Local Restaurants in Nashville You Have to Try

August 17, 2020

Travel, Travel Guides

Even though Nashville is known for its music, it’s impossible to ignore that this city has some of the best local places to eat! There are so many amazing restaurants in Nashville. I’ve been on many different trips to Nashville, and I still haven’t tried all the restaurants on my list!

So how do you choose where to eat? Whether you’re in the mood for chicken, barbecue, pizza, burgers, or something totally different, Nashville has it all! And don’t forget about dessert!

I had a hard time narrowing it down, but here are my favorite local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee!

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

This restaurant serves the delicious hot chicken that Nashville is famous for. Hattie B’s started in Nashville but has gotten so popular that it has spread to other locations.

The best local restaurants in Nashville, TN - Hattie B's hot chicken, potato salad, and French fries

I tried the leg and thigh meal with potato salad and fries, and it did not disappoint! It was delicious, and they gave us pretty big portions. We couldn’t finish it all!

If you’ve never tried Nashville hot chicken, definitely give Hattie B’s a try!

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Jeni’s ice cream shops are found in a few locations in Nashville, but there are also a few more stores around the United States.

The best local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee - Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Orange Blossom Chiffon, Watermelon Taffy, and Gooey Butter Cake scoops

Jeni’s has several unique flavors to choose from, and some are even gluten-free! We went with the 3 half-scoop bowl and tried Orange Blossom Chiffon, Watermelon Taffy, and Gooey Butter Cake. All were very flavorful and so good!

Joey’s House of Pizza

We decided to try Joey’s House of Pizza when we heard about their specialty slice of pizza: the Gladiator. Basically, it’s a slice of pepperoni and sausage pizza on top of another slice of pizza. It was huge and so good! The photo below shows what a Gladiator slice looks like cut in half.

The best local restaurants in Nashville, TN - The Gladiator at joey's house of pizza

Pizza lovers will definitely want to visit this popular Italian restaurant. They also had a variety of other pastas and pizzas that looked equally good! And for dessert try one of their delicious cannolis!

The Slider House

The best local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee - The Slider House

This one-of-a-kind restaurant serves delicious slider sandwiches and burgers. You can choose from several varieties of beef, fish, chicken, pork, or veggie sliders. They also have salads and appetizers of course (the pickle chips were great!)

The best local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee - Nashville Hot Chicken Slider at the Slider House

The Nashville Hot Chicken Slider. It was very spicy to me, but still really tasty!

And don’t forget the parmesan fries. They’re amazingly good!

Amerigo: An Italian Restaurant

For some really delicious Italian cuisine, try Amerigo: An Italian Restaurant! They have a few Tennessee and Mississippi locations. The one we visited was right across from our hotel, Hampton Inn Nashville/Vanderbilt. I loved the Five-Layer Lasagna. It was so saucy!

The best local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee - Five Layer Lasagna at Amerigo an Italian Restaurant

The Three Cheese Tortellini and Margherita Pizza were also great. Plus you get complimentary bread.

Edley’s BBQ

Edley’s is a Nashville favorite. They have 3 different locations in Nashville, 1 in Chattanooga, TN, and 1 in Lexington, KY. Instead of pulled pork sandwiches or ribs, we tried the wing platter which was great.

The best local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee - Wings Platter at Edley's BBQ

We still were able to try the pulled pork, but it was on top of BBQ-loaded fries with cheese sauce, BBQ sauce, green onions, sour cream, and pico de gallo. Also, the banana pudding was delicious!

The best local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee - BBQ loaded fries with pulled pork and cheese sauce at Edley's

BBQ loaded fries

Pancake Pantry

Breakfast at the Pancake Pantry is something worth waking up early for! But seriously, if don’t get there early you’ll probably have to wait in line to get in. That’s how good these pancakes are!

The best local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee - The Pancake Pantry mural

You can take a photo in front of this cute mural right as you walk in the door.

The Pancake Pantry serves 23 scratch-made varieties of pancakes along with other breakfast favorites such as waffles, sausage, bacon, French toast, and much more. We tried four different kinds: blueberry, raspberry, Georgia Peach, and of course, traditional.

The best local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee - Blueberry, raspberry, Georgia peachy and traditional pancakes at the Pancake Pantry

All were amazingly good, and I would love to return and sample more flavors.

