Top 10 Restaurants in Nashville from a local's perspective

chicken fried sandwich

Are you planning a visit to Nashville soon? You’ll need to know the best places to find a good meal while you’re in town, so we’ve put together a list based on what the locals love that’s sure to leave your tummy full and your taste buds in heaven. Check out these top Nashville restaurants to help fuel your next adventures in Music City:

  1. The Catbird Seat. This Nashville eatery reopened with two new chefs at the end of 2018 and there are lots of new and exciting changes! New dishes include bay scallop with rambutan and horseradish, duck tartare prepared with cashew and rose, a quince fritter, and dark roux ice cream for dessert. Located at 1711 Division St, Nashville, TN 37203, you’ll need to make a reservation by calling (615) 810-8200. They can accommodate food allergies and other dietary restrictions including vegetarian and vegan and offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage pairings. Read more in this article from Food and Wine featuring the popular hot spot earlier this year.
  2. Husk. Located in Rutledge Hill at 37 Rutledge Street, just a few blocks south of Historic Broadway in the heart of Downtown, top Nashville restaurant Husk offers delicious dishes comprised of southern ingredients in an atmosphere that oozes southern charm. Join them for a meal of ingredient-driven cuisine from a menu that changes frequently, based on what the region’s producers provide daily. Husk has a rule about their food: If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door. The result is delicious regional food sourced from local growers. Give them a call at (615) 256-6565 to see what’s cooking today. Husk serves lunch from 11 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday, offers Happy Hour at the bar Monday – Wednesday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, and begins serving dinner at 5 pm seven days a week. Enjoy a sumptuous weekend brunch from 10 am to 2 pm every Saturday and Sunday.
  3. Marché Artisan Foods. Located in the heart of Historic East Nashville at 1000 Main St, Nashville, TN 37206, this European-style cafe and marketplace serves brunch featuring seasonal cuisine from East Nashville farm-to-table pioneer Margot McCormick all day long. The elegantly rustic setting and fresh cuisine combine to create the perfect ambiance for any occasion. On Saturday and Sunday they only accept groups of 8 people or less, and they do not take reservations. Stop in and see why Bon Appetit said, “Marché Artisan Foods: the most popular brunch in town.”
  4. Etch. You’ll find this amazing top Nashville restaurant at 303 Demonbreun Street, Nashville, TN 37201. Etch’s diverse menu incorporates innovative dishes from award winning Chef Deb Paquette, inspired by her favorite regions of the world and designed to leave a lasting impression, or etch, on every diner. Chef Deb is the first woman in Tennessee to qualify as a certified executive chef and locals flock to Etch to experience her mouthwatering culinary creations. Come discover her signature cooking style Monday through Friday from 11 am to 2 pm daily. Etch accepts reservations for parties of all sizes and has two private rooms available for booking. Call them at (615) 522-0685 to reserve your spot.  You’ll be glad you did!
  5. The Original Monell’s in Germantown. Located at 1235 6th Ave. North, Nashville, TN 37208, Monell’s is open Monday through Saturday starting at 8 am to offer diners everything from a hearty southern breakfast to dinner and dessert just to the north of downtown Nashville. Children under 3 years of age eat free, and those aged 4 to 12 enjoy reduced pricing, making this one of the top Nashville restaurants for families of all sizes. Nestled in one of Nashville’s most architecturally beautiful neighborhoods, Monell’s original restaurant location was built in 1905 as a Victorian style home and retains such architectural features as transom windows and fireplaces. Sign up for their VIP list and receive special offers and free coupons! If you’re visiting Nashville in October, be sure to enjoy the local Oktoberfest celebration.
  6. Arnold’s Country Kitchen. If you know what a “meat and three” is, you’ll know why the locals love Arnold’s. They’ve been serving up home cooked meals to locals and visitors alike for over 30 years Monday through Friday from 10:30 am to 2:45 pm at 605 8th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203. Don’t let the building’s small size fool you, there’s a whole lot of deliciousness going on inside those brick walls! This family run restaurant features biscuits made from scratch, southern fried chicken, and desserts that rival anything grandma can make. Locals call this place “special”, and one bite will show you why this top Nashville restaurant stays busy. Unpretentious good home cooking and a mix of clientele that might include a country star, construction worker, businessman, or local judge on any given day. For a truly unique and satisfying southern dining experience, don’t miss out on sharing the love of food served up on every plate at this hidden gem the next time you’re in Nashville. They say “You ain’t had Southern food until you’ve had Arnold’s”, and we agree wholeheartedly.
