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Slices of tuna carpaccio with roasted red peppers, white beans, marcona almonds on a white plate
Tuna carpaccio with roasted red peppers, white beans, and Marcona almonds at Murfreesboro’s Steakhouse Five.
Steakhouse Five/Facebook

Where to Eat in Murfreesboro

Head to the ‘boro for Mexican pastries, Cuban treats, and some classic meat-and-three action

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Tuna carpaccio with roasted red peppers, white beans, and Marcona almonds at Murfreesboro’s Steakhouse Five.
| Steakhouse Five/Facebook

Sure, everyone knows about the stellar growth in Nashville, but many people don’t know that Murfreesboro is one of the state’s fastest-growing cities, and also the geographic center of the state of Tennessee.

Located 34 miles southeast of downtown Nashville, many people commute daily from the ‘boro (as it is lovingly called) to Nashville for work. The city is also home to Middle Tennessee State University, the second-largest undergraduate university in Tennessee. While the city is driven pretty heavily by chain restaurants, there are quite a few independently owned eateries serving standout meals — whether it be counter-service tacos or some of the best chess pie in the state.

New to the list in this update: Luca’s Pizzeria, the Three Mothers Cuisine and Bakery, and Shelli’s Coffee and Social.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Shelli's Coffee + Social

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This cozy, brick-lined coffee klatch is a family-run operation that brings locals in with its rich brews, frothy lattes, and hand-crafted sodas (try the butterscotch), but gets them to stay with a robust selection of board games. Wraps, toasts, melts, and salads round out the menu, like the Firebird, a wrap piled high with Nashville hot sauce, grilled chicken, mozzarella, carrots, and Caesar dressing.

Five Senses Restaurant, Bar & Catering

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Open since 2004 and now owned by its executive chef Mitchell Murphree and his sister Mollie, Five Senses was one of the first non-chains to have success in this fast-growing city. Expect locally sourced ingredients on the table in the form of bison tartar, butternut ravioli, and a wagyu burger with bacon and onion jam.

Carmen's Taqueria

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Carmen’s Taqueria is a go-to for many in Murfreesboro — whether taking part in a karaoke night, listening to live music with margaritas, or enjoying a child-friendly meal of tacos and enchiladas. Tamales, chicken chimichangas, and ceviche tostadas are a few crowd favorites here.

Primrose Table

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Chef Jason Matheson’s place in Murfreesboro is well-received by the community and checks the boxes in terms of filling out the city with more chef-driven, non-chain eateries. Chow down on deep-fried deviled eggs with lobster filling, cornbread panzanella, and Duroc pork chop with Amish apple butter at this Murfreesboro essential.

Primrose Table/Facebook

Steakhouse Five

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Owner Mitchell Murphree’s grandparents raised livestock, his family owned a country ham business, and he served on the UT meat judging team — Murphree knows meat. He first opened this steakhouse in 2019, but there are plenty of outside-the-box offerings if beef isn’t piquing your interest that night. The menu here leads with hot country ham dip and American wagyu tartar with wonton chips and soy honey vinaigrette, then graduates into salads, followed by steaks, chops, and a duo of seafood options.

Steakhouse Five/Facebook
Steakhouse Five/Facebook

The Three Mothers Cuisine & Bakery

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The Three Mothers Cuisine & Bakery opened its doors in Murfreesboro in 2023, churning out Mexican pastries, biscuits, yeast bread, and muffins from its nook in an unassuming strip mall. The outdoor patio with plants and herbs is an ideal spot to enjoy the chicken salad croissant sandwich or a tamale followed by a hunk of creamy tres leches cake.

Two white plates side-by-side with waffles, whipped cream, and one topped with strawberries and other with bananas. The Three Mothers Cuisine & Bakery/Facebook

Tandoor Indian Restaurant

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Although they no longer host their popular lunchtime buffet, Murfreesboro diners still flock here for traditional Indian curries, tandoori fare, and vegetarian dishes — favorites include the garlic naan, the chicken tikka masala, and the samosas. The simple, dimly-lit room is a go-to date night destination for locals and is also gluten-free friendly.

Fresh Bite Cuban American Cuisine

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There’s a little bit of everything at Fresh Bite, from takeout-friendly whole roasted chickens to salads, burgers, and Cuban specialties like empanadas, tamales, tostones, and croquetas. Bonus: there’s also a full bar, pouring some of the best (and most affordable) mojitos around.

