Unique Restaurants in Nashville: 12 Trendy Eateries in Nashville, TN

by Jen
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Are you looking for the most unique restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee? Here are 12 of the best places to eat in Nashville, each with a unique twist!

When you think of Nashville, it’s hard not to hum a country tune or picture the neon lights of Broadway. But there’s another rhythm to this city, one that’s crafted in kitchens and served on plates. Welcome to Nashville’s dynamic dining scene, where every meal is guaranteed to leave you with long-lasting memories.

While the city’s music legacy is legendary, its food scene is an unsung hero. From hole-in-the-wall diners serving up the crispiest Nashville Hot Chicken to elegant rooftops offering panoramic city views and gourmet dishes, there’s a culinary adventure waiting around every corner. Imagine sipping on a crafted cocktail in a historic bar where legends once sat or grabbing a coffee from a quirky cafe that doubles as a vintage record store.

Local is the keyword here. Many of Nashville’s eateries pride themselves on sourcing ingredients from nearby farms, ensuring that what you get on your plate is fresh, authentic, and packed with flavor. It’s this commitment to quality and authenticity that sets the city’s dining scene apart.

So, whether you’re a food enthusiast looking for the next big flavor or a traveler eager to explore Nashville’s unique places to eat, this guide has got you covered. Dive in as we explore 12 standout restaurants that define Nashville’s culinary landscape. Trust us; your taste buds are in for a treat. Here’s all you need to know about the most unique restaurants in Nashville, TN.

The top restaurants to visit in Nashville right now
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Unique Restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee: 12 Memorable Places to Eat in Nashville

Are you ready to discover the most unique restaurants in Nashville? As previously mentioned, there’s a wide variety of places to eat in Nashville to please all visitors. Keep reading to find out where to eat in Nashville, TN.

Are you looking for a spicy kick with authentic hot chicken? Or would you rather indulge in a slice of New York-style pizza with a Southern twist? Whatever your palate desires, Nashville can accommodate your needs. Fly into Nashville and prepare to be amazed. Here’s your in-depth guide to the most unique restaurants in Nashville.

1. Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

If there’s one dish that’s synonymous with Nashville, it’s Hot Chicken, and Hattie B’s is the place to get it. One of the best restaurants in Nashville, this spot has earned its reputation by serving some of the spiciest, most flavorful chicken in town. Whether you’re a daredevil looking to test your spice limits or someone who prefers a milder kick, Hattie B’s has a heat level for everyone.

Located in the heart of the city, the ambiance is as vibrant as the chicken is spicy. The walls are adorned with local art, and there’s often a line out the door – a testament to its popularity. But don’t let that deter you; the wait is worth every bite!

Apart from the legendary chicken, the menu boasts southern sides like creamy coleslaw, pimento mac & cheese, and crispy crinkle fries. And if you’re looking to wash down that spice, their local beer selection is on point.

The combination of mouth-watering chicken, southern hospitality, and a lively atmosphere makes it a must-visit. If you’re a local or a tourist, a trip to Nashville is incomplete without a stop at this hotspot!

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is one of the unique restaurants in Nashville.
Hattie B’s serves the city’s iconic Hot Chicken, earning its reputation as one of the best spots for fiery flavor.

2. The Pharmacy Burger

When it comes to burgers, The Pharmacy Burger is a name that resonates with both locals and visitors. Nestled in East Nashville, this eatery truly showcases the art of burger-making. With a vast beer menu and even vegan-friendly options, it’s one of the best places to eat in Nashville for burger enthusiasts.

The outdoor beer garden is a highlight, offering a relaxed setting to enjoy your meal. The burgers are juicy, flavorful, and made from Tennessee-raised beef. And if beef isn’t your thing, they’ve got turkey, veggie, and even falafel burgers. Pair them with hand-cut fries or a side of their homemade soda, and you’re in for a treat.

The Pharmacy goes beyond the typical burger experience. With an emphasis on local ingredients and a diverse menu that caters to various dietary preferences, it’s a place where everyone can find something to love. The vintage ambiance, combined with top-notch service, makes it a must-visit when in Nashville.

