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The bacon burger at Deacon's New South
The bacon burger at Deacon’s New South
Facebook/Deacon’s New South

20 Great Places to Dine Near Downtown Nashville

Where to eat everything from honky-tonk grilled cheese sandwiches to heaps of truffle-topped pasta in a stunning setting

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The bacon burger at Deacon’s New South
| Facebook/Deacon’s New South

When people think of going out in downtown Nashville, visions of pedal taverns and honky-tonks are typically conjured rather than opulent meals in high-end dining establishments. While there have always been plenty of places to grab a bite to eat in Nashville’s city center, the influx of visitors in recent years has helped draw new restaurants and food options to the area. Dining out in downtown Nashville has truly never been better.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Gray & Dudley

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221 2nd Ave N
Nashville, TN 37201
(615) 610-6460
Visit Website

Chef Matt Bell moved to Nashville last year, and after a tough first year in Music City, the chef now has the chance to make the menu his own. Pop by for brunch or for dinner and feast on comforting dishes bursting with flavor — from boudin Rangoon with red-eye gravy and smoked fish dip to charred carrots with whipped feta or soul-warming falafel skillet bread.

*Open for dine-in, takeout, and patio dining.

Gray & Dudley/Facebook

2. Black Rabbit

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218 3rd Ave N
Nashville, TN 37201
(615) 891-2380
Visit Website

The Farm House chef-owner Trey Cioccia now has two restaurants under his belt with the opening of this cozy Printer’s Alley cocktail den. It’s an ode to a bygone era, with both decor and menu reflecting that aesthetic. Dishes range from the addictive signature rabbit rolls to roasted squash or a smoked ribeye with baby sweet potato and Brussels sprouts.

*Open for dine-in, takeout, and patio dining.

The famous rabbit rolls
Black Rabbit/Facebook

3. Ellington's

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401 Union St
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 988-7333
Visit Website

Take the elevator up to the fourth floor at the Fairlane for cool midcentury vibes and a menu with plenty of takes on American classic dishes. Start off with pimento cheese dip or beef tartare, then move on to mains like crab cakes, beef tenderloin, or chicken and dumplings.

*Open for dine-in, takeout, and patio dining.

Ellington’s/Facebook

4. Jane's Hideaway

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209 3rd Ave N
Nashville, TN 37201
(615) 942-7809
Visit Website

Jane’s Hideaway provides an oasis of great live music and excellent food and cocktails for those looking to escape Broadway for a bit. Look for ropas vieja, steak frites, and a half chicken with rosemary Panzanella alongside boozy frozen cocktails and classics like the Jane’s old fashioned.

5. Skull's Rainbow Room

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222 Printers Aly
Nashville, TN
(615) 251-9076
Visit Website

The original Skull’s Rainbow Room dated back to the 1940s and was a legendary local hangout for 50 years before shuttering in 1999. It reopened in 2015 with many of the atmospheric touches of the original, plus revamped lunch and dinner menus with lobster bisque, duck empanadas, and an excellent garlic honey-glazed pork chop.

*Open for dine-in.

6. Manny's House of Pizza

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15th Ave
Nashville, TN
(615) 242-7144
Visit Website

Tucked inside The Arcade, Manny’s House of Pizza is easy to overlook — but that’d be a big mistake, as the small counter serves some of the city’s best cheesy, pepperoni-studded slices. In operation since 1984, this pizza joint is quite a popular lunchtime destination, selling NY-style pie whole or by the slice, plus calzones,nd subs.

Delia Jo Ramsey / Eater Nashville

7. Rae's Sandwich Shoppe

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501 Union St
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 313-7237
Visit Website

A line is a common lunchtime occurrence at the weekday lunch-only deli on Union, open since 2002. Find standout versions of hot sandwiches like Cubans, Monte Cristo’s, and Hot Brown handhelds all served on New Orleans-style baguettes on the menu beside other deli classics, soups, and salads.

