The Best Restaurants in Nashville
Collected by Jennifer Justus , AFAR Local Expert
Nashville may be known as Music City, but its reputation for inventive cuisine is catching up at a galloping pace that a rockabilly drummer would recognize. Southern staples like biscuits, fried chicken, and macaroni and cheese have been revisited by Nashville's chefs and transformed into something divine.
1711 Division St, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
It's one of the hardest reservations to score in the country, but not just because of its diminutive size (22 seats in all) or limited days of operation (Wednesday to Saturday; dinner only). For one, Catbird Seat feels both intimate and exclusive:...
37 Rutledge St, Nashville, TN 37210, USA
With his high-concept McCrady's and his more rustic Husk—both in Charleston—chef Sean Brock transformed perceptions of Southern cooking from heavy, simple fare to a culinary tradition that is rich, complex, and history-filled. He...
605 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
This American classic is the go-to meat-and-three restaurant in Nashville—that iconic staple of Southern cooking that consists of, well, a meat and three sides. All walks of life frequent this institution (the Dixie Chicks have been known to...
1200 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208, USA
It's said that Nashville welcomes about 100 new residents a day, so sometimes it's hard to spot a native in her natural habitat. But chef Julia Sullivan grew up in Music City before moving away to study at the Culinary Institute of...
2316 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204, USA
With Persian rugs, deep maroon banquettes, and antiqued mirrors along the wall, the dining room here feels warm and calm. Chef Andrew Little imparts his Pennsylvania Dutch roots with Tennessee flavor and ingredients, calling the...
1017 Woodland St, Nashville, TN 37206, USA
A pioneer of the East Nashville restaurant scene, Margot McCormack created this stylish spot in a repurposed service station in the heart of East Nashville's Five Points long before the area was considered a destination for fine dining....
1520 Woodland St, Nashville, TN 37206, USA
This comfortable neighborhood restaurant stays busy with regulars and newcomers alike, drawn by chef Hal Holden-Bache's food and the welcoming vibe co-owner Cara Graham and staff foster at the front of the house. Arrive early for Community Hour,...
1222 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208, USA
Locals love the Sunday Supper at City House, when chef-owner Tandy Wilson serves his especially creative Italian-influenced menu. But you can't really go wrong on any night at City House. Wilson, a 2016 James Beard Award winner, is a Nashville...
700 Taylor St, Nashville, TN 37208, USA
Rolf and Daughters opened in 2012 in the midst of a restaurant boom, but even with all the new options in Nashville, it has remained one of the hottest tables in town. Located in the 100-year-old Werthan factory building in Germantown, the...
401 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
John Besh, the acclaimed chef and New Orleans restaurateur, has opened his first Nashville outpost on the ground floor of the Thompson Hotel in the Gulch neighborhood. He brings with him a love of fresh seafood and the distinctive taste...
1210 McGavock St, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
Jonathan Waxman's Nashville venture transformed an old tire shop in the Gulch into a comfortable and breezy open space. Two long bars -- one for drinking and another chef's bar looking into the open kitchen -- anchor the two dining rooms in the...
33 Peabody St, Nashville, TN 37210, USA
The Goldberg brothers gave Nashville acclaimed restaurants and bars such as The Catbird Seat and Patterson House, and they even opened a kitschy honky tonk on Lower Broad. Now they've done it again with Pinewood Social, a coffee shop, restaurant,...
507 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
After operating out of a jewel box of a space for years—inside a former shipping container—chef Matt Bolus recently announced that his 404 Kitchen would be moving to a larger space across the street in the rapidly growing Gulch...
112 19th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
This Midtown hot chicken shop opened fairly recently compared to some others, and it has a modern edge about it without losing the tradition of this dish served in varying degrees of hot with white bread and pickles. Check out the tasty sides too...
123 Ewing Dr #3, Nashville, TN 37207, USA
According to legend, Nashville-style hot chicken began in the 1930s when Thornton Prince's girlfriend dumped cayenne on his fried chicken to get revenge for his cheating ways. But he loved it instead, and eventually opened up a hot chicken shop of...
2100 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
Ever heard of a bonut? Neither had we until we visited Biscuit Love, a cult-favorite breakfast spot in Nashville's happening Gulch neighborhood, where morning queues often exceed an hour on weekends. And bonuts—deep-fried biscuit dough...
434 Houston St, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
Located in the former warehouse of the American Syrup & Preserving Company, Bastion offers customers a different experience depending on where they perch. On the bar side of the operation, one feels like a guest in the spacious...
410 4th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201, USA
After studying the time-honored traditions of whole hog barbecue from old-timers in West Tennessee, Pat Martin brought the craft to the Nashville area. He opened his first joint in a repurposed auto-body shop in Nolensville, but now...
903 Gleaves St, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
Carey Bringle hails from West Tennessee and grew up around serious barbecue culture. A photo on the wall of Peg Leg Porker, depicting his grandfather cooking hogs in the South Pacific during World War II, attests to that....
1796 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212, USA
This Nashville institution often has a line out the door and wrapped around the building. (“It moves fast!” everyone will tell you.) And once inside the scene is no-frills, but it’s not the atmosphere you’re going for – it’s the people, the...
8400 TN-100, Nashville, TN 37221, USA
You can eat other things at Loveless Cafe, but if you don't try the flaky buttery biscuits, you're missing out. Carol Fay Ellison started at Loveless as a dishwasher in 1979. She graduated to the stove a few years later and reigned supreme as The...
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