The Pharmacy Burger is a burger lover's haven with a diverse beer menu and vegan options.
The Pharmacy Burger is a burger lover’s haven with a diverse beer menu and vegan options.

3. Woolworth on 5th

At Woolworth on 5th, every meal is a nod to Nashville’s history. This iconic spot played a pivotal role during the Civil Rights Movement, hosting sit-ins that championed equality. Today, it serves as both a reminder of the city’s transformative past and a hub for Southern culinary delights.

The menu is authentically Southern. Dishes like shrimp and grits or fried green tomatoes are staples, but it’s the setting that sets the meal apart. As you dine, you’re surrounded by carefully preserved interiors that echo the 1960s, from the vintage fixtures to the photographs of activists who once stood there.

The New Era Ballroom brings the place to life with vibrant music nights. Guests can enjoy live jazz, soul, and R&B, which makes it a hotspot for both dining and entertainment. With its historic importance, delicious food, and unparalleled atmosphere, Woolworth on 5th is absolutely one of Nashville’s best restaurants.

Woolworth on 5th pays homage to the history as a Civil Rights Movement site while serving up Southern culinary delights. | Source: https://nashville.eater.com/
Woolworth on 5th pays homage to the history as a Civil Rights Movement site while serving up Southern culinary delights. | Source: https://nashville.eater.com/

4. The Standard of Magic

In the heart of Nashville, The Standard of Magic offers an experience that goes beyond the ordinary. Nestled within The Standard, this intimate venue showcases the mesmerizing talents of world-famous magician Justin Flom. As you indulge in gourmet dishes, the magic unfolds right before your eyes. Hands down, it’s one of the coolest places to eat in Nashville!

The exclusivity of the venue, with only 100 seats, ensures every guest gets a personal and interactive experience. The magic is paired with a menu that’s equally enchanting, featuring dishes crafted with the finest local ingredients. Think seared scallops with a delicate truffle sauce or a perfectly cooked filet mignon paired with a rich red wine reduction. To complement the meal, the wine list boasts selections from some of the world’s finest vineyards.

As for pricing, an evening at The Standard of Magic is a premium experience. While it’s on the higher end of the spectrum, the combination of world-class magic, exquisite food, and the venue’s exclusivity justifies the investment.

Dining at The Standard of Magic is about immersing oneself in an evening of wonder. The blend of culinary excellence with world-class magic performances sets it apart, offering an unforgettable night in Nashville.

Experience extraordinary dining at The Standard of Magic, where world-famous magician Justin Flom entertains you as you savor gourmet dishes. | Source: https://www.instagram.com/thestandardofmagic/
Experience extraordinary dining at The Standard of Magic, where world-famous magician Justin Flom entertains you as you savor gourmet dishes. | Source: The Standard of Magic on Instagram

5. The Rabbit Hole at Henley

Ever thought of dinner as an adventure? At The Rabbit Hole at Henley, that’s exactly what you get. Tucked away in Nashville, this spot is all about fun, flavor, and a dash of the unexpected. Picture this: chefs whipping up dishes right before your eyes, turning fresh ingredients into something downright delicious. From a zesty beetroot soup that packs a punch to a duck breast that’s all kinds of juicy goodness, every dish is a tasty surprise.

The vibe exudes laid-back luxury. It’s cozy, it’s chic, and it’s got that Nashville charm we all love. The tunes are just right, the lighting sets the mood, and the staff are all about making sure you have a good time.

For anyone searching for unique restaurants in Nashville, The Rabbit Hole is a no-brainer. It’s less about being fancy and more about enjoying some seriously good food in a cool setting. And while it’s a bit on the pricier side, it’s the kind of place that leaves you raving to your friends. So, ready for a dinner that’s a bit different? This is your spot!