8. Daddy’s Dogs

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299-201 Printers Alley
Nashville, TN 37201

Track down the cart on 4th Avenue or walk up to the window in historic Printers Alley to sample the best hot dogs to be found in Nashville. Choose from classics like the New York or Chicago-style dogs or gussied up options like the big daddy — topped with cream cheese, bacon, pickle, grilled onion, jalapeno, and Daddy’s secret sauce.

*Takeout

Daddy’s Dogs/Facebook

9. Deacon's New South

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401 Church St
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 994-1994
Visit Website

Chris Calder has taken the first-floor restaurant of downtown Nashville’s historic L&C Tower and made it something incredibly special. All of the meats here are dry-aged in-house and served in better-than-your-average steakhouse set-ups, alongside Southern flavors and a seasonally rotating selection of Gulf Coast-inspired seafood dishes. Besides the steaks, can’t miss items on the menu right now include the Orleans Parish shrimp or grilled oysters (both come with sop-worthy bbq butter), Southern yakitori with potlikker soy glaze, and Mr. Aaron’s chili noodles with Louisiana crawfish and the Cajun trinity.

*Open for patio and indoor dining plus curbside takeout (615-994-1994).

Vegan tamales with wild mushroom & squash tinga, collard green wrap, Maiz de la Vida Masa, mole verde
Deacon’s New South/Facebook

10. D’Andrews Bakery & Cafe

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555 Church St
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 375-4934
Visit Website

Nashville native David Andrews moved back from NYC in 2016 and opened his first bakery downtown. Look for rotating pastries including twice-baked croissants, pain au chocolat,

and brioche pecan cinnamon buns in the mornings, plus a selection of salads, soup, and sandwiches during lunch.

*Open for indoor, outdoor dining and takeout.

D’Andrews/Facebook

11. Robert's Western World

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416 Broadway B
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 244-9552
Visit Website

Since what feels like lightyears before Broadway’s streetscape was overtaken by three-story mega-bars named after modern country music stars, Robert’s Western World has consistently offered old-school country music and rockabilly for those seeking a true Nashville honky-tonk experience. And while it’s undoubtedly more bar than restaurant, the fried bologna sandwich with an icy PBR and MoonPie for dessert is an unarguably iconic Music City meal.

The Recession Special at Robert’s
Delia Jo Ramsey / Eater Nashville

12. Merchants Restaurant

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401 Broadway
Nashville, TN
(615) 254-1892
Visit Website

Merchants has been a fixture in downtown Nashville dining for more than 25 years. The first-floor bistro menu offers a mix of modern and traditional American dishes (duck fat tater tots, anyone?), while the second-floor dinner space is more upscale—serving steak and seafood entrees.

Kent A./Yelp

13. Little Fib

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611 Commerce St
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 493-4050
Visit Website

Open since late 2018 on the first floor of the Renaissance Nashville Hotel, Little Fib’s executive chef James Kerwin serves up a seasonally-rotating menu of elevated Southern cuisine with items like standout deviled eggs, Brussels, and lobster tarts. And yes, there’s a full wall lined with photos of Johnny Cash — perfect for a great masked photo opp with a cocktail in hand.

*Open for dine-in and takeout.

Little Fib/Facebook

14. Slim & Husky's

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5056 Broadway Pl
Nashville, TN 37203

The new downtown Fifth + Broadway location of the hip-hop-inspired pizza joint made history in March 2021 — it’s the first-ever black-owned restaurant to open on Broadway. Co-owned by Nashville natives Clint Gray, Derrick Moore, and Emanuel Reed, Slim & Husky’s offers a menu of cleverly named and totally customizable pizzas alongside made-to-order salads and unique cinnamon rolls.

*Open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery.

15. Assembly Food Hall/Fifth + Broadway

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5055 Broadway Pl
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 800-5395
Visit Website

Assembly Food Hall at massive mixed-use development Fifth + Broadway opened in March 2021, adding dozens more choices for those visiting the popular honky-tonk strip. Besides Slim + Husky’s, Blanco, Cava, Elixr Coffee, and Shake Shack mixed in with downstairs retail, pop into the first phased opening at the country’s largest food hall for offerings from Whisk Crêpes Cafe and Donut Distillery to Thai Esane and Oke Poké.

