Nothing says summer quite like sitting under a bright blue sky by the water with a hot-off-the-grill burger and a frosty pint of whatever’s on tap. While Nashville may not have the salty air and ocean views, here’s some good news: there are plenty of lakeside and riverfront vistas that lend themselves to an idyllic meal on the water. Whether it’s a casual weekend brunch or a scenic sunset dinner on the river, these eight spots offer views worthy of a drive. And yes, plenty provide a nice Nashville dose of live music right there on the water.Read More
Where to Find Waterfront Wining and Dining Near Nashville
Because everything tastes better with a water view
Awedaddys Bar & Grill
Gallatin’s been keeping this beachy shack a local secret and it’s no surprise — strong bushwhackers, Black Angus beef burgers, and fish tacos are the perfect complement to Awedaddy’s umbrella-covered tables, string lights, and lakeside location. Live music provides a lively soundtrack to the festivities (check their calendar of events for more info); while their Sunday brunch is the ideal kickoff for a day spent on the water.
Cherokee Steakhouse, Marina & Campground
After a long day on Old Hickory Lake, Cherokee Steakhouse beckons with a 90-foot bar, dockside grill, and two covered outdoor patios. The menu here boasts standard bar fare like burgers, hot dogs, and tacos served alongside margs, bushwhackers and a rotating tap of draft beers. On any given day, you’ll find a rotating roster of live entertainment including local bands, songwriters and the occasional karaoke showdown or 90s music night. The bar and dockside grill are open Thursday through Sunday, with brunch service on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A rainy day on the water is better than none at all, and Moby Dicky’s covered patio is just the spot to while away the day — come rain or shine thanks to some new retractable screens. Picnic tables and a small live music stage line the banks of the river while plates brimming with shrimp, oysters, and grouper make their rounds with meatier counterparts (hello, steak and biscuits) in tow. Grab a beer, or a brunchtime bloody Mary, and feel the stress melt away.
The Rudder at Anchor High Marina
Over at Hendersonville’s Anchor High Marina, the Rudder is happily fueling avid boaters’ appetites with seafood selections — think oysters on the half shell, peel-and-eat shrimp, and ahi tuna — alongside pork chops, burgers, and salads. The tiki-style deck plays host to a variety of family-friendly events, from live music performances to trivia nights. Kids will get a kick out feeding the resident wildlife, including turtles, fish, and ducks. Drop by Tuesday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. for happy hour pricing on drinks and apps.
Riverview Restaurant & Marina
What began as a bait shop in 1956 is now 3,800-square-feet of covered decks just steps from the Cumberland River. Boaters are welcome to tie up their vessel on the 240-foot transient dock and stock up on two-cycle oil, food, and beer to go. For those without a water-navigating vehicle, large sunlit windows and plentiful outdoor seating offer the perfect backdrop to the restaurant’s popular catfish dishes and creamy banana pudding.
Papa Turney's Old Fashion BBQ
For those who put their faith in the low-and-slow barbeque method, head to Papa Turney’s at the Nashville Shores Marina on Percy Priest Lake. It’s a considerable upgrade for Turney, who started selling his grilled meats in a small operation off of Lebanon Road. Today, you can find the same quality smoked meats with an expanded venue and menu which includes beef brisket, ribs, pork, catfish and turkey legs, all complimented by homemade sauces whipped up by Turney’s partner, Miss Zeke. After a full meal, wander over to Miss Zeke’s Juke Joint, Turney’s in-house music venue featuring live blues, jazz, and soul.
Blue Moon Waterfront Grille
Located in Rock Harbor Marina off of the Cumberland River, Blue Moon Waterfront Grille is a breezy waterfront hang offering indoor and outdoor seating options for enjoying peel-and-eat shrimp, crab cakes, and fried catfish begging to be washed down with a cold beer or one of Blue Moon’s signature cocktails like the rum-based Tropical Moon. When the live music winds down, there are plenty of televisions on hand to watch the latest sporting event — but the real star of the show is the view. Brunch is also available on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Shipwreck Cove is a long-time fan favorite of J. Percy Priest lakers, and it’s no surprise — with ample deck seating right on the water, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Open year-round, this family-friendly spot serves up standard pub fare including their redneck nachos piled high with pulled pork, stacked burgers, and fried pickles with a side of live music. Don’t leave without trying one of their infamous bushwhackers topped with banana rum — in fact, make it a double. May kicks off their summer hours which can vary during adverse weather, so call ahead before heading out.
Wines in the Fork
Situated alongside a gurgling creek in bucolic Leiper’s Fork, Wines in the Fork is the brainchild of James Evans, owner of Vintage Winery in Columbia. Guests can pop in for a tasting or buy a bottle to enjoy outdoors by Leiper’s Creek. Keep an eye on their Instagram feed for outdoor live music performances where the entire family is invited to bring blankets, chairs, and munchies to enjoy a glass of homegrown Tennessee strawberry wine or the Farmstead table red.