The Rabbit Hole at Henley offers a dining adventure with chefs creating delightful surprises from fresh ingredients. | Source: https://nashville.eater.com/
The Rabbit Hole at Henley offers a dining adventure with chefs creating delightful surprises from fresh ingredients. | Source: https://nashville.eater.com/

6. Pinewood Social

Imagine a place where mornings start with artisanal coffee, afternoons transition to delightful meals, and evenings end with bowling strikes and cheers. Welcome to Pinewood Social, a unique blend of a cafe, restaurant, and retro bowling alley, all rolled into one. Located by the scenic Cumberland River, it’s where Nashville’s cool crowd comes to unwind.

The menu boasts classic American dishes with a modern twist. Dive into the savory truffle and cheddar biscuits or get your hands on the juicy Pinewood burger. And when it’s time for a drink, their cocktail list offers both timeless classics and innovative concoctions.

It’s not just the food and drinks that make Pinewood Social a standout among Nashville’s best restaurants. The ambiance is all about relaxed fun. Comfy seating areas, a poolside bar, and a vintage airstream set the scene for memorable moments. It’s the perfect spot for catching up with friends, celebrating special occasions, or simply enjoying the laid-back Nashville vibe.

Pinewood Social is one of the unique restaurants in Nashville.
Pinewood Social combines coffee, dining, and retro bowling for a unique and popular hangout spot by the Cumberland River.

7. Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint

BBQ lovers, this one’s for you! Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint is where the magic of slow-cooked, pit-fired BBQ comes alive in Nashville. It’s all about the smoke, the sizzle, and the flavors that’ll have you coming back for more. Located in the heart of the city, Martin’s is a haven for those craving authentic Southern BBQ goodness.

Now, let’s talk ribs. Fall-off-the-bone, smothered in tangy sauce, and grilled to perfection. And if ribs aren’t your thing, their pulled pork sandwiches and smoked turkey are legendary. Pair them up with classic sides like mac ‘n’ cheese or coleslaw, and you’ve got yourself a feast.

What truly sets Martin’s apart in the unique places in Nashville to eat scene is its dedication to the craft. Every piece of meat is smoked for hours, ensuring that rich, deep flavor in every bite. The atmosphere? Think rustic charm with a side of Southern hospitality. Live music, communal tables, and the aroma of BBQ in the air – it’s the kind of place that feels like home, but with way better food.

Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint is the ultimate destination for authentic Southern BBQ lovers, where slow-cooked, pit-fired flavors shine.
Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint is the ultimate destination for authentic Southern BBQ lovers, where slow-cooked, pit-fired flavors shine.

8. Rolf and Daughters

Rolf and Daughters bring a touch of the Mediterranean to Nashville’s historic Germantown neighborhood. With a focus on fresh, vibrant flavors and seasonal ingredients, this unique restaurant in Nashville offers dishes that are both delicious and memorable.

The menu showcases a mix of pasta, meats, and seafood, all inspired by Mediterranean traditions. Hand-cut tagliatelle with rich pork ragu or perfectly seared scallops with a hint of citrus are just a couple of the delights awaiting diners. And for those with a love for wine, the list features selections from small European producers.

The ambiance at Rolf and Daughters adds to the overall experience. Exposed brick walls, warm lighting, and communal tables create a cozy atmosphere. It’s a place where laughter fills the air, glasses clink in toast, and every meal feels like a special occasion. Perfect for both intimate dinners and lively gatherings with friends, it’s a must-visit if you’re looking for Nashville’s coolest restaurants.

Rolf and Daughters infuse Mediterranean flavors into its dishes, creating a delicious and memorable dining experience.
Rolf and Daughters infuse Mediterranean flavors into its dishes, creating a delicious and memorable dining experience.

9. Five Points Pizza

Craving that authentic New York-style pizza in the heart of Tennessee? Look no further than Five Points Pizza. Located in the vibrant East Nashville neighborhood, this pizzeria has quickly become a local favorite for all things cheesy, crispy, and downright delicious.

From the classic Margherita to the spicy Pepperoni and Jalapeño, every pizza is a masterpiece of flavors. The secret lies in a perfectly thin crust, top-notch ingredients, and a wood-fired oven that gives each slice its signature char. And if you’re in the mood for something different, their garlic knots and strombolis are to die for.