*Dine-in, outdoor seating, and takeout all available. Accepts credit card only, cashless operations.

Assembly Food Hall [Official Photo]

16. Trattoria Il Mulino

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144 5th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 620-3700
Visit Website

The New York-based Italian restaurant on the ground floor of the Hilton Downtown opened several years ago, with a focus on service in a dimly lit room that makes diners feel much farther from the Broadway strip than they actually are. On the menu, find classic Italian starters like ricotta meatballs, and burrata followed by a selection of pasta, pizzas, and exquisitely prepared meats.

17. The Southern Steak & Oyster

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150 3rd Ave S
Nashville, TN
(615) 724-1762
Visit Website

Tourists and locals flock to The Southern Steak & Oyster for a refined southern dining experience. For years The Southern was one of the only spots in town with an oyster bar. Though more options have emerged in recent years, The Southern’s reputation for consistently good food makes it one of the most popular restaurants in the city.

The Southern/Facebook

18. Etch

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303 Demonbreun St
Nashville, TN
(615) 522-0685
Visit Website

Since opening in 2012, Etch has become a staple in the downtown Nashville dining scene. Chef Deb Paquette has a knack for creating bold and flavorful dishes and is a welcome alternative to the barrage of bar food served just blocks away.

Etch/Facebook

19. Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint

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410 4th Ave S
Nashville, TN
(615) 288-0880

When visiting meat-seekers ask about the best barbecue in Nashville, and Martin’s is an ever popular pick. Pitmaster Pat Martin’s downtown location opened in late summer 2016 and has seen consistent lines out the door ever since.

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Brisket

20. Yolan

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403 4th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37201
(615) 231-0405
Visit Website

Nashville scored big when the husband-and-wife culinary powerhouse moved to town (and when it got a see-thru cheese cave). James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Mantuano and wine and hospitality expert Cathy Mantuano brought Nashville the fine dining Italian menu it had been missing alongside standout service and a welcoming atmosphere inside the lovely new Joseph Hotel. The chef’s tasting menu (plus wine pairing) is always a solid move — as are any and all of the pasta options. And don’t miss pastry chef Noelle Gogg’s jaw-dropping desserts. 

*Open for dine-in.

Haas & Haas Photography | Yolan

1. Gray & Dudley

221 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201
Gray & Dudley/Facebook

Chef Matt Bell moved to Nashville last year, and after a tough first year in Music City, the chef now has the chance to make the menu his own. Pop by for brunch or for dinner and feast on comforting dishes bursting with flavor — from boudin Rangoon with red-eye gravy and smoked fish dip to charred carrots with whipped feta or soul-warming falafel skillet bread.

*Open for dine-in, takeout, and patio dining.

221 2nd Ave N
Nashville, TN 37201

2. Black Rabbit

218 3rd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201
The famous rabbit rolls
Black Rabbit/Facebook

The Farm House chef-owner Trey Cioccia now has two restaurants under his belt with the opening of this cozy Printer’s Alley cocktail den. It’s an ode to a bygone era, with both decor and menu reflecting that aesthetic. Dishes range from the addictive signature rabbit rolls to roasted squash or a smoked ribeye with baby sweet potato and Brussels sprouts.

*Open for dine-in, takeout, and patio dining.

218 3rd Ave N
Nashville, TN 37201

3. Ellington's

401 Union St, Nashville, TN 37219
Ellington’s/Facebook

Take the elevator up to the fourth floor at the Fairlane for cool midcentury vibes and a menu with plenty of takes on American classic dishes. Start off with pimento cheese dip or beef tartare, then move on to mains like crab cakes, beef tenderloin, or chicken and dumplings.

*Open for dine-in, takeout, and patio dining.

401 Union St
Nashville, TN 37219

4. Jane's Hideaway

209 3rd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201

Jane’s Hideaway provides an oasis of great live music and excellent food and cocktails for those looking to escape Broadway for a bit. Look for ropas vieja, steak frites, and a half chicken with rosemary Panzanella alongside boozy frozen cocktails and classics like the Jane’s old fashioned.

