Thirty years after opening Calypso Cafe, Allison Brooks said the couple’s commitment to serving healthy meals at affordable prices is still at the core of the business. The eatery now has locations in Berry Hill, Charlotte Avenue and East Nashville.
“We modeled the restaurant after a place [where] we enjoyed eating in college, but we’ve added so many dishes and sides since we started that it’s even evolved from when we first opened,” Brooks said.
Although Calypso Cafe is known for its chicken dishes made with Caribbean sauces and seasonings, Brooks said the restaurant has expanded its vegan and vegetarian options over the years.
“We still have chicken and other meat items, but we decided there was really a need for vegetarian and vegan options in Nashville,” Brooks said. “Customers don’t have to ask questions because it’s all clearly labeled on the menu, and I think that’s one of the things that sets us apart.”
The menu also features a twist on the traditional meat-and-three concept by offering a plate with Cuban black beans and three sides. There are more than 10 sides to choose from, but Brooks said that Boija muffins, spiced sweet potatoes and callaloo—cooked mustard greens with onions and tomatoes—are among the most popular.
Calypso Cafe also offers catering for large and small gatherings. The menu includes Calypso staples as well as customized dishes to meet various dietary needs.
“As an event host, you want to be able to tell your guest exactly what you’re serving them if they have dietary questions,” Brooks said. “A lot of places will charge extra for special requests, but we’re really committed to catering to people’s needs.”
700 Thompson Lane, Nashville
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.