The vibe at Five Points Pizza is laid-back and friendly. With its open kitchen design, you can watch the pizza-making magic happen right before your eyes. Pair your slice with a cold craft beer or a glass of wine, and you’re set for a perfect evening.

For those on the hunt for cheap eats in Nashville, TN, this spot offers top-quality pizza without breaking the bank. It’s the go-to place for a casual dinner, a late-night snack, or a fun outing with friends and family.

Five Points Pizza is a local favorite for authentic New York-style pizza, offering cheesy, crispy, and delicious slices.
Five Points Pizza is a local favorite for authentic New York-style pizza, offering cheesy, crispy, and delicious slices.

10. Chauhan Ale & Masala House

When Southern comfort meets Indian spice, you get Chauhan Ale & Masala House. Located in the heart of Nashville, this eatery offers a delightful twist on traditional Indian cuisine, blending it seamlessly with the flavors of the American South.

The brainchild of celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan, the menu is a vibrant tapestry of flavors. Dive into dishes like the ‘Tandoori Chicken Poutine’ or the ‘Lamb Keema Papadi Nachos’. Each plate is a fusion, telling a story of two cultures coming together in the most delicious way.

With its warm woods, ornate fixtures, and pops of color, it feels like stepping into a modern Indian bazaar. And let’s not forget the drinks! Their signature cocktails, infused with spices like cardamom and turmeric, are the perfect accompaniment to the spicy fare.

For those searching for unique restaurants in Nashville for dinner, Chauhan Ale & Masala House offers an experience that’s both familiar and exotic. It’s an establishment that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more.

Chauhan Ale & Masala House combines Southern comfort with Indian spice, creating a delightful fusion of flavors in the heart of the city.
Chauhan Ale & Masala House combines Southern comfort with Indian spice, creating a delightful fusion of flavors in the heart of the city.

11. The Stillery

Downtown Nashville buzzes with energy, and right in its heart, The Stillery stands as a hotspot for delicious eats and refreshing spirits. This two-story eatery and bar captures the essence of good times, great food, and memorable moments.

The menu dives deep into comfort food classics, given a gourmet twist. Their signature brick-fired pizzas steal the show, boasting toppings like spicy pepperoni and tangy BBQ chicken. If pizza doesn’t call out to you, consider indulging in the mac ‘n’ cheese topped with crispy chicken or the Nashville hot chicken sliders.

The Stillery also shines with its handcrafted cocktails, especially its mason jar mixes. The refreshing “Blueberry Lemonade” and the fiery “Nashville Heat” are just a couple of the favorites.

With a backdrop of exposed brick, rustic wood, and live music echoing the sounds of Music City, The Stillery offers a lively atmosphere that’s hard to resist. It’s a top pick among the unique restaurants in Nashville, serving up the city’s spirit in every bite and sip.

The Stillery is a vibrant hotspot for delicious food and spirits, offering good times and memorable moments.
The Stillery is a vibrant hotspot for delicious food and spirits, offering good times and memorable moments.

12. Skull’s Rainbow Room

Hidden within the legendary Printers Alley, Skull’s Rainbow Room offers a blend of past and present that’s hard to beat. This isn’t your typical dining spot. It’s a spectacle of live jazz, captivating burlesque performances, and an ambiance that oozes old-school glamour.

The menu is a delightful mix of classics with a gourmet touch. Dive into dishes like the succulent prime rib or the zesty shrimp and grits. When it comes to drinks, their “Printers Alley Punch” is a cocktail that legends are made of.

What truly makes Skull’s a standout in the unique places in Nashville to eat scene is its storied history. Serving night owls since the 1940s, it’s a place where vintage charm meets modern fun. Every evening at Skull’s feels like a special event, a throwback to a time of glitz and glamour.

For a memorable Nashville experience, Skull’s Rainbow Room delivers. It’s all about great food, unforgettable performances, and a vibe that’s uniquely Nashville.

