Our Running List of the Best Restaurants in Nashville

"Big Natural" Stoney Keeley organized a list of all of the Nashville Reviews on SoBros Network in our full list of Nashville restaurant rankings.

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Dig in, folks – we’re going to keep this running article going to house all of our Nashville restaurant rankings. We’ve done our best to get out and about on the Nashville food scene and in the surrounding areas. Below, you’ll find links to (almost) all of the Nashville reviews I’ve ever written. Oh, and keep in mind, we’re a sports website that reviews a lot of completely ordinary bar food *shrugs*. LFG.

Our Nashville Restaurant Rankings

The Elite

For the sake of clarity, these are not our five favorite restaurants around Nashville. They’re our four favorite spots that we have actual reviews and grades for. For my super official Nashville dining Mount Rushmore, click the link below. On to our five best grades:

Audrey (8.82/10)full review – “While the food alone made for one of the best meals I’ve ever had in this city, it was the combination of the restaurant experience provided by Audrey, and the character of the place around me that made it such an enriching experience. The folks at Audrey clearly understand the core of what a solid night at a good restaurant means beyond simply making good food. It’s the slowing down of the outside world. It’s the pacing – taking the time to enjoy a fulfilling meal, course by course. It’s understanding the importance of a good conversation between friends to a dining experience and letting that marinate (or soak in beer and wine, if you will). It’s providing a comfortable environment that fosters a sense of calm and openness. At the end of the evening, I felt as though I was a better, more relaxed man, hearty and satisfied – the same way I feel after reading a particularly profound poem. It’s art in restaurant form.”

Hathorne (8.62/10)full review – “I left that meal immediately thinking it was among the best in town in terms of its creativity and the clear freshness of everything we ate. The value of what we got for our money made it a top tier dining experience in Nashville. The calm nature and impeccable service of the restaurant made it a comfortable experience that will undoubtedly keep Hathorne at the front of mind any time my wife and I are looking to enjoy a quality date night.”

Butcher & Bee (8.5/10)full review – “…the word I kept coming back to when describing the food itself was vibrant. The flavor was immense and the texture was perfect. [This is] the highest official grade I’ve given something on a restaurant review we’ve done. This is the perfect spot for date night.”

Nectar: Urban Cantina (8.44)full review – “Living in Hermitage, whether I’m stopping by for a quick lunch, heading out for a date night, or celebrating a friend’s birthday, Nectar is always the first place that comes to mind. You won’t find a more creative and delicious menu East of town, and you won’t find a better bang for your buck. It’s no wonder so many of our readers labeled this the best spot in Nashville. It’s going to be incredibly difficult for them to lose that honor in my book.”

The 404 Kitchen (8.41)full review – For all the bells and whistles, the word of mouth, the press releases, the ambiance, and the vibes, at the end of the day, it all comes down to the food. The 404 Kitchen has a strong reputation to uphold, and I’m happy to say that it delivered on that reputation for me. We got started with the pimento cheese, and I found it to have all the richness of a hearty pimento cheese, but the tangy crunch of the fresh pickled green tomatoes gave it a nice bite. The show stealers of the appetizer were the housemade crackers, PACKED savory flavor. Together, it combined for a flavor profile that swayed between zesty, creamy, and spicy. For our main entree, we elected to go with their tri tips, which I was sold on after learning that they were cooked for 72 hours….72 hours…before serving. The dish had all of the flavor of a complex stew jammed into a single bite. The meat was so tender that it virtually melted in my mouth with each bite. The cipollini onions added the slightest bit of sweetness to the dish where the mushrooms soaked up all of the richness of it, unloading it on my palate with every bite. I’ve already got it on my Mount Rushmore of individual dishes I’ve ever eaten in this city. As a side, we got the cornbread, which was moist, light, and fluffy. Cornbread is so easy to get wrong, but this was cooked to the perfect texture and size, not too thin but not a brick. It was a good complement to the tri tips. Rednecks like me will rejoice at the opportunity to sop up the remnants of the tri tips with the cornbread.

Barcelona Wine Bar (8.23)full review – “Barcelona is a charming place with a dinner experience that’s different from anything else I’ve experienced in the city, and a menu and wine list that is as creative as it is mouth-watering to boot. My word of advice, though? Make reservations. Otherwise, you’re going to be waiting a while if you show up during the dinner rush.”

