We all know I don’t cook, so it makes sense that I have an arsenal of carryout options in heavy rotation. Lately I’ve relied on these even more than usual as we’ve been stuck at home, and I reached the end of my rope with dishes somewhere around April 1.
Of course, I’m still Mrs. Southern Social, which means that I love the meals I serve to be both elegant and delicious. Below, I’ve gathered some of my favorite resources for delicious food in the Nashville area, places I love for everything from midweek suppers to dinner parties, showers, and luncheons. We’re still pretty hunkered down at my house, but as we start entertaining again in small groups, the only thing I want to worry about is catching up with friends we haven’t seen in months, NOT preparing the food!
4320 Harding Pike
Nashville, TN 37205
Originally located in the old Belle Meade Pharmacy, The Picnic Café is now a darling, standalone restaurant with dine-in and to-go options. Grandmillennials will love the décor (#BlueAndWhiteIsAlwaysRight) and everyone will appreciate the menu, which features comforting classics that taste like Grandma’s cooking.
- Breakfast Casserole: This egg, cheese, and sausage casserole is one of my favorite breakfasts ever. Order it a few days in advance. You pick it up cold with the eggs beaten on the side, so all you have to do is add them in and bake it.
- Coconut Cake: It’s light, classically Southern, and looks fabulous on display. I suggest preordering this, as well.
- Chicken Salad & Egg Salad: Both are great to have in the fridge to serve with crackers, on a bed of lettuce, or in sandwiches, especially when it’s hot and no one wants to cook. It’s an easy meal to bring to new moms, as well.
- Fruit tea is a southern beverage staple, but not all fruit tea is created equal. The Picnic offers the most delicious fruit tea, and they sell it by the quarts and gallons to go!
1110 Hillsboro Road, Suite B220
Franklin, TN 37064
There’s nothing here I don’t love. Miss Daisy started her business as a catering company years ago, then opened a gourmet grab-and-go shop full of crowd-pleasing favorites. You can even call for delivery Monday-Friday.
- Meatloaf: Beyond delicious and actually quite light. Everyone goes back for seconds when I serve it, even the kids!
- Southern Sides: The fried corn, green beans, and squash casserole are all great.
- Spinach Dip: Hands down the best spinach dip I’ve ever had. Serve it warm with tortilla chips. Miraculously it’s not too heavy which eases some of the guilt!
- Chicken Divan Casserole: I pick this up about once a week for my family and serve it over white rice.
- Key Lime Pie or Lemon Ice Box Pie: Light and full of flavor…the perfect summer dessert.
229 Franklin Road
Brentwood, TN 37027
This is another Nashville-area favorite known for its casseroles and bakery items. Order online by 7 am for next-day pickup, or walk in and see what’s available to carry out.
- Crunchy Chicken Casserole: I get this regularly for dinner and it’s a favorite in my house. It’s not too heavy and one of Puffy Muffin’s most popular dishes.
- Quiches: The best in town! We love the broccoli, ham, and cheese and the fresh veggie options. You do need to preorder quiches in advance.
850 Hillwood Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37209
This is one of my favorite catering options for parties, and I love that they also have a to-go case full of fantastic meals. They post their rotating “Take Home Menu” online.
- Gazpacho: An easy summer soup that’s flavor-packed, refreshing, and healthy.
- Squash Casserole: Not every squash casserole is created equal, and this is by far the best in Nashville. I could eat it with nothing else and be happy as a clam.
516 Hagan Street, Suite 103
Nashville, TN 37203
Nashville’s favorite bakery for bread and pastries. They’re now offering curbside pickup, delivery, and a walk-up window. For pickup and delivery, place your order online two days in advance. In addition to the classics (baguettes, sourdough, sweets) you can get things like potpies and pizza dough along with staples such as flour, eggs, and yeast.
- Pies: I adore the lemon lavender pie (such a fun and refreshing flavor combo). They also have fantastic seasonal favorites like peach and blueberry chess.
- Chocolate Croissants: The best in town, no contest.
- Cookie Dough: All their cookies are delicious, and I love that you can buy the dough frozen to bake anytime.
- Weekend Snack Pack: The selection rotates, but it’s always some combination of dip and small bites that make for a great appetizer, snack, or light dinner.
2211 Bandywood Drive
Nashville, TN 37215
I love this tiny restaurant in Green Hills. The food is light and fresh, and they serve wonderful sandwiches and salads.
- Lasagna: This lasagna is incredible, and you can even bring your own dish for them to use so reheating and serving is a breeze. Plus, everyone will think it’s homemade! Call to order about two days in advance.
107 Heady Drive
Nashville, TN 37205
Something Special has an amazing selection of to-go dishes. They offer everything from small bites and casseroles to beef tenderloin. It’s not the cheapest option, but the food is delicious.
- Queso: I never thought I’d find good queso outside of Texas, but this one is fantastic. It’s a bit heavy, but still, the best I’ve found since moving back to Nashville. It’s also one of Paul’s favorites.
- Deviled Eggs: If you love a traditional deviled egg, these are for you. I almost always serve them when hosting showers or lunches.
- Fried Chicken Breasts: There is a lot of friend chicken in Nashville, but I really love this version. These are delicious hot or cold, the breading is light, and you can eat them with your hands. Perfect for a nice dinner or causal picnic.
4239 Harding Pike, Suite 4
Nashville, TN 37205
This chic café has a little bit of everything: salads, sandwiches, pizzas, all-day breakfast, and an amazing coffee selection. They’re offering both pickup and delivery (within a five-mile radius and a $40 minimum order).
- Charcuterie & Cheese Plates: These look beautiful and of course taste fab. They serve two, four, or six people—perfect for a covid-era “gathering!” Call ahead to order.
- Boozy Lavender Lemonade: They offer to-go booze and this vodka-based drink is fantastic.
850 Hillwood Blvd, Suite 1
Nashville, TN 37209
Leland has been making delicious wedding cakes since I was a little girl. Luckily, you can also order her cakes in smaller sizes for birthday/dinner parties, and she’s even offering a “Quarantine Survival Kit” (cake, cookies, brownies) for pickup or delivery.
- Caramel Cake: By far, Leland is most famous for her caramel cake. It’s so good that I chose this flavor for my wedding 10 years ago. It’s still the best cake I’ve ever had!