The first hidden gem of Nashville Dining is the one and only Hawkers located in East Nashville! This hip and trendy area features many of the famous murals of Nashville. Hawkers has an extensive menu of Asian Street Style options from Seoul Hot Chicken Bao Buns, Chicken Egg Rolls, and Bulgogi Steak Lettuce Wraps. The best part about this restaurant is that it is one of the few places that caters to vegan eating. In a separate section of the menu, it has a myriad of vegan options such as Tofu bites and Spicy Kimchi. As veganism is becoming more prominent, it has been one of the drivers of profit for this establishment. 
The ambiance of the restaurant is worth mentioning as well. There are neon lights on all the walls of little fish, cats, and guitars. It all kind of sounds random; it essentially looks like what a fever dream would feel like, in the best way possible. It all fits the vibes of the restaurant, though. There is a collage of old, vintage advertisements behind all the neon lights. It has such a funky and eclectic vibe to it that would be perfect for younger crowds! The music in the restaurant also helps maintains this lively atmosphere! I personally loved the music they were playing when I dined there. They were playing very summery music, and it felt like it worked for the restaurant because of all the bright colors. It essentially felt like summer in July. If you’re missing summer right now, head over to Hawkers right now, and they’ll get you right. 
In terms of what I ate, I ordered Chicken Dumplings, Pad Thai, and Edamame. The Chicken Dumplings were phenomenal. In combination with the sweet dipping sauce, it was the perfect balance of sweet and savory. The Pad Thai was delicious as well. It was sprinkled with peanuts, and I truly think that made the dish. The vegetables in the dish were fresh, and I feel like that’s rare considering many vegetables taste frozen or old. The chicken in the Pad Thai was also very well-seasoned; it had a sweet teriyaki flavor to it. We had edamame as the appetizer and was dipped in this kimchi sauce that was to die for. Hawkers took a unique approach because I’ve only ever had edamame that was sprinkled with sea salt. The Kimchi seasoning on the edamame was revolutionary.
In addition, the perfect drink that complements the saltiness of these dishes would 100% be a Shirley Temple. I personally love ordering it with ginger ale instead of Sprite; it tastes 10x better this way. Since the grenadine is already so sweet, I think the ginger ale mixes better with it. It is also such a refreshing drink and is my summer drink of choice. The first sip tastes like those Coca-Cola commercials where they say “ahhhh” after the first sip. The one item I’d tell you to order off the menu would be the chicken dumplings! I still think about the dipping sauce that it came with to this day, and I’m craving it as I type this right now.
Something to keep in mind is that Hawkers tends to be crowded on weekends, and they don’t take reservations. So, if you do not want to wait about an hour for a table, I’d suggest going during the weekdays around 6 or 7 pm. There is a pretty decently sized lot next to it, so parking shouldn’t be too big of an issue. Overall, I would say it is a must-try in Nashville!
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stay wavy,