Dino’s (8.22)full review – “I didn’t get a load of weird/fancy toppings. Just a warm bun, fresh lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and a burger that tasted like it was cooked in the same grease they’ve been using for a hundred years. It was like a century’s worth of history dripping down my chin. It was juicy and flavorful, but not greasy – I didn’t have to pop a TUMS, and I didn’t have a stomach ache afterwards. That feels like sorcery to me. The fries were my favorite style – little bit of crispy flaky action going on there. And, Brittany told me I had to get their special sauce, so I did. I have no idea what it is, but it is indeed special. So….aptly named. Something about the meal just felt like simpler times. Like the good old days.”

The Great (7+)

M.L.Rose (8.19) full review – “This was a meal for the ages. It was one of those meals that just nourish your soul – beyond the satisfaction of a full stomach, you’re just left sitting there, feeling whole, appreciating the sunshine and the wind blowing through the trees….that type of spiritual shit. M.L.Rose is like a fucking natural high. I could not have asked for a better burger, better pretzel bites, any possible beer desire I had could be met with that beer list, and the vibe and service was impeccable. They deserve every compliment they get, but one thing I think they do particularly well is putting a creative touch on their menu while also doing the basics right – they’re different, yet classic at the same time. A little bit of something different for everyone.”

Von Elrod’s (8.17)full review – “I went with the Nashville hot chicken schnitzel…I added a side of the broccoli sriracha slaw and this instantly became one of my favorite meals in town.”

Memo’s Mexican Kitchen (Mount Juliet) (8.15) – full review – “Memo’s has an extensive menu of great items, but I haven’t been able to shake the profound effect their quesabirria has had on me since the first time I tried it late in 2020. I don’t know how to describe it other than “I would bathe in this if no one stopped me.” That’s what I had for this particular meal, and it was fantastic as always – it’s smooth, rich, and hearty, but it has just the right amount of spice to dazzle the palate. The guacamole autentico might not be what you think of when you think of ‘guacamole,’ but for me, it’s the superior version of guacamole. You can’t get much more fresh than this appetizer, and I absolutely love the sting that the jalapenos on top provide. For the sake of getting a thorough review of course, I had to try some of Aura’s fajitas and found the chicken to be seasoned and cooked to perfection. I’ve yet to have a bad meal at Memo’s.”

Hibachi Jr. (Mount Juliet) (7.75)full review – “The quality of this steak really sealed the deal on this dish, but I don’t want to overlook the rest of the entree. The vegetables were crisp, even after sitting in the box for 20 or so minutes during my commute. The rice was just the right amount of “sticky” and balanced flavor-wise. They also included plenty of Yum-Yum sauce, which most people in this area will truly appreciate.” –Cadbury

The Rolling Recipe (7.67)full review – “Take notes, aspiring food truck vendors. This is how you design a food truck menu. Decadent sandwiches built with hearty meats and cheeses, sides smothered in toppings, all cooked to perfection. I always say that a good food truck can cure any hangover, and by that logic, The Rolling Recipe might be curing cancer.”

Wendell Smith’s (7.6)full review – “So, I went with the traditional meat and three, my choices being the beef steak with gravy, mac and cheese, coleslaw, and white beans with a piece of cornbread to go with it. You want to talk about a fulfilling meal, I swear this plate had some sort of mystic healing properties. On a rainy day, it just made me feel whole again. The crunch on the beef steak added a nice texture to the main course, but the way the rich, hearty gravy melded all of the flavors together, salty enough to dance across my tongue but not overbearing, made for a bite that celebrated the simplicity of a good old fashioned southern staple. The mac and cheese, creamy as can be, balanced that out nicely. The slaw tasted fresh and crunched with every bite as if it had just been chopped and prepped when I ordered it. The savory white beans were cooked to perfection, done enough to melt in my mouth, but not so done that they turned mushy. For journalistic purposes, of course, I had to try a bite of the roast beef and corn. Like the slaw, the corn tasted and crunched like it was freshly-prepped. The roast beef was tender, bursting with rich flavor enhanced by the gravy. Every bit of it was good. It’s a meal that reminds you of the good old days.”

