16 Wildly Famous Restaurants in Nashville That Are Totally Worth the Hype

From the Author: I've lived in Nashville for 12 years, and my wife was born here. I worked downtown for five years. We love Nashville and know it well. If you have any questions, we respond quickly to comments!

Nashville isn't just about great music; it's also a foodie's paradise. From Southern comfort food to cutting-edge cuisine, here are 16 must-visit restaurants in Music City that live up to their stellar reputations.

1. Edley's Bar-B-Que

If you’re in Nashville craving barbecue, Edley’s Bar-B-Que is the place to be. Consistently voted the best in town, it’s a favorite for locals and visitors alike.

As soon as you step in, the smoky aroma of slow-cooked meats hits you. The friendly staff and cozy vibe make you feel right at home. The ribs here are unbeatable—smoked, tender, and falling off the bone. Skip the Brentwood location and head to the one on 12th Avenue S for the best experience.

I tried the catfish, coleslaw, grits, and brisket. The brisket was melt-in-your-mouth good. Their banana pudding is a must-try, thick and creamy like cake. Fast service makes it easy to grab a quick bite, with highlights like fried ribs, pork sandwiches, and baby back ribs.

Don't miss their famous Bushwacker cocktail, a year-round favorite. With great food, fair prices, and a relaxed atmosphere, Edley’s is a must-visit. Even from 700 miles away, I’m already planning my next trip back.

Photo: Butchertown Hall Facebook Page

2. Butchertown Hall

Imagine a 36-square-foot open fire hearth and a custom-built smoker. Butchertown Hall blends Central Texas BBQ with Germantown charm. Their brisket, cooked low and slow, is the best I’ve had—smoky, tender, and full of flavor. Pair it with craft tacos and a top-notch house margarita on their patio.

It's located away from the Broadway noise in Germantown, a great part of town with lots to see and places to eat. The bar offers a great selection of local craft beers.

Photo: Sky Blue Cafe

3. Sky Blue Cafe

Sky Blue Cafe is an East Nashville gem perfect for breakfast lovers. This spot offers hearty dishes like the Sky Blue Breakfast with eggs, bacon, toast, and home fries. Their famous stuffed French toast, filled with creamy goodness and topped with fresh berries, is a must-try.

We parked on the street and checked in. After a quick 15-minute wait, they texted us. I had the avocado, bacon, and tomato omelet—it was amazing. My wife’s savory stuffed French toast pancakes were so much food we all shared.

Prices are affordable, and the service is great. This small, neighborhood café has a casual, relaxed atmosphere. The food is fresh, with options like fine omelets, scratch biscuits, French toasts, and pancakes. Located just outside the Broadway area, Sky Blue Cafe offers delicious food, great coffee, and gluten-free options. A true gem!

Photo: Etch

4. Etch

Etch is where you go for an unforgettable dining experience in Nashville. Chef Deb Paquette crafts each dish with a unique blend of flavors from around the world.

Start with the roasted cauliflower—it’s so flavorful, even cauliflower skeptics will love it. For the main course, the lamb loin is a standout, cooked to perfection and served with inventive sides. The elegant yet inviting atmosphere makes it a great choice for celebrations or a special night out. The knowledgeable staff can help you choose the perfect wine to complement your meal, ensuring a dining experience that’s truly exceptional.

5. The Stillery

The Stillery is a lively spot that perfectly captures the spirit of Nashville. Their handcrafted pizzas, like the Hot Chicken pizza, are a must-try—crispy crusts loaded with flavorful toppings.

What sets The Stillery apart are their moonshine cocktails. Whether you prefer something fruity or more traditional, there’s a moonshine drink for you. The live music adds to the atmosphere, making it a fantastic spot for both food and entertainment.

Hattie Bs Hot Chicken

6. Hattie B's Hot Chicken

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is a Nashville icon for a reason. Their hot chicken comes in various heat levels, from mild to “Shut the Cluck Up” for the brave. The chicken is crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and bursting with flavor.

Pair it with Southern sides like pimento mac and cheese or collard greens for a true taste of the South. The casual, laid-back setting makes it a great spot for a quick bite or a fun meal with friends. Don’t forget to cool down with their banana pudding—it’s the perfect end to a spicy meal.

7. Prince's Hot Chicken

Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack is the originator of Nashville hot chicken, and it remains a must-visit. The chicken here is legendary, with a spicy kick that’s perfectly balanced by the juicy meat. The no-frills atmosphere keeps the focus on the food, and the friendly service adds to the charm.

Order a side of potato salad or baked beans to go with your chicken, and you’re in for a treat. Whether you’re a hot chicken veteran or a first-timer, Prince’s delivers an authentic experience that’s hard to beat.

