Places To Eat In Nashville – Most people travel to Nashville for the music scene, but did you know that Nashville is packed with great places to eat? We were only here for two and a half days, ate at as many places as possible and still didn’t scratch the surface of what Nashville had to offer. Tim and I ate (and drank) too much to gather the information we needed for this post. What we do in the name of research.
Not only were we eating too much food, we were waiting in a ridiculous number of lines. At many places we queued for at least fifteen minutes to get a table. It doesn’t matter if it’s 9am or 3pm or 9pm…be prepared to wait in line at the best restaurants in Nashville.
Places To Eat In Nashville
Update: This article was originally written in 2016 and updated after our most recent visit in 2019. Pick your favorites and enjoy!
What Are The Best Restaurants In Nashville? Here’s The Top 25, Ranked
There was a time when you described Arnold as a “hole in the wall.” Not anymore. Arnold snaps out of its britches and doubles the size. Why? Because the food is great.
This is where we got our first taste of Nashville food and got some practice waiting in line. By 11:30 a.m. Friday, the line was out on the street. Locals and tourists grabbed plates and picked up meats and side dishes and desserts, then found a place at one of the tables. This is quintessential Southern cooking…buttery mashed potatoes, barbecue chicken, green beans, pie. Oh… delicious! Tim and I knew right then that Nashville was delicious!
Unfortunately, we only got one dish to share because we had to save room for Biscuit Love, just a few blocks. On today’s food tour we went to two different restaurants for brunch.
Best Biscuits in Nashville? Yes! At least in the restaurants we sampled. We had biscuits with sausage gravy, yum yum, but the highlight was the bonnets.
The Food Scene In East Nashville
Not a donut, not a biscuit, a delicious fusion of the two, served with blueberry compote and cream. This place will be hard to beat!!
If you want an upscale restaurant with a good food menu and reasonable prices, South Side is the place to go. Located within walking distance of South Broadway, it’s not far from the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
We ate green blue spot oysters and drank wine at the bar while we waited for our table. For dinner, Tim and Ishrette steak and blue cheese biscuits and a Southern burger. Both were amazing. Other items on the menu include Banh Mi Fish Tacos, Braised Beef Brisket, Nudie Suit and Seared Sea Scallops. Check out their menu here.
It is a breakfast, brunch and lunch establishment frequented by locals. It is located near Vanderbilt University and is another popular place to wait in line. I read mixed reviews about this restaurant but we were pleasantly surprised. Tim had French toast and I had blueberry pancakes. Both were very good. And don’t pass up the hash browns. They offer over twenty different delicious pancakes and other breakfast items. Click here to view the menu.
Food & Wine’s Restaurant Of The Year 2022
If you like breakfast, The Pancake Pantry is worth the wait. If you have to choose between Biscuit Love and Pancake Pantry, go for Biscuit Love. Bonnets!!
This is another pleasant surprise. For a restaurant on Broadway in the hullabaloo of Honky Tonks, Tim and I weren’t expecting much from this place. But, the food was very good. There were so many things on the menu that we wanted to try. According to our waiter, the merchants’ hot dishes are chicken fried chicken and fish tacos. Well, Tim went for the fish tacos and I had the grilled salmon BLT. Both were very good.
Whether you need a break from honky-tonking or refueling before a night at the bars, Merchants makes a convenient stop, offering good food and healthy alternatives to typical Nashville Southern cooking.
Robert’s Western World is a honky tonk bar, and one of our favorites. Got munchies and want live music? This is the place. A toasted bologna sandwich…a local favorite.
Where To Eat In Nashville If You Need Comfort Food This Winter — Walk Eat Nashville
We kept hearing about Loveless Cafe so many times that we couldn’t pass it up. Tim and I were surprised to learn that one of Nashville’s most popular restaurants is located far from downtown. In fact, Loveless Cafe is only a thirty minute drive from downtown Nashville.
We arrived during the lunch rush and were told to wait an hour and forty-five minutes for a table. Yay!! Instead of waiting, we sat outside at one of the picnic tables and got our food in a very quick 40 minutes.
Tim and I agreed that Loveless Cafe didn’t live up to its hype. People are obsessed with biscuits and fried chicken. They were good but nothing stellar. Wait that long for food and drive thirty minutes out of town? I will never do it again.
If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about Loveless, check it out for yourself. You will probably have a better experience. But if you’re short on time, eat at Arnold’s Country Kitchen, which has a similar menu with great food, and you don’t have to leave town. You don’t even need to own a car.
Best Places To Eat In Nashville, Tennessee
People come here for the writers’ concert, but there’s also a dinner menu for those who come hungry. You can get good food at Bluebird Cafe. Healthy food. Yes, they have chicken fingers and quesadillas, but you can also have veggies and hummus, Caesar salad, and spinach and artichoke dip.
Back in line for some of Nashville’s best chicken. You can order your chicken with varying degrees of spiciness (heat) and add side dishes to your meal. Really want to add some heat to your chicken? I dare you to give their “Shut the Clock Up” heat level a try. Here is the menu.
Etch is a modern, trendy restaurant that serves dishes like octopus and shrimp bruschetta, grilled lamb loin, and grilled filet. It’s the most upscale restaurant on the list and consistently gets stellar reviews from its customers. With entrees in the ballpark of $30, it can be pricey, especially once you add drinks, but the food is delicious! They are known for their roasted cauliflower (yum!) and grilled filet. We tried both, but if you save room for dessert, we preferred the ice cream sundae.
Mexican lovers, rejoice! This is another Nashville favorite and we tried it on our recent visit to Nashville. Honestly, Tim and I don’t think it lived up to the rave reviews it was getting. Mas Tacos is located outside of downtown Nashville, so you’ll need a car or Uber to get here. The tacos were pretty good, but it’s probably not worth eating here unless you’ve been there
Best Places To Eat In Nashville
Skulls Rainbow Room is Nashville’s only downtown jazz lounge. It’s been around since 1948 and is located in Printer’s Alley, not far from Honky Tonks. This is a great place to go for drinks, music and dinner in Nashville. Confirm your reservations in advance. Visit their website here.
Even though we’ve been to Nashville twice, there are many more restaurants on our list to try. Both of these restaurants get great reviews on travel blogs and Trip Advisor and most of them were recommended to us by friends. Although we never had the chance to eat at these restaurants, they should make our list of places to eat in Nashville.
It was recommended to us for brunch, some say Husk serves the best brunch ever. We’ve also heard rumors that Umi also offers a pretty tasty cheeseburger.
Interesting name. Delicious smell!! Walking between Arnold’s Country Kitchen and Biscuit Love we passed Peg Leg Porker. It smelled so good that we almost had our third breakfast.
Where To Eat In Nashville
This concludes our food tour of Nashville. Happy eating! What is your favorite restaurant in Nashville? Let us know in the comment section below!
More information on Nashville: For suggestions on what to do, see the article Best things to do in Nashville. For full details about Bluebird Cafe, read our article on how to visit Bluebird Cafe.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Learn how to spend a weekend in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in our weekend travel guide to Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. If you’re looking for a great hike, don’t miss our guide to hiking LeConte.
Nearby Places: Asheville, North Carolina is a great weekend destination. Mammoth Cave National Park is close to Nashville and makes a wonderful road trip destination.
Nashville’s Top 5 Restaurants
Kentucky Bourbon Trail: Spend a few days on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Learn about the best distilleries to visit on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and learn how to plan your plan.
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