*All are relatively close, not a big chain, and all are staff-tested
Meat-and-Threes – Nashville’s gift to the culinary world. Most cater to working folks, and are open lunchtime hours, weekdays only.
City Café – Nothing fancy, just good food. 1455 Lebanon Pike, Nashville, TN 37210 (psst! It’s really on Spence Lane, near the corner of Lebanon Pike)
Monell’s at the Manor – Family style in an old plantation home. 1400 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37217, near the airport. This one is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, 7 days a week.
Arnold’s Country Kitchen – Two-time James Beard Award winner. Always busy, but the line moves fast. 605 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203. 10:30am-2:45pm M-F
MacHenry’s – Scratch-made Southern cooking. Open M-F, 10:30am-2pm. 581 Murfreesboro Pike, 37210
Bar-B-Que – Nashville’s “style” is Carolina+Memphis+KansasCity+Texas, sometimes all on one menu!
Peg Leg Porker – Right around the corner from Arnold’s Country Kitchen. Award winner. 903 Gleaves St, Nashville, TN 37203. Closed Sundays.
Martin’s – Another award winner, with an in-town location at 3108 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN 37212; open 11am-9pm. Also at 410 4th Ave. S, 37201, open 11am-10pm daily.
Burgers and Dogs
Gabby’s Burgers – Another small place, but worth the short drive. Burgers on a flat-top, sweet-potato fries. 493 Humphreys St, Nashville, TN 37203. Open for lunch 10:30-2:30 M-Th plus 11-2:30 Saturday, open 10:30-7:30 Fridays; closed Sunday.
The Lost Paddy – Irish pub with an award-winning burger. 11am-3pm M-F; 7am-3am Sat & Sun. 715 Spence Lane, 37217
Tacos y Mariscos Lopez serves up auténtico Mexican dishes. A mixed plate of tacos or