Memphis may be the Tennessee city known for soul music and style, but don’t overlook Nashville when talking about soul food.
There is no lack of delicious fried chicken from Downtown to the outskirts of town.
You can find mouth-watering banana pudding served in a beautiful 1800s mansion and a gritty hole-in-the-wall.
There is soul food worth eating no matter where you are in Nashville.
Don’t limit yourself. Eat at the big fancy places and the small diners.
So, if you’re in the mood for some down-home Southern cooking, check out this list of the best soul food restaurants in Nashville.
The original Monell’s is located in the heart of Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood.
You can also enjoy their delicious soul food in their At the Manor location, minutes away from the Nashville International Airport.
Both locations operate out of century-old buildings that provide the right amount of Southern Charm to your meal.
Monell’s serves a set menu, which changes daily for lunch and dinner.
I recommend visiting for one of the largest country breakfasts I’ve ever seen.
Enjoy bacon, country ham, and smoked sausage with hash browns, cheese grits, and much more.
Plan on eating late lunch because you won’t have room for a while!
2725 Clifton Ave, Nashville, TN 37209
Swett’s has been serving homestyle southern cooking in Nashville since 1954.
This family-run restaurant has stayed true to its roots, maintaining the same cafeteria-style diner vibe throughout the decades.
I’ve always loved going into a restaurant and seeing pictures of famous people who’ve eaten there.
Grab a plate and enjoy a meal in the same seats as James Brown, Mary J. Blige, and Danny Glover.
Get whatever sides you want, but have them with a couple of pieces of Swett’s deliciously-crispy fried chicken.
Don’t forget to order some cornbread too.
I know it’ll be difficult, but ensure you save room for the cobbler.
If you can’t decide between peach or blackberry, get both – one for there, one to take home.
605 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203
Jack and Rose Arnold opened their Country Kitchen in 1982, and the business is still run by their family today.
Arnold’s takes pride in being a mom-and-pop spot, making their food from scratch daily just like they would for their family at home.
The mom-and-pop vibe is strong, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call Arnold’s quaint.
The well-stocked bar makes this establishment a great place for those wanting a solid drink with their meal.
I recommend ordering their cherry smoked brisket tacos with Arnold’s special hot sauce, some banana pudding, and a The Daly Palmer cocktail to wash it all down.
The cocktail is a sweet mix of vodka, tea, and lemonade.
2264 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37217
H&T’s Home Cooking is located well outside the hustle and bustle of Downtown Nashville.
It’s the perfect spot to grab a bite of Southern cooking near J Percy Priest Reservoir, a popular area filled with camping and water activities.
I recommend ordering the meatloaf.
They cook the meat just right, the sauce is delicious, and it comes with a side of cornbread that will have you asking for a second piece.
They have many sides to choose from, but you can’t go wrong with mac and cheese and green beans when enjoying meatloaf.
If you have a sweet tooth and enjoy surprising, take a chance and order the cobbler of the day for dessert.
I say take the chance, but is there really such a thing as bad cobbler?!
37 Rutledge St, Nashville, TN 37210
Husk is dedicated to serving the highest quality food in the highest quality setting.
The restaurant’s exterior portrays the same Southern charm it did when built in 1882.
But the interior has many rustic modern touches that create a historically hip vibe that you remember almost as much as your meal.
The dedication put into creating Southern food using only Southern ingredients is admirable.
The Husk team sources local heirloom products to craft their delicious dishes.
When I was there, I ordered the Smoked NC Trout Roll with pickled celery and lemon for a quick and satisfying brunch.
It was superb!
Keep in mind their menu changes daily based on the ingredients available; you can find the daily menu posted on their website.
I can say if you order something you know you typically enjoy, I have no doubt you’ll be impressed with Husk’s take on the dish.
8400 TN-100, Nashville, TN 37221
The Loveless Café is located in a beautiful and quaint roadside stop about half an hour outside of Nashville.
The stop sits about 100 feet from the Natchez Trace Parkway, a historical landmark roadway run by the National Park Service.
If you want a great meal before taking a breathtaking scenic drive, this is the place.
Cooks start preparing food from scratch every day at 3 a.m.
I recommend starting your day here with a delicious breakfast.
There’s something about hot and fresh biscuits that makes the day sunnier.
Toss a ladle of gravy on top and set some bacon or sausage on the side, and be ready for whatever comes your way.
1497 County Hospital Rd, Nashville, TN 37218
Lando’s Soul Food is a food trailer usually set up in the parking lot of a small neighborhood market outside the heavy traffic of Downtown Nashville.
It’s easy to overlook Lando’s because of its location, which is how the locals like it.
The prices are right, the food is delicious, and it’s a fantastic spot to grab a bite of soul food without the city crowds.
You’ll notice the smoker outside the trailer as soon as you arrive.
Lando’s is popular for its Mega Burger and fried fish.
But when someone is smoking their own meat on-site, that’s what I’m recommending.
You can’t go wrong with chicken or ribs, but make sure to get a side of the smoked Brussel sprouts.
1200 Buchanan St, Nashville, TN 37208
Soul food is known for smoked meats, fried chicken, and creamy mac and cheese, so when I first heard of a vegan comfort food restaurant, it just didn’t sound right. But it sure tasted right.
Tiffany Hancock, the chef behind the family-run 100% plant-based soul food restaurant, has said that the Loaded BBQ Jackfruit Nachos with sriracha is one of her favorite items on the menu – and I agree after trying them.
The dish features corn chips loaded with red onions, black beans, house “cheeze” sauce, tomato, and delicious BBQ jackfruit.
Fun fact, Jackfruit is a fruit related to figs and mulberries, but its texture and taste when cooked is similar to pulled pork.
I won’t say you can’t taste the difference, but when smothered in a good BBQ sauce, you’ll be surprised at how delicious it is.
306 E Thompson Ln, Nashville, TN 37211
Ramzy’s is the perfect example of a standard diner that may not look like much but serves some of the best food you’ve ever had.
Walk in, go to the counter and look down at trays and trays of delicious meats and sides.
Place your order, get your food within a couple of minutes, and sit down to enjoy.
Fast, delicious, and well-priced hits the spot every time.
I recommend ordering the restaurant’s namesake Meat and 3 Veggie.
Meat options include fried chicken, beef stew, country-fried steak, and more.
Veggies include greens, beans, and mac and cheese – yes, mac and cheese is a veggie in the South.
Don’t ask questions, just enjoy.
Music City is a large metropolis with plenty to do.
You can enjoy a professional sporting event, tour historical college campuses, or head Downtown to try and catch a glimpse of a country music star.
You’re bound to find something to tickle your fancy in one of the South’s largest cities.
You’ll need plenty of energy to keep you going as you go around the city, and there’s no better way to explore the South than when fueled by fried chicken, mac and cheese, and collard greens from these best soul food restaurants in Nashville.
Don’t forget to grab a few drinks while you’re in town as well. Check out some of these incredible rooftop bars near Nashville!
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
- Arnold’s Country Kitchen
- H&T’s Home Cooking
- The Loveless Cafe
- Lando’s Soul Food
- The Southern V
- Ramzy’s Meat & Three
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