2. Loveless Cafe
8400 Hwy 100, Nashville 37221
The Loveless Cafe is in the same league as Dotson’s and Puckett’s. They have been around since they were the only thing around.
Sitting on the county line between Davidson and Williamson Counties, the Loveless Cafe has been famous for its fried chicken and biscuits since the 1950s. In 1951, Lon and Annie Loveless started it all by serving food out of their home, which sat on US Highway 100 the main route between Nashville and Memphis, to travelers.
Weary travelers found comfort and refuge at the cozy home and in the food the owners served to them while seated at picnic tables in the front yard. As the tiny house became a planned stop for treks along the Trace, Lon and Annie Loveless expanded their private home into the Loveless Motel and Cafe. Lon Loveless built and ran the property’s motel and was responsible for smoking the meats while Annie whipped up batches of her homemade preserves and scratch-made-biscuits – a secret recipe that remains unchanged to this day. Through the years, the Cafe lovingly changed hands to just two local families who continued to serve the time-tested Southern cuisine. In 1982, “Hams & Jams” the mail-order business was established to fill requests from around the globe for the eateries much-desired smoked country ham and jams.
During this time, the modest roadside eatery that was once Nashville’s best-kept secret became a national sensation, and it was discovered by food writers who recognized it as a precious cultural icon.
In December 2003, the Loveless Cafe and Motel was purchased by Nashville natives who had grown up enjoying the delicacies of this quaint roadside eatery and wanted to revive the property that had tired with time.
In January 2004, under the new ownership, Loveless closed its doors for the first time in its history to undergo renovations. When the doors re-opened that June, folks lines up waiting to get a taste of their favorite dishes. To everyone’s delight, the Cafe menu was the same but better – enhanced with more southern favorites like pulled pork BBQ, lots of fresh country vegetables and, never before offered, homemade desserts. A new smokehouse was built on the property and the 14 original motel rooms were converted into unique retail shops – including the Loveless Hams & Jams Country Market. The Loveless Motel Shops provide visitors a wonderful way to pass time while waiting for a table during busy periods. Loveless Cafe’s rich history and story of revival attracted the attention of the media. In 2005, named it America’s “Top Down-Home Dining Spot.” Loveless’ famous “Biscuit Lady” Carol Fay was a much-requested guest on many television shows including the Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Today Show, the Martha Stewart Show and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
The Loveless Cafe is located at 8400 Hwy 100, Nashville 37221.
Dine at Loveless Cafe Mon-Sun 7a-9p.