Situated in the increasingly trendy East Nashville neighborhood, Dino’s feels transported from a different era. Essentially a beer-only affair (I believe I saw a few boxes of wine tucked away, an offering for fancier folks), this unassuming looking spot weds two great American classics: the greasy spoon diner and the roadside dive. The tiny, borderline cramped interior features a few tables plus a small counter seating area overlooking a few greasy griddles and fryer baskets, as servers, cooks, and customers jockey for position throughout the place.
You won’t get much in the way of craft beer or fine dining here, but why would you expect it when you can grab a pony bottle of Miller High Life for $2? I’ve never seen a more perfect pairing of menu and venue than Dino’s, featuring plenty of simple yet gutbusting, alcohol-soaking treats, from burgers and fries to grilled cheeses and Frito pies. The newly added Brunch menu gives diehard Dinos fans the opportunity to smash a burger on Friday night at 2:30 a.m. before stumbling home, rolling out of bed, and stumbling back Saturday morning around noon for some damn Huevos Rancheros.
Walk past the tiny bar area, up some stairs through an area that looks like you may be trespassing on, and witness their glorious, picnic table spotted patio area. You’ll overlook the haze of cigarette smoke that permeates the backyard any time it gets crowded (which is basically every night), seduced by the intimate, grimy charm of the place. It’s no wonder Anthony Bourdain made a point to stop by the bar when visiting Nashville to record an episode of Parts Unknown back in 2016, ruminating on the decades of local history that bleed from its walls.
Dino’s Restaurant 411 Gallatin Avenue Nashville, TN 37206, is open Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 3 a.m., Saturday and Sunday noon to 3 a.m. Feature image from dinosnashville.com.
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