Nashville Bucket List – Top Local Restaurants, Speakeasies & Coffee Shops


I am a huge fun of supporting local establishments in Nashville – and luckily for me there are a ton of delicious spots in town – no matter what you are looking for. Given that we have been named “Nowville” by GQ and one of the “hottest cities in America” by the New York Times – I wanted to celebrate a few local spots and share them with everyone.

I keep this list for myself (hmm where should I go to dinner tonight?) and to be honest I haven’t even eaten at every restaurant on here, but I thought it would be great to share with everyone anyway.

Leave me comments and get your favorite spots added as well!


  • Arnolds
  • Prince’s Hot Chicken
  • Monell’s
  • Loveless Cafe
  • Martin’s BBQ Joint
  • Burger Up
  • Mas Taco
  • Sloco Sandwich Shop
  • Local Taco
  • Pharmacy Burger


  • Silly Goose
  • Margo
  • Marchete
  • The Southern
  • Silo
  • Tavern
  • City House
  • Catbird Seat
  • Etch
  • Rumor’s East
  • Lockeland Table
  • Smiling Elephant
  • Watermark
  • The Bound’ry
  • Flyte
  • Capitol Grill at the Hermitage
  • Manja
  • Rolf & Daughters
  • PM Nashville


  • Patterson House
  • Holland House
  • Corsair’s Tasting Room


  • The Well
  • Barista Parlor
  • Crema Coffee
  • Fido
  • Frothy Monkey
  • The Jam Coffee House

Updated as of 2/14/13 – Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

Check out this post on the top restaurants in America.

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Matt Bodnar

Matt loves to focus on making deals and big picture strategy. He sets out each day to give more than he takes from every interaction and produce as much value as possible for his partners and the people he works with. As a partner at Fresh Hospitality Matt invests in and operates businesses across the restaurant value chain including agriculture, production, retail distribution, real estate, technology and restaurant operations. Matt previously worked as an import/export consultant in Nanjing, China and spent several years on the Interest Rates Desk at Goldman Sachs before returning to his family roots in Nashville.

16 thoughts on “Nashville Bucket List – Top Local Restaurants, Speakeasies & Coffee Shops

  1. I love this list! I’ve had a lot of these places swirling around in my head and I am so glad to see them written down in one spot… some new names too. City House has been a really reliable spot for me and I love Barista Parlor on a Saturday. Dying to try Catbird Seat, any recommendations for scoring a reservation?

  2. PM on Belmont Blvd is my favorite restaurant in Nashville. I left a few years back, but it is my first stop every time I come through town. Their burgers are supposedly the best in Nashville, but my favorite is the Chicken Thai Wrap.

      1. PM is amazing! Chef Arnold Mynt (chef you are referring to from Top Chef also owns and runs Suzy Wongs House of Yum on Church Street… Another absolutely incredible place to eat :) definitely check it out!

  3. Great list. Thanks for sharing. I am a huge fan of City House and Lockeland Table. Also the patio at Rumors East is to die for in the summer time.

  4. So, so, so many great places listed here! Baja Burrito is the locally owned forerunner to Blue Coast Burrito and their grass-fed brisket tacos are the best. My favorite burger is from a hole in the wall called Gabby’s Burgers & Fries. Fido also does a great local, grass-fed burger. I think they are trying to phase into more of a restaurant than coffee shop. But speaking of coffee shops, I also love The Jam Coffeehouse and Frothy Monkey.

  5. That’s a great list. I’ve eaten at many and would suggest adding Hog Heaven at the edge of Centennial Park and Edley’s Barbecue in the 12 South district. Excellent bbq, sides, and atmosphere that is authentic. Worlds apart from the chains that are as common as beggar lice these days.

  6. Arnold’s is my favorite place in Nashville (I know it’s posted above). Flavor explosions in my mouth every single time. Two places worth checking out that I haven’t seen listed are:
    1. Hattie B’s Hot Chicken – I’ve eaten here once must say they have some incredible hot chicken. I’m not even a huge fan of spicy things. They also have chicken and waffles, which I’ve actually never had, but it just sounds delicious.
    2. The Wild Hare – Awesome pizza restaurant on White Bridge Rd. near Charlotte
    3. Mcdougal’s Chicken Coup – Another chicken place, known more for having amazing chicken tenders and sauces. They also serve hot wings and beer. I come here every time I’m back in Nashville.

  7. M.L. Rose is a Burger and Beer joint on Charlotte pike. It’s been open since November of 2012 and it is really great. Good food and an even better beer selection. Porta Via is also a good pizza restaurant on White Bridge Road.

  8. I second Evazz22 in saying McDougal’s (on belcourt) should be added!! Best chicken tenders ever! And you get free ice cream, that’s never a bad thing :)

    1. Oh and Baja Burrito in Berry Hill is another favorite that I would say deserves to be on this list. I have a list like this as well since living here, and McDougal’s and Baja Burrito are definitely on the “lunch food” list! In addition to the Pharmacy, these two are probably my favorite lunch spots in Nashville.

  9. I think you should try the Judge’s Vinegaroon- amazing Texas BBQ and, hands-down, the best fried pickles anywhere! Also, Cafe Coco is an amazing and hip coffee house to hang out!

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