8. Mas Tacos

Mas Tacos Por Favor is a beloved spot for those craving authentic Mexican street food. Their tacos, like the fried avocado and carnitas, are packed with bold flavors and fresh ingredients. The elote (Mexican street corn) is a fan favorite, smothered in cheese and spices.

The casual, laid-back atmosphere makes it a perfect spot for a quick lunch or a relaxed dinner. Don’t miss out on their homemade agua frescas—they’re refreshing and pair perfectly with the spicy dishes. Mas Tacos is a little slice of Mexico in the heart of Nashville.

9. Biscuit Love

Biscuit Love started as a food truck and quickly became a Nashville breakfast staple. Their biscuits are buttery, flaky, and downright delicious. The Princess, a hot chicken biscuit topped with pickles, honey, and a fried egg, is a must-try. It’s the perfect blend of spicy, sweet, and savory.

The bright, airy space and friendly staff make it a great spot to start your day. Pair your biscuit with a side of cheese grits or bonuts (biscuit donuts) for a truly Southern breakfast experience.

10. The Catbird Seat

Dining at The Catbird Seat is like being part of a culinary performance. The intimate, U-shaped counter seats only a handful of guests, allowing you to watch the chefs at work. Each multi-course meal is a surprise, with dishes that showcase creativity and skill. The menu changes frequently, so every visit is a unique experience.

The chefs explain each dish as they serve it, adding to the immersive experience. Whether you’re a foodie or just looking for a special night out, The Catbird Seat offers an unforgettable dining adventure.

11. The Twelve Thirty Club

The Twelve Thirty Club on lower Broadway is a place where you can enjoy a gourmet meal and then head upstairs for drinks and live music. The Supper Club offers a refined dining experience with dishes like dry-aged steaks and fresh seafood. After dinner, head to the Rooftop Bar for craft cocktails and stunning views of downtown Nashville.

The Honky Tonk level brings the party with live music and a fun, energetic atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot for a night out, offering a blend of fine dining and Nashville’s nightlife.

12. Rolf and Daughters

Rolf and Daughters is all about fresh, inventive dishes in a cozy, welcoming setting. Their house-made pasta, like the squid ink canestri, is a highlight—perfectly cooked and full of flavor. The menu changes seasonally, so there’s always something new to try.

The small plates are great for sharing, making it a perfect spot for a group dinner. The rustic decor and friendly service add to the charm, making it a place where you can relax and enjoy a delicious meal with friends or family.

13. City House

City House is where rustic Italian cuisine meets Southern comfort. Chef Tandy Wilson creates dishes that blend these two culinary traditions seamlessly. The belly ham pizza is a standout, with its crispy crust and savory toppings. The Sunday Supper is a popular choice, offering a rotating menu of seasonal dishes.

The cozy, homey atmosphere makes it a great spot for a relaxed meal. Whether you’re enjoying a date night or a family dinner, City House offers a dining experience that’s both comforting and exciting.

14. Pancake Pantry

Pancake Pantry has been serving up delicious breakfast dishes for over 60 years. Their pancakes come in a variety of flavors, from classic buttermilk to sweet potato. Each stack is fluffy and cooked to perfection. The friendly, diner-style atmosphere adds to the charm, making it a great spot for a family breakfast or a casual brunch with friends. Be prepared for a wait, especially on weekends, but rest assured, it’s worth it. The Pancake Pantry is a beloved Nashville tradition that continues to delight both locals and visitors.

15. Loveless Cafe

The Loveless Cafe is as authentic as it gets. You have to try while in Nashville.

Here's why you need to stop by:

– Legendary Biscuits: Dive into fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits that have become the stuff of legends. Trust us, they're worth the trip alone!

– Southern Comfort: Indulge in classic Southern favorites that'll make your taste buds sing. Every dish celebrates Southern hospitality, from biscuits and gravy to mouthwatering fried chicken.

– Charming History: Step into a piece of Nashville's past at the Loveless Cafe, where every corner oozes with history and nostalgia. Established in 1951, it's been a beloved destination for locals and travelers alike.

– Warm Hospitality: Experience true Southern hospitality when you walk through the door. The Loveless Cafe is more than just a restaurant; it's a welcoming embrace from the heart of Nashville.

Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Whether you're visiting with friends or family or flying solo, the Loveless Cafe welcomes everyone with open arms. Bring your appetite and prepare for a memorable dining experience.

16. Arnold's Country Kitchen

Arnold’s Country Kitchen is the place to go for a true meat-and-three experience. This cafeteria-style restaurant offers a rotating menu of Southern staples like fried chicken, meatloaf, and pot roast. Each entree comes with a choice of three sides, like mashed potatoes, collard greens, and cornbread. The no-frills setting keeps the focus on the food, and the friendly service adds to the charm. It’s a great spot for a hearty, satisfying meal that feels like a taste of home. Arnold’s is a Nashville institution that’s been serving up comfort food for decades.

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