Where Locals Eat In Nashville

Where Locals Eat In Nashville – Most people travel to Nashville for the music scene, but did you know that Nashville is full of great places to grab a bite to eat? We were only here for two and a half days and we ate at as many places as possible and still barely scratched the surface of what Nashville has to offer. Tim and I ate (and drank) too much to gather enough information for this post. The work we do in the name of research.

Not only did we eat too much food, we also waited in a ridiculous amount of lines. At many places we stood in line 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 Nashville’s best restaurants.

Where Locals Eat In Nashville

Update: This article was originally written in 2016 and updated after our most recent visit in 2019. Have fun choosing your favorite!

Walk Eat Nashville

There was a time when you could describe Arnolds as a “hole in the wall.” No more. Arnolds is growing out of its Brits and doubling in size. Why? Because the food is amazing.

This is where we got our first taste of Nashville food and got a little practice waiting in line. It was 11:30 a.m. on a Friday morning and the line was out on the street. Locals and tourists grabbed trays and selected meats and side dishes and dessert, then found a place at one of the tables. This is Southern cooking at its best…buttery mashed potatoes, barbecue chicken, green beans, pie. Oh my… delicious! Right away Tim and I knew Nashville was going to be delicious!

Sadly, we only got one dish to share because we needed to save room for Biscuit Love, just a few blocks away. Today’s food tour took us to two different restaurants for brunch.

Best Biscuits in Nashville? Yes! At least at the restaurants we sampled. We had biscuits with sausage gravy, yum yum, but the highlight was the bonnets.

Best Restaurants In Nashville That You Will Love

Not quite a donut, not quite a biscuit, just a delicious fusion of the two, served with blueberry compote and cream. This place will be hard to beat!!

Southern is where you want an upscale restaurant with a gourmet menu and reasonable prices. South Broadway is within walking distance, not far from the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

We ate raw blue point oysters and drank wine at the bar while we waited for our table. For dinner, Tim and Ishred steak and blue cheese biscuits and Southern burgers. Both were amazing. Other items on the menu include banh mi fish tacos, braised beef brisket, nudie suet, 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 had 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 serve over twenty different flavors of pancakes as well as other breakfast foods. Click here to take a look at the menu.

Where Locals Don’t Eat — But Should

If you like to eat breakfast, The Pancake Pantry is worth the wait. If you had to choose between Biscuit Love and Pancake Pantry, go for Biscuit Love. Bonnet!!

It was another pleasant surprise. For a restaurant on Broadway in Honky Tonks’ Hullabloo, Tim and I weren’t expecting much from this place. But oh, the food was great. There were many items on the menu that we wanted to try. According to our waitress, Traders’ hottest 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.

If you need a break from honky tonking or fuel up before a night at the bars, Trader Joe’s makes a convenient stop that offers gourmet, healthy alternatives to typical Nashville Southern cooking.

Robert’s Western World is a honky tonk bar, and one of our favorites. Get the munchies and want live music? This is the place. Go for the fried bologna sandwich…a local favorite.

Of The Best Places To Eat Brunch In Nashville

Time and again we kept hearing about Loveless Cafe, so much so that we couldn’t pass it up. Tim and I were surprised to learn that one of Nashville’s most popular restaurants is located not far from downtown. In fact, Lovelace Cafe is thirty minutes from downtown Nashville by car.

We arrived during the lunch rush and were informed that there would be an hour and forty-five minute wait for a table. Yay!! Instead of waiting, we ordered take out and sat outside at one of the picnic tables, getting our food in a very quick 40 minutes.

Tim and I agreed that Loveless Cafe did not live up to its hype. People rave about biscuits and fried chicken. They were good but nothing spectacular. And waiting so long for food and driving thirty minutes out of town? I won’t do it again.

If you’re curious about what all the fuss about Lovelace is about, come see for yourself. Maybe you’ll have a better experience. But if you’re short on time, eat at Arnold’s Country Kitchen, which has a similar menu with better food and you don’t have to leave town. You don’t even need a car.

Must Try Neighborhood Restaurants In Nashville

People come here for the Writers-in-the-Round musical performance, but there’s a dinner menu for those who come hungry. You can get great food at Bluebird Cafe. healthy eating Yes, they have chicken fingers and quesadillas, but you can also dine on veggies and hummus, Caesar salad, and spinach and artichoke dip.

Stand in line again for some of Nashville’s best chicken. You can order your chicken with different levels of spiciness (heat) and add side dishes to your meal. Do you really want to add some heat to your chicken? I dare you to try their “shut the clock up” heat level. 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 is the highest ranked restaurant on the list and consistently receives rave reviews from its customers. With entrees in the $30 ballpark it can be pricey, especially once you include drinks, but the food is delicious! They are known for their roasted cabbage (yum!) and grilled filet. We tried both, but if you save room for dessert, we loved the ice cream sundae.

Mexican lovers, rejoice! This is another Nashville favorite and we tried it on our most recent visit to Nashville. Honestly, Tim and I didn’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 great but it might not be worth going out of your way to eat here, unless you

Local Tastes Of Nashville

Skull’s Rainbow Room is Nashville’s only downtown jazz lounge. It’s been around since 1948, located in Printer’s Alley not far from Honky Tonks. This is a great place to go for drinks, music and dinner in Nashville. Just make sure you make your reservations well in advance. Visit their website here.

Despite two visits to Nashville, we still have several restaurants on our list to try. Both of these restaurants get great reviews on travel blogs and TripAdvisor, and most of them were recommended by our friends. Even though we never got the chance to eat at these restaurants, they should make your 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 Husk also serves a very tasty cheeseburger.

Interesting name. Delicious smell!! Walking between Arnold’s Country Kitchen and Biscuit Love we walked past Peg Leg Porker. It smelled so good that we almost had our third brunch of the morning.

The Best Hot Chicken In Nashville: Where To Go And What To Order

This concludes our food tour of Nashville. Happy eating! What is your favorite restaurant in Nashville? Let us know in the comments section below!

More on Nashville: For recommendations on what to do, check out our article on the best things to do in Nashville. And for complete details about Bluebird Cafe, read our article How to visit Bluebird Cafe.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Learn how to spend a weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in our Weekend Getaway Guide to Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. Don’t forget our guide to hiking Mount LeConte if you’re looking for a great hike.

Nearby Destinations: Asheville, North Carolina makes a great weekend destination. Mammoth Cave National Park is close to Nashville and makes a great road trip destination.

The Best Foods To Try In Nashville

Kentucky Bourbon Trail: Spend a few days exploring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Learn about the best distilleries to visit on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and learn how to plan yours.

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