10 Unique Restaurants in Nashville, TN

10 unique restaurants in nashville, TN

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Aside from being the hometown of country music, the bustling food scene and unique restaurants in Nashville make this state capital a culinary paradise.

Are you planning to visit Nashville, TN? This list of the best restaurants in the area is your ultimate guide for your upcoming gastronomic adventure!

Exploring Culinary Diversity

Nashville is famous for Southern cuisine staples, including hot chicken, meat and threes, chicken, and biscuits.

Although the city offers a great mix of Southern cooking and food traditions introduced by the city’s different populations, you must check out the most unique restaurants in Nashville before going anywhere else.

Unique Restaurants in Nashville, TN Overview

There’s a lot happening in Nashville’s food scene. These unique restaurants serve the best local favorites that will surely make your visit to the city a memorable one.

unique restaurants in nashville with hot chicken

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1. Prince's Hot Chicken

One of the iconic foods in Music City is hot chicken – crispy chicken with a spicy kick.

The first recipe for hot chicken was created by Thorton Prince during the Great Depression. Today, his great-niece, Andre Prince Jeffries, still serves the original version at Prince’s Hot Chicken, where you’ll have a taste of the best Nashville hot chicken.

Must-Try:

  1. 3 Whole Wings – Three jumbo bone in crispy golden-brown wings tossed in your choice of heat.
  2. 4 Tenders with Fries – Four tender, crispy golden brown tenders tossed in your choice of heat served with crispy French fries.
  3. The Andre Chicken Sandwich – Topped with your choice of house-made Sweet Heat or Kickin’ Ranch and your choice of heat with a side of slaw.

Reviews:

“The chicken at level hot is so addicting!! I wanted to try a true “Nashville HOT chicken,” so I got the hot level. There was a bit of a wait, but they’re busy for a good reason. Seriously, the chicken is so good. Very crunchy and a nice level of salty. At first bite, you almost get no heat. THEN, you do. I don’t remember actually having food cause my eyes to water, though I LOVE spicy food! This one did! But it’s truly delicious, and the heat is addictive!! Just pace yourself, and you will really enjoy! The greens were also yummy.”
Sara

Restaurant Information:

unique restaurants in nashville serving meat and vegetables

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2. Wendell Smith's Restaurant

Another classic Southern staple, meat and three, also called a “plate lunch,” is a dish that features a protein and three veggie sides.

This finger-licking Southern comfort food is served at Wendell Smith’s Restaurant, a beloved Nashville classic that is popular for mouthwatering dishes in a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere.

Must-Try:

  1. Hamburger Steak Sandwich – 10 ounces of fresh ground chuck grilled to perfection. Add sauteed onions for an additional charge. Served with fries, salad, and bread.
  2. Chef Salad – With ham, cheese, bacon bits, tomatoes, and boiled egg.
  3. Western Omelet – Served with toast or biscuits and a choice of two: grits, tomatoes, gravy, or home-fried potatoes. Add grilled onions on the potatoes for an additional charge.

Reviews:

“Very Affordable. Meat and 3 vegetables. Awesome. Looking for a tasty down hime cooked meal. Wendell Smith’s is the place if you’re in Nashville Tennessee. Scrumptious and Delicious!!!!”
Lakiesha Mckibben

Restaurant Information:

biscuite sandwich served in unique restaurants in nashville

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3. The Loveless Café

Biscuits are a Southern comfort food that are eaten by themselves or with fillings. Everyone in Nashville has their own biscuit recipe, but the best biscuits are tender, flaky, and warm, just like the ones served at The Loveless Café.

Must-Try:

  1. Breakfast Meat Biscuit – Sausage, bacon, or country ham.
  2. Country Breakfast Bowl – Choose between pulled pork, chicken tenders, bacon, or sausage served with home-fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, sausage gravy, and a biscuit on top.
  3. Smoked Beef Brisket – Smoked beef brisket topped with Au Jus on Texas toast, served with 2 sides.

Reviews:

“Someone in Nashville recommended this place to us so we had to try it. We arrived around 1030 on a Saturday morning. The wait was around 40 mins. Not a bad wait, plus they have corn hole and other games outside to play, along with a few shops to visit or shop while waiting. They texted our phone when our table was ready. We walked in and were seated instantly. Great customer service! The biscuits are really good with butter and the jellies they brought out. I had the pancakes and they were so good, as well as the country ham. A little salty but that’s expected out of country ham. We will definitely return next time we are in the area!”
Jamie Griffin

Restaurant Information:

unique restaurants in nashville serving gourmet burgers

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4. Robert’s Western World

Robert’s Western World is a honky tonk grill popular for its fried bologna sandwich and great live country music. Fried bologna sandwiches are a popular homemade Southern food made of skillet-cooked bologna on toasted bread.