Slim & Husky’s (7.6)full review – “I got their hot chicken pizza, and it made for an interesting combination of ingredients – Nashville hot chicken, jalapenos, banana peppers, spicy honey drizzle, and served with some jalapeno ranch on the side. Hot chicken AND jalapenos always make for a dangerous combination, but with this pizza, I found that it added a nice bit of crunch to it without overbearing heat. The chicken itself was all about the Nashville hot flavor. To me, it wasn’t a violent heat, but a more subtle enjoyable heat that was balanced out by the cheese blend, and the crust itself dipped in some of that jalapeno ranch. The banana peppers gave the dish a nice tang that had me thinking we need to combine banana peppers and hot chicken more often. I’m not a crust eater, but I consumed every bit of this pizza (one of only two places I’ll do that – the other being Calabria out here in Mount Juliet). Between the flavor of the hot chicken, the heat and the crunch from the fresh jalapenos, the tang of the banana peppers, and the sweetness of the honey drizzle, this made for a creative combination of flavors that made a lasting impression on me. I can’t wait to get another one of these bad boys.”

The Stillery (7.54)full review – “The food is the strong suit of this spot for me. It may be mixed in with a lot of the Broadway noise, but it stands out as one of the few places you can get a damn good meal to go with your booze and live music. I believe I’d call it a “bona fide dinner spot,” but not a “shit, I need to wear actual shoes and not just my flip flops” spot. There’s a tang to their “house hot” flavor that sets it apart from other hot flavors around town. And, I’ve only ever had the highest quality of chicken, whether it’s on a salad, tenders, or sliced and set upon a bowl of mac and cheese. It’s juicy, tender, coated with the perfect amount of sauce, nice, and crispy. I loved the flavor of it paired with the freshness of this salad, and for sure think that helped me survive the inferno that was Nissan Stadium that night. The fried pickles were a surprise – they can run pretty oily and greasy at some places, but The Stillery cooked them just right so that they weren’t a wet mess and had a little more crisp to ’em. And, for goodness’ sake, please go try that catfish some time.”

Cedar City Brewing (Lebanon) (7.46)full review – “I was sitting there on Sunday just buzzing right along thinking, “y’know, this is a strong 7.5/10 kind of experience.” And, I held onto that once I sobered up. The fact that something like Cedar City Brewing exists out east of town is exciting, but to go and have the beer, food, atmosphere, and value overdeliver sent me to the moon. This pretty well instantly became one of my favorite spots out here in Wilson County, where we desperately need more unique spots. Let’s hope the trail Cedar City Brewing has blazed opens the way for more craft brewery and restaurant experiences out east.”

Little Hats Market (7.17)full review – ” Little Hats really runs the gamut of flavor and texture with the Spicy Italian sandwich. It’s grounded and balanced, never leaning too far into one flavor. I won’t take any issue if you want to call this the best sandwich in Nashville.”

Catch 22 (7.125) full review – “…the greatest meal in Mount Juliet. it’s rare you get a “beer place” that has such a knockout menu. The Cheerwine red pepper wings are an absolute must-get.”

Two Ten Jack (7.03) full review – “The food itself was undoubtedly the strength of our experience. This might be a weird thing to lead off with, but my skewer of tomatoes roasted in wasabi oil was my absolute favorite part of the dinner. What can I say? I’m a true southern man at heart – nothing speaks to me like a ripe tomato. They were rich and juicy, baby. In addition to the gyoza, JFC, and crispy rice + spicy tuna, we also got an order of the brussel sprouts that were fantastic, but we didn’t snap a photo of those. The crispy rice + spicy tuna was the highlight of the appetizer round, offering a nice crunch accentuated by the dull heat of the spicy tuna. My wife got the spicy crab noodles and I tried the tonkotsu, which was just what I wanted on a cold winter’s night. It was a tasty combination of ingredients that offered the palate a little bit of everything. The crispy pork belly gave the dish a salty bite, but it was mellowed out by the broth and noodles. I added a scoop of corn and ratcheted up the spice level with some of their miso paste. That shit cleared out my sinuses, but I’m addicted to the heat. It was awesome. I also could’ve eaten an entire bowl of the eggs. Fantastic stuff.”

