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Nashville cooks up more than just southern specialties. Whether it’s Mexican on the cheap, an Italian feast for the whole family, or creative American entrées, the food here is as catchy as a country song’s hook.

Top Restaurants in Nashville


Patrons indulge in a diverse menu ranging from spicy barbecue chicken pizza to Australian ostrich, oversized martinis, and cigars in this colorful eatery decorated with murals and sculptures.

911 20th Ave. S., TN, 615-321-3043,
Tags: moderate | smart splurge | trendy

Capitol Grille

This sophisticated choice inside the Hermitage hotel draws suits and tourists alike with understated décor, hearty entrees like Kobe beef short ribs and lobster consommé, and rich desserts.

231 Sixth Ave. N., TN, 625-345-7116,
Tags: expensive | trendy


Prime people-watching happens at Fido, a pet shop turned coffee shop (the original Jone’s Pet Shop sign still hangs outside) where, in warmer months, the coveted sidewalk tables fill with songwriters – dogs and guitars in tow. The café’s clientele ranges anywhere from hopeful country rockers strumming their guitars lazily all day to suit-and-tie businessmen grabbing a quick bite to eat – think largely sandwiches, soups, salads – between meetings. Undergrads from nearby Vandy (that’s Vanderbilt University) love the all-day breakfast menu. Our favorite of the signature coffee drinks is the “pink poodle,” a double shot of espresso combined with raspberry syrup, white chocolate sauce, and steamed milk.

1812 21st Ave. S, TN, 615-777-3436,
Tags: budget | cafe

Las Paletas

For a decidedly non-fine-dining treat, visit Las Paletas, where Mexican popsicles in wonderful and wacky flavors like pineapple chili and avocado are freshly made. The flavorful menu at this dessert shop changes daily, and the lip-smacking, refreshing creations will set you back just $2 a pop (cash only). The unmarked hidden gem is worth seeking out – it’s located on the lower level of the Cypress Building at 12th Avenue South and Kirkwood.

2907 12th Ave. S., TN, 615-386-2101,
Tags: budget | mexican | dessert


Mix in a little Miami, a splash of Mexico, and just the right amount of the Caribbean and you have Lime. This popular eatery on Music Row scores points for atmosphere, which includes exposed wooden planks, glass-tiled walls, and a lively crowd. During the warmer months, Lime’s oversized windows open garage door-style, so that patrons can enjoy their cocktails and nibbles on the restaurant’s outdoor deck. Don’t-miss dishes include oysters with tequila-tangerine mignonette, shrimp enchiladas, or a variety of moles and fish tacos. Start your evening right with one of Lime’s icy cold adult beverages from their mojito-tequila bar.

1904 Broadway, TN, 615-340-0762,
Tags: expensive | design | patio | cocktails | latin fusion

Loveless Café

A local landmark south of Belle Meade Plantation serving up Southern fried chicken, biscuits, and “hams and jams.”

8400 Hwy. 100, TN, 615-646-9700,
Tags: moderate | southern

Marché Artisan Foods

Local chef Margot McCormack second restaurant, Marche Artistan Foods, is a popular weekend brunch spot, with a selection of quiches, frittatas, and a decadent French toast made with croissants.

1000 Main St., TN, 615-262-1111,
Tags: moderate | brunch

Margot Café & Bar

Chef Margot McCormack helped jump-start the area when she converted an old gas station into the cozy Margot Café & Bar in 2001. With its Provençal-inspired seasonal menus and well-edited wine list, it’s quickly become a destination.

1017 Woodland St., TN, 615-227-4668,
Tags: moderate | cafe


A tiny French bistro run by the husband and wife team of Jimmy and Seema Phillips, recently opened in a former meat market in the Sylvan Park neighborhood. They pride themselves on using quality local ingredients, and it shows: Their perfectly crisp, herb-roasted chicken (from nearby Ashley Farms) is a study in simplicity.

343 53rd Ave. N., TN, 615-298-3663,
Tags: expensive | french | brunch | bistro

Miro District

Sister restaurant to popular Watermark, this 2008 newcomer to Nashville’s culinary scene serves chic Mediterranean fare with a superlative wine list to match. Located in the Adelicia condo building in Midtown, the limited but changing menu boasts mouthwatering options like braised beef cheeks with caramelized onions and ravioli with smoked sole. Complement your delectable meal with a glass of vino, or try one of their signature drinks, like the Cellotini – homemade limoncello and soda.

1922 Adelicia St., TN, 615-320-1119,
Tags: expensive


At lunchtime head to Germantown for pure Southern comfort food at Monell’s. Set in an old Victorian mansion, diners share communal tables and indulge in platters of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and buttermilk biscuits, all washed down with sweet tea.

1235 6th Ave N., TN, 615-248-4747,
Tags: budget | comfort food | southern

Pancake Pantry

Serving the best breakfast in town for more than 40 years, the Pantry is a favorite for both its food – stacks of feather light buckwheat pancakes, warm maple syrup, and Tennessee country ham – and its friendly servers, many of whom have been there for decades.

1796 21st Ave. S., TN, 615-383-9333,
Tags: moderate | breakfast

The Chile Burrito Co.

For cheap eats before a night out on the town, try this Mexican fast food chain for made-to-order burritos, tacos, and nachos.

165 Fourth Ave. N., TN, 615-248-0025
Tags: budget | mexican

The Old Spaghetti Factory

Stained glass, antiques, comfy chairs, and a trolley car lend an inviting air to this festive Italian standby.

160 Second Ave. N., TN, 615-254-9010,
Tags: family | budget


Creative cuisine featuring entrees like pistachio salmon, an impressive wine list, top-notch service, and an elegant setting make this a local favorite for a romantic dinner.

3001 West End Ave., TN, 615-320-7778,
Tags: romance | expensive | notable wine list

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