Nashville Food Tour

Some of the more popular types of local cuisine include hot chicken, hot fish, barbecue, and meat and three. Thanks in part to Nashville’s foodie culture, the city was ranked as the 13th “snobbiest” city in America according to Travel + Leisure magazine.  We have won best BBQ in America as well for having a mix of all three styles of BBQ.

Cracker Barrel, O’Charley’s, Logan’s Roadhouse, J. Alexander’s, Captain D’s, Back Yard Burger’s, Shoney’s and CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc the parent company of the Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Green Burrito, and Red Burrito quick-service restaurant are some of the chain restaurants headquartered in the Nashville region.

Coffee  (I personally don’t drink coffee but these places are all of the rave of people who do)

  1. CREMA  (15 Hermitage Ave, Nashville, TN 37204) Artisanal coffeehouse/roaster serving drinks, pastries & snacks in a wood-paneled, industrial space.
  2. Bongo Java (2007 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN 37212) Snug coffeehouse with all-day breakfast menu plus an intimate concert & comedy venue upstairs.
  3. Cafe Coco (210 Louise Ave, Nashville, TN 37203) This funky coffeehouse is open around the clock & features live music, munchies & patio seating.
  4. Frothy Monkey (2509 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204) Local coffeehouse chain serving breakfast, sandwiches & Southern comfort food in a hip space.
  5. Pinewood Social (33 Peabody St, Nashville, TN 37210) is a very popular spot with bowling even. Pinewood is a space that is based on the idea of creating a social gathering place that can accommodate your needs morning, noon and night. Coffee, food and more.
  6. Barista Parlor (519 Gallatin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206)  Hip coffeehouse serves artisanal espresso & local, seasonal cafe eats in an open, industrial venue where famous people have been spotted at getting their fill
  7. FIDO (1812 21st Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37212) Fido blurs the line between upscale coffeehouse and casual restaurant with an emphasis on organic and local foods served in an inviting atmosphere.

Hot Chicken

Nashville has additionally earned the moniker “The Hot Chicken Capital”, becoming known for the local specialty cuisine hot chicken. The Music City Hot Chicken Festival is hosted annually in Nashville and several restaurants make this spicy version of southern fried chicken. Nashville hot chicken is a type of fried chicken that has spread nationwide thanks to Kentucky Fried Chicken In its typical preparation, it is a portion of breast, thigh, or wing that has been marinated in a water-based blend of seasoning, floured, fried, and finally sauced using a paste that has been spiced with cayenne pepper.

It is generally accepted that the originator of hot chicken is the family of Andre Prince Jeffries, owner of Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack (123 Ewing Dr, Nashville, TN 37207 and one location just a few minutes from my place at 5814 Nolensville Pike #110, Nashville, TN 37211). She has operated the restaurant since 1980; before that time, it was owned by her great-uncle, Thornton Prince III. Although impossible to verify, Jeffries says the development of hot chicken was an accident. Her great-uncle Thornton was purportedly a womanizer, and after a particularly late night out his girlfriend at the time cooked him a fried chicken breakfast with extra pepper as revenge. Instead, Thornton decided he liked it so much that, by the mid-1930s, he and his brothers had created their own recipe and opened the BBQ Chicken Shack café

Hattie B’s is one of the most popular spots for Nashville Hot Chicken 112 19TH AVE S NASHVILLE, TN 37203 and 5209 CHARLOTTE AVE NASHVILLE, TN 37209


Nashville’s ’cue is less dogmatic than other cities’. With no strict style to adhere to, Music City’s offerings are more varied. Like Memphis, pork ribs and pulled pork sandwiches are popular, but so is Texas-influenced brisket and even smoked chicken and turkey. Tomato-based sauces run the gamut from XXX hot to tangy and mild, so there really is something for everyone in this town. Jack’s Bar-B-Que has everything from St. Louis ribs to Texas brisket, with half a dozen different kinds of sauces

Three major interstates run within a mile of each other in Nashville’s downtown, so it’s no surprise that the city is also a crossroads of barbecue styles, such as the West Tennessee whole hog at Martin’s Bar-b-que Joint, the Memphis-style dry ribs at Peg Leg Porker, or Edley’s BBQ’s notable smoked chicken with Alabama white sauce.  One of my favorite places for BBQ is Jim ‘N Nicks (7004 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN 37209) with multiple locations around town.