Red’s 615 Kitchen (7) full review – “A solid, straight up, and well above average ‘7’ for Red’s 615 Kitchen. How a menu can be simple and diverse at the same time is impressive – even if Nashville hot chicken isn’t your thing, Red’s boasts chicken and waffles, a catfish sandwich, and a BLFGT (bacon, lettuce, fried green tomatoes) that I can’t wait to try in the future. I dare say this has become my favorite food truck in Nashville, and one of my favorite all around meals in town.”

Snow White Drive In (7)full review – “In a word, it’s “hearty.” If you like the quintessential southern meat and three, Snow White is your place. But, speaking from experience outside of just the meal pictured, you can get a damn good burger and a damn good milkshake there too. I loved how savory every item I had was, seasoned as sure as the south has a reputation for seasoning its food. The gravy was rich and creamy…hell, the white and the brown…and complemented the meal perfectly. I’m a huge fan of pinto beans, and these were cooked to the perfect texture and seasoned just right (pro-tip: get it with onions and relish). The squash was fresh, fried nice and crispy. It’s the perfect down home country style meal, but again, don’t feel obligated to stick to the meat and three format. The menu at Snow White is reminiscent of those old time diners.”

The Good (6-7)

Butchertown Hall (6.97) full review – “The Smoke Stack is a flawless blend of flavor and texture that pays homage both to the quintessential southern meat-and-three and the smoke and spice of Texas BBQ all the same. Incredible and poetic – this is what I want my dining experiences to be in Nashville!”

Emmy Squared (6.94)full review – “I’ve yet to have a bad dish at Emmy Squared. In fact, I’d go as far to say I’ve never had something that was just ‘okay’ or simply ‘satisfying.’ Every meal I’ve eaten there has stood out, and been memorable. In terms of the quality of the food alone, and not the overall restaurant experience, it’s not unreasonable to say that Emmy Squared is among the elite in the city. The Nashville hot katsu sandwich was great – a unique, creative, different take on the Nashville hot chicken craze. I’m not usually a fan of bread and butter pickles on hot chicken, which is what these pickles closely resembled, but it worked to sort of sweeten the sandwich to contrast the tang of the ‘Bama white sauce and the bite of the radish. It might sound odd, but it really works well together. And, of course, the waffle fries quite simply never fucking miss.”

Califarmia (6.93)full review – “All in all, Califarmia brings an elite meal at a solid value. One of my favorite food trucks and dining experiences in the Nashville area.”

Daddy’s Dogs (6.88)full review – “I’ve gone off record and called Daddy’s Dogs some of the best comfort food in the city. I stand by that – whether you get your’s loaded up with all of the fixins, or you just like it plain, this is a physically and emotionally satisfying meal.”

Yummy Pho Bac (Mount Juliet) (6.87)full review – “I’m not kidding when I say it’s some of the best Pad Thai I’ve ever had. It’s definitely the best in the Mount Juliet area east of Nashville, and I’d put it right up there with the best in the entire region.”

Prince’s Hot Chicken (6.87)full review – “Prince’s offers up a good, classical style Nashville hot chicken and a quality of meal that you just won’t get everywhere else.”

Wedge Pizza & Pub (6.85)full review – “A good, solid, above-average effort on the pizza front. Aura and I had the barbecue chicken pizza, and I have to say, adding banana peppers was a nice touch. I love the tang, and the slightest bit of heat, that they provide to the pizza. Nothing was overbearing – perfect amount of sauce, good amount of chicken, and all the banana peppers I could eat because my wife was picking them off of her slices. The garlic parm wings were fantastic too, and cooked about as well as any wing I’ve had in this city. They were nice and crispy on the exterior, but not cooked so long that they were dry on the inside. Very good plate of wings.”

Tennessee Tatercakes (6.85) full review – “The first thing I noticed right off the bat was the texture. The Mack Attack has a little bit of everything – creamy mac and cheese, the crunch of the tatercake itself, the crisp bite of a jalapeno, and then the smoothness of the potatoes inside the tatercake. I don’t know how else to describe it – you experience a lot of different things with this one. The Mack Attack is like a Major League pitcher that has an arsenal of different pitches.”

