Nashville's Finest: 17 Restaurants You Haven't Tried Yet, But Should!

Incredible Restaurants in Nashville, TN

Nashville, a city renowned for its vibrant music heritage, also boasts a rich and diverse food scene.

This piece serves as an inviting guide to the eclectic mix of culinary treasures that Nashville offers.

Dive into the heart of this foodie's paradise and discover these incredible restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee!

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Ada Raposa, Charles Lambert, Florentina Estes, Joseph Smitherman, Bruce Bowles, Eduardo Henderson and Alayah Hooper.

Shotgun Willie's BBQ

The unique flavors of Texas have never been more apparent than at Shotgun Willie's BBQ.

I recently stopped in for lunch and found myself in a barbecue haven that had my taste buds dancing with delight.

The honey poppy seed slaw was a unique deviation from traditional mayo or vinegar slaw, offering a refreshing variety to the meal.

Meanwhile, the most memorable dishes I've tried include the delicious and hearty brisket sandwich.

The meat was tender and flavorful, making it a standout choice.

Then, the pulled pork sandwich was equally impressive, and for those with an adventurous palate, the jalapeño cheddar links are a must-try.

Contributing to the overall savory experience are the well-prepared sides.

I highly recommend the queso mac, which scored an 8 out of 10 in my book.

The potato salad was equally fantastic, and the hominy, which I believe was special that day, was divine.

Every dish is served with a little pile of pickled onions and a few pickle chips, adding an exciting tang to the meal.

If you're looking for beverages, Shotgun Willie's BBQ offers a range of canned beers and sodas.

Next time you're in the mood for some Texas barbecue, Shotgun Willie's BBQ is the place to be.

Shotgun Willie’s BBQ · 4000 Gallatin Pike Suite B, Nashville, TN 37216
★★★★★ · Barbecue restaurant

Love Language Restaurant

A slice of heaven nestled in the heart of the city, that's what the Love Language Restaurant is!

My visit to this local gem was nothing short of spectacular.

I remember entering the door and being immediately greeted by an enticing mix of aromas and a vibrant yet soothing ambiance.

The striking decor is a visual treat, and you can't miss the fabulous affirmations in the bathroom that bring a smile to your face.

The menu, I must say, is a culinary delight.

I settled on a pizza, specifically, the 'Bianca.'

I've had many pizzas, but this was something else.

The ingredients were fresh, their flavors blending in a perfect symphony that melted in my mouth.

It still makes my mouth water thinking about it.

The Love Language Restaurant is about the experience, the satisfaction, and the pleasure of being treated to top-notch service, quality dishes, and a unique, inviting atmosphere.

It's a place that spoils you, leaving you eagerly anticipating your next visit.

I can't wait to return, and I'm sure anyone who visits will feel the same!

Love Language Restaurant · 911 20th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212
★★★★★ · Restaurant


Every time I step through the doors of Locust, I'm instantly swept up in an atmosphere that's nothing short of electrifying.

You might want to prepare for a culinary adventure packed with delightful surprises and bursts of flavor - from the zesty coke sangria to the rich beef tartare.

The potato bread is a must-try. It's a simple yet standout dish that never fails to impress.

And let me tell you, every visit to Locust is indeed unforgettable.

It's a place where food, atmosphere, and people come together in a harmonious blend, creating a dining experience that’s as delightful and unique as the city of Nashville itself.

Locust · 2305 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204
★★★★★ · Fine dining restaurant

PennePazze Nashville

If you're craving a taste of Italy in the heart of Nashville, a trip to PennePazze Nashville will not disappoint.

The easygoing ambiance instantly transports you to a trendy, rustic Italian eatery.

For example, the fast service is impressive, and their pasta is excellent.

The Amatriciana, with its twist of added spice, and the Nonna Paula are some of my favorites, and it's honestly hard to choose between them.

It also has a charming outdoor patio area for those perfect weather days, and the inside space is roomy enough to accommodate larger parties.

The pasta dishes are the best since my last trip to Italy.

Even more surprising is the reasonable price tag, given the high quality of handmade, from scratch meals.

The chocolate espresso martini is a must-try.

Trying PennePazze Nashville turned out to be a great decision.

It's not just a cheaper alternative to chain restaurants, but the quality of food and portion sizes are far superior.

You might even find yourself with delicious leftovers to savor at home.

So, if you're a fan of Italian cuisine, give PennePazze Nashville a visit.

It's bound to become your new favorite spot, just like it did for me.

PennePazze Nashville · 3826 Charlotte Ave, Nashville, TN 37209
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

Gannons Nashville

Have you ever walked into a place and instantly felt a surge of satisfaction knowing you've made the right choice?

That's exactly how I feel every time I walk into Gannons Nashville, a hidden treasure located in Music City.

The first thing that catches your eye is the Great Gatsby-type atmosphere, a unique mix of contemporary and vintage that makes you feel like you've entered another era.

Regarding the food, the raw oysters were as fresh as if just hauled out of the sea, and the prime rib was cooked to perfection.

Each bite offers a symphony of flavors that dance on your tongue, leaving you craving for more.

I still remember the creamy seafood extravaganza, a special dish with a majestic blend of textures and flavors.

And let's not forget the succulent lamb chops and the mouthwatering New York steaks with a unique seasoning that adds a distinct Louisiana vibe.

Lastly, the entertainment.

The piano playing in the background adds a touch of class to your dining experience, a sweet serenade as you indulge in your meal.

If you're a local or a visitor within a hundred-mile radius, Gannons Nashville should be at the top of your dining list.

Trust me, it's an experience you wouldn't want to miss!

Gannons Nashville · 170 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219
★★★★★ · American restaurant


I relish the days when my appetite craves a hearty feast of Southern fare, and I find myself heading to Monell's.

As soon as I step inside, the historic surrounds of the place, the tantalizing aroma of food, and the bustling crowd - it all reminds me of a grand family reunion dinner.

At Monell's, it’s not just the food but the entire dining experience that keeps locals like me returning for more.

You see, here, meals are served family-style - everyone seated at large tables sharing the feast.

And trust me, the feast is indeed grand.

Imagine the table brimming with all-you-can-eat Southern classics, one finer than the other.

The fried chicken, no wonder, is the star of the show. Crispy, golden, and succulent, it's a bite of heaven.

Do you know what else is heavenly? Their biscuits and gravy - just the thought of them make my taste buds flutter.

And let's not forget the melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon rolls, the savory cheese grits, and the delectable corn pudding.

Every dish makes you want to reach out for seconds, thirds, or even fourths!

Monell's is an experience that encapsulates the true spirit of Southern hospitality and food.

So, if you ever find yourself longing for a taste of the South, you know where to go.

Monell’s · 1235 6th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208
★★★★★ · Southern restaurant (US)

Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse, Nashville

When the craving for a perfectly cooked steak hits, there's only one place I head to - Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse, Nashville.

It's a culinary sensation tantalizing your taste buds while treating you like royalty.

I remember my first visit to Jeff Ruby's.

It was my wedding anniversary.

The moment we walked in, we were greeted by the enchanting ambiance.

Every detail here seemed meticulously designed - from the chic furniture to the soft lighting.

And the live pianist? He played such mesmerizing ballads that evening it felt like we were dining in our private concert.

I dove into the most succulent steak I've ever tasted.

Cooked to perfection, it melted in my mouth with an explosion of flavors.

My partner had the seafood platter, and they couldn't stop raving about the freshness and taste.

Coupled with their extensive wine list, it was a meal we still talk about.

Now, every time a special occasion rolls around or I want to indulge in a world-class meal, I find myself back at this upscale steakhouse.

There's just something about Jeff Ruby's that keeps pulling me back.

So, next time you’re in Nashville and want to treat yourself to a memorable meal, take it from this local Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse should be at the top of your list.

You won't regret it.

Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, Nashville · 300 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219
★★★★★ · Steak house


You can't beat the thrill of unearthing a new culinary gem in your area.

And that's precisely what happened when I walked into Pokeworks for the first time.

I have to say, their customer service is truly top-notch, making you feel so at ease like you're dining with old friends.

The place is impressively clean and boasts a self-serve drinks station, which I love.

They even have a unique tea offering that's worth every cent.

But let's talk about the food, shall we?

The four Poke dishes we sampled were divine.

I went for #5 and added some tobiko - oh, the delightful blend of heat, crunch, and freshness still makes my mouth water.