Must-Try:

  1. Fried Bologna Sandwich – Sliced bologna slightly grilled, served on bread with lettuce and tomato.
  2. Mushroom Swiss Burger – Angus beef burger topped with Swiss cheese and sauteed mushrooms.
  3. Garden Burger – Grilled veggie burger with Swiss cheese and all the toppings.

Reviews:

“So, a local told me that after going to the bars, I need to get myself a fried bologna sandwich from this place. Well, I went, and they were cleaning up the fryer. The lady was so sweet she gave me some potato chips, while my husband got himself a beer or two. And of course we made friends. I think Nashville has some of the nicest people. I was determined to go back and get this fried bologna sandwich, so the next day, we left early from the other bars … and hello! The local never told me they have great entertainment! The band was amazing! But really, if you’re playing on Broadway, i think you have to be good… and the food was cheap and good! The fried Bologna sandwich special called the Recession Special you get the Fried Bologna sandwich, chips, moon pie & a ice cold PBR! All for $6!!
The other food looked good, too. But you have to try this fried bologna sandwich!!”
Karen Marzullo

Restaurant Information:

pizza at unique restaurants in nashville

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5. Five Points Pizza East

Pizza options in Nashville are surprisingly good, ranging from casual eateries to fine dining. Five Points Pizza serves up a range of scrumptious pizzas at a good price. if you’re on a budget, you must try their lunch slice specials.

Must-Try:

  1. Habanero Cream Sauce Pie – House-made habanero cream sauce, bacon, oven-roasted grape tomatoes, red onions, roasted garlic, fresh basil, fresh and shredded mozzarella (no tomato sauce).
  2. Vodka Sauce Pie – House-made vodka tomato cream sauce, prosciutto di parma, spinach, mushrooms, red onions, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella (no tomato sauce).
  3. Rocket Pie – Arugula tossed in lemon vinaigrette, oven-­roasted grape tomatoes, roasted garlic, cracked black pepper, fresh and shredded mozzarella (no tomato sauce).

Reviews:

“Looking ahead of visiting Nashville, I put this Restaurant on our places to try. This was our first stop in Nashville, and it started the trip off on a perfect note. Love the eclectic atmosphere of East Nashville, and loved this Pizza Place. I got two Slices of Pepperoni (one would’ve been plenty) and Garlic Knots. Delicious! I loved the atmosphere, and our Waitress was very pleasant. Very chill vibe, love the pizza by the slice. Loved the Garlic Knots. We were both really happy we tried Five Points Pizza. I’d definitely come back, next time I visit. Yummy!”
Gina C

Restaurant Information:

unique restaurants in nashville with fish and chips

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6. Cock of the Walk

Cock of the Walk is one of the best Nashville restaurants that serve fried catfish –
a Southern delicacy usually served with tartar sauce or ketchup. It has a crispy exterior with an interior that’s even flakier than chicken.

Must-Try:

  1. Fried Catfish Filet – 4 (3oz) pieces of fried catfish. Served with river fries, hushpuppies, coleslaw, pickled onions, skillet bread, and tartar sauce.
  2. Grilled Catfish Filet – 2 (6oz) pieces of grilled catfish. Served with river fries, hushpuppies, coleslaw, pickled onions, skillet bread, and tartar sauce.
  3. Grilled Down River Chicken – 3 (4oz) pieces of grilled chicken tenderloin. Served with river fries, hushpuppies, coleslaw, pickled onions, skillet bread, and honey mustard.

Reviews:

“Hands down the best chicken strips I have ever had. You might think, how good can a chicken strip be? Well, freaking awesome here!! The atmosphere is rustic and country. The service is tentative and engaging. It is a must have location on your time in the Nashville area.”
Nicholas Neil

Restaurant Information:

unique restaurants in nashville serving ramen

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7. Black Dynasty Secret Ramen House

Nashville doesn’t have a vast selection of ramen restaurants, but the ones that are here are a must-visit. Black Dynasty Secret Ramen House is one of the best spots in the city that makes ramen with homemade noodles.

