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Delia Jo Ramsey / Eater Nashville

15 Great Places to Dine Near Downtown Nashville

Where to eat everything from cheesy pizza slices and fried fish in the Arcade, to heaps of saucy noodles in a stunning setting

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When people think of going out in downtown Nashville, visions of pedal taverns and honky-tonks are typically conjured up, 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.

*Map is not ranked, but listed geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. 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 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 charred okra fries or a bone-in ribeye for two.

Obligatory rabbit rolls
Black Rabbit / Official Photo

2. 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 1940’s 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.

Eater Nashville

3. Easy 8

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210 4th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 401-8001
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Open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 6 p.m. until late, eat sandwiches in Printers Alley from the counter in the back of the Dream (beside Snitch). Currently on the rotating menu? A Philly cheesesteak, meatball sub, veggie banh mi, and chorizo and cheese loaded fries.

4. Manny's House of Pizza

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15th Ave
Nashville, TN
(615) 242-7144
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Also 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 lunch time destination, selling NY-style pie whole or by the slice, calzones, and subs.

Delia Jo Ramsey / Eater Nashville

5. Red Perch

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13 Arcade Alley
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 953-7175
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The Arcade restaurant specializes in fish and chips, but it doesn’t stop there. Only open Monday-Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m, Red Perch’s Chef Cameron Payne also changes it up with daily specials, poke, a shrimp banh mi, and calamari — each for less than $12 — a steal for good seafood downtown.

6. 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.

7. Makeready Libations & Liberation

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200 4th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 610-7835
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Downtown boutique hotel Noelle’s all-day restaurant and bar backs up to Printers Alley, serving starters like beer braised mussels and deviled eggs alongside chicken pot pie. Meaty mains like a chicken fried hot duck and pork schnitzel make for fine sustenance before a long night out downtown.

Josh Gilmore/Noelle

8. Robert's Western World

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416 Broadway B
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 244-9552
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Since what feels like lightyears before Broadway’s streetscape was ruined 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

9. Merchants Restaurant

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401 Broadway
Nashville, TN
(615) 254-1892
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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

10. Trattoria Il Mulino

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144 5th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 620-3700
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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 then they actually are. On the menu, find classic Italian starters like arancini, ricotta meatballs, and burrata followed by a selections of pastas, pizzas, and exquisitely prepared meats.

11. The Green Pheasant

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215 1st Ave S
Nashville, TN 37201
(615) 205-5400
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Gorgeous modern Japanese restaurant The Green Pheasant, from (husband-and-wife) Two Ten Jack co-chefs Jess Benefield, Trey Burnette, and business partner Patrick Burke, delves a little deeper into the cuisine they’ve become known for at Two Ten Jack: neighborhood izakaya-style pub food. The chirashi, tebasaki gyoza, and spicy crab noodles are crowd favorites, while steak-enthusiasts can choose from ikinari steak, American wagyu, or Japanese wagyu.

Delia Jo Ramsey / Eater Nashville

12. The Southern Steak & Oyster

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

13. Etch

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

14. Kitchen Notes

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250 5th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 761-3700
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The Omni’s all-day restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, and Sunday brunch. Southern family recipes are the name of the game — from a bucket of crispy fried chicken to a smoked meatloaf and chicken pot pie. The hotel restaurant also boasts a biscuit bar, with some of the best found in the city.

Kitchen Notes/Facebook

15. 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

1. Black Rabbit

218 3rd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201
Obligatory rabbit rolls
Black Rabbit / Official Photo

The Farm House chef/owner Trey Cioccia now has two restaurants under his belt with the opening of this 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 charred okra fries or a bone-in ribeye for two.

218 3rd Ave N
Nashville, TN 37201

2. Skull's Rainbow Room

222 Printers Aly, Nashville, TN
Eater Nashville

The original Skull’s Rainbow Room dated back to the 1940’s 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

3. Easy 8

210 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219

Open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 6 p.m. until late, eat sandwiches in Printers Alley from the counter in the back of the Dream (beside Snitch). Currently on the rotating menu? A Philly cheesesteak, meatball sub, veggie banh mi, and chorizo and cheese loaded fries.

210 4th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37219

4. Manny's House of Pizza

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

Also 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 lunch time destination, selling NY-style pie whole or by the slice, calzones, and subs.

15th Ave
Nashville, TN

5. Red Perch

13 Arcade Alley, Nashville, TN 37219

The Arcade restaurant specializes in fish and chips, but it doesn’t stop there. Only open Monday-Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m, Red Perch’s Chef Cameron Payne also changes it up with daily specials, poke, a shrimp banh mi, and calamari — each for less than $12 — a steal for good seafood downtown.

13 Arcade Alley
Nashville, TN 37219

6. 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

7. Makeready Libations & Liberation

200 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219
Josh Gilmore/Noelle

Downtown boutique hotel Noelle’s all-day restaurant and bar backs up to Printers Alley, serving starters like beer braised mussels and deviled eggs alongside chicken pot pie. Meaty mains like a chicken fried hot duck and pork schnitzel make for fine sustenance before a long night out downtown.

200 4th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37219

8. 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 ruined 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

9. 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

10. 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 then they actually are. On the menu, find classic Italian starters like arancini, ricotta meatballs, and burrata followed by a selections of pastas, pizzas, and exquisitely prepared meats.

144 5th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37203

11. The Green Pheasant

215 1st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201
Delia Jo Ramsey / Eater Nashville

Gorgeous modern Japanese restaurant The Green Pheasant, from (husband-and-wife) Two Ten Jack co-chefs Jess Benefield, Trey Burnette, and business partner Patrick Burke, delves a little deeper into the cuisine they’ve become known for at Two Ten Jack: neighborhood izakaya-style pub food. The chirashi, tebasaki gyoza, and spicy crab noodles are crowd favorites, while steak-enthusiasts can choose from ikinari steak, American wagyu, or Japanese wagyu.

215 1st Ave S
Nashville, TN 37201

12. 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

13. 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

14. Kitchen Notes

250 5th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203
Kitchen Notes/Facebook

The Omni’s all-day restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, and Sunday brunch. Southern family recipes are the name of the game — from a bucket of crispy fried chicken to a smoked meatloaf and chicken pot pie. The hotel restaurant also boasts a biscuit bar, with some of the best found in the city.

250 5th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37203

15. 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

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