Phat Bites (6.83)full review – “It’s a fun setting, for sure, but this breakfast proved to be one of the heavy hitters in town. An excellent start to the day.”

Kilgore’s (Smithville (6.83) full review – “I’m trying to tell y’all…it’s a peaceful drive up 70. Head out to Smithville one day, enjoy the scenery, check out the town square, move a little slower, eat a big meal at Kilgore’s, and live fat and happy for an evening.”

Rosepepper (6.75)full review – “… deserves to be considered among the upper echelon of Nashville restaurants in terms of value. Plus, the margaritas are the absolute gold standard in the Music City.”

BoomBozz (6.74) – full review – “There are so many options for pizza and beer in Nashville. But, with BoomBozz, you get a fearless menu of pizzas with incredible fresh toppings, a fun appetizer menu, an extensive beer list, and a laid back vibe that makes it the perfect place to kill an afternoon. It’s a bad day to be a cold beer when you walk through the doors at BoomBozz.”

Nadeen’s Hermitage Haven (6.73)full review – “It’s one of the best spots in Hermitage for their down-home Southern cooking and generous portions. I’ve yet to find a dish unsatisfying. Make it one of your Hermitage mainstays.”

Crow’s Nest (6.71)full review – “For me, it’s one of the best bar experiences around Nashville. Good bar food. Good beer list. Good vibes. That’s all you need.”

Drake’s (6.68)full review – “Elite echelon burger. Great beer list. Great gin and tonic. Good enough vibes and service. And, a good value given the quality of the burger and the booze. I’m definitely going to be adding Drake’s into the regular rotation whenever we find ourselves down in Williamson County.”

Hurt’s Hot Chicken (6.67)full review – “This instantly becomes our highest rated Nashville hot chicken, and deservedly so.”

Hugh-Baby’s (6.66) full review – “All the ingredients smushed together with a nice greasy flavor without being messy. I mean…this was damn near perfection. If you want to call Hugh-Baby’s the best burger in Nashville, I’m not going to stop you. I immediately think of Brown’s Diner and The Pharmacy, but I might consider Hugh-Baby’s the gold standard in time myself. It’s just exactly what I want when I’m craving a good greasy burger that isn’t going to have my stomach sounding like a 90s dial-up modem afterwards.”

Sir Pizza (6.65)full review – “…there’s something so different and yet so comforting about a meal at Sir Pizza. The Farmer’s Almanac is a goldmine of fresh ingredients. That’s one thing that has always stood out to me about this pizza – the olives, the peppers, and the onions ALL taste fresh. I love the small cubed pepperoni, and I love the smaller diced sausage. I love the smaller, square cut slices, and it’s one of the few pieces of pizza of which I will actually devour the crust. I might sound like a savage, but there’s something inherently satisfying about eating an entire slice of Sir Pizza pizza in one bite.”

Chang Noi Thai-Lao (6.65) full review – “If you’re craving pad Thai, this is as good of a meal as you’ll find around. The ingredients all tasted fresh, but let’s be real here – the sauce can make or break a pad Thai….this sauce is the truth.”

Slim Chickens (6.65) full review – “Five wings tossed in mango habanero sauce. Five tendies with the sweet chili sauce on the side. Fries and a slice of Texas toast. $12 – are you kidding me?!?!”

The Glade Diner (6.57) full review – “You go to The Glade Diner for the food, plain and simple. Fairly priced and loaded with down home flavor, there isn’t a substitute for miles.”

Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop (6.55) full review – “The best sweets spot around town, in my opinion. It’s dangerous.”

The Local Taco (Brentwood) (6.53)full review – “There’s no other way to put it – I was instantly vibing with this place. The food was outstanding, and the atmosphere made me feel like I was on vacation pounding Dos Equis Amber and getting ready to stumble out onto the beach and watch the sunset. That Korean BBQ taco is one of the most different and fun dishes I’ve tried while writing ‘Nashville Reviews,’ but that Nashville hot chicken taco is one I’ll keep going back to. It’s a shame I’m east of town in Mount Juliet and hardly ever leave the house, but Local Taco is worth the drive.”