Fresh Bite/Facebook

Opah Greek Grill

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Opah is a no-frills, counter-service Mediterranean restaurant located on the West side of Murfreesboro. A native of Egypt, owner Magdi Ishak has been in the restaurant business for over 20 years and serves dishes with Lebanese, Egyptian, Greek, and Turkish influences. The move here: order anything with gyro meat and be sure and save room for baklava.

The Alley on Main

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Find steaks and cocktails alongside fish (available fried, grilled, or blackened) flown in several times weekly from Hawaii, New Zealand, and more at this downtown Murfreesboro restaurant. On the dinner menu, popular choices include the fried green tomatoes, Burks’ gumbo and grilled cheese, fried pork chop, and a homemade salted caramel bourbon ice cream for the 21-and-over crowd.

Kleer-Vu Lunchroom

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This family-owned business has been an institution in the Murfreesboro community for over 40 years (Roots author Alex Haley was a guest). It’s a cafeteria-style, meat-and-three soul food destination that also serves delicious desserts like peach cobbler and chess pie. The location is strictly takeout now, so be sure to have a destination in mind for scarfing down your meal.

Oishiya Hibachi & Sushi

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The sleek, modern, wood-lined spot with a splashy Lucky Cat mural on the wall lures sushi aficionados in with its fresh raw fish, generously-sized rolls, and flavorful hibachi. The sea urchin, tonkotsu ramen, and sashimi deluxe spread are just a few of the trusted crowd favorites.

Oishiya/Facebook

Slick Pig BBQ

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Award-winning smoked pork, ribs, wings, brisket, and turkey have drawn crowds for decades at this Murfreesboro barbecue joint. The sides — from potato salad and coleslaw to mac and cheese and hushpuppies are also worth saving room for — as are the peanut butter pie and Jojo’s homemade coconut cake.

Slick Pig BBQ/Facebook

Jeff's Family Friendly Restaurant

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A Murfreesboro staple for nearly 20 years, this solid, family-run meat-and-three restaurant is known for its hearty meats, veggies, and desserts. Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, this is the ultimate comfort food destination. Save room for banana pudding and chess pie.

Luca's Pizzeria

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New York-style pies are the name of the game at this popular Murfreesboro pizzeria. The Margherita pie with a doughy blistered crust is a local favorite and the calzones come generously stuffed with a variety of meats, veggies, and cheese. Although the space is small, it hasn’t stopped Nashvillians from making the trek to the ‘boro for a slice or three of Luca’s pies.

Pad Thai Cafe

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This small restaurant’s namesake dish is definitely a must-try, but people also talk about the jalapeño wings, spicy mayo shrimp, and Thai Fury fried rice. Thai and Chinese lunch specials at the popular strip mall spot all run between $10-$12.

Fried lobster, shrimp, squid, mussels, and scallops tossed with stir-fried veggies on a colorful red and white patterned plate. Pad Thai Cafe/Facebook

Shelli's Coffee + Social

This cozy, brick-lined coffee klatch is a family-run operation that brings locals in with its rich brews, frothy lattes, and hand-crafted sodas (try the butterscotch), but gets them to stay with a robust selection of board games. Wraps, toasts, melts, and salads round out the menu, like the Firebird, a wrap piled high with Nashville hot sauce, grilled chicken, mozzarella, carrots, and Caesar dressing.

Five Senses Restaurant, Bar & Catering

Open since 2004 and now owned by its executive chef Mitchell Murphree and his sister Mollie, Five Senses was one of the first non-chains to have success in this fast-growing city. Expect locally sourced ingredients on the table in the form of bison tartar, butternut ravioli, and a wagyu burger with bacon and onion jam.

Carmen's Taqueria

Carmen’s Taqueria is a go-to for many in Murfreesboro — whether taking part in a karaoke night, listening to live music with margaritas, or enjoying a child-friendly meal of tacos and enchiladas. Tamales, chicken chimichangas, and ceviche tostadas are a few crowd favorites here.

Primrose Table

Chef Jason Matheson’s place in Murfreesboro is well-received by the community and checks the boxes in terms of filling out the city with more chef-driven, non-chain eateries. Chow down on deep-fried deviled eggs with lobster filling, cornbread panzanella, and Duroc pork chop with Amish apple butter at this Murfreesboro essential.