What's more, they've got a great selection of proteins and toppings, which gives you the freedom to customize your poke bowl to your liking.

And if you're in the mood for a complete meal experience, you can make your order a combo with three side options.

Boy, does Pokeworks spoil you for choice!

One thing I can't fail to mention is their pineapple soft ice cream.

We were lucky enough to sample it, and boy, was it a treat!

Now, I'm already dreaming about my next visit when I'll get to try their poke burrito.

So, if you're in the area and in search of a new foodie adventure, Pokeworks is worth a try.

Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!

Pokeworks · 416 11th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37203
★★★★★ · Sushi restaurant

St. Vito Focacceria

When the clock strikes five and the office lights dim, my culinary adventure begins at the swanky St. Vito Focacceria.

The eatery, nestled in the city's heart, oozes charm with its comfortable seating arrangement, perfectly dimmed lighting, and cozy atmosphere.

One of the many unique features of this place I love is the open kitchen.

There is a certain thrill in watching the chefs meticulously craft each plate of food, showcasing the artistry and skill of preparing such flavorful delights.

The menu at St. Vito Focacceria is quite an epicure's delight.

I remember being bowled over by their meatball appetizer.

The perfectly cooked meatballs, coupled with the sauce and garlic bread, were simply a treat to my taste buds.

Moreover, the Potato slice is another must-try!

The creamy sauce on crispy focaccia, soft and airy on the inside, with a sprinkle of breadcrumb on top, guarantees a heavenly bite.

When I crave a little spice, I opt for the Spicy Tomato slice.

The cheese, the kick of spice, and the perfect focaccia bread to mop up the sauce make it an absolute favorite.

And let's not forget about their dessert and alcohol selections, which are truly impressive.

My evenings at St. Vito Focacceria have never been anything short of amazing.

St.Vito Focacceria · 605 Mansion St, Nashville, TN 37203
★★★★★ · Pizza restaurant

East Side Banh Mi

Let me tell you about my little secret. Hidden right here in our neighborhood is a gem that I discovered.

It's called East Side Banh Mi.

This place has been my solace, escape, and guilty pleasure, all wrapped in a delicious, crunchy baguette.

The banh mi sandwiches here are the true stars of the show.

They're so good I've been known to drive an hour to get my hands on one.

But don't just take my word for it.

Try it yourself, and be prepared to be blown away by the explosion of flavors.

Whether you're a meat lover or a vegetarian, you'll find something that tickles your fancy.

The veggie banh mi, for instance, is a beautiful medley of tofu, eggplant, and the usual banh mi veggies, all served on perfectly crisp bread with a great smoked essence.

I'm crossing my fingers that they'll start offering lemongrass tofu, too, considering they already have a delectable lemongrass chicken on the menu.

The sandwiches are not the only thing that keeps me coming back.

Then, the seasonal lemonades are refreshingly good, the perfect thirst-quencher on a sunny day.

And let's not forget the tofu veggie spring roll – it's like having a fun salad in your hand! Fresh, flavourful, and unforgettable.

What sets this place apart is the ability to customize your order to your taste.

I keep jalapeños off my banh mi, and they're happy to oblige.

Enjoying your food exactly the way you like it? Now, that's what I call the cherry on top!

Rest assured, this isn't just a one-time fling for me.

With high-quality, fresh, expertly made ingredients and a warm and welcoming atmosphere, East Side Banh Mi has won me over.

And I can confidently say I will return, and soon. Trust me, once you've tasted it, you'll say the same.

East Side Banh Mi · 1000 Gallatin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
★★★★★ · Vietnamese restaurant

Answer Restaurant

You know, there's something genuinely magical about finding that perfect blend of food, service, and ambiance in a restaurant.

Well, folks, I discovered that in Answer Restaurant, a bright and airy New American cafe tucked away in our bustling city.

This sophisticated eatery offers a range of dishes that are not only locally sourced but also refined and imaginative.

The moment you step in, you are welcomed by the beautiful aroma of mouthwatering dishes.

Their menu is a testament to culinary innovation.

From the phenomenal goat cheese to the burger with blackberry jam and duck fat fries, every dish is a joyous celebration of flavors.

And their cocktail?

I still can't get enough of their "Bourbon," their unique take on an old-fashioned. It's nothing short of incredible!

