You expect a hotel restaurant to have a great burger, because guests often want something quick and delicious before turning in for the night. While technically The 404 Kitchen is associated with The 404 Hotel across the street, it’s more of a destination dining spot for locals and visitors. Fortunately, they still offer the magnificent 404 Burger, made with two patties of aged ground beef, Red Rock artisan Cheddar cheese, Giffor’s bacon, confit onions, romaine lettuce, and a dollop of the kitchen’s secret sauce. This fantastic cheeseburger is also available at Gertie’s, the best whiskey bar in town on the ground floor of The 404 Kitchen.
With his latest edition, chef Sean Brock is officially responsible for the creation of three of the burgers on this list. While The Continental focuses on a prix fixe menu of classic Continental cuisine like pâté en croûte and prime rib served from a rolling cart, Brock has snuck another burger masterpiece onto a secret menu. Limited to only a handful per evening and served only at the bar, the burger at The Continental features a beef grind of that same prime rib basted in butter and garlic and served with upscale accouterments like foie gras mayonnaise and cornichons and potato gaufrettes.
The rumor is that the reason Brown’s burgers and fries are so damned good is that they haven’t changed the grease in the fryer or the griddle in years, but that’s not true. They change it religiously—on Easter and Christmas. For an authentic experience, get the cheeseburger with mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle, and don’t forget to remove that toothpick holding it all together before you bite down. The iconic trolley car diner is under new ownership, but they promise not to mess with anything sacred and have added a new enclosed deck in front of the trolley to offer more dining space.
If you want to feel a bit high class while enjoying one of the best burgers in Nashville, then Husk is your spot. This classic burger is stacked high with double patties of Tennessee-raised beef, onions, and lots of American cheese. Arguably one of Sean Brock’s simplest and best culinary masterpieces, this burger is a tribute to the drive-in diners of his childhood, and the chefs that have followed him in the Husk kitchen have maintained Brock’s initial vision.
What—you haven’t heard of this place yet? Maybe you should get south of Old Hickory Boulevard every now and again, because this little gem is definitely worth the trip to greater Brentioch right before you reach Nolensville. The Greek family behind Southside combines their heritage with traditional American food to create a unique cuisine, including the outrageous Kobe beef truffle burger, served with manchego cheese, truffle oil, and apple-smoked bacon.
Truthfully, many of the burgers on this list are some sort of knock-off of the iconic Californian In-N-Out Burger, but Gray & Dudley’s stands out as an original. Made using high-end ground beef, American cheese, charred onion, iceberg lettuce, secret G&D sauce, and served on a bun made by local baker Bobby John Henry, the GD Burger is one of the best hotel burgers in a town filled with plenty of great options.