Primrose Table/Facebook

Steakhouse Five

Owner Mitchell Murphree’s grandparents raised livestock, his family owned a country ham business, and he served on the UT meat judging team — Murphree knows meat. He first opened this steakhouse in 2019, but there are plenty of outside-the-box offerings if beef isn’t piquing your interest that night. The menu here leads with hot country ham dip and American wagyu tartar with wonton chips and soy honey vinaigrette, then graduates into salads, followed by steaks, chops, and a duo of seafood options.

Steakhouse Five/Facebook
Steakhouse Five/Facebook

The Three Mothers Cuisine & Bakery

The Three Mothers Cuisine & Bakery opened its doors in Murfreesboro in 2023, churning out Mexican pastries, biscuits, yeast bread, and muffins from its nook in an unassuming strip mall. The outdoor patio with plants and herbs is an ideal spot to enjoy the chicken salad croissant sandwich or a tamale followed by a hunk of creamy tres leches cake.

Two white plates side-by-side with waffles, whipped cream, and one topped with strawberries and other with bananas. The Three Mothers Cuisine & Bakery/Facebook

Tandoor Indian Restaurant

Although they no longer host their popular lunchtime buffet, Murfreesboro diners still flock here for traditional Indian curries, tandoori fare, and vegetarian dishes — favorites include the garlic naan, the chicken tikka masala, and the samosas. The simple, dimly-lit room is a go-to date night destination for locals and is also gluten-free friendly.

Fresh Bite Cuban American Cuisine

There’s a little bit of everything at Fresh Bite, from takeout-friendly whole roasted chickens to salads, burgers, and Cuban specialties like empanadas, tamales, tostones, and croquetas. Bonus: there’s also a full bar, pouring some of the best (and most affordable) mojitos around.

Fresh Bite/Facebook

Opah Greek Grill

Opah is a no-frills, counter-service Mediterranean restaurant located on the West side of Murfreesboro. A native of Egypt, owner Magdi Ishak has been in the restaurant business for over 20 years and serves dishes with Lebanese, Egyptian, Greek, and Turkish influences. The move here: order anything with gyro meat and be sure and save room for baklava.

The Alley on Main

Find steaks and cocktails alongside fish (available fried, grilled, or blackened) flown in several times weekly from Hawaii, New Zealand, and more at this downtown Murfreesboro restaurant. On the dinner menu, popular choices include the fried green tomatoes, Burks’ gumbo and grilled cheese, fried pork chop, and a homemade salted caramel bourbon ice cream for the 21-and-over crowd.

Kleer-Vu Lunchroom

This family-owned business has been an institution in the Murfreesboro community for over 40 years (Roots author Alex Haley was a guest). It’s a cafeteria-style, meat-and-three soul food destination that also serves delicious desserts like peach cobbler and chess pie. The location is strictly takeout now, so be sure to have a destination in mind for scarfing down your meal.

Oishiya Hibachi & Sushi

The sleek, modern, wood-lined spot with a splashy Lucky Cat mural on the wall lures sushi aficionados in with its fresh raw fish, generously-sized rolls, and flavorful hibachi. The sea urchin, tonkotsu ramen, and sashimi deluxe spread are just a few of the trusted crowd favorites.

Oishiya/Facebook

Slick Pig BBQ

Award-winning smoked pork, ribs, wings, brisket, and turkey have drawn crowds for decades at this Murfreesboro barbecue joint. The sides — from potato salad and coleslaw to mac and cheese and hushpuppies are also worth saving room for — as are the peanut butter pie and Jojo’s homemade coconut cake.

Slick Pig BBQ/Facebook

Jeff's Family Friendly Restaurant

A Murfreesboro staple for nearly 20 years, this solid, family-run meat-and-three restaurant is known for its hearty meats, veggies, and desserts. Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, this is the ultimate comfort food destination. Save room for banana pudding and chess pie.

Luca's Pizzeria

New York-style pies are the name of the game at this popular Murfreesboro pizzeria. The Margherita pie with a doughy blistered crust is a local favorite and the calzones come generously stuffed with a variety of meats, veggies, and cheese. Although the space is small, it hasn’t stopped Nashvillians from making the trek to the ‘boro for a slice or three of Luca’s pies.

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Pad Thai Cafe

This small restaurant’s namesake dish is definitely a must-try, but people also talk about the jalapeño wings, spicy mayo shrimp, and Thai Fury fried rice. Thai and Chinese lunch specials at the popular strip mall spot all run between $10-$12.

Fried lobster, shrimp, squid, mussels, and scallops tossed with stir-fried veggies on a colorful red and white patterned plate. Pad Thai Cafe/Facebook

Related Maps