Shipley’s Donuts, Donelson, Madison, & Hendersonville – http://www.shipleydonuts.com/
Best donuts in our part of town. We’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.
Darfon’s, Donelson – http://darfonsrestaurant.com/
This is the best food you’ll have in our neighborhood and it’s a quiet place to catch up with friends (no live music!). Try the calamari & their creme brulée. Their bread basket and dipping oil is also good – and free!
Pie Five, Donelson – http://www.piefivepizza.com/
Cheap and it makes everyone in the family happy, this is the Chipotle of pizza places. Get whatever you want on your personal pizza (GF options!), one flat price, and BYOB.
McNamara’s, Donelson – http://www.mcnamarasirishpub.com/
An Irish pub less than a mile from our house? Yes, please! A massive downstairs with many rooms, often there’s live music but you can choose to be right up front or hide upstairs at the second bar. Closed on Mondays.
Mirko, Donelson & Mt. Juliet – http://www.mirkopastanashville.com/
A small, southern chain of Italian-inspired cuisine with house-made pasta (including GF!) Reasonable prices and a nice ambiance.
Phat Bites, Donelson – http://www.phatbites.com/
Dive bar and deli next to the Ace Hardware. The staff is friendly and they always participate in the Farmer’s Market. The only place open until 2 am on this side of town.
HERMITAGE & MT. JULIET
Los Compadres, Mt. Juliet – http://loscompadrestn.com/
Are there more churches or Mexican restaurants in Nashville? Tough to answer. But this is our favorite Mexican joint. Very authentic food, good service, nice decor, delicious margaritas, not overpriced.
Cafe Bosna, Hermitage – https://cafebosna.com/
The owner of this small, unassuming establishment is the sweetest lady from Bosnia. She cooks all of the food herself with one assistant and it’s all amazing. BYOB and be prepared for an unforgettable meal.
Gondola House, Hermitage – http://www.gondolahousepizzeria.com/
Family-owned and delicious. Their pizza and flatbreads are some of the best in the area. A little pricier than just getting any ole pizza, but it’s worth it.
Silo, Germantown – http://www.silotn.com/
The only place with a happy hour every day and the only place to get $6 craft cocktails that will rock your world. Our favorites: The Prairie Mule and the Smuggler’s lemonade. Try the caramel bacon popcorn, too.
City House, Germantown – http://cityhousenashville.com/
Not a cheap night out but it’s going to be delicious. Well-thought out menu, unique twists on some southern classics, good service and a carefully curated drink menu. It’s very noisy inside, though, so sit outside if you can.
The Pharmacy, East Nashville – http://thepharmacynashville.com/
Best burger, sausage, fries and chicken sandwich in town. Others might say Burger Republic or Burger Up, but we say nay! Avoid peak meal times though, or you’ll be in the line that’s out the door. (They have vegetarian options.)
Mas Tacos, East Nashville – https://www.facebook.com/mastacos
This place looks like a dump but the lines out the door tell the truth. Excellent, authentic tacos. Cash only and be ready to order fast!
Holland House, East Nashville – http://www.hollandhousebarandrefuge.com/
Next door to the Pharmacy, no sign to announce its presence, this place has a very European feel. A little pricey, and not as cool as it used to be, but if you’re already at the Pharmacy or Mas Tacos, might as well hit it up.
Five Points Pizza, East Nashville – http://www.fivepointspizza.com/
The closest thing to NYC style pizza you’ll get here. They also have a good beer selection and their garlic knots are to die for – all for a reasonable price.
The Pied Piper Creamery, East Nashville – http://www.thepiedpipercreamery.com/
Most people will say they prefer Jeni’s ice cream but I’m lactose intolerant so I prefer the vegan ice cream at the Pied Piper Creamery.
Patterson House, Midtown
A true speakeasy. No sign. Tiny. You have to wait in the “library” and pass through a curtain when you’re allowed in the bar. A little pretentious and leading in the $12-$15 cocktail trend, but worth it for the flavors. (Their website doesn’t even tell you anything useful.)
Slider House, Midtown – http://www.thesliderhouse.com/
Delicious and well priced. Plus they cut their own fries. Bonus: they put outlets all along the bar so you can charge your phone or write on your laptop for long periods of time.
PM, Belmont – http://www.pmnashville.com/
Top chef contestant Arnold Myint is the executive chef at this reasonably priced Asian-inspired restaurant. Avoid sitting in the back where it’s loud and the servers forget about you. Try the duck spring rolls & the coconut calamari.
8th AND 12th
Athen’s Family Restaurant, 8th Ave – https://locu.com/places/athens-family-restaurant-nashville-us/#menu
Cheap and SO GOOD. They stopped making their own fries but their gyros are the best Greek in town.
Love, Peace and Pho, 8th Ave – http://www.lovepeaceandpho.com/
Authentic, affordable and delicious Vietnamese food. Servings are huge, so opt for the small. If you’re not into noodles, try the bahn mi and the Vietnamese style coffee!
Josephine, 12th South – http://www.josephineon12th.com/
Home to two of our favorite ex-Holland House bartenders, this place is upscale dining and top notch craft ($10-$15) cocktails. Beautiful interior and large bar. Say hi to Jeremiah for us 🙂
Taqueria del Sol, 12th South – http://www.taqueriadelsol.com/
Skip the massive line and sit at the bar. You’ll want one (or four) of their margaritas anyway. Try the fish tacos. Priced really well.
Bar Taco, 12th South- http://bartaco.com/location/nashville-tn/
The BEST tacos, some very unique offerings. An unexpected mix of Asian and Latin. Excellent service, cool decor and atmosphere, delicious drinks. This is always at the top of our list when we want tacos.
Embers Ski Lodge, 12th South – http://embersskilodge.com/
Legit Belgian-style, hand-cut french fries. This place is a lot of fun: a wintery, ski-lodge atmosphere, a tiki-inspired drink menu, board games, good food. We love going here with friends at the end of a night.
Virago, the Gulch – http://mstreetnashville.com/restaurants/virago
You want sushi? Go here. It’s a little pricier than other areas of town but when you’re eating raw fish in a landlocked state, you don’t want to go cheap. For non sushi-eaters, the Scottish Salmon is delish.
The Flying Saucer, downtown near the Gulch – http://www.beerknurd.com/stores/nashville/
Yes, this is a National chain, but ours is the only one in an old train station! One of the coolest venues in town (we had our rehearsal dinner here!) and every beer you can think of to choose from. Also, best pretzels this side of Bavaria.
Paradise Park, Lower Broadway – https://www.paradiseparkonline.com/
Our favorite honky tonk to end the night. Best beer on tap selection for a honky tonk, the decor is one-of-a-kind and just the right level of trashy. And the bands usually lean more towards older rock and roll than country.
Merchants, Lower Broadway – http://merchantsrestaurant.com/
Super historic place in the heart of lower Broadway. We’ve only sat at the bar (and not the restaurant upstairs) but the bar service was excellent and the food was decent without being overpriced.
Pub Five, lower Broadway/downtown – http://www.pub5.com/
We’ve not had any of their food but we’ve had drinks on the roof-top patio a few times and love the view. You can hear the music from nearby honkytonks without going deaf and the drinks are good (though the beer is too expensive).
Back Alley Diner, downtown – http://www.backalleydiner.com/
A hidden, locals only dive, it’s literally in an alley and the perfect place to grab a bite to eat and a pre-show drink before catching a musical at TPAC or hitting up the First Saturday Art Crawl. You won’t write home about their food but they have good drink specials and a wide range of martinis.
Bar Soveriegn, SoBro – https://www.facebook.com/barsovereignnashville/
A new place we’re excited about. Their cocktails are well-priced at $9, they provide simple bar snacks, and the bartenders were friendly (especially Jeremy). It’s right off the main drag of downtown so it’s not crazy, it had a cool vibe inside, and the prices were not outrageous.
Pinewood Social, Downtown – http://pinewoodsocial.com/
Not a cheap night out but you’ll love every second of it. Their reclaimed bowling alley is overpriced but the pool, coffee bar, living room and general vibe make up for it.
Taco Mamacita, Edgehill – http://tacomamacita.com/
Sit outside if you can, inside is quite noisy. All of their tacos are good, as are their mojitos.
JJ’s Wine Bar, Franklin – http://www.jjswinebar.com/
Want an upscale, romantic evening? Head down to Franklin, park the car, stroll around and stop in JJ’s for some wine by the pour. You’ll spend some money but if you love wine as much as we do, you won’t regret it.
Arrington Vineyards, Franklin – http://www.arringtonvineyards.com/
It’s a bit of a trek down there so pack a picnic and plan to stay awhile. Do the wine tasting – it’s worth the wait – and if you can get in on a tour, check that out, too. Go on a weekend May – November for Music in the Vines.
These are just *our* favorites! Nashville is on its way to becoming a foodie town and there are so many places we haven’t tried yet. Here’s a list of restaurants we’ve been told are awesome but haven’t gotten to try yet: the Southern, Husk, the Smiling Elephant, Monell’s, Germantown Cafe, Lucky Belly, Etch, and Rodizio Grill.
And now, our list of OVER-rated Nashville eateries: Ellendale’s, Acme Feed & Seed, St. Anejo, Whiskey Kitchen, Burger Republic, Soulshine Pizza, Belcourt Taps, Puckett’s Grocery, Bar 308, and Mafiaosa’s.
Places to Avoid:
- Luigi’s City Pizza (bad bar service; flavorless, mushy pizza; frozen vegetables in the pasta dishes; frozen bread sticks, not fresh)