Meat & 3 / Meat and Three

A meat and three type of cuisine has its roots right here in Nashville.  The phrase has been described as implying “glorious vittles served with utmost informality.” It is style in which the customer picks one meat from a daily selection of 3–6 choices (such as fried chicken, country ham, beef, country-fried steak, meatloaf, or pork chop) and three side dishes from a list that may include up to a dozen other options (usually vegetables, potatoes, corn, green or lima beans, but also other selections such as gelatin, creamed corn, macaroni and cheese, and spaghetti). A meat-and-three meal is often served with cornbread and sweet tea.

  1. Arnold’s Country Kitchen  (605 8th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203) and in Green Hills (2209 Abbott Martin Road, Nashville, TN 37215)
  2. Corner Pub They have multiple locations but you will often find me here at least once a week at the Brentwood location, 710 Old Hickory BLVD
    Brentwood, TN 37027. I personally go between the Meatloaf and Country Fried Chicken & Gravy Meat ‘N 3
  3. B McNeel’s (215 N Church St, Murfreesboro, TN 37130 )
  4. Katie’s Meat & Three (10 Arcade, Nashville, TN 37219)
  5. Copper Kettle Green Hills (4004 Granny White Pike, Nashville, TN 37204) Casual, cafeteria-style eatery offering a selection of homemade Southern staples that rotate daily along with a Brunch buffet on Sunday.

    Loveless Cafe – A Nashville Classic

My Favorite Restaurants in Nashville across all flavors

  1. Texas De Brazil – All you can eat Brazillian Steak and an excellent Salad bar. The meats are better at Texas De Brazil but Rodizio Grill The Brazilian Steakhouse (166 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201) has a better salad bar.
  2. Monell’s  – Great Southern Food (It is community dining so its one large table full of strangers, it feels odd at first but a fun way to experience great southern food.)
  3. Jonathan’s Grill – Upscale Sports Bar, my favorite food is the Carson’s egg rolls, the California Club sandwich and the Alfredo with chicken. The Prime Rib are great. The Fajita Nachos is  the best in town.
  4. Burger Republic – An awarding burger location not just locally but internationally even. It can have long lines on weekend evenings. I enjoy their spiked milk shakes too.
  5. O’Charleys – Yes it is a chain restaurant but I love Chicken Harvest soup and the combo appetizer with the pepper jack cheesewedges.
  6. Loveless Cafe (8400 Tennessee Highway 100, Nashville, TN 37221) Excellent southern food, it really is a landmark destination, if you are visiting Nashville then you must go to Loveless Cafe. I personally love the Southern Sampler for dinner, it is alot of food just so you know. The biscuits and peach preserves are my favorite but I can’t knock the strawberry. So freaking good. The problem is the wait. I will put in a to-go order an hour ahead and be told it will be ready at such time and I get there and still have to wait 30-45 minutes. Weekends can be up to a 2 hour wait in my experience. Go early when they open or an hour before they close to have no or little wait but lunch and dinner time in the spring through to fall you will be waiting. Is it worth it? yep it sure is.
  7. The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden – (731 Mcferrin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206)- One of the best places in Nashville for burgers & sausages along with an old-time soda fountain & outdoor seating. The chili burger and a milk shake does me well. This is a very popular spot so prepare for a wait.
  8. Batter’d & Fried Boston Seafood House (1008 Woodland St A, Nashville, TN 37206) I love the clam chowder here, one of my favorites in the whole country in fact, I get a bowl of that and a Boston Burger and I’m set.
  9. Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant (500 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219) different locations around town, excellent burgers and prime rib in my experience.
  10. Mafiaozas (2400 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204) Excellent Italian food and pizza. I tend to select the Lasagna when I’m there.
  11. Cool Springs Brewery (600A Frazier Dr #135, Franklin, TN 37067) Laid-back brewpub featuring housemade beers, as well as a menu of hearty British & American grub with my favorite being the Tortellini Pesto Alfredo
  12. Jacksons Bar and Bistro (1800 21st Ave S. Nashville, TN 37212) A bustling corner bistro in Hillsboro Village near Vanderbilt University, Jackson’s offers lunch, dinner and late-night dining along with Saturday and Sunday brunch in an eclectic, upbeat, come-as-you-are atmosphere.
  13. San Antonio Taco Co (416 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203) Low-key joint serving up Tex-Mex fare & buckets of beer

