The Horn – Nashville, Tennessee - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

The Horn

Sambusas get a Deep Southern twist at this Somali chai haven.  

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Notes of green cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves hit your palate first, balanced by a restrained sweetness. Made with impeccably steeped black leaf tea, The Horn’s chai is to the sugary chai mix served at many American cafes what a Milanese master barista’s espresso pull is to the free, stale drip coffee you might find in an office. And while we can’t fully condone the playful sign on the wall declaring this, “The only Chai that matters in Nashville,” it is a cut above.

The Horn has offered Nashville’s thriving community of more than 3,000 Somali refugees a taste of home since 2014, when Hassan Rasul opened the café with his sons, Ahmed and Zakariya. Each morning, the Rasuls lay out an assortment of sweet and savory treats, including malawah (lacy crepes), nafaqo (crispy mashed potato patties stuffed with egg), and mandazi (fried puff pastry).

The real stars here are the sambusas, the Somali cousins of samosas, which come fried to a pillowy crunch. You can’t go wrong with the expertly seasoned traditional beef or veggie fillings. That said, the Rasuls also offer a rotating selection of Deep Southern riffs, including a Nashville hot chicken–inspired number and a “Smokin’ BBQ Chicken.” Most unexpectedly delightful of all might be the “Cheesy Breakfast” option, which tucks an egg-and-cheese into a flaky triangular pocket.

Know Before You Go

Pick up a bag of the Horn’s specialty chai blend to take home. 

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Edited by

June 29, 2023

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