The best local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee - Pancakes with syrup, sausage, and eggs at the Pancake Pantry

Burger Up

While we searched around the Downtown Nashville area for the famous murals, we came across this burger place and decided to stop for lunch. What a great place to eat!

The best local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee - Burger Up sign

We tried the Double Up burger, the Mr. Lewis Patty Melt, and the Black and Blue Burger. They were all delicious! Each meal came with their awesome house fries as well.

The best local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee - Double up burger and fries at Burger Up

Double Up Burger and Fries

The building was very stylish, clean, and well-lit. I would definitely go again!

Five Daughters Bakery

The best local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee - Vanilla Cream Donut at Five Daughters Bakery

Five Daughters is my all-time favorite place to get donuts, and they have made their 100-layer donuts famous in the Nashville and Franklin areas. They have so many original flavors, and they are all so good!

We have been more than once, and we’ve tried several different flavors. They have their staple flavors year-round; my favorite is the King Kong which has maple glaze and bacon pieces.

The best local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee - King Kong and vanilla buttercream donut at five daughters bakery

King Kong donut and Vanilla Cream donut

You can also get just maple glaze, or you can try the vanilla cream, chocolate sea salt, or the simple Purist.

The best local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee - neon sign five daughters bakery

Trust me when I say you have to try this amazing bakery! They have 3 locations in Nashville and 1 in Franklin, TN. I will warn you by saying that the donuts are a little pricey, but they are so worth it!

Bonus: Opry Mills Mall

Ok, so a lot of the restaurants in the Opry Mills Outlet Mall aren’t really local; they are mostly chain restaurants. But they have a ton of great choices!

If you are spending your Nashville trip shopping at the mall, you might not want to hunt down a place to eat when there are so many yummy choices right in the same building. Here are some of the places I’ve tried:

  • Rainforest Cafe
  • Aquarium Restaurant
  • Macaroni Grill
  • Dave & Buster’s

All of these restaurants were delicious, and I would love to visit them again.

Next time I go to Nashville there are plenty more local restaurants I want to try (and maybe go back to some of these choices).

Did your favorite place to eat make the list?

What’s your favorite local restaurant in Nashville? Tell me in the comments!


Nashville Murals You Don’t Want to Miss

How to Take Better Food Photos When You Travel

The Perfect Itinerary for 2 Days in Nashville

What to do on a Day Trip to Franklin, TN

Immerse yourself in the vibrant food scene of Nashville as we uncover the local restaurants that have captured the hearts (and taste buds) of both locals and visitors alike. Discover Nashville's hidden gems in our list of local restaurants that you absolutely have to try! From mouth-watering BBQ to unique international cuisine, our list has it all. Ready for the adventure? Read the blog post!

  1. Mickey Miles says:

    Great post ! Will have to try some these places next time I’m down that way! The Pancake Pantry looks like my kind of place ! I’m a breakfast food connoisseur. I have been to Hattie B’s and your right that hot chicken sandwich is what’s it’s all about .

  2. […] The perfect square frame of this Nashville mural sits right inside the door of L & L Marketplace. Strike a pose in front of this one after stopping in Living with Landyn, buying a bouquet at Amelia’s Flowers, and eating a delicious Five Daughter’s donut. […]

  3. Roofer says:

    I’ve tried almost all of these places. Edley’s is probably my favorite out of all of them. I could live off their grits casserole!

  4. Bri says:

    Soda parlor was destroyed in the tornado in 2020 right before COVID hit Nashville. It was never rebuilt. Otherwise, lovely list, lots of good hits!

    • Mary Marino says:

      Oh man, thanks for telling me! That’s terrible!
      I guess I’ll have to go back and add more places to eat to the list. 🙂

  5. […] Local Restaurants in Nashville You Have to Try […]

  6. Kathie says:

    Edley’s is the best BBQ restaurant in Nashville. The owner is a former student of mine and I’m so proud of all his restaurant endeavors. He also owns and operates 2 Pancho & Lefty’s (downtown and across the street from Edley’s 4500 Murphy Rd, Nashville). Try the brisket nacho platter
    or the pulled pork nacho platter! They are to die for. Also during the holiday’s Edley’s serves up complete dinners for you to have at home. I’ve done this for the last two years for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *