The Loveless Cafe has been offering diners a taste of rural Southern cooking for over 65 years. Perched near the Natchez Trace terminus about 30 minutes from downtown Nashville, the Loveless is famed for its made-from-scratch biscuits, homemade jams, country hams, and fried chicken.
In 1951, owners Lon and Annie opened The Loveless Cafe, which they operated out of their home. The business got its start selling biscuits and fried chicken out of their front door that visitors would eat on picnic tables in the front yard. The Loveless was a fixture of Highway 100, the main route connecting Nashville to Memphis, and eventually, the cafe became so popular that the couple opened a 14-room motel for overnight guests. Lon smoked the meats and managed the motel while Annie prepped her biscuits and preserves. Nowadays, the main cabin at the Loveless seats 129 customers and boasts over 500,000 visitors a year. Each table is given a complimentary plate of fresh biscuits and a sample of the blackberry, strawberry, and peach preserves. Over 10,000 fresh biscuits are served every day.
The fried chicken and smoked ham still top the favorites list, accompanied by pulled pork, hashbrown casserole, creamed corn, mac & cheese, and pecan pie. Guests can browse the retails shops located in the old motel rooms while they wait for their tables to become available. A large barn near the back of the property is a popular destination for weddings and other events and makes for a great photo-op, as does the neon sign near the highway.
The Loveless Cafe has been featured on CBS News, The Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, has appeared on more than a dozen top 10 lists, and won a James Beard Award in 2013. The Loveless is open seven days a week. The Loveless suggests stopping by Monday- Thursday between 7 am–9 am or 2 pm–6 pm to avoid long wait times.
Cover Image: Breakfast Platter - Courtesy of The Loveless Cafe