209 3rd Ave N
Nashville, TN 37201

5. Skull's Rainbow Room

222 Printers Aly, Nashville, TN

The original Skull’s Rainbow Room dated back to the 1940s and was a legendary local hangout for 50 years before shuttering in 1999. It reopened in 2015 with many of the atmospheric touches of the original, plus revamped lunch and dinner menus with lobster bisque, duck empanadas, and an excellent garlic honey-glazed pork chop.

*Open for dine-in.

222 Printers Aly
Nashville, TN

6. Manny's House of Pizza

15th Ave, Nashville, TN
Delia Jo Ramsey / Eater Nashville

Tucked inside The Arcade, Manny’s House of Pizza is easy to overlook — but that’d be a big mistake, as the small counter serves some of the city’s best cheesy, pepperoni-studded slices. In operation since 1984, this pizza joint is quite a popular lunchtime destination, selling NY-style pie whole or by the slice, plus calzones,nd subs.

15th Ave
Nashville, TN

7. Rae's Sandwich Shoppe

501 Union St, Nashville, TN 37219

A line is a common lunchtime occurrence at the weekday lunch-only deli on Union, open since 2002. Find standout versions of hot sandwiches like Cubans, Monte Cristo’s, and Hot Brown handhelds all served on New Orleans-style baguettes on the menu beside other deli classics, soups, and salads.

501 Union St
Nashville, TN 37219

8. Daddy’s Dogs

299-201 Printers Alley, Nashville, TN 37201
Daddy’s Dogs/Facebook

Track down the cart on 4th Avenue or walk up to the window in historic Printers Alley to sample the best hot dogs to be found in Nashville. Choose from classics like the New York or Chicago-style dogs or gussied up options like the big daddy — topped with cream cheese, bacon, pickle, grilled onion, jalapeno, and Daddy’s secret sauce.

*Takeout

299-201 Printers Alley
Nashville, TN 37201

9. Deacon's New South

401 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219
Vegan tamales with wild mushroom & squash tinga, collard green wrap, Maiz de la Vida Masa, mole verde
Deacon’s New South/Facebook

Chris Calder has taken the first-floor restaurant of downtown Nashville’s historic L&C Tower and made it something incredibly special. All of the meats here are dry-aged in-house and served in better-than-your-average steakhouse set-ups, alongside Southern flavors and a seasonally rotating selection of Gulf Coast-inspired seafood dishes. Besides the steaks, can’t miss items on the menu right now include the Orleans Parish shrimp or grilled oysters (both come with sop-worthy bbq butter), Southern yakitori with potlikker soy glaze, and Mr. Aaron’s chili noodles with Louisiana crawfish and the Cajun trinity.

*Open for patio and indoor dining plus curbside takeout (615-994-1994).

401 Church St
Nashville, TN 37219

10. D’Andrews Bakery & Cafe

555 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219
D’Andrews/Facebook

Nashville native David Andrews moved back from NYC in 2016 and opened his first bakery downtown. Look for rotating pastries including twice-baked croissants, pain au chocolat,

and brioche pecan cinnamon buns in the mornings, plus a selection of salads, soup, and sandwiches during lunch.

*Open for indoor, outdoor dining and takeout.

555 Church St
Nashville, TN 37219

11. Robert's Western World

416 Broadway B, Nashville, TN 37203
The Recession Special at Robert’s
Delia Jo Ramsey / Eater Nashville

Since what feels like lightyears before Broadway’s streetscape was overtaken by three-story mega-bars named after modern country music stars, Robert’s Western World has consistently offered old-school country music and rockabilly for those seeking a true Nashville honky-tonk experience. And while it’s undoubtedly more bar than restaurant, the fried bologna sandwich with an icy PBR and MoonPie for dessert is an unarguably iconic Music City meal.

416 Broadway B
Nashville, TN 37203

12. Merchants Restaurant

401 Broadway, Nashville, TN
Kent A./Yelp

Merchants has been a fixture in downtown Nashville dining for more than 25 years. The first-floor bistro menu offers a mix of modern and traditional American dishes (duck fat tater tots, anyone?), while the second-floor dinner space is more upscale—serving steak and seafood entrees.