  7. Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint. If barbeque is what you’re craving, head on down to Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint for “whole hog” barbeque served up at several locations around Nashville. With a goal of running out of food every single day so that everything served is 100% fresh, Martin’s doesn’t even own a freezer or a microwave, ensuring every item is cooked when its ordered, with nothing ever precooked or reheated. Now that’s commitment to quality with no apologies! This top Nashville restaurant has been featured on the Cooking Channel, Food Network, Travel Channel, and The Today Show, and talked about in publications such as Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler, Esquire, and Men’s Journal. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis and they do not take reservations. If your next trip to Nashville involves a special event like a destination wedding, family or class reunion, or corporate event, consider having Martin’s catering department handle the food for a lip-smacking experience that just might go down in history. Call (615) 454-9677 for catering information.
  8. The Southern Steak and Oyster. Located in the heart of downtown Nashville on the ground floor of the Pinnacle at Symphony Place at 150 3rd Ave South, Nashville TN, 37203, this top Nashville restaurant is a unique dining venue that offers a state of the art oyster bar, locally grown produce, deliciously tender meats including local beef, and directly sourced, sustainable seafood prepared on a real wood fired grill. Spend some time in the New Orleans-style oyster circle, enjoy the coziness and intimacy of a high-backed booth, or grab a bar stool and socialize with other patrons. There’s not a bad seat in the house at The Southern. Owner Tom Morales honed his culinary skills running TomKats, internationally known for its premier movie catering services. You can sign up for their newsletter, make reservations online, or give them a call at (615) 724-1762.
  9. Pinewood. You’ll find this urban oasis at 33 Peabody St, Nashville, TN 37210. Open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 1 am, and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 1 am, you can make reservations by calling (615) 751-8111. Pinewood is the place to be morning, noon, or night, with breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner options designed to please every palate. Beverages include all standard coffee and espresso drinks, a selection of teas, and custom Pinewood creations. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available, with special poolside menus and beverages from the outdoor bar. Grab a scone for breakfast, enjoy a fresh salad and soup of the day combo for lunch, dip into some chipotle shrimp cocktail for a late afternoon snack, or chow down on some beef stroganoff or pan fried pork chops for dinner. Enjoy free “dive in” movies by the pool May through September with free popcorn and themed frozen drinks from the bar. A truly unique Nashville experience.
  10. Kayne Prime. Beef lovers, rejoice! This top Nashville restaurant has been featured on Forbes’ “what to eat in Nashville” list, made Thrillist’s list of the best steakhouses in America, was named as one of the 19 best restaurants in Nashville by Conde Nast Traveler, and earned kudos for the best service and best steakhouse from the Nashville Scene. We’re sensing a theme here…You can find all this list-making goodness at 1103 McGavock Street, Nashville, TN 37203, (615) 259-0050. Open Sunday through Thursdays from 4:45 pm to10 pm, with the bar staying open until 11 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, hours are 4:45 pm to 11 pm, with the bar remaining open until midnight. Reservations are recommended and requested for parties of 9 or more, although walk ins are welcome. Private event dining is also available for groups of 12-100+ in five private dining rooms suited for intimate gatherings and large affairs alike.

We hope our list of the top Nashville restaurants has helped to convince you to visit our city soon and book a stay with us here at The Hayes Street Hotel, one of the most unique boutique hotels in Nashville, conveniently located in the heart of Downtown. Don’t forget to take advantage of our direct booking service to get the lowest rates.