A freshly-opened, wood-fired restaurant in East Nashville was just named one of the best in the country for 2023 by OpenTable.
Noko, located on Porter Road, was one of only two Tennessee restaurants to make the list.
The list was compiled from over 12 million verified diner reviews and dining metrics including diner ratings, percentage of reservations made in advance, and five-star reviews. Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar in Memphis was also featured.
Noko, which opened its doors in March, is an Asian-inspired restaurant where Executive Chef Dung “Junior” Vo uses a balance of both new and old techniques in wood fire cooking. Vo focuses on bringing Asian-influenced twists to familiar proteins and indigenous vegetables through a variety of cooking techniques.
The menu includes flavors inspired by Japan, the Philippines and Korea.
Additionally the Noko team takes the wood fire technique beyond food and extends it to their beverage menu, serving up options like non-alcoholic cocktails with toasted garnishes to Wagyu-fat washed Old Fashioneds made with Japanese whiskies.
The restaurant appeared in the Tennessean’s top 25 restaurants in Nashville as an honorable mention. Senior dining reporter, Mackensy Lunsford, called their wood-grilled tomahawk ribeye easily one of the top 10 dishes she’s had in Nashville for 2023.
Noko is operated by Vo, founder Jon Murray and managing partner Wilson Brannock. The three met while working for Indigo Road Hospitality Group and bonded during the pandemic over backyard woodfire cooking.
‘A catalyst of change within Nashville’s hospitality industry’
Noko prides itself on passionately and deeply caring for their own, to in turn provide the most positive experience for its diners.
They aim to promote change within the hospitality industry in Nashville by placing an emphasis on mental health and offering numerous benefits including a yearly travel stipend, access to an online therapist, a paid gym/yoga membership, health insurance, and more.
Among Noko’s core values are positivity, gratitude and forgiveness.
Diana Leyva covers trending news and service for The Tennessean. Contact her at Dleyva@gannett.com or follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, at @_leyvadiana