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5 Awesome Places to Grab a Bite in Nashville

While many know Nashville, Tennessee, for its music, it also has a solid restaurant scene. You can find some incredible places to grab a bite to eat in this lively city.

Whether you’re looking for a fancy meal or a tasty pastry, you won’t have difficulty finding the right spot to try. Music City has a little something for every palette.

Today, we’re sharing five great places in Nashville to fill your belly. So, put on those cowboy boots as we two-step our way across town.

Let’s dig in!

A photo of a fried chicken platter with all the fixings - a popular food in Nashville
Fried Chicken and Barbecue are among the more popular foods served up in Nashville

Check Out the Nashville Food Scene

Nashville has a thriving tourist scene, with country music being the foundation. All those friends in low places need a place to eat. As a result, it’s no wonder phenomenal restaurants are popping up all over town.

Middle Tennessee seems to be a hotspot for transplants from all over the country. As a result, they’re bringing their traditional dishes with them. When you combine a variety of cultures with Southern hospitality, deliciousness is what you get.

While not new, one of the most popular foods is hot chicken. As the name implies, it’s fried chicken with spicy Southern seasoning. Like a perfectly tuned guitar, it’s just right. This little slice of heaven is served on white bread and topped with pickles. It’s so popular that you can find imitations on menus outside the Volunteer State.

All over Nashville, you’ll find restaurants serving homestyle cooking, barbecue, and the locally famous “meat and three.” With more than 200 new eateries opening in the past two years, locals and returning visitors always have something new to try.

Here’s where to stay while you’re in town: 7 Best RV Parks in Nashville, Tennessee.

5 Great Nashville Restaurants

With so many unique flavors and experiences, it was challenging to narrow down our list. However, we’ve found five great Nashville restaurants worth trying next time you’re in town.

#1 Shotgun Willie’s BBQ

Bill LaViolette is a Houston native who loves cooking and eating BBQ. He relocated to Middle Tennessee in 2008 and opened a bakery to serve kolaches. Eventually, LaViolette started smoking brisket to serve alongside his famous sweet pastries. His offerings became such a hit that he decided to start a food trailer in 2016 and opened a physical location in 2020.

Shotgun Willie’s BBQ opens for lunch and often sells out. Their meat gets cooked slow and low to keep it all moist and delicious. You can choose a plate or sandwich with sides like baked beans, green beans, or dill pickle potato salad. Then, wash it down with a glass of freshly brewed iced tea, beer, or soda.

Experience a taste of the city with a Texas-style kick at Shotgun Willie’s BBQ. Unlike others, it’s an unassuming winner that offers bold flavors and confidence.

#2 Hawthorne

Located in the West Nashville neighborhood of Sylvan Park, Hawthorne is a casual fine-dining restaurant that serves a diverse customer base. It’s not unusual to see couples on their first date or families after a ball game. They describe themselves as “relaxed with an underlying Southern charm.”

Their chefs regularly offer up seasonal specials. Try their Goat Cheese with Radish and Fermented Honey, Golden Beets with Tahini and Green Onion Sauce, or the American Wagyu Steak with Asparagus and Au Poivre Sauce. The Brioche Doughnuts and ice cream cake are popular choices if you save room for dessert.

If you arrive before working up an appetite, they have a great Happy Hour with drink specials on cocktails, wine, and beer. Your stomach might start growling once you smell the aromas from the kitchen.

Join the debate: Nashville Hot vs. Buffalo: Which Chicken Reigns Supreme.

#3 Five Points Pizza

Five Points Pizza has restaurants in East and West Nashville. In addition to some of the best pizzas in all of Music City, Five Points has a rotation of 16 beer taps. Pairing a fresh pie with a local brew will help you experience even more of the flavors of this incredible city.

Start your meal with an order of garlic knots coated with olive oil, garlic, basil, and pecorino romano. As you’d expect, it comes with a side of marinara for dipping.

When it comes to the main course, their New York-style pizza steals the show with dough made fresh in-house. They have a fantastic selection of specialty pies, but you can also create your own if you don’t see one you like. Once put together, they toss it into their gas-fired deck oven and bake it to perfection.

#4 Monell’s

You’ll have to visit the Germantown section of Nashville for our next restaurant suggestion. Monell’s is in a unique community that celebrates Oktoberfest each year. If you plan your trip right, you can enjoy food, music, dancing, and German beer. The state capitol building and a farmers’ market are just down the road.

Located in an 1880s-style Victorian home, Monell’s is a family-style restaurant. Once you enter the doors, you’ll see murals painted by locals describing the neighborhood’s story. If you come with a big group, you’ll find long tables large enough to seat a dozen people. 

You can choose from various Southern-style dishes, including fried chicken, pulled pork, catfish, and barbecue ribs. In addition, you’ll also find spinach lasagna, pork chops, and smothered chicken with graving on their menu. However, the options vary based on the day.

If you visit Monell’s in the morning, they offer everything you’d expect for a Southern-style breakfast, including country ham, fried chicken, grits, and pancakes. No matter when you come, it’s likely to be an incredible experience.

A box with fresh homemade donuts with icing. Five Daughters bakes excellent food in Nashville.
Try the donuts at Five Daughters Bakery and Hawthorne

#5 Five Daughters Bakery

Five Daughters Bakery is a family-owned business with four locations in Nashville and two in Atlanta. Isaac and Stephanie Meek, from Franklin, Tennessee, opened the donut shop in 2015. They’re the parents of five darling girls and named their bakery after them.

Various cookies and pastries are offered, but their 100-layer croissant-style donuts made fresh daily, steal the show. Choices of flavors are many and include traditional varieties like the Maple Glaze. 

Treat your tastebuds and try the Chocolate Sea Salt or The Purist. But the fan-favorite, The King Kong, is hard to pass up. They roll the donut in sugar, infuse it with vanilla buttercream, and then top it with a maple glaze and pieces of bacon.

Their locations are fun and exciting. You can play yard games while hanging out and enjoying your tasty sweets. Whether you eat one or a dozen, Five Daughters is an excellent Nashville restaurant to grab a bite.

Want to make your own hot chicken at home? Try Spiceology’s Nashville Hot Chicken Seasoning.

Good Food and Music are Everywhere in Nashville

As you can see, Music City is far more than country bands and line dancing. Plenty of Nashville restaurants offer incredible, unique flavors and fun environments. 

These five places are just the beginning of a delicious food journey through the city. Whether you’re looking for a snack, sandwich, or fancy dinner, Nashville has you covered!

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