Velvet Taco (6.46)full review – “Fresh ingredients are the hallmark of Velvet Taco, and it’s something I could taste in every bite. I loved the combination of flavors in each taco, and they were pretty large to boot. They are a solid effort in the Nashville taco scene, but the real MVPs of the meal were the queso, the red velvet cake, and the fact that we could get such a filling and satisfying meal without breaking the bank. Not too shabby, Velvet Taco.”

Smokin Thighs (6.375) full review – “I came away impressed by Smokin Thighs, but the hallmarks of the experience were the texture and taste of the smoked chicken, which I’d imagine rocks on any dish you get off of this menu, and the extensive list of booze. It struck me as the perfect way to kill an entire afternoon and end up having to call an Uber or Lyft to get you home safely.”

Nashville Sandwich Society (6.37) full review – On the fried gator and kimchi sandwich: “I think they’ve put some sort of curse upon this sandwich and all who eat it, because now, I am going to feel compelled to get it any time I see the Nashville Sandwich Society truck parked somewhere. It’s one of the most unique sandwiches I’ve seen on a menu in this city, and I have nothing but respect for whoever’s brain came up with it.”

Jersey Oven (6.37)full review – “Maybe I am being a little generous given how stoked I am just to be able to go somewhere nearby and get a pork roll, egg, and cheese. But, it’s damn good, and it’s damn different from any other breakfast you’ll get in the area. We’ll be making this apart of our regular breakfast rotation.”

Applebee’s (6.28)full review – “That’s right. You can make your jokes about Applebee’s, but this meal is as satisfying as they come. I left that Saturday afternoon, and I felt that Bourbon Street chicken and shrimp in my soul. It came out on a skillet that was sizzling, so you know all the girls were looking my way (taken ladies, sorry).”

MAFIAoZA’s (6.28/10)full review – “I’m putting MAFIAoZA’s right there in the top 2-5 pizzas in Nashville discussion. It gets the big thumbs up from me.”

Brothers’ Burger Joint (6.25)full review – “…a cool hangout spot with one of the best burgers in town.”

CHIVANADA (6.2/10) full review – “When I say that this was a hearty meal, I mean it was H E A R T Y. But, the flavor – my goodness – I described the carne empanada to my mother as a “taco in a piece of cornbread.””

Raising Cane’s (6.17/10)full review – “Of all the fast food chicken joints, Raising Cane’s unequivocally has the best chicken. It is golden crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The Cane’s sauce gives it a tangy, zesty pop. The coleslaw and fries are fine, but it’s the Texas toast that’s really the star of the show…rich and buttery, fluffy, with the slightest char across the toasted side. Pro-tip: add a second piece….not instead of coleslaw or anything…just…get another piece. It’s phenomenal.”

1 Spudtacular Food Truck (6.15/10) full review – “‘The Smasher’ instantly became one of my favorite binge dishes in the city. I can see this thing hitting especially hard in the fall during football season. If you’re a fan of the potato like me, this truck does ’em right.”

Yayo’s OMG (Original Mexian Gourmet) (6.1/10)full review – “Look – if you’re in the taco game, this is a solid, quality meal. At most taco places around town, you’re going to be dealing with a grease factor. Pack the napkins. But, to be as good as these tacos were, I noticed they didn’t make a mess at all. It was a satisfying meal, and while the shrimp and chorizo tacos were the real highlights, if you’re going to do Yayo’s OMG, you GOTTA do the churro bites.”

The Grilled Cheeserie (6.06/10)full review – “When you have the craving for something like it, it’s the absolute best.”

Tennessee Cobbler Company (6.05/10)full review – “If you have a sweet tooth, but want something fresh, fruity, and filling, this could be your go-to.”

The Solid (5-6)

The below average and the bad: this might be controversial, and some might say I’m not doing real journalism here, but I’ve excluded those restaurants that have gotten a score of five or below. Those reviews are still live on the site, but I’m not gonna rub anyone’s nose through it twice over by including ’em here. To be completely fair, it’s entirely possible we just caught these spots on a bad night, so I’m not going to keep stirring that kind stuff up.

Reviews without scores

More Nashville Rankings

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley

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