Music City Eats: Best Restaurants in Nashville

Nashville has always been known for its music. Not so its food, unless you wanted to dine exclusively on biscuits and BBQ (not that there's anything wrong with that…). As Nashville has grown in recent years, its food scene has evolved, and continues to do so. Chefs from across the country have migrated to Music City to open their own kitchens. And the rest of the country is taking notice. Now you'll find award-winning regional chefs and a focus on more organic ingredients as well as the time-honored Southern specialties. National attention, awards and praise have followed.

You can still find an array of fantastic hot chicken and BBQ joints, and some of those are not to be missed. Another popular tradition is gathering around food trucks serving handmade Southern fare – they're everywhere these days. But what locals like best is the influx of new, higher-end, sophisticated dining, the likes of which had been scarce in the past. No matter which way your budget and palate guides you, you can’t miss with any of these local favorites.

Jake's Bakes
Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Jake's Bakes

Need cookies on call? Leave that to Jake's Bakes. Sweet tooth that won't stop? Leave that to Jake's Bakes. Stuck for a thank you gift? Leave that to Jake's Bakes. Give this cookie shop a call and 30 minutes later, a dozen warm cookies (plus...  Read More

Set in the lower level of the historic Hermitage Hotel, this is one of the best dining rooms in the city. Chef Tyler Brown creates a menu that is approachable and very reflective of the city while still being attractive to the most...  Read More

There's no fussy, trendy cuisine to be found here, but Arnold's is still a food lover's fantasy. Pick up a tray and make your way down the cafeteria-style line and choose from meat-and-three or a vegetable plate. The choices change by the day,...  Read More

Mas Tacos Por Favor

This much-loved food truck also serves its soups, tacos and other Mexican specialties at a quirky, popular East Nashville brick-and-mortar location, too. Specials change throughout the week, but no matter the day, you're sure to get...  Read More

Adele's Nashville
Photo courtesy of Derek Lee

Thanks to a location in a former Gulch auto garage, Adele's has an airy, welcoming feel that reflects its California inspiration. Founder and celebrity chef Jonathan Waxman named the joint after his mom, and the result is contemporary California...  Read More

Prince's Hot Chicken Shack

At this tiny, hole-in-the-wall landmark, you'll discover fried chicken with a twist: the chicken is HOT. Even for people who swear they can stand anything, Prince's hot chicken presents a challenge. You can opt for four levels of heat, from mild...  Read More

Pinewood Social
Photo courtesy of Ellen Pelletier

This indoor-outdoor venue is a fantastical hybrid of coffee house, bowling alley and beer garden. It sounds weird, but it works. Outdoors, cool off with frozen drinks served from a vintage Airstream bar, bocce ball or a dip in the swimming pool...  Read More

Butchertown Hall's meat-centric menu honors the historical butcher shops of its neighborhood, Germantown and draws meat lovers and paleo dieters alike. Get your protein fix with street tacos, sausages, ribs and burgers, among other meaty...  Read More

When it opened in 2013, Husk was one of the most anticipated restaurants in Nashville, and reservations are still in demand, despite the fact that it is no longer new. Inside a former mayoral home in Rutledge Hill, chef Sean Brock's menu changes...  Read More

For a truly memorable dining experience, score one of 32 seats with full view of the chefs at this second-story boutique restaurant. This isn't just a meal, but a form of entertainment, where menus don't really exist and multi-course meals and...  Read More


Meet Margaret Littman

Journalist Margaret Littman is a both a relative newcomer to Nashville as well as an old-timer, having returned to what was her college town as a grown-up. 

She is the author of many...  More About Margaret

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