While I must admit that the prices might seem a bit steep, the quality and creativity of the food make it worth every penny.

And let's not forget their impressive wine selection, particularly the Maysara, Sancerre, and Celeste.

They're an absolute delight for the wine connoisseur in you.

Their outdoor seating is perfect for a quiet, intimate dinner.

And trust me, there's nothing quite like savoring the delicate flavors of their panzanella and tomato while enjoying the cool breeze on their patio.

There are a few quirks, though.

The pacing of the meals can feel a bit off sometimes, with entrees coming out faster than expected.

Isn't life full of surprises?

And let's face it, when the food is as delicious as theirs, I don't mind the occasional surprise.

So, if you're up for a culinary journey that's a bit out of the ordinary, drop by Answer Restaurant.

But remember, don't rush.

Take your time, savor every bite, and let their food answer your gastronomic cravings.

answer. restaurant · 132 46th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37209
★★★★★ · American restaurant

Bastion Nashville

Nestled in the city's heart is Bastion, a culinary gem known for its creative cocktails, draft beer, and wine served in a trendy, restored warehouse setting.

My love affair with Bastion started when I entered its rugged yet chic ambiance.

The exposed brick walls and sleek decor never captivate me whenever I visit.

It's a perfect blend of the old and the new, a testament to the soul of Nashville itself.

But what sets Bastion apart for me is the food.

This isn't your typical restaurant fare.

Each dish is a work of art, with intricately combined flavors you can't help but savor each bite.

The service is exceptional, making every dining experience memorable.

And if you're a wine lover like me, their recommended pairings are a must-try.

Let's not forget the drinks! Bastion's cocktail game is strong.

Whether it's a classic or a bit more experimental, they know how to make the perfect drink.

I've lost count of the times I've found myself thinking, 'This is the best cocktail I've ever had' while sitting at their bar.

Bastion never fails to leave an impression.

It's one of those places that makes me proud to call Nashville home.

Bastion · 434 Houston St STE 110, Nashville, TN 37203
★★★★★ · Restaurant


Last Saturday evening, my friends and I found ourselves looking for the finest dining experience in Nashville.

We didn't have to search far and wide because we found it right on our doorstep at Harper's.

I must say, the experience was one-of-a-kind.

From the moment we strolled through the entrance, we felt the warm hospitality that resonated.

The menu at Harper's is something to write songs about.

We ordered various cuts of steaks paired exquisitely with sides and bottles of the finest wines.

Each bite was an explosion of flavors that melted in our mouths, tantalizing our taste buds like never before.

We indulged ourselves with dessert, the perfect ending to an exquisite meal.

The place's ambiance set the stage for an evening of laughter and good times.

But the highlight of the evening was when the chef came to our table, asking us to cut open our steak to ensure it was cooked to perfection.

It was a testament to their attention to detail and dedication to delivering outstanding customer service.

Harper's is a culinary gem in the heart of Nashville, making it a must-visit for anyone looking for an unforgettable dining experience.

Harper’s · 2 Lea Ave, Nashville, TN 37210
★★★★★ · Steak house

Once Upon A Time In France

When the city lights dim and the nighttime chill sets in, there's no place I'd rather be than nestled in the cozy warmth of Once Upon A Time In France.

It's where I escape for a rendezvous with classic French fare, right here in the heart of our city.

They've got this Parisian-style bistro and bar vibe down to a T, making it an unforgettable, unfussy dining experience.

The charming atmosphere pulls you in, encasing you with laughter and lively conversation.

You'll find yourself parked up against fellow diners, with the tight seating only adding to the sense of camaraderie.

But let's get down to the real star of the show - the food.

From the Escargot de Bourgogne's perfect texture to the Crevettes a la Marseillaise's plump, snappy shrimp and tender asparagus - each dish is a work of art.

My favorite, the Confit de Canard, marries crispy skin with juicy, buttery meat that sends your taste buds on a wild ride.

And when you think your culinary journey couldn't improve, their dessert offerings take it to another level.

The Fraisier and Croquant are to die for and pair perfectly with a glass of Rosé.

But a word of caution - their divine taste could lead to a packed to-go box!

So, next time you're looking for an evening to remember, make your way to Once Upon A Time In France.

It's the authentic French culinary experience you've been searching for - and it's worth it.

