Looking for the best places to eat in Nashville? You’re in luck! Here are our favorite restaurants in Nashville so you can have a taste of the Music City.
As the capital city of Tennessee, Nashville is home to numerous world-class restaurants of various cuisines for locals and tourists to explore!
Although Tennessee dining typically focuses on homely Southern cooking, spicy food, Cajun dishes, and all-America barbeque, there is a plethora of different cuisines and dishes to explore among Nashville’s growing culinary scene!
Regardless of whether you’re familiar with the city or just passing through, the following is a list of some of the 15 best Nashville restaurants. Whereby there’s bound to be enough information, price, and food variety to satisfy all palates!
Best Restaurants in Nashville
1. Redheaded Stranger
$$ | https://redheadedstrangertacos.com/ | (615) 891-7960
Because the Music City is home to some of the best Tex-Mex restaurants in America, standing out from the crowd can be extremely challenging!
However, Redheaded Stranger does just that by putting a unique twist on their dishes while sporting a laid-back atmosphere, including an outdoor deck for those lazy summer brunches with friends and family!
Although they have a relatively small menu, some local favorites include their hatch chilies and Gifford’s bacon cheeseburger, various tacos/tortillas, and their crunch wraps (just make sure to avoid peak hours for crunch wraps, as they usually sell out quickly!)
Finally, make sure to complete the Tex-Mex experience with an ice-cold frozen margarita!
Redheaded Stranger is hands-down one of the best restaurants in Nashville!
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2. Arnold’s Country Kitchen
$ | https://www.arnoldscountrykitchen.com/ | (615) 256-4455
Having served Nashville locals and visitors for over three –decades, the secret to this James Beard America’s Classic award-winning restaurant is its dedication to traditional Southern food.
Namely, the wholesome and balanced meal structure of “Southern meat-and-three,” including a drink and dessert.
Still owned and run by the Arnold family, Arnold’s Country Kitchen foregoes extraneous décor for a homely feel, including cafeteria-style serving, which allows patrons to take advantage of a full buffet that includes a rotation of chicken and dumplings, fried chicken, meatloaf, turnip greens, creamed corn, mac and cheese, and fried catfish (among others.)
In conclusion, next time you find yourself in the Gulch, make sure to visit this affordable and traditional Southern cuisine hotspot, which is one of the best restaurants in Nashville!
3. Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
$$ | https://hattieb.com/ | (615) 678-4794
Along with Tex-Mex and Southern cuisine comes the sub-section of hot chicken.
Fortunately, Nashville has great hot chicken restaurants to enjoy; however, we think the best hot chicken restaurant in Nashville is Hattie B’s Hot chicken.
Available across multiple Nashville neighborhoods in a fast-casual setting, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is fried and basted in numerous spice options ranging from Southern (no heat) to Shut the Cluck Up (for only the bravest hot chicken fans!)
However, while Hattie B’s Hot Chicken may be comparable to other chicken outlets across Nashville, it’s the quality of their traditional Southern sides that makes Hattie B’s Hot Chicken a must-visit.
These sides include local favorites like black-eyed pea salad, coleslaw, mac and cheese, and greens.
4. Five Points Pizza
$$ | https://fivepointspizza.com/ | (615) 915-4174
While pizza is more closely associated with other American cities like New York, Nashville has its fair share of pizza joints that are comparable to some of the best pizza pies in the country! However, we believe the best pizza restaurant in Nashville is Five Points Pizza.
With locations in both East and West Nashville, the popularity of Five Points Pizza can be attributed to quality pizza pies, craft beers on tap, a laid-back atmosphere, and generous lunchtime specials for under $10!
Along with their pizzas, a local favorite is their side dish of garlic knots that compliments any meal from Five Points Pizza!
Needless to that that this pizzeria is one of the best restaurants in Nashville!
5. Butcher & Bee
$$ | https://butcherandbee.com/ | (615) 226-3322
Opened in 2015, Butcher & Bee in Nashville arose from the popular Charleston restaurant of the same name.
The appeal of the Butcher & Bee is their unique Southern spin on traditional Mediterranean cuisine!
The seating itself is slick and modern, with an open-plan design complimenting the natural lighting, high industrial ceiling, and various seating options which can accommodate everyone from a single patron at the bar to a group of over 12 people hosting an event!
