In a creative city like Nashville, citizens tend to apply their creativity to every aspect of life, from music to art to… using terrible/wonderful puns when naming business-related things.
Our food scene has a particularly strong hand with this one — true of many cities, but we think we’re pretty well above the bar.
We get a regular reminder of this fact when we’re showing new residents around town — particularly East Nashville — and experience the standard chuckle/groan that comes with sharing the names of our favorite food-punny businesses.
In case you’re still getting to know Nashville and are in need of a good chuckle/groan, here are some of the ones we love:
A little hot dog hut in East Nashville right around the busy hub of Five Points (113 South 11th St.), this one’s kinda always going to be our Number 1 when it comes to puns. It’s also a really great place for a quick lunch, with meat and vegetarian dogs with creative flavors. They don’t quit the puns, either — you might catch a Feliz-NaviDog with refried beans and queso, or grab a Rebel Yelp with Tennessee chow chow.
Man, maybe the artisan oatmeal makers and artisan pun dealers at Haulin’ Oats have our favorite name? So hard to choose. Especially when Haulin’ Oats also hits their creative oatmeal flavors with terrible/incredible puns, like “Getting’ Figgy Wit It” and “My Cherry Amour.” So bad/good. (Their oatmeal is delicious, too — you can grab it at their place in East Nashville, at 1108 Woodland, or at various shops/grocery stops around town.)
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken’s Shut the Cluck Up
At hot chicken makers Hattie B’s places (in Midtown Nashville or West Nashville), you can choose how much damage you’re up for: mild, medium, hot, damn hot or the very punny and probably very accurate Shut the Cluck Up (their hottest, obviously). None of us have taken on the STCU challenge, but just a guess: Indeed, you probably can’t do much talking while tackling a Shut the Cluck Up drumstick.
It’s unfortunate that this twist doesn’t (very loosely) translate to “Seize the Crepe” instead of “Crepe the Day.” Either way, it’s a good giggle and delicious French street food — sweet and savory crêpes, from pear and brie to a traditional crêpe Suzette. Keep up with them on Twitter/their website to know where the crêpes will be on any give… diem.
Nashville food truck Bao Down’s pun mastery is just a secondary part of our love. Their gift for crazy-good steamed buns (from pork to short rib to curry vegetable) is the main source. Good way to keep up with where they’ll be Bao-ncing around: Bao Down on Twitter.
Before any other Nashville food-maker’s pun was even a lightbulb in their mind, Germantown restaurant The Mad Platter was serving slow food with a global influence and a local focus (plus a little Lewis Carroll/through-the-looking-glass love) and helping the neighborhood grow into the food destination it is now. The Hatter goes back to the late ’80s, and those folks still serving lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch at 1239 Sixth Ave. N. to many a devoted Nashvillian.
OK, those are a few favorites that come to mind. Any you’d like to add?
If you’re just starting to get to know Nashville, and need help getting the lay of the land and finding the right neighborhood to set roots, please reach out — we’d be happy to help!