Rotier’s Restaurant has been serving cold beer, burgers, and handmade milkshakes to Nashvillians since 1945. Rotier’s claim to fame is its cheeseburger served on crispy, buttery French bread. Stacked with lettuce, tomato, and pickle, this simple juicy burger is packed with flavor and has earned the restaurant several awards from USA Today and Food Network Magazine.
Rotier’s is a journey through yesteryear. The little dive off of Ellison Place is adorned with old newspaper clippings dating as far back as the late 1940s. The restaurant was founded by John and Evelyn Rotier who converted the old Ellison Mansion’s carriage house into a beer joint featuring shakes, burgers, and pinball machines. When gambling became illegal, the pinball machines left the building and were replaced by a full menu and dinner service.
Today, Rotier’s menu features some interesting choices that are rarely seen on dinner menus but are quintessentially southern. For instance, hand-battered chicken gizzards and fried bologna sandwiches are both options. Of course, there are plenty of other scratch-made items to choose. Locals love pairing the smokehouse black label bacon and pimento cheese sandwich with a Yazoo Pale Ale., Kids love the Weiner burger (a hot dog with cheese on a bun) alongside a thick chocolate handspun milkshake.
Rotier’s offers daily specials until 3 pm that include Southern favorites like country fried steak and meatloaf. The restaurant is primarily a lunch spot, open from 11 am–3:30 pm Monday through Saturday. It can get crowded, and unmetered parking may be tough to find. Consider doing what natives do—park in nearby Centennial Park and stroll by the famed Parthenon building to walk off some excess calories after lunch. Or settle in and people-watch the regulars who post up at the bar. Any visit to this Nashville classic will be a memorable one.
Cover Image: Juicy Burger - "Yum!" by bcymet is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0