We live in a wonderfully diverse community here in Nashville — according to the Mayor’s Office of New Americans, the number of foreign-born Music City residents more than doubled in the past decade, and in 2012, our city’s immigrant population was growing faster than any other city in the U.S.
That diversity is reflected in a lot of different ways, and our restaurant landscape is a shining example. Upscale Germantown/downtown/East Nashville eateries might get the bulk of the national press, but if you really want to explore the world on a plate, Nolensville Road just south of downtown is the place to head. From Mexican to Korean to Cuban food and beyond, you can find great, homey, neighborhood-y eateries offering authentic and delicious food, and rarely hit a bum note.
(For a little bit of extra insight: A few years back, Nashville Scene writer Sean Maloney set out to visit every non-chain restaurant on Nolensville, and while he didn’t hit that goal, he did hit a pretty impressive mix of restaurants.)
If you don’t find yourself on Nolensville often but have a desire to explore the food scene, you’ll find no better opportunity than the InterNASHional Food Crawl, set this year for September 3.
During the crawl, ticketholders roll down a five-mile stretch of Nolensville Road and try a minimum of five restaurants spanning across a mix of cuisines. There’s lots to eat and drink, and lots of cultures to explore and learn about — owners/restaurant staff will stop and talk with you during the tour, offering deeper insight into what you’re eating, and where it comes from. There’s an element of surprise, too — organizers don’t announce the participating restaurants in advance, so you’ll find out what you’re eating on the day of.
How to take part in the InterNASHional Food Crawl
There are two different ways to take part: general tour tickets, and curated tour tickets.
For the former, you’ll self-direct your tour with a wristband and a provided map of stops, which can include Indian, Thai, Middle Eastern food and more. Curated tour tickets might be more your style if you’d rather not be in the literal or figurative driver’s seat. With that one, you’ll pile on a chartered bus and have a tour guide bring you to and through your stops, with adult beverages offered along the way.
Getting on the bus runs $55 per person; if you’d like to run your own show, general tickets are $15.
Both ticket options are on sale online now, and will be available until September 1. (Curated tours run at noon and 2 p.m.)
Either way, to get started, you’ll take your ticket over to the Food Crawl Hub at Plaza Mariachi (3955 Nolensville Pike), grab your wristbands and map and get going.
If you’re a Nashville househunter, and being close to a diverse grab-bag of food options is what you want in a neighborhood, let us know — we’d love to show you around the area!