The InterNASHional Food Crawl, now in its fourth year, may be the city’s tastiest and most diverse food event. Centered around Nolensville Pike – Nashville’s international corridor and “the heart of Nashville’s thriving immigrant community,” as organizers refer to it – the crawl on September 3 offers participants the opportunity to sample food from around the world. This year will be the event’s biggest yet, according to Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) advocacy director Eben Cathey. Over 1000 participants are expected to sample food from 30 restaurants representing about 20 nationalities.
“As Nashville’s international community continues to grow, so does the Food Crawl, so this year will feature several new restaurants from all over the world,” says Cathey. “The InterNASHional Food Crawl is an amazing way for a Nashvillian to get an understanding of how truly diverse Nashville has become.”
There are two ways to experience the Crawl:
The self-guided General Ticket ($15) gets you a wristband and a map to at least 5 participating restaurants and markets on Nolensville Road where you will sample a variety of InterNASHional food. Participating places may include Mexican, Middle Eastern, Thai, and Indian along with other types of cuisine. The business owners and staff will be on hand to not only serve food, but talk with you about the food and their culture.
The Curated Food Tour Ticket ($55, or $45 before September 1) allows you to travel in style on TIRRC’s charter bus down Nolensville Road to exclusive stops. In addition to all of the benefits of a General Tour ticket, Curated Food Tour guests will also be treated to your own tour guide and adult beverages.
If you can spring for the curated tour, it’s highly recommended, though act fast. Cathey says tickets to the curated tours are close to selling out. I went on the curated bus last year and had a blast, even with a cast on my (dominant) right hand that forced me to eat awkwardly with my left (evidence in the photo to the right). I had my first taste of TAJ Indian Restaurant, discovered delectable Thai at Bangkokville and got a Kurdish culinary history listen at House of Kabob, where I enjoyed rice with barberries. I also discovered that Las Americas wasn’t the only place in town for papusas, even if fans of Pupuseria Reina La Bendicion were sorry to see the secret get out.
The InterNASHional Food Crawl is a cornerstone of the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC)’s Welcoming Tennessee Initiative, a program focused on increasing understanding of how new immigrants and refugees share Tennessee’s values, contribute to its economy, enhance its combined culture and strengthen its communities. To learn more, visit TNImmigrant.org > Programs.