Once Upon A Time In France · 1102 Gallatin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
★★★★★ · French restaurant


There is a certain magic that hangs in the air, a particular warmth that fills your soul when you step into Varallo's.

It might not be the most glamorous place in town, but it oozes an old-school charm that soothes the soul.

This beloved luncheonette, open only on weekdays, is a cherished part of my day-to-day life.

The first time I set foot in Varallo's, I was immediately smitten by its simplicity.

There is no pretentious décor, no extravagant displays – just a humble establishment with foam plates and plastic utensils reminiscent of simpler times.

But don't let the bare-bones ambiance fool you, for the food here is anything but ordinary.

Varallo's is renowned for its classic southern cooking, and let me tell you, the food is fabulous!

Every dish is a testament to the culinary traditions of the South, and you can taste the love and care in every bite.

On a cold, gloomy day, there's nothing like their hearty bowl of chili to warm your bones.

And their breakfast bowls are quite literally to die for!

One standout feature for me is the biscuits. Fresh, flaky, and buttery, they are hands down the best I've ever had.

The biscuits alone would be enough reason for me to keep coming back.

But for all its deliciousness, Varallo's isn't just about the food. It's about tradition, community, and down-to-earth Southern hospitality.

As a hub where locals gather to catch up over a meal, it's places like these that make Nashville the vibrant, warm-hearted city that it is.

So, if you ever find yourself around these parts on a weekday, stop by Varallo's.

You won't be disappointed.

Varallo’s · 239 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219
★★★★★ · Southern restaurant (US)

The Standard

When you decide it's time to treat your taste buds to something exceptional, there's no place in Nashville quite like The Standard.

Nestled in an exquisitely preserved 1843 home, it's here where you'll find more than just a meal.

Instead, prepare for a journey that tantalizes all your senses and leaves you eager to return.

As you walk through the doors of The Standard, you're welcomed by name, instantly making you feel like a cherished guest.

This is just one of the small touches that sets The Standard apart.

A brief tour and a glimpse into the building's rich history set the stage for the feast to follow.

The menu, though slim and simple, offers a wide range of refined Southern fare that's bound to impress even the most discerning foodies.

One of my personal favorites is the calamari and lobster dip as an appetizer, which provides a delightful introduction to the culinary adventure ahead.

For the main course, the standard filet was cooked to perfection, while the sea bass set a new standard for seafood in my books.

The atmosphere of the restaurant is both grand and cozy, a balance that is hard to achieve but is beautifully accomplished at The Standard.

Moreover, the opulent décor and the building's rich history create a truly unique dining experience.

For dessert, the chocolate cookie served with ice cream was sinfully delicious, rounding out a dinner that, for me, was nothing short of perfect.

The Standard is a celebration of Southern hospitality and fine dining that you cannot miss.

The Standard · 167 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37203
★★★★★ · Steak house

Etc. Restaurant

You know, it's a rare gem that makes you still think about a dinner almost a week later.

That's precisely what happened to me after a visit to Etc. Restaurant.

Nestled on a quiet street, this chic spot has become my go-to place for a delightful dining experience in our city.

My journey into this culinary wonderland began with a Salmon w Crispy Rice Appetizer - a little crispy, and very tasty.

The venison that followed was cooked to perfection and left me wanting for more.

But what surprised me was their Caesar salad, a simple dish turned gourmet with just the right touch of horseradish.

But let's not forget the cocktails.

Whether you're a fan of the classics or up for trying something new, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the drinks here.

They somehow manage to blend global influences into their New American specialties perfectly.

But it's not just the food that keeps me returning to, etc.

It's also the ambiance.

The stylish surroundings, the beautiful patio perfect for a summer evening, and, of course, the service.

So, next time you decide where to go for a fantastic dinner, consider going to Etc. Restaurant.

It's one of those places that you'll not only enjoy but will keep thinking about for days to come.

And don't forget to save room for dessert. Trust me, you won't regret it.

etc. restaurant · 3790 Bedford Ave, Nashville, TN 37215
★★★★★ · New American restaurant

Final Thoughts

Nashville truly is a gastronomic paradise, brimming with a diverse range of dining options.

No matter what your taste buds crave, Nashville's restaurant scene has something for everyone.

It's truly a food lover's dream in the heart of Tennessee.

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