Chef Bryan Lee Weaver has crafted a personalized menu of small dishes and sharing options akin to traditional Mediterranean dining while including a Southern spin to local favorites like hawajj spiced meatballs, Bear Creek smoked steak platter, and multiple dips.
Furthermore, the Butcher & Bee sports an extensive bakery, meaning there are a host of sweet and savory baked goods for customers to enjoy!
6. The Continental
$$$$ | https://www.thecontinentalnashville.com/ | (615) 622-3225
Opened in 2021 in the Grand Hyatt hotel in Downtown Nashville, the Continental quickly rose to become one of the most beloved and popular restaurants in Nashville for fine luxury dining.
Sporting a seasonal prix fixe menu that allows customers to choose their entrée and dessert, Chef Sean Brock incorporates various mid-century upmarket dishes and infuses them with a level of care and quality ingredients to create a world-class dining experience.
Menu favorites include the Sequatchie cove cheese selection, the Continental caviar parfait, broken arrow ranch venison, deluxe rice pudding, and a plethora of spirits and specially selected wine pairings.
Just make sure to reserve a table in advance, as booking space is limited in this restaurant in Nashville!
7. Henrietta Red
$$$ | https://www.henriettared.com/ | (615) 490-8042
Henrietta Red serves a plethora of sharing options focused on seafood and vegetarian options against the background of white-tiled floors, blonde wood, and navy banquettes.
Despite the chic, laid-back setting for diners, the Henrietta Red has a communal, lively bar to mingle with others after a long day of work.
Chef Julia Sullivan, a James Beard Award Semi-finalist, has designed a simple but elegant menu that seeks to maximize the flavor and textures of various classics like roasted cauliflower, chicken liver pate, smoked mussel toast, and a renowned oyster bar with over 15 varieties on offer!
8. The Optimist
$$$ | https://www.theoptimistrestaurant.com/ | (615) 709-3156
Shifting our focus from one seafood restaurant to another, we have the Optimist.
While it may seem unlikely at face value to find so many top-class seafood restaurants in Nashville, TN, a landlocked state, the Optimist is a prime example of the various seafood cuisines on offer in Nashville!
Although their plateaux menu is arguably the best way to experience a sharing platter of various seafood options such as oysters, shrimp, tuna poke, and lobster along with their homemade smoked fish dip, we believe their “Jacqueline” menu to be a particular highlight as well.
The “Jacqueline” menu offers basic light snacks and an extensive array of frozen/ice drinks to enjoy, making the Optimist a perfect date night spot!
9. Once Upon A Time In France
$$ | https://www.onceuponatime-infrance.com/ | (615) 649-8284
While French cuisine is beloved the world over, it can be extremely challenging to find a chef/restaurant that can capture the subtle flavors and textures that make French food some of the best dining experiences available.
Fortunately, Once Upon A Time In France wears its influences on its shoulder and provides a world-class French dining cuisine to appease even the most dedicated fans/connoisseurs of French food.
Started by a French father and son duo, this charming French bistro offers customers a small but excellent range of authentic French classics like coq au vin, confit de canard, and steak fritters.
All of which are accompanied by a hand-selected wine menu to compliment any/all dishes!
10. Lockeland Table
$$$ | https://www.lockelandtable.com/ | (615) 228-4864
As a reconstructed storefront from the 1930s in East Nashville, Lockeland Table was established as a community kitchen and bar, making it one of the most homely and lively Nashville restaurants on this list.
Consequently, Lockeland Table is a favorite of Nashville locals and a great way to meet new people as a tourist or newcomer to the city.
A sense of local community is prevalent in the business model and menu designed by co-owners Cara Graham and Chef Hal Holden-Bache.
Whereby the community hour between 4 pm and 6 pm on weeknights offers family specials and a portion of the revenue accruing to a local school.
Furthermore, there is a beer that is brewed and served in collaboration with a local Nashville brewery, while some local favorites include their wood-fired pizzas, red Thai curry mussels, and hot pig ears.
11. Chauhan Ale & Masala House
$$ | https://www.chauhannashville.com/ | (615) 242-8426
Although Lockeland Table is home to red curry mussels, the Chauhan Ale & Masala House is a must-visit for fans of authentic Indian cuisine with a Southern twist!
Helmed by award-winning chef and Food Network celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan, the Chauhan Ale & Masala House offers a unique “meant-and-three” dining experience you are unlikely to find anywhere in the world!
Some local favorites include the tandoori chicken poutine, lamb keema papadi nachos, hot chicken pakoras, and methi malai mac n cheese.
Furthermore, as an alehouse, their drinks menu expands this Indian-Southern fusion with unique beverages like a Saffron IPA or various Indian spiced cocktails!
12. Biscuit Love
$$ | https://www.biscuitlove.com/ | (615) 490-9584
Beginning life as a humble food truck, chef-owners Karl and Sarah Worley’s love of Southern biscuit cooking and their loyal customer following led to the establishment of brick and mortar storefronts across the Gulch, Hillsboro Village, and Downtown Franklin.
While only open in the mornings, Biscuit Love’s dedicated following means you need to get there early to sample their freshly made biscuits.
Some local favorites include the Princess, which consists of a piece of boneless hot chicken, or their deep-fried mascarpone donuts.
Outside of biscuits, Biscuit Love also features numerous Southern dishes like signature shrimp and grits, along with a wide selection of curated merchandise, making it one of the best restaurants in Nashville!
13. Pinewood Social
$$ | https://www.pinewoodsocial.com/ | (615) 751-8111
As the name implies, Pinewood Social is all about gathering with friends and family.
Nowhere else in Nashville can you hope to find an “adult’s playhouse” akin to the Pinewood social, given that it sports a bowling alley, two outdoor pools, a bocce court, roomy booths, a dedicated Airstream trailer bar, and a coffee shop.
Although the entertainment may be the primary draw of Pinewood Social at face value, it also has an excellent food and drinks menu catered for larger groups.
Some local favorites include their all-day American breakfast, various bar snacks, and shrimp po-boy.
Furthermore, their drinks menu includes a wide array of frozen/iced drinks and Southern twists on cocktails, such as their Landlocked Iced Tea of bourbon, lemon, curacao, meletti amaro, soda, and angostura bitters.
14. Riddim n Spice
$$ | https://www.riddimnspice.com/ | (615) 953-7121
Started by brothers Chef Kamal Kalokoh and Rashean Conaway near the historic Jefferson Street neighborhood in 2019, Riddim n’ Spice is a favorite hangout spot for fans of authentic Caribbean cuisine that incorporates ingredients and techniques from Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.
A particular highlight is their brunch menu every Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm, which infuses authentic Caribbean cuisine with South cooking to deliver unique options like jerk chicken and waffles, French plantain toast, shrimp n’ cornmeal, and ackee n’ saltfish.
While on Sunday between 11 am – 3 pm, you can enjoy a varied cocktail menu with local favorites like Freedom Fashioned, which includes denizen dark rum, simple syrup, bitters, and luxardo cherry.
15. Killebrew Coffee
$$ | https://www.killecoffee.com/ | (615) 262-6001
As the final entry on our list, we want to shine the spotlight on Nashville’s coffee/café scene with Killebrew Coffee. Despite being in a busy center of town in the Thompson Hotel, this small café offers customers an opportunity to slow down and unwind.
While the highlight for many patrons is their fantastic coffee and some unique twists on classic beverages like Cuban lattes, various teas, and “the Gulchie,” Chef Lisa Marie White also has hand-selected and homemade pastries baked fresh every day!
However, there are some standard menu options available we recommend trying, like their Nashville hot chicken wrap or their breakfast sandwich.
More Nashville Restaurants Worth Checking Out
- Mas Tacos Por Favor: Love Mexican food? Here you can taste delicious chicken tortilla soup that has just the right spice level. Oh, the daily specials mix it up with soups and other tacos such as cactus.
- Peg Leg Porker: great barbecued ribs, chicken, and pulled pork served in a variety of ways.
- Hathorne: John Stephenson’s restaurant has a beautiful blend of American, Asian, Irish, and Southern traditions in an incredibly welcoming place.
- City House: thin-crust pizzas made in a brick oven.
- Bourbon Steak: heavenly flavors and juicy steaks.
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