Skull's Rainbow Room is one of the unique restaurants in Nashville.
Skull’s Rainbow Room in Printers Alley combines live jazz, burlesque, and old-school glamour for a unique experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Most Unique Restaurants in Nashville, TN

Are you looking for more content about where to eat in Nashville, Tennessee? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about Nashville’s most unique restaurants.

What food should you not miss in Nashville?

When in Nashville, indulging in the city’s signature hot chicken is a must. This spicy fried chicken dish, often served with pickles on white bread, has become synonymous with Nashville’s culinary identity. Additionally, don’t miss out on the city’s BBQ offerings, biscuits, and classic Southern sides.

What makes Nashville’s dining scene so unique?

Nashville’s dining scene is a vibrant mix of traditional Southern comfort foods and innovative culinary experiences. From BBQ joints that have been serving up smoky delights for decades to modern fusion restaurants blending global flavors, there’s always something new and exciting to try. Plus, with the city’s rich musical heritage, many spots offer live performances, making dining in Nashville a multi-sensory experience.

What is famous food in Nashville?

Nashville, Tennessee, is a city renowned for its music, but its culinary scene is equally worthy of applause. Here are some of the famous foods you should try when you’re in the Music City:

  • Meat and Three: A quintessential Southern meal, it consists of a meat dish accompanied by three sides like mac and cheese, cornbread, or vegetables.
  • Hot Fried Chicken: Nashville’s own spicy twist on fried chicken, seasoned with cayenne chili and often served with potatoes or pickles.
  • Barbecue: Known for its smoky flavor and tender texture, the meats are smoked and simmered for hours.
  • Country Ham: A traditional dish where the ham is cured in salt and other drying ingredients, intensifying its flavor.
  • Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya: A Creole-inspired dish featuring sautéed rice, pepper, onions, and tomatoes, along with chicken thighs and smoked sausage.
  • Grilled Pimento Mac n Cheese: A delightful combination of macaroni, cheese, toasted bread, and butter.
  • Fried Catfish: A Southern staple, the catfish is seasoned with lemon juice and pepper before being fried.
  • Biscuits: A popular side dish, often served with meat and three or hot fried chicken.
  • Cornbread: Another popular side, made from locally grown corn.
  • Fried Pickles: Sliced pickles coated in flour and spices, then deep-fried.
  • Bonuts: A hybrid of biscuits and doughnuts, deep-fried and glazed with various toppings.
  • Roasted Cauliflower: A vegetable dish marinated with flour and cream, then baked.
  • Kimchi Spring Rolls: A fusion dish featuring a rich recipe of veggies like cabbage, carrot, and cucumber.
  • Fruit Tea: A Southern specialty drink made from brewed black tea flavored with various fruit juices.
  • Belle Meade Bourbon-Tennessee Whiskey: A local distillery product that complements the city’s culinary offerings.

Are there any affordable yet unique places to eat in Nashville?

Absolutely! While Nashville boasts its fair share of upscale dining establishments, there are plenty of affordable gems that offer unique dining experiences. Places like Five Points Pizza serve up gourmet flavors without the hefty price tag. Additionally, the city is home to various food trucks and local eateries that serve delicious meals without breaking the bank.

Nashville boasts a wide range of dining options, from traditional restaurants to food trucks, catering to diverse tastes.
Nashville boasts a wide range of dining options, from traditional restaurants to food trucks, catering to diverse tastes.

Where do celebrities eat in Nashville?

Nashville, the Music City, is not just a haven for country music lovers but also a hotspot for celebrity sightings. Many celebrities call Nashville home and are often seen around town, especially in bars and restaurants.

  • Miranda Lambert’s Casa Rosa: Owned by country music star Miranda Lambert, she is known to perform here quite often.
  • Whole Foods in Green Hills: A popular grocery store where celebrities like to shop and sometimes eat at the in-store cafes.
  • Pancake Pantry in Hillsboro: A breakfast spot frequented by celebrities.
  • Santa’s Pub at Bransford Ave: A dive bar where you might spot a famous face.
  • Pinewood Social: A trendy spot known for its food, bowling alley, and pool.
  • Fido’s Coffee Shop in Hillsboro: A popular coffee shop where celebrities often hang out.
  • The area of Franklin and Brentwood: These affluent neighborhoods have various dining spots where celebrities are often seen.