Pizza is a big thing in Nashville, these are my favorite spots

2nd Ave Downtown

2nd Ave Downtown

  1. Five Points Pizza (1012 Woodland St, Nashville, TN 37206) Simple spot with craft beers on tap & New York-style pizzas made to order or by the slice, very popular and very likely a wait.
  2. 312 Pizza Company (371 Monroe St, Nashville, TN 37208)  Authentic Chicago Pizza and Cuisine with the best Chicago deep dish pizza in Nashville in my opinion.
  3. Pie In the Sky Pizza (6917 Lenox Village Dr, Nashville, TN 37211) They have nice pasta and pizza plus it is just a few minutes away from me.
  4. Soulshine Pizza Factory – Lively local pizzeria chain featuring a menu of creative pies, po’ boys & more, plus live music.
  5. Two Boots Nashville (1925 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203) Offbeat NYC chain serving cornmeal-crusted pizzas with quirky Cajun toppings in a kid-friendly space.
  6. Mellow Mushroom – multiple locations serving up some pretty fine pizza options.
  7. Jets Pizza may be a chain but they have some pretty good pan pizza and I really enjoy their Triple Cheese Turbo Bread sticks
  8. Little Chicago (1524a Demonbreun St Nashville TN, 37203) is one of the few places I know where I can get a deep dish pizza and my favorite Grape Leaf Rolls at the same place.

Sunday Brunch Buffets

  1. Sopapilla’s | A taste of New Mexico with Franklin and Hendersonville locations, a different Brunch buffet every weekend. One of my top Brunches for sure.
  2. Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant (839 Briley Pkwy, Nashville, TN 37217), a nice buffet with lots of good options
  3. Garden Brunch Cafe (924 Jefferson St, Nashville, TN 37208) Banana Foster Pancakes, wow, this is a great location for Brunch. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9AM – 2PM
  4. Copper Kettle Green Hills (4004 Granny White Pike, Nashville, TN 37204) Casual, cafeteria-style eatery offering a selection of homemade Southern staples that rotate daily along with a Brunch buffet on Sunday.


  1. FIDO (1812 21st Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37212) Fido blurs the line between upscale coffeehouse and casual restaurant with an emphasis on organic and local foods served in an inviting atmosphere.
  2. Frothy Monkey (2509 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204) Local coffeehouse chain serving breakfast, sandwiches & Southern comfort food in a hip space.
  3. Whole Foods Market in Green Hills (4021 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215) has one of my favorite breakfast bars in town with service until 8-10:30 on weekdays (longer on weekends) followed by lunch / dinner food for the rest of the day. I tend to get the breakfast pizza, biscuits and gravy, their french toast is really good too.

Craft Beer and Bars (I don’t personally drink beer but I know craft beer is a big deal in Nashville, my roommate drinks the beer and I eat the food at many of these places if they have food)

  1. Yazoo Brewing Company (910 Division St, Nashville, TN 37203) Brewery & taproom offering twice-weekly tours where visitors learn about Yazoo & sample beer.
  2. Jackalope Brewing Company (701 8th ave. South, Nashville TN, 37203)
  3. Corsair Brewstillery Taproom & Tasting Room (1200 Clinton St #110, Nashville, TN 37203)
  4. The Black Abbey Brewing Company (2952 Sidco Drive Nashville, TN 37204)
  5. Tennessee Brew Works (809 Ewing Avenue Nashville, TN 37203)
  6. Blackstone Brewery (1918 West End Avenue Nashville, TN 37203)
  7. Big River Grille & Brewing Works (111 Broadway Nashville, TN 37201)
  8. Cool Springs Brewery (600A Frazier Drive No.135 Franklin TN 37067)
  9. Boscos (2000 Meridian Blvd. Suite 110 Franklin, TN 37067)
  10. Czann’s Brewing Company (505 Lea Ave, Nashville, Tennessee)
  11. Fat Bottom Brewing (900 Main Street, Nashville TN, 37206)

Feel like International Food or just variety? check out the Nashville Farmers’ Market (900 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37208), a lot of locally grown food and shops.

Nashville has excellent food trucks around town, one of my favorites is The Grilled Cheeserie Food Truck