When we rounded up the annual East Nashville festivals you shouldn’t miss, we made sure to highlight Yum!East, a food fest/fundraiser that we look forward to every year.
Since it’s nearly here again — the 2018 event is set for May 31 at Pavilion East, and tickets go on sale Friday, April 27 — we wanted to dig a little deeper into why this fest is a must-do, especially if you’re new to East Nashville.
A three-hour tour of East Nashville flavors
The basic thrust of Yum!East: Dozens of local restaurants and artisans set up at tables inside the Pavilion and under adjacent tents, serving up bites of signature dishes, from sample-sized soups to mini-cupcakes, over three busy hours.
The full 2018 Yum!East lineup hasn’t been announced yet, but if past years are any indication, we’ll get the broadest possible mix of East Nashville food purveyors at Pavilion East. Last year’s event featured a slew of longstanding East Nashville favorites, including Lockeland Table, The Family Wash and I Dream of Weenie, alongside then-newer-comers like dose and Graze. Within the mix, we had sweet and savory, homey and upscale, classic American fare to authentic Asian dishes.
If your busy schedule keeps you from staying on top of East Nashville’s ever-growing restaurant scene or steadily revisiting old favorites to try new menu items, it’s a perfect way to catch up. If you’re a new East Nashville transplant and you’d like to get a broad idea of what the neighborhood has to offer on the food front, Yum!East is a perfect primer.
Your ticket ($55 for general admission) gets you unlimited samples, plus an open bar and a souvenir glass to take home. Throughout, you’ll also get to take in live local music, usually from bluegrass to jazz and more.
There’s plenty to explore and more than enough to cover your dinner plans for the night (the fest runs 6 to 9 p.m.), but if we can offer one pro tip: Go on the early side. Participating restaurants don’t tend to quickly run out, but it does happen. So for the best East Nashville food exploration, early birds win.
The best part of Yum!East
While the annual festival is a welcome chance to take a tasting tour of East Nashville, at its core, Yum!East is a fundraiser, for an excellent cause: Each year, the event supports the Fannie Battle Day Home for Kids in its efforts to provide quality, affordable child care to local families.
And the bonus of doing good for the neighborhood while taste-testing the community’s finest food purveyors is worth savoring.
Make your Yum!East plans
As of Friday, April 27, Yum!East tickets will be on sale via yumeast.com. (Sponsors and businesses can also snag “friends of” and corporate tickets through the site, and if you’d like to give more, donations can be submitted too.)
The fine print: It’s a 21-and-up event, rain or shine, and your pups/kids need to stay home.
If your night exploring East Nashville’s culinary scene makes you determined to own a piece of the neighborhood, we’d love to help. Check out homes for sale in East Nashville here, and let us know if we can start showing you some homes!