These are just a few places where you’re likely to bump into a celebrity while dining out in Nashville.

Are there unique Nashville restaurants that cater to plant-based diets?

Yes, Nashville is increasingly becoming a haven for vegetarians and vegans. Many restaurants, even those that traditionally serve meat-centric dishes, now offer plant-based options. Establishments like The Wild Cow and Avo are entirely vegetarian and offer a range of delicious and innovative dishes.

What is the signature dish of Nashville?

The undisputed signature dish of Nashville is “Hot Chicken.” This fiery delight is deep-fried chicken that’s been marinated in a spicy sauce, usually served atop white bread with pickles. Its origins trace back to the local African-American community, and over the years, it has become a staple that both locals and visitors crave.

Which hidden culinary treasures in Nashville should I explore?

While Nashville boasts several renowned dining spots, some lesser-known gems offer equally delightful experiences. Venturing off the beaten path can lead to some mouthwatering discoveries:

  1. The Mockingbird: A modern diner serving global fare with a playful twist.
  2. Five Points Pizza: Located in East Nashville, this pizzeria is all about authentic New York-style pizza with a Nashville touch.
  3. Rolf and Daughters: Situated in the historic Germantown neighborhood, it offers a fresh take on Mediterranean cuisine, blending it seamlessly with Southern flavors.

What bar in Nashville has the best food?

Here are some bars in Nashville that are highly rated for their food:

  • The Stillery: Located in Downtown Nashville, this bar offers American cuisine with a twist. Their menu may look like standard bar food, but the taste is exceptional. They offer outdoor seating, delivery, and takeout.
  • HiFi Clyde’s Nashville: Situated in Midtown, this sports bar offers surprisingly good food that goes beyond typical bar fare. It’s family-owned and operated, and also offers outdoor seating, delivery, and takeout.
  • The Twelve Thirty Club: This cocktail bar in Downtown Nashville is known for offering more than just typical bar food. They also provide outdoor seating, delivery, and takeout.
  • Ole Smoky Distillery/Yee-Haw Brewing Co.: Located in Sobro, this distillery and brewery also offers tacos. They have outdoor seating and delivery options.
  • Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar: This American traditional beer bar in Downtown Nashville offers appetizers that exceed the usual bar food expectations. They also have outdoor seating.
  • The Local: Located in Midtown, this bar is known for offering food that is not typical bar fare but much more. They also offer outdoor seating.
  • City Tap House: Situated in Sobro, this gastropub offers a wide range of beers on tap and some of the best bar food in the area. They offer delivery and takeout options.

Where can I find the best food in Nashville with a view?

Nashville is blessed with scenic beauty, and several restaurants capitalize on this with stunning views. For a dining experience paired with a visual treat, consider spots near the Cumberland River or those with rooftop dining options. These places often combine Nashville’s scenic beauty with its culinary delights.

Final Thoughts on Nashville’s Unique Restaurants

Nashville shines brightly on the food front. From sizzling hot chicken joints to cozy pizza spots like Five Points Pizza, every nook of this city offers flavors that captivate and delight. The blend of Southern traditions with innovative twists ensures a dining experience that’s both familiar and refreshingly new.

Dive into the rich flavors at Rolf and Daughters or grab a slice at a local pizzeria, and you’ll quickly realize that Nashville’s food scene is as vibrant and diverse as its musical heritage. Each restaurant, be it a renowned eatery or a hidden Nashville gem, paints a vivid picture of the city’s rich culture, history, and passion for good food.

As you explore the city, remember to bring your appetite and a sense of adventure. The unique restaurants in Nashville stand ready to serve up unforgettable moments, one plate at a time.

The top restaurants in Nashville for all types of travelers
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