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KSR’s 2017 Guide to Eating & Drinking in Nashville


I’ve lived in Nashville for over ten years and a while back, started making flowcharts to help Kentucky fans figure out which bars and restaurants to try while in town for the SEC Tournament. As Nashville has grown by leaps and bounds, I’ve had to update and revamp those charts each year to keep up with a mutating Music City. Hopefully, these will help you navigate around town and maybe try something new.

**As a general disclaimer, yes, I realize there are tons of restaurants in Nashville, especially new ones, but these are my favorites. If yours isn’t on the list, don’t be offended. Just add it in the comments section.**

Where to Eat


(Click to enlarge)

Top 5: The Southern, Jeff Ruby’s, Two Ten Jack, Butcher & Bee, and Five Points Pizza. (Garlic knots FTW)

Where to Drink



– Nashville still allows smoking in bars (21+), but fortunately, most bars downtown have opted to go smoke-free. There are still a few smoke pits if you want to light up inside, but major honky tonks like Tootsie’s, Layla’s, Robert’s, and The Stage are now smoke-free. I can’t wait for the day it’s like that everywhere.

– Traffic has gotten really, really bad in Nashville the past two years. If you’re downtown, it’s best to walk, but if you’re staying outside the downtown area or just feel like venturing out (which you definitely should), I recommend using Uber or Lyft. Both are cheaper and more pleasant than cabs, and well worth not worrying about or paying for parking. If you’re driving, use the Waze app to navigate traffic and construction.

Is it your first time using Lyft? Help a sister out and use the code “TYLER380” for a FREE ride up to $20. Same thing for Uber, promo code nrdp8.

– If you want to get around downtown quickly without walking or taking a cab, try JOY RIDE, the free golf cart shuttle service. The drivers are also great tour guides and only work on tips. If it’s raining, I expect they’ll be pretty popular. To order a shuttle, call 615-285-9835 or look for the golf carts scuttling around.

– The Nashville MTA Green Line bus also transports people around downtown Nashville and the Gulch for free, so keep an eye out for it. (It’s green.) You can also rent bikes via the B-Cycle stations around town.

UK fan and KSR friend JD Shelburne will be performing throughout the weekend at various places downtown. Here’s his show schedule:


– Hydrate and pace yourself. It’s a marathon, not a sprint! If you need caffeine and a personal space fix, sneak over to the Bongo Java inside the Omni Hotel (250 5th Avenue South).

– Finally, if you’re going to the games, be aware of the SEC’s new CLEAR BAG policy:



Most of all, prepare to have a lot of fun. See you soon.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

14 Comments for KSR’s 2017 Guide to Eating & Drinking in Nashville

  1. catsarerunnin
    8:05 pm March 7, 2017 Permalink

    One of my favorite places to eat is Demo’s on Commerce St. Great steaks and Italian food.

  2. indyscott7
    8:41 pm March 7, 2017 Permalink

    Demo’s steak and pasta is amazing. Also, 12 Avenue South is starting to be a real hot spot! BarTaco is amazing and is always full with lots of star sightings. And Five Daughters Donuts just off of 12th is so unique and tasty! As well, don’t forget the Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams all around.

  3. drholiday
    8:43 pm March 7, 2017 Permalink

    Huge fan of Demo’s!!!

  4. Rixter
    9:02 pm March 7, 2017 Permalink

    Tyler, did you really do this? It’s very impressive!!


  5. Catapult
    10:05 pm March 7, 2017 Permalink

    Considering the weather forcast, anyone aware of any umbrella restrictions?

  6. AGSlater
    11:08 pm March 7, 2017 Permalink

    Nicely done post. This took effort

  7. borocat17
    7:59 am March 8, 2017 Permalink

    Always look forward to this, great job Mrs. Tyler! Bravo!!👏🏻👏🏻

  8. nashvillecatsfan
    9:39 am March 8, 2017 Permalink

    As someone who has lived in and around music city for the past 12 years I must say very nice list. I think I would have found a spot for Whisky Kitchen though. Great bar food in the Gulch. Bolton’s should definitely be in the hot chicken category as it is one of the original’s and one of the best. Also, maybe 312 Pizza in Germantown for those that prefer their pizza Chicago style.

    • nashvillecatsfan
      9:50 am March 8, 2017 Permalink

      and skip Jack’s and go to Martin’s if you’re looking for good barbecue.

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      10:07 am March 8, 2017 Permalink

      Thanks. I had Bolton’s on there but five hot chicken places seemed a bit excessive. I do enjoy it though.

    • nashvillecatsfan
      11:28 am March 8, 2017 Permalink

      Totally understand. 400 degrees just tastes like chicken with buffalo sauce on it to me though. I’m not saying it isn’t good, just not as good as the other places and more like buffalo sauce than that nashville hot chicken taste. Great list though. I’m a big fan of 98% of these places.

      I have not confirmed this myself but was told before it opened that The Diner at 200 3rd Avenue South would have Prince’s hot chicken. Again, I have not confirmed so I don’t know for sure.

  9. Guest
    10:41 am March 8, 2017 Permalink

    No Mas Tacos?! They are worth the drive alone!

  10. za
    11:12 am March 8, 2017 Permalink

    awesome guide, thanks

  11. r_clouse
    10:19 pm March 8, 2017 Permalink

    If you’re in town Thursday come to 5th and deaderick street near the state capital from 12-2. There will be 20 food trucks with awesome food to try.