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Duck Empanadas, filled with duck confit, cremini mushroom, bleu cheese, and caramelized onion, topped with poblano cream and manchego. 
Skull’s Rainbow Room/Facebook

21 Great Places to Dine Near Downtown Nashville

Stumble outside of the basic celeb-named Broadway stops for everything from duck confit empanadas to gourmet hot dogs

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Duck Empanadas, filled with duck confit, cremini mushroom, bleu cheese, and caramelized onion, topped with poblano cream and manchego. 
| Skull’s Rainbow Room/Facebook

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 shrimp toast bites to charred carrots with whipped feta or soul-warming falafel skillet bread.

Beet Salad with herbed goat cheese, orange, grapefruit, and black walnut. 
Gray & Dudley/Facebook

2. Black Rabbit

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218 3rd Ave N
Nashville, TN 37201
(615) 891-2380
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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 a grilled Caesar or a smoked ribeye with red potatoes and compound butter.

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. Begin with brioche bread service or burrata toast, then move on to mains like shrimp and grits, surf and turf, or harvest risotto.

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 pan seared scallops, 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
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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.

6. Manny's House of Pizza

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15th Ave
Nashville, TN
(615) 242-7144
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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, and subs.

Delia Jo Ramsey / Eater Nashville

7. Rae's Sandwich Shoppe

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

Daddy’s Dogs/Facebook

9. Stateside Kitchen

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210 4th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 622-0500
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Hot weekend brunches and weekday happy hours featuring $5 cocktails draw the crowds to the chic spot on the ground floor of the Dream Nashville hotel. Sit below the Gehry-esque glass atrium and sample a wide range of shared plates, salads, and entrees, then finish with Oreo beignets before closing down Broadway or Printers Alley.

Stateside Kitchen/Facebook

10. Church and Union

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201 4th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 864-0977
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Church and Union opened in September downtown, dishing out American cuisine from two-time Top Chef alum Jamie Lynch and chef Adam Hodgson. On the menu, find swanky seafood towers, French onion agnolotti, and a Kurobuta pork chop, plus confit Spanish octopus and a Certified Angus Beef porterhouse for two.

The French onion agnolotti swimming in melty gruyere is a must-try.
Church and Union/Facebook

11. D’Andrews Bakery & Cafe

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555 Church St
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 375-4934
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Nashville native David Andrews moved back from NYC in 2016 and opened his first bakery downtown. Look for rotating pastries including double butter croissants, pain au chocolat,

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

D’Andrews/Facebook

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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 serves up a seasonally rotating menu of elevated Southern cuisine with items like Nashville hot shishitos, tea-brined smoked chicken wings, and a grilled Manhattan strip steak with dandelion chimmuchurri. And yes, there’s a full wall lined with photos of Johnny Cash — perfect for a great photo opp with a cocktail in hand.

Little Fib/Facebook

15. 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.

16. 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, the Twelve Thirty Club, and Shake Shack mixed in with downstairs retail, pop upstairs to Sixty Vines or the country’s largest food hall for offerings from Whisk Crêpes Cafe and Donut Distillery to Thai Esane, Prince’s Hot Chicken, and Oke Poké.

Assembly Food Hall [Official Photo]

17. 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.

18. 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 downtown sector.

The Southern/Facebook

19. 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. Perhaps the most popular menu item: the roasted cauliflower, served with truffled pea puree, salted almonds, feta crema, and red bell pepper sauce.

Etch/Facebook

20. Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint

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

When visiting meat-seekers ask about the best barbecue in Nashville, 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. This one looks and feels like all the other Martin’s locations, just Texas-sized a massive beer garden in the back, providing tons of seating, games, and a stage set for live music. 

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Brisket

21. 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 Marchetti’s jaw-dropping desserts. 

Haas & Haas Photography | Yolan

1. Gray & Dudley

221 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201
Beet Salad with herbed goat cheese, orange, grapefruit, and black walnut. 
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 shrimp toast bites to charred carrots with whipped feta or soul-warming falafel skillet bread.

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 a grilled Caesar or a smoked ribeye with red potatoes and compound butter.

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. Begin with brioche bread service or burrata toast, then move on to mains like shrimp and grits, surf and turf, or harvest risotto.

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 pan seared scallops, 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.

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, and 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.

299-201 Printers Alley
Nashville, TN 37201

9. Stateside Kitchen

210 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219
Stateside Kitchen/Facebook

Hot weekend brunches and weekday happy hours featuring $5 cocktails draw the crowds to the chic spot on the ground floor of the Dream Nashville hotel. Sit below the Gehry-esque glass atrium and sample a wide range of shared plates, salads, and entrees, then finish with Oreo beignets before closing down Broadway or Printers Alley.

210 4th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37219

10. Church and Union

201 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219
The French onion agnolotti swimming in melty gruyere is a must-try.
Church and Union/Facebook

Church and Union opened in September downtown, dishing out American cuisine from two-time Top Chef alum Jamie Lynch and chef Adam Hodgson. On the menu, find swanky seafood towers, French onion agnolotti, and a Kurobuta pork chop, plus confit Spanish octopus and a Certified Angus Beef porterhouse for two.

201 4th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37219

11. 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 double butter croissants, pain au chocolat,

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

555 Church St
Nashville, TN 37219

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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 serves up a seasonally rotating menu of elevated Southern cuisine with items like Nashville hot shishitos, tea-brined smoked chicken wings, and a grilled Manhattan strip steak with dandelion chimmuchurri. And yes, there’s a full wall lined with photos of Johnny Cash — perfect for a great photo opp with a cocktail in hand.

611 Commerce St
Nashville, TN 37203

15. 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.

5056 Broadway Pl
Nashville, TN 37203

Related Maps

16. 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, the Twelve Thirty Club, and Shake Shack mixed in with downstairs retail, pop upstairs to Sixty Vines or the country’s largest food hall for offerings from Whisk Crêpes Cafe and Donut Distillery to Thai Esane, Prince’s Hot Chicken, and Oke Poké.

5055 Broadway Pl
Nashville, TN 37203

17. 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

18. 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 downtown sector.

150 3rd Ave S
Nashville, TN

19. 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. Perhaps the most popular menu item: the roasted cauliflower, served with truffled pea puree, salted almonds, feta crema, and red bell pepper sauce.

303 Demonbreun St
Nashville, TN

20. 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, 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. This one looks and feels like all the other Martin’s locations, just Texas-sized a massive beer garden in the back, providing tons of seating, games, and a stage set for live music. 

410 4th Ave S
Nashville, TN

21. 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 Marchetti’s jaw-dropping desserts. 

403 4th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37201

Related Maps