IMG_0367_2.jpg
hero2.jpg
story-hero2.jpg
IMG_0367_2.jpg

Food From the Heart


Made Fresh Daily From Scratch + Crafted With Love.
Voted Nashville's Best Mediterranean Restaurant.

(615) 824-6264 

SCROLL DOWN

Food From the Heart


Made Fresh Daily From Scratch + Crafted With Love.
Voted Nashville's Best Mediterranean Restaurant.

(615) 824-6264 

Live Fresh.
Eat Fresh.

This simple mantra has become the core mission of our family-owned restaurant. 

Everything we serve is made fresh daily, using the world’s finest herbs, spices and ingredients.

Our hummus, yogurt and even our cheeses are prepared from scratch, using recipes that date back generations to the 'Fertile Crescent,' known as the cradle of civilization.

The menu items at Cafe Rakka contain no MSG and are prepared solely with olive oil, creating food that not only tastes exceptional, but that promotes healthy living. 

View our gallery →

hero2.jpg

What Others Are Saying


People have visited our restaurant from places as far as Europe, Asia and South America. Below is a small sampling of the kind words people have said about their experience.

SCROLL DOWN

What Others Are Saying


People have visited our restaurant from places as far as Europe, Asia and South America. Below is a small sampling of the kind words people have said about their experience.

Cafe Rakka is one of the best kept secrets in or around Nashville! The food is delicious, plentiful, and beautifully plated. –Yahoo! Travel

If it were any fresher you'd have to eat it in the garden! This was a five star meal and a great value to boot.

This little restaurant is the hidden jewel of Nashville. They have the freshest, most delicious food in town. Their appetizers are wonderful – hummus, falafel and tabbouleh – the best anywhere. 

 

This is a baby diamond in the rough! Very authentic, right down to the beverages. The portions are huge! 

I was impressed by the freshness and amazing flavors of the food. Agreat place with great atmosphere - it truly is the jewel of Hendersonville. If you are looking for great flavors with a true Mediterranean twist this is it. 

Delicious cuisine every time we go. Chef Rakka always stops by to make sure everything is to your satisfaction. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu. Even my young children enjoy dining there.

story-hero2.jpg

Renowned Legacy


For more than five generations, Chef Rakka’s family has been renowned cheese, butter and yogurt makers in Syria.

SCROLL DOWN

Renowned Legacy


For more than five generations, Chef Rakka’s family has been renowned cheese, butter and yogurt makers in Syria.

Chef Rakka

EXECUTIVE CHEF

“My grandmother.” That is the answer Riyad Al-Kasem (aka Chef Rakka) will give you to the question “who taught you how to cook?”

While still young and living in Syria, Chef Rakka cared for his grandmother. During that time, the 80 grandchildren she had would also visit on the weekends, and Rakka’s grandmother taught them all how to cook.   

Her cooking methods were those of a different generation but also taught Rakka what he terms the unofficial science of cooking (why you do what you do when cooking), which gave him the basics he needs to regularly create wonderful new recipes. 

In college, Chef Rakka longed for the home cooking of his Syrian youth, and after a long and stressful day, would turn to cooking for relaxation. He would call his mother for help recreating his favorite Middle Eastern recipes, and finally started writing down instructions. After scoring the highest possible score on his International Studies test on American government, and his interest in the democratic system of checks and balances,  the U.S. beckoned. Rakka does have a law degree, and although he may some day think about returning to law, cooking remains, as it always has been, his first love.  

 

And no wonder! Chef Rakka’s family has been renowned cheese, butter and yogurt makers in Syria for more than five generations. Along with this family tradition, Rakka learned the importance of using fresh, natural ingredients living in Syria’s Fertile Crescent region by the Euphrates, and furthered his knowledge of natural and organic cooking during his time working in the food and beverage industry in Santa Barbara, California. 

His cooking today continues to reflect that love of fresh food. Just as he and his father, after a trip to the market in Syria, would bring home only what was fresh that day to cook, Rakka and his wife Linda decide on the daily menu specials based on what’s available fresh from the market.  

Although Rakka credits his mother and grandmother with learning how to cook, it is his father who he calls his “professor of life.” Every day during his trip to market, Rakka would hear memorable stories full of wisdom and life lessons. If Chef could only cook one meal for the rest of his life, it would be “Kabob Halabi.” This delicious seasoned meat dish, prepared with an old family recipe, was his father’s favorite. 

Chef Rakka now lives in Hendersonville with his wife Linda and their two children. 

IMG_4081.jpg
IMG_4431.jpg