Nashville, Tennessee, is considered the capital of country music. If you’re visiting, stop by the Country Music Hall of Fame, and venture through the Music Row district. You can also enjoy the numerous music-themed walks around town. It’s no surprise that there are tons of bars with live music scattered throughout the city. One thing that’s big in Nashville is kicking back and enjoying a cold brew while listening to classics like Johnny Cash.
The best live music venues will not only offer great music, but the artists are diverse, and the sound system has to be top of the line. I searched for places that provided convenient seating both near and far while not compromising a quality listening experience.
Based on personal experience and recommendations from locals, I’ve composed a list that has all the top spots with food, drinks, and plenty of country and bluegrass for your listening pleasure. Check out our list of the best live music in Nashville!
3rd & Lindsley
818 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37210
If you’re hanging around the Downtown area, near the business center, don’t hesitate to visit 3rd & Lindsley. This live music venue features an eclectic group of performers on a nightly basis, plus they have delicious food and drinks available.
The burgers and fries are really good, but what’s even better at 3rd & Lindsley is the friendly staff and the top-tier sound system that lets you feel the music on your bones! The setting is intimate, only seating around 50 people. On my trip to Nashville, the locals said this was a must-see; and they weren’t wrong.
I appreciated being able to purchase artwork and CDs from the artists that play at the venue. You get a bit of everything for the music selections, with country music being prominent. You don’t pay a cover charge, the servers are attentive to food and drink requests, and there’s always a great show going on.
1604 8th Ave S Ste 330, Nashville, TN 37203
The Basement is the perfect location if you want to enjoy a cozy spot with live music and a welcoming atmosphere. They have spacious outdoor seating on the patio, and you can listen to various musical styles, including alternative, rock, and indie artists.
Up and coming performers get to see their talent at the Basement, but classic artists such as Metallica may drop by as they did in 2008. The food and drinks are relatively cheap if you’re searching for live music venues that offer traditional bar foods. This hidden gem tries to accommodate guests by answering questions and making you comfortable during your visit.
Schermerhorn Symphony Center
1 Symphony Pl, Nashville, TN 37201
The Schermerhorn Symphony Center is amongst the top places to see live bands in Nashville. The setting in this neoclassical building is somehow intimate despite seating close to 2000 people. This venue features touring and local bands that give pop, jazz, and classical music concerts.
The environment is also very elegant, and the decor is beautiful. The staff is courteous, and they also assist you with purchasing tickets for upcoming shows. There are numerous shows at all hours of the day. Another feature I enjoyed was how quickly the bartenders make a custom drink. The acoustics throughout the space are phenomenal. The Schermerhorn Symphony Center is gorgeous architecturally, and it offers a good time.
116 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219
Ryman Auditorium isn’t your typical live music joint. It is a historic location with a lot to show guests that might be curious about all the top names that have come by over the years. RA is amongst the most decorated and celebrated modern music locations in Tennessee. This music hall houses some of the best live music in Nashville. You can catch a concert on any night of the week.
Seating almost 2400 guests, Ryman Auditorium was the previous home of Bluegrass and the Grand Ole Opry. You can also get a backstage pass for a special peek and a little more information about the inner workings of the music venue. A self-guided tour is an excellent option if you have the time.
It’s worth visiting if you want to have a nice evening out with friends and family in the presence of impressive musical talent. It’s a live music event unlike what you normally get to experience in the area, and all of Nashville for that matter!
The Station Inn
402 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203
In the Gulch neighborhood of Nashville sits The Station Inn. They have what the locals deem the best classic country, roots music, Americana, and bluegrass music worldwide. The Station Inn hosts live music performances every day of the week.
As a bonus, the food is excellent as well as the drinks. Enjoy nachos, pizza, hot dogs, and other tasty snacks with a beer while listening to the music. The mom and pops vibes are inviting and make you want to keep coming back for more great music and fun times. The variety of wine, beer, and available cocktails was impressive.
The Station Inn is a non-smoking space, and the tickets are first-come, first-serve. They also offer music lessons, which is cool.
Robert’s Western World
416 Broadway B, Nashville, TN 37203
Robert’s Western World had gotten voted Nashville Scene’s Local Favorite Honky Tonk for an impressive eight years straight! You can find it on Lower Broadway in the famous historic district of downtown, Tennessee. Get ready to enjoy yourself because the live country bands, fried bologna sandwiches draw an extra incredible collection of people.
So if you’re looking for a great place filled with friendly folks, this is the place to be. There’s hanging memorabilia, nice staff, and neon lights which all add to the beautiful ambiance. Moreover, live music is featured seven days a week, and there’s a lot of beer and beverages with awesome food from the grill!
The Bluebird Cafe
4104 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215
The Bluebird Cafe is just outside of downtown Nashville. You may be surprised to learn that such a modest 90 seat venue has had some of the most significant artists and songwriters perform here! This place is home to one of the world’s preeminent listening rooms with worldwide recognition as the place where songwriters go to perform their own songs.
Bluebird Cafe has a signature style whereby the songwriters are in the center of the room where they perform together, tell stories, and accompany one another. This unique setup gives you personal insight as to how songwriters create their music. While there, enjoy some tasty red beans and rice and turkey club good drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Be sure to make reservations before going if you don’t want to miss out!
Loser’s has multiple locations in both the midtown and downtown locations of Nashville, Tennessee. Stop by to enjoy the ambiance of a genuine dive bar with all of the elements that bring out the who’s who of Nashville’s music industry.
Loser’s is an intimate environment that serves classic bar eats and a variety of beers on tap. They have yummy appetizers to accompany your drinks, and the bartenders are always willing to make suggestions on what pairs well. Loser’s has a homey vibe that sets the stage for a great time. While there, enjoy bar games, great cocktails, a robust beer selection, fast service, and tasty burgers and fries.
Honky Tonk Central
329 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37201
Honky Tonk Central is on the world-famous Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. This place features brilliant music and great food, which are all the makings of a swell time. Honky Tonk Central is the number one destination stop for many of the locals.
When you walk, you can’t help but notice the lively atmosphere of the place. Moreover, it consists of 3 floors, three stages, and is one giant party because of the unmistakable festive atmosphere. You’ll love walking to the different floors, which all have different country bands playing. There’s also great bar food there to boot, such as Philly cheesesteak or buffalo chicken sandwich.
428 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
The Legends Corner is in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. It is one of Nashville’s preeminent bars, which gives you the experience of a classic dive bar experience with awesome country music as well! You’ll find a quaint full-service bar that features live music daily.
The interior has classic country albums which cover the walls. Moreover, this place features dancing along with cold beer and good eats! The ambiance is one of the cool vibes. This place is home to many well-known country music outlaws such as Toby Keith, Darius Rucker, David Nail, Ricky Skaggs, Justin Moore, and more!
207 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37201
Bootleggers Inn is an intimate moonshine bar conveniently located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee. This place draws out a mixed crowd of individuals, and it’s a place where you can enjoy impromptu dancing in a festive and party-like atmosphere!
Go to Bootleggers Inn to relax and have a good time. Soul, country music, and the outlaw southern are the most notable genres of music featured at this dive bar. What’s more, you can taste some of the best moonshines you’ve ever had, and they even have a wide selection. In the end, you can listen to music, have drinks, eat good food, and have a good time at Bootleggers Inn.