Nashville, Tennessee is chock full of awesome restaurants. It is hard to decide which ones to try, due to the sheer number of them. Often times I venture out to the trendy new eateries, while other times I just want food from classic restaurants in Nashville.
You do not have to spend a fortune on food to have a fabulous meal. Nashville is a foodie’s city, but the restaurants on our list are sure to please every palate. Here are 6 noteworthy restaurants in Nashville that I think you will enjoy and that deliver great food.
6 Noteworthy Restaurants in Nashville
Lana’s Copper Kettle is a bit off of the beaten path, but certainly worth the trek. It has a bit of curb appeal, but the true treasures lie inside.
Copper Kettle’s menu is full of Southern-inspired favorites, staples, and side dishes to suit every desire. The ease of its cafeteria style ordering allows for a quick and easy process, while the restaurant is warm and welcoming. On my last visit, I chose the Cajun Turkey Breast meal with sides of Macaroni & Cheese and Green Bean Casserole. My meal also came with a piece of homemade cornbread. Yum! The green beans were both rich and flavorful, and having turkey outside of a holiday is always a plus in my book. The food quality was top notch.
Copper Kettle’s prices depend on how many side items you choose. In my case, a meat plus 2 sides was $8.50. Pretty affordable, eh? You can mix and match the daily specials or order typical menu items.
If you love chicken, this is the place for you. McDougal’s is located in the Belmont/Hillsboro Village neighborhood and knows how to do chicken right. It comes in multiple forms, such as wings and chicken strips, with the choices of having it fried, grilled, or tossed in a sauce. McDougal’s fresh hand-cut fries are phenomenal and the homemade dipping sauce is a must. Everything about this restaurant is super casual and affordable.
McDougal’s chicken basket meals come with your choice of entree, drink, fries, and slice of Tennessee toast. Best of all, Mcdougall’s only uses high quality ingredients and fresh chicken; they have no freezers, microwaves, or ovens. Do not forget to get your free soft serve ice cream cup. This is a hotspot for adults and students alike.
Merchant’s, Est 1892
Merchant’s is our family favorite and a must during any trip to Nashville. Merchant’s waiters have been hipster long before being hipster was a thing. After you are seated, your server will bring cold bottled water and ranch flavored popcorn, a nice treat while you are perusing the menu. A staple at our table is always the Duck Fat Tater Tots, traditional baby potatoes served with a trio of sauces (béarnaise, ketchup, and chipotle mayo). We also suggest the Baked Cheese: ooey-gooey yumminess with a side of sweet tomatoes and warm tortilla chips.
I love the convenience, impeccable service, stellar food choices, and upscale vibe at Merchant’s. While the prices are steep, it is worth the splurge. My new favorite dish is their Strawberry Salad: assorted greens tossed with blackened salmon, goat cheese, red onions, spiced pecans, mixed with a strawberry vinaigrette. It is mouthwatering! Warning: this will probably become one of your favorite restaurants in Nashville, too.
This Mexican and Pan-Latin cantina is located in the Bellmont/Hillsboro Village neighborhood. It features both indoor and outdoor dining, making it a popular spot for locals. Chago’s Cantina is a beautiful restaurant, without being pretentious. The menu is interesting and features a variety of entrees and ala carte choices. I recommend Chago’s tortilla chips, Queso Dip, and salsa for starters and any of their Street Tacos with rice and black or red beans for dinner.
The iconic Pancake Pantry has been a favorite for over 50 years now. In fact, it is one of the most popular restaurants in the city. The sight of the line wrapped out the door and around the corner is enough to make me cringe, but it is worth the wait. Local artwork hangs on the walls and you may catch sight of a country music star.
Pancake Pantry’s mom and pop food keeps people coming back time and time again. My choice for breakfast is the savory Sante Fe Cornmeal Pancakes: three stone-ground cornmeal pancakes cooked with cheddar cheese, bacon, and roasted green chilies, topped with warm maple syrup, picante sauce, and sour cream. The flavor combination is both brilliant and unique.
Please note: Parking behind the Pancake Pantry is free, but you must obtain and place a receipt on your dashboard. Press option 1 from the pay machine for 2 hours of free parking.
2100 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212
J. Christopher’s is also a great breakfast or lunch option in the Belmont/Hillsboro area. It features huge, delicious biscuits and interesting food combinations. J. Christopher’s prides themselves on serving “familiar food with flair.” The Eggs Christopher is their take on Eggs Benedict, using roasted turkey instead of Canadian bacon, plus bacon and tomato. Their Benedicts are served with a side of roasted potatoes or grits, a Southern favorite.
Quick meals and stellar service put J. Christopher’s ahead of the competition. I love how friendly the staff is, including the owner and management, making time for friendly conversation with their guests.