kids of her own and four adopted children—had died in the home 10 years prior. She was an excellent Southern cook who would feed the entire neighborhood. Everyone would come to Ms. Lily’s for dinner! After learning about this, King knew he was meant to turn the dilapidated space into a true Southern kitchen. While the name came from Michael King’s then-business partner, the restaurant’s logo features a Lily of the Valley in memory of Ms. Winston.
Tips for Your Visit
This is not your typical Southern restaurant! It’s a truly unique experience, so there are a few things to keep in mind before wandering through the door. First, know that the food is all-you-can-eat and served family-style. That means two things: Come hungry and get ready to make some new friends! Next, check the hours before making the trip out. Most days, the restaurant opens between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., then reopens for dinner at 5 p.m. It’s first-come, first-served, so you won’t need to make a reservation.
What to Try
Monell’s is known for their “Midnight Country Breakfast” and brunch (on weekdays, too!), but you can’t go wrong visiting any time of day for a multi-course meal. For just $15, you’ll get to try a delicious variety of starters like cole slaw, mains like juicy fried chicken, sides like country-style green beans, and desserts like banana pudding. Be sure to try it all!
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