Must-Try:

  1. Miso Tonkotsu Ramen – Creamy pork broth, Hakata noodles, sliced pork belly, miso tare, pickled collards, soy seasoned egg, scallion, and nori.
  2. Garlic Style Miso Tonkotsu Ramen – Creamy pork broth, Hakata noodles, sliced pork belly, miso tare, pickled collards, soy seasoned egg, scallion, raw garlic, Mayu, and nori.
  3. Hellfire Style Miso Tonkotsu Ramen – Creamy pork broth, Hakata noodles, sliced pork belly, miso tare, pickled collards, soy seasoned egg, scallion, jalapeno, and chili crisp nori.

Reviews:

“Definitely worth the drive. Best Ramen I have had in Nashville.
The miso broth is flavorful and filling. The toppings are good. My favorite part is the pickled collard greens. It’s such a fun eclectic twist that is absolutely delicious.
It is located inside a brewery that has great music. Kid friendly. The staff and chef are so kind.”
Hattie Harrison

Restaurant Information:

unique restaurants in nashville serving gourmet hamburgers

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8. The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden

Every city has burgers, and Nashville is no exception when it comes to this American staple.

The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden is known for its creative selection of burgers and sausages, and an old-school soda fountain serving phosphates, milkshakes, and ice cream sodas.

Must-Try:

  1. Chipotle Slap Burger – American cheese, grilled jalapeño, onion, pickle, and chipotle avocado aioli.
  2. Stroganoff Burger – Mushroom stroganoff bechamel, sour cream, caramelized onions, and Swiss cheese.
  3. Pharmacy Burger – Yellow cheddar, iceberg lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and yellow mustard.

Reviews:

“Don’t be deceived by what you see when you drive up. Very non-descript building. From the moment you walk in, you are wow’d. Excellent service and atmosphere but neither top the food. The burger was phenomenal. Easily one of the best burgers I have ever eaten. Props to The Pharmacy for the BEST meal we have had while visiting Nashville which says a lot bc there have been some great meals. Not only will we be back, but we will likely be back before we leave Nashville.”
Mark Kosinski

Restaurant Information:

unique restaurants in nashville with mashed potato and sausage

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9. Von Elrod’s

This is one of the popular dog-friendly restaurants in Germantown where you’ll find different versions of hot dogs. If you like your hot dogs in a beer hall setting, you must drop by Von Elrod’s.

Must-Try:

  1. Von Elrod’s Classic Bratwurst – Sauerkraut, caramelized onions, bearwalker brown mustard.
  2. Jalapeño Cheddarwurst – Red cabbage slaw, fried jalapeños and onions, BBQ sauce.
  3. Angry Bird – Spicy chicken sausage, corn relish, avocado, buttermilk dill ranch.

Reviews:

“Germantown in Nashville. And OMG what a place. Food was absolutely amazing. Went for brunch and couldn’t complain about any of the food. Took some friends and ordered more than we should have but it all looked so good had to try it. I can tell you that I was full when we left as well as everyone else. Must try if you are down there. Hopefully I can get there soon.”
Dave Fugate

Restaurant Information:

unique restaurants in nashville serving bowls of chili

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10. Varallo's Chili Parlor and Restaurant

Varallo’s, the oldest restaurant in all of Tennessee, has been serving chili in Nashville since 1907. Aside from their famous chili, they also serve breakfast all day, plate lunches, burgers, fries, and sandwiches.

Must-Try:

  1. Pint to Go – Choose from 3-way, mix, hot, or straight.
  2. Chili Combo – Chili (any style) with a grilled cheese sandwich and beverage.
  3. Chili Pie – Chili topped with cheese and corn chips.

Reviews:

“True southern breakfast. Fresh and tasty yet reasonably priced. The biscuits are to die for. The owner is so thoughtful. Loved the Christian music playing in the background. It’s these owner operated restaurants that make places like Nashville wonderful!”
Scott Carson

Restaurant Information:

Unique Dining Experiences

There you have it – 10 unique restaurants that will make your visit to Nashville, TN, an amazing gastronomic adventure!

If you would like to know more about what this lovely city has to offer, feel free to give me a call at 615-499-8603 or 503-332-9469. You may also send me an email at hello@thepolzelgroup.com if you’d like to schedule an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, a few of the family-friendly spots in Nashville include Cock of the Walk and The Loveless Café.

Von Elrods offers vegan options. The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden serves pescatarian food. Five Points Pizza East features vegetarian-friendly, vegan, and gluten-free options.

These restaurants offer takeout: Varallo’s, Von Elrod’s, The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden, Black Dynasty Secret Ramen House, Cock of the Walk, Wendell Smith’s Restaurant, and Prince’s Hot Chicken.

Black Dynasty Secret Ramen House and Prince’s Hot Chicken offer delivery service.

Yes, The Loveless Café and Von Elrod’s have outdoor seating.