401 Broadway
Nashville, TN

13. Little Fib

611 Commerce St, Nashville, TN 37203
Little Fib/Facebook

Open since late 2018 on the first floor of the Renaissance Nashville Hotel, Little Fib’s executive chef James Kerwin serves up a seasonally-rotating menu of elevated Southern cuisine with items like standout deviled eggs, Brussels, and lobster tarts. And yes, there’s a full wall lined with photos of Johnny Cash — perfect for a great masked photo opp with a cocktail in hand.

*Open for dine-in and takeout.

611 Commerce St
Nashville, TN 37203

14. Slim & Husky's

5056 Broadway Pl, Nashville, TN 37203

The new downtown Fifth + Broadway location of the hip-hop-inspired pizza joint made history in March 2021 — it’s the first-ever black-owned restaurant to open on Broadway. Co-owned by Nashville natives Clint Gray, Derrick Moore, and Emanuel Reed, Slim & Husky’s offers a menu of cleverly named and totally customizable pizzas alongside made-to-order salads and unique cinnamon rolls.

*Open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery.

5056 Broadway Pl
Nashville, TN 37203

15. Assembly Food Hall/Fifth + Broadway

5055 Broadway Pl, Nashville, TN 37203
Assembly Food Hall [Official Photo]

Assembly Food Hall at massive mixed-use development Fifth + Broadway opened in March 2021, adding dozens more choices for those visiting the popular honky-tonk strip. Besides Slim + Husky’s, Blanco, Cava, Elixr Coffee, and Shake Shack mixed in with downstairs retail, pop into the first phased opening at the country’s largest food hall for offerings from Whisk Crêpes Cafe and Donut Distillery to Thai Esane and Oke Poké.

*Dine-in, outdoor seating, and takeout all available. Accepts credit card only, cashless operations.

5055 Broadway Pl
Nashville, TN 37203

Related Maps

16. Trattoria Il Mulino

144 5th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203

The New York-based Italian restaurant on the ground floor of the Hilton Downtown opened several years ago, with a focus on service in a dimly lit room that makes diners feel much farther from the Broadway strip than they actually are. On the menu, find classic Italian starters like ricotta meatballs, and burrata followed by a selection of pasta, pizzas, and exquisitely prepared meats.

144 5th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37203

17. The Southern Steak & Oyster

150 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN
The Southern/Facebook

Tourists and locals flock to The Southern Steak & Oyster for a refined southern dining experience. For years The Southern was one of the only spots in town with an oyster bar. Though more options have emerged in recent years, The Southern’s reputation for consistently good food makes it one of the most popular restaurants in the city.

150 3rd Ave S
Nashville, TN

18. Etch

303 Demonbreun St, Nashville, TN
Etch/Facebook

Since opening in 2012, Etch has become a staple in the downtown Nashville dining scene. Chef Deb Paquette has a knack for creating bold and flavorful dishes and is a welcome alternative to the barrage of bar food served just blocks away.

303 Demonbreun St
Nashville, TN

19. Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint

410 4th Ave S, Nashville, TN
Martin’s Bar-B-Que Brisket

When visiting meat-seekers ask about the best barbecue in Nashville, and Martin’s is an ever popular pick. Pitmaster Pat Martin’s downtown location opened in late summer 2016 and has seen consistent lines out the door ever since.

410 4th Ave S
Nashville, TN

20. Yolan

403 4th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201
Haas & Haas Photography | Yolan

Nashville scored big when the husband-and-wife culinary powerhouse moved to town (and when it got a see-thru cheese cave). James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Mantuano and wine and hospitality expert Cathy Mantuano brought Nashville the fine dining Italian menu it had been missing alongside standout service and a welcoming atmosphere inside the lovely new Joseph Hotel. The chef’s tasting menu (plus wine pairing) is always a solid move — as are any and all of the pasta options. And don’t miss pastry chef Noelle Gogg’s jaw-dropping desserts. 

*Open for dine-in.

403 4th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37201

Related Maps