There are so many amazing restaurants in Nashville that it’s hard to settle on just one to recommend! So, I decided to create a list and organize them by meal: six recommendations for brunch; four for lunch; and six for dinner.
I’ll provide an overview of each restaurant so you can choose the ones that appeal to you the most. I’ll also provide a link to restaurants and their menus, along with some of the reviews, so you can check out the menus for yourself and also read about other people’s experiences at each restaurant. Note that sections are in alphabetic order, not in my order of preference.
(Note: this may be dangerous to read when hungry!)
Nashville Restaurants for Brunch
Biscuit Love: If you love biscuits—as in GIANT ones—then this Nashville restaurant is calling your name! The restaurant is so closely associated with biscuits that the menu has to specifically list what DOESN’T include one. Everything is made from scratch, with ingredient sourcing set up to support local farms. If you’re there to splurge, then I suggest you try the Bonuts or the East Nasty but, if you are trying to stay on the lighter side, then the shaved brussels are absolutely the best! They have three locations. Here are Yelp reviews for one of the Nashville locations.
Liberty Common: Are you looking for the perfect venue for a girl’s day out? If so, then Liberty Common is a wonderful French-inspired restaurant located in downtown Nashville on First Avenue—and, from the quiche to the fried chicken biscuit and beyond, there’s definitely something delicious for everyone. Breakfast and brunch specials are available all day, and you can see their set of menus online. Just reading them will likely make you want to rush out and get something to eat but, as the website shares, you need to make reservations first. Here are Yelp reviews for the Liberty Common.
Loveless Café: This iconic Nashville restaurant, filled to the brim with excellent food and plenty of Southern charm, makes some of the best breakfasts in town, including incredible homemade biscuits (you can also buy biscuit mix to take home.) Menus are full of classic Southern dishes, with cooks arriving at 3 a.m. to make the dishes from scratch—and even the text on the menus is friendly, saying “Thank you for your visit, we’re so glad you’re here.” This restaurant is located in the west part of the city, just outside the center. Here are Yelp reviews about Loveless Café.
Restoration Hardware Café: Beautiful chandeliers make this Nashville eatery a real standout. Plus, before or after you enjoy an outstanding brunch (menus on the homepage), you can walk around all three floors to do some shopping for your home. Talk about win-win! The brunch menu includes elegant spins on traditional breakfast foods, salads, main dishes, and more, including the house-brand RH Scramble with farm-fresh eggs, decadently deliciously crème fraîche, avocado and chives. RH Burger, meanwhile, is topped with sharp American cheese, pickles, onion and dijonnaise; thick-cut pork belly bacon costs extra. Here are Yelp reviews for the Restoration Hardware Café.
Ruby’s Sunshine: Picture a Nashville restaurant that offers a menu with a delightful New Orleans-style Southern flair, and you’ll start to get a sense of this unique eatery. If you’d like a recommendation for your brunch, I’d say eggs benedict. The problem, though, is that they have such a wide variety of choices that you may be thrown for a loop. In that case, you could always go with the mix and match! They call it The Peacemaker—and you can choose two different, delicious styles of eggs benedict on one plate. Here are Yelp reviews for this Nashville restaurant.
The Hampton Social: Known for the first-floor Rosé lounge and the third-floor rooftop bar with a view where you can relax and take in the sights of Nashville, this restaurant also has a fantastic brunch menu for second-floor dining. The Hampton Social in Nashville is the seventh location for this restaurant brand, and the first to have a three-story venue; the building totals 17,890 square feet, seating 400+, which is some pretty serious real estate. This restaurant was the winner of the 2019 Diner’s Choice Award; you can make your reservations online. Here are Yelp reviews for The Hampton Social.
Nashville Restaurants for Lunch
Arnold’s Country Kitchen: This Nashville restaurant offers a true Southern plate, known for its meat plus three—and that doesn’t even include when it’s served with a side dish of cornbread. More specifically, Arnold’s offers its diners homemade country fixings along with a meat from the daily special and three vegetable side dishes of choice. Food is made fresh every day and, often there’s more than one of the Arnold family members busy in the kitchen and in serving guests. This Nashville restaurant was awarded a 2009 James Beard American Classic Award. Here are Yelp reviews about Arnold’s Country Kitchen.
Hattie B’s: If you’re in the mood for deliciously hot chicken, then this is your place! Hattie B’s has numerous locations in Nashville, each offering the best Southern-style fried chicken around. You can choose from different levels of heat, served up as hot as you personally can stand. Sides include Southern greens, crinkle-cut fries, red skin potato salad, black-eyed pea salad, pimento mac & choose, baked beans, creamy coleslaw, and more. The restaurant provides fast-casual service at a counter, with first-come, first-served seating, with no reservations. Here are Yelp reviews for just one of the Nashville locations of Hattie B’s.
Martin’s BBQ: If you’re ready to dive into great Southern BBQ, then you absolutely must try a plate from this Nashville restaurant. There several locations around town, each offering Tennessee-style, whole hog barbecue—making it very convenient to drop on by for lunch, either as a solo stop or as a place to refuel in between seeing Nashville’s amazing places to visit. You can find the menu here; note that offerings may differ slightly based on the location you visit. This is a fast-casual, order-at-the-counter kind of restaurant. Here are Yelp reviews from the Belmont Blvd. location for Martin’s BBQ.
The Café at Thistle Farms: They offer tasty breakfast and lunch options, and is Nashville’s only spot for serving afternoon tea, but this place is so much more. The best aspect may be how it’s a place for women to find healing and encouragement after experiencing sex trafficking or recovering from addiction, providing them with support and love. The menu at the café focuses on simple and healthful ingredients, along with coffee and tea options, with delicious daily specials. Lunches can be enjoyed on this Nashville restaurant’s shaded back porch. Here are Yelp reviews for The Café at Thistle Farm.
Nashville Restaurants for Dinner
Bourbon Steakhouse: Without a doubt, Bourbon Steakhouse has the best view of Nashville. The absolute best. They’re known for their outstanding steaks from the finest cuts of American beef, but their menu is much more extensive than that. This Nashville restaurant offers a wide variety of seasonal shellfish, unique and yummy salads, and much more. And, if you can’t go for dinner, you can always sit at the bar for a drink (they have more than 400 exceptional wines from around the world) and appetizer—and just enjoy the Nashville skyline. Here are Yelp reviews for Bourbon Steakhouse in Nashville.
City House: Do you enjoy Southern Italian cuisine? If so, check out City House. It’s one of the best casual restaurants for this cuisine, and they offer delicious wood-fired pizzas. One of the more elaborate of these features spinach, buttermilk cheddar, cottage cheese, toasted garlic, chilies, and breadcrumbs. Located in Germantown, this restaurant is easy to find, but you can’t just drop in. In fact, they can be booked, weeks in advance, so be sure to make a reservation so you’re not disappointed. Their extensive menu is listed on their homepage. Here are Yelp reviews for City House in Nashville.
Henrietta Red: This is one of Jason’s and my favorite date places! A quick look at just one of their menus will show you why. This Nashville restaurant is located in Germantown, featuring a raw bar that offers plenty of oysters and shellfish, with all of their seasonal contemporary dishes deliciously fresh and light, containing simple and fresh ingredients. In 2018, this restaurant was nominated as a semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Restaurant; the chef was nominated as a semi-finalist for Best New Chef Southeast in 2019. Here are Yelp reviews for Henrietta Red in Nashville.
Sunda: This restaurant features upscale cuisine that’s Asian fusion. The owners were inspired through their Southeast Asia travels, and they began experimenting with a fusion style that intermingled culinary treasures from the Sunda Shelf. Personally, I recommend the brussels sprout salad, the crispy rice with spicy tuna, and the baked crab handroll. These are not-to-be-missed dishes! You can find more of what they offer on their amazing menu, with culturally important dishes being modernized through ingredient choice, culinary techniques, and presentation. In short, it’s an exciting contemporary approach on classic Asian dishes. Here are Yelp reviews for Sunda in Nashville.
The Chef and I: This Nashville restaurant is well known for its great food (here’s the menu)—and, going beyond that, for diners having a great experience! Here’s what I like to do. I make a reservation and, when doing so, I request to sit at the counter. While there, I watch the chef create magic, taking in the full cooking experience. This can be a great place to go with your sweetheart because the restaurant grew out of the unique love story of the owners (feel free to ask them!). Here are Yelp reviews for The Chef and I.
The Southern Steak & Oyster: If you want to truly experience Nashville or enjoy a deliciously authentic Southern-style dinner, then head over to this restaurant. It offers true Southern cuisine at its finest; there are multiple menus, and here’s the dinner one. Self-described as the “unique and animated eatery that offers an authentically southern adventure with a twist,” this intriguing Nashville restaurant is located in the heart of downtown—making it an ideal choice for strolling over to Broadway beforehand or afterwards, or to the Arena for further evening entertainment. Here are Yelp reviews for The Southern Steak & Oyster.
The Optomist: As much as I love Nashville my only complaint is that it’s not close to an ocean. Being landlocked limits us getting some great seafood. So I was so excited to hear a new seafood restaurant was opening with fresh seafood being delivered daily! It’s located in the newly developed area just north of Germantown. It’ s pretty neat to see all these old buildings and warehouses being remodeled for restaurants and shops! You have to order a few things from the raw bar, if you’re adventurous try the charred calamari salad and then enjoy the Halibut.
The Catbird Seat: If you are a true foodie with a special occasion, I highly recommend The Catbird Seat. Keep in mind you are paying for the experience, well and the amazing food. But if you’re a steak and potatoes person, this is not your place. But if you appreciate food and the mix of flavors I highly recommend giving it a try. The seating is bar top around a small kitchen with a preset menu. The menu is always changing with what’s in season, but everything is fresh from local farms or recently caught. I recommend making reservations a few weeks in advance due to the small number of seats. The dinner usually takes about two hours to enjoy the 10-12 courses. Plan to grab a cocktail before at The Patterson House and enjoy all the amazing flavors of each dish!