One thing about me is that I really appreciate an Australian brunch cafe.They are hard to come by in Nashville and for a while, I think Hearts may have been the only one. When I think of Australian food all I can think of is vegemite which does not have the best reputation, but during my summer in New York in 2021 I ate at alot of Australian restaurants and let me tell you–they know how to do breakfast foods or should i say brekkie. A few favorites in New York are Banter, Bluestone Lane, and Good Thanks and while some of them did have vegemite there were so many other amazing things on the menu that made me always crave an aussie brunch.
I feel like an Aussie restaurant is its own whole genre of food. If I am looking for a restaurant that is cute on the inside and will have lots of food options that are healthy but don’t compromise on flavor, I always just look up “Australian cafe near me.” In Nashville only a small handful of places come up and one of the is outback so it has been a bleak time finding brunch here, but that was until hearts opened in East Nashville in 2020.
Since Hearts is an Australian inspired cafe, I automatically trusted that they would have good food. Their menu is relatively small, but has options for any mood you could be in. Craving something sweet? They have fresh amazing looking pancakes, french toast, and baked goods including one of my favorite things ever, pumpkin bread. Feeling something on the lighter side? Try one of their salads or their bircher muesli. Absolutely ravenous and need something to hit the spot? Go all in with an eggs benny or the Aussie burger and you might as well add on the avo and fries while you’re at it! Every time I am here I am gawking over the food being brought out because everything smells and looks so good. The first couple times I went, I got the Smashed Avo Toast which takes a unique approach to avocado toast. It is on a delicious piece of bread and topped with avocado, red onion, cilantro, lime, and the things get a little different. There is a corn and tomato salsa, jalapeño, and cotija cheese on top as well. The first time I went I had heard such great things that i didn’t even second guess the items on the toast (other than the cheese) so I ordered it and loved it! A friend pointed out that it does sound kind of Mexican inspired and like it might not work work well together, but once it was all there together it not only didn’t taste like a Mexican avocado toast, but it tasted great. All of the flavors worked really well together and raised no questions in my mind, therefore prompting me to order it again later.
I have also tried the Eggs on Toast when I started eating eggs again and it was actually amazing for such a simple menu item. It comes on my favorite type of bread, sourdough and your choice of egg style. I chose fried and it was done to perfection to make it crispy along the edges but not burnt at all I also added a side of avocado which was dressed to perfection and made my own avocado toast moment. One thing about ordering a side of avocado at a place like this versus eating it at home, is that the drizzle it with oil and cover it in the most perfect seasonings that make it so good I could eat it alone. For some reason, I can never eat avocado alone at home.
Next on my list to try is the Bircher Muesli. One of my friends ordered this and it looked amazing, but I am such a savory girl that I have a hard time ordering something sweet, but next time I am just going to go for it. It is like a corssover between overnight oats and chia seed pudding and is topped with berries, toasted almonds, cherry syrup, and vanilla yogurt. Like a handful of things on their menu, this has a vegan option available so I will be trying this vegan option for sure next time.
My one and only problem with hearts is that they are not very gluten free friendly. They cater to vegans and vegetarians, but gluten sensitive people seem to be an afterthought. I am not gluten free, but went with some people who are and the gluten free option for toast is subbing a hash brown. While they said this was delicious, it is a little disappointing since gluten free bread is so easily found these days.
Everything about the aesthetic of hearts is perfect to me. The outside has an adorable sign and simple logo painted on the building. The inside is full of wooden table and seating and tons of plants. It is a very simple aesthetic, but there are little decor items placed around the dining room that make it feel very purposefully decorated and add to the warm vibe.
The recently opened 12 South location follows a very similar vibe, but has less walls so the plant theme isn’t carried through quite as well. I did go on opening day so maybe as they settle into their new location, more decor will appear.
On the weekends, brunch at hearts can have a bit of a wait. It is a pretty small restaurant with probably less than 20 tables total so as it has become more popular, the long waits make sense. However, I don’t think the wait has ever been over an hour. You will get a text when your table is ready so feel free to wait in the car or explore nearby. Despite the stress of long waits, the host and waitstaff has always been extremely patient and kind.
💋Iced Matcha with oat milk and agave (no vanilla syrup here)
💋Eggs on toast
You can find Hearts a their original location in East Nashville or in their newly opened 12 South location. More info can be found here.