Great barbecue and hot chicken are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Nashville’s culinary scene. From casual diners to high-end, award-winning restaurants, there’s something here to suit every taste and price point. Checking out Downtown Nashville is a must when you’re here in Tennessee’s capital, and you’ll definitely need some food fuel. Check out some of the best Downtown Nashville restaurants you won’t wanna miss!
1. Butcher & Bee
Butcher & Bee has gone beyond its original vision of serving honest-to-goodness sandwiches, made with flavor combinations and food quality usually reserved for fine dining. Simply put, a gourmet meal between two pieces of bread. Now the dream has grown beyond sandwiches and diners come from far and wide to enjoy their shareable Mediterranean and Middle Eastern plates. Fresh, delicious, and never boring, they foster a sense of community and the dishes are brought to you from local farmers who produce spectacular flavours.
2. The Hampton Social
The Hampton Social is a hot spot with the city’s elite Instagrammers and the perfect place to imbibe and soak up the feeling of summer. Located just minutes from Lower Broadway, the lively restaurant features a first-floor “Rosé All Day” lounge, second-floor dining with a private dining space and a brand new rooftop terrace with indoor and outdoor seating. Food wise, enjoy unique coastal-inspired food and cocktails, such as the signature frosé served in a giant seashell.
3. The Catbird Seat
With a cube-shaped marble counter in an otherwise bare room, all eyes are on the open kitchen at the centre. It is no longer as difficult to get a reservation at The Catbird Seat as before, though the experience still feels as exclusive as ever. Expect playful plates from their tasting menu such as duck tartare with cashew and rose essence, bay scallop with rambutan and horseradish, baked potato aligot with juniper resin and dark roux ice cream for dessert!
4. Bourbon Steak
Located on the 34th floor of the hip JW Marriott Hotel, Bourbon Steak Nashville is Chef Michael Mina’s love letter to the American steakhouse experience. Apart from 360-degree views of the city, you’ll also find some of the best steak, seafood, and wine selection in Nashville – along with a one-of-a-kind whiskey and cocktail experience, courtesy of MINA’s signature whiskey cart! A great date night spot, you’re bound to have a good time here.
5. Skull’s Rainbow Room
The original Skull’s Rainbow Room dates back to the 1940s and was a legendary local hangout for 50 years. The restaurant and nightclub has seen artists such as Etta James, Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan on its legendary checkerboard stage. Reopening in 2015, many of the atmospheric touches of the original place still remain. Come catch a live performance along with a dinner menu featuring lobster bisque, duck empanadas, and garlic honey glazed pork chop.
Chef-owner Josh Habiger, who made his name at The Catbird Seat has ventured out with Bastion. This 24-seater is more like a piece of food performance art rather than a restaurant where you simply go to dinner. From a paper menu, choose from 15 dishes based on only general descriptions (think ‘lamb and chilies’). The menu is ever-evolving and determined by the chefs each week, based on their inspirations and product availability.
7. D’Andrews Bakery & Cafe
After spending years honing his craft in New York City, native son David Andrews returned to Nashville to open a modern bakery with a southern sensibility. D’Andrews Bakery & Cafe, located in downtown Nashville, offers customers everything from delicious pastries to sandwiches on freshly-baked bread. Apart from fresh bakes you can also find a selection of salads and soups, perfect for those days when you’re on-the-go and need a quick, satisfying bite.