The South knows its way around a hearty breakfast plate. Case in point: biscuits, grits, country ham, and don’t forget the fan-favorite chicken and waffles. (And since you’re in Nashville, the smart move is to order that chicken hot.) But that’s not the only thing on the menu around here. Whether you’re looking for perfectly prepared eggs, sizzling bacon, or a stack of pillowy pancakes, these restaurants have your back bright and early, not just on weekends but during the week as well. For more pre-lunch options, check the Nashville brunch map.Read More
Where to Score the Best Breakfasts in Nashville
Start your morning with cheesy omelets, pillowy pancakes, and of course hot chicken biscuits, not just on weekends but throughout the week
Big Al's Deli
Alfonso Anderson, aka Big Al, has become a local legend and Nashville ambassador. Big Al’s Deli — tucked away in the Salemtown neighborhood — opens at 7 a.m. during the week and 9 a.m. on Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday) and serves up breakfast classics such as pancakes, French toast, and biscuit sandwiches to hungry commuters and neighbors alike. Make your way to this rustic, white-washed cottage for a Bowser biscuit sandwich with bacon, sausage, egg, and cheese.
The Nashville Biscuit House
Don’t let outside appearances fool you — Nashville Biscuit House has one of the best breakfast biscuits in town. This little East Nashville restaurant opens at 6:30 a.m. during the week (closed Tuesday and Wednesday) and has a drive-thru, making it easy to grab a quick bite before work. Besides the biscuits, NBH offers everything from pancakes to French toast to fill-your-own omelets.
Monell's Dining and Catering
A long-time Germantown staple in a beautiful Victorian-style house from 1905, Monell’s serves all-you-can-eat country breakfast seven days a week starting at 8 a.m. Expect the likes of sausage, bacon, biscuits and gravy, country ham, pancakes, eggs, grits, and fried chicken, and be prepared to break bread with strangers — seating, like the meal itself, is family-style.
Sean Brock’s casual East Nashville homage to the fast food of yesteryear includes bang-up burgers and buckets of fried chicken made with heirloom meats and grains, but it’s also a solid spot to grab breakfast on the go. Brock’s fluffy Joyland biscuits — topped with everything from sack sausage to bacon to fried chicken — are easily some of the best in Nashville, as are the overstuffed breakfast burritos. Get your fix starting at 8 a.m. during the week or 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
When there’s no time for a leisurely breakfast or a long pancake line, swing by Yeast in East Nashville. Open at 7 a.m. daily, this counter-service bakery is one of the only places in town to find tender Czech-style sweet kolaches topped with buttercream and sprinkles and Tex-Czech-style savory kolaches stuffed with a mix of sausage and cheese — simple to grab and eat as you go.
Sky Blue Cafe
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (with limited sidewalk tables), Sky Blue is a petite Eastside favorite. Long waits on the weekends are not unusual, so a weekday trip is a good game plan to try the stuffed French toast pancakes, hot-chicken biscuits, or three-egg omelets with signature home fries.
Silver Sands Cafe
Downtown soul-food standby Silver Sands Cafe may be best known as a no-frills lunchtime meat and three, but locals also covet Sophia Vaughn’s time-tested homestyle breakfast recipes. Starting at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, the third-generation owner of Silver Sands dishes out crowd-pleasing pancake stacks, country ham, and biscuit sandwiches.
Not every pretty place serves good food, but Pinewood does. Located in the historic Trolley Barns, the stylish bowling alley’s fun vibes and comfortable booths create a solid place for a “working breakfast” during the week, be it challah French toast, bruleed grapefruit, or breakfast tacos with guajillo braised pork. Wash it all down with some Crema coffee, and hey, if you don’t have time to sneak in a game on one of the six reclaimed-wood lanes from the old Indiana Bowl O’ Rama, you can at least watch someone else roll a few frames while you eat.
Biscuit Love Gulch
When Karl and Sarah Worley upgraded from food truck to brick-and-mortar in 2015, their cafe quickly become one of the most popular breakfast hangouts in town. Biscuit Love has since expanded to Hillsboro Village and Franklin, which alleviated some of the traffic to the Gulch original, but the best way to avoid the crowds is to stop in during the week for East Nasty biscuit sandwiches (fried chicken, cheddar, and sausage gravy) and Bonuts — a brilliant fried hybrid of biscuit and doughnut stuffed with lemon mascarpone and served with berry compote.
With sunny murals portraying popular Australian sights and a bright, beachy interior, the small New York-based chain Two Hands brings some serious Aussie-cafe vibes to the Gulch. Standouts on the “brekky” menu, available 8 a.m. daily, include buckwheat banana bread, smashed avo toast, and brassica salad with charred broccolini, brussel sprouts, and hummus. Look out for a Franklin location slated to open in summer 2023.
Yes, this Hillsboro breakfast icon from 1961 is packed with tourists at most hours, but Pancake Pantry is still worth the pilgrimage for candied bacon and buttermilk pancakes stuffed with chocolate chips, blueberries, pecans, and an assortment of other fillings. Go for breakfast during the week and you may avoid the seemingly endless lines that snake around the block on weekends. If you care less about visiting the hallowed grounds of the original, you could also try your luck at the large modern expansion in the Hyatt Centric Nashville hotel downtown.
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People have flocked to Belmont’s Proper Bagel since 2016 for fresh New York-style bagels and bialys, bagel sandwiches with smoked fish, salads, baked goods, and more starting at 8 a.m. daily. Prepare for lines in this chic, modern, minimalist space, but the food’s well worth the wait.
The Butter Milk Ranch
Word of advice: Tackle the Butter Milk Ranch’s pastries with a team. This sunny, mid-century modern bakery and cafe in 12 South puts out some monstrous concoctions, including a Cinnamon Toast Crunch cookie the size of a toddler’s head, peanut butter cup croissants, and cream-filled oatmeal cookie sandwiches. If instead of grabbing something from the counter you want to sit for a full-service brunch at the cafe, the soft scramble topped with trout roe and the cube croissant Benedict topped with hollandaise sauce deserve a place on your table. Both sections of the restaurant open at 8 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
The Nashville Jam Co.
The Nashville Jam Co.’s traditional southern breakfast menu is available daily at 8 a.m. in Berry Hill, where the simple cafe has some lovely outdoor seating. A few morning favorites include the PB&J Chicken Biscuit (that’s pimento cheese, bacon, and tomato jam, mind you), the fried green tomato wrap, and the Bronuts, another take on the biscuit-doughnut hybrid, battered, fried, filled with cheesecake, and finished with blueberry compote.
The Loveless Cafe
The Loveless Cafe draws fans from far and wide to the southwest outskirts of Nashville for its famed country cooking and setting. After more than 65 years of buildup, a visit to the charming landmark itself is at least as important as what’s on the plate, if not more so, but obviously you’ll want to dig into some of the renowned biscuits — simplify things with a biscuit sampler platter, including your choice of four highlights like fried chicken, country ham, and pulled pork, available all day starting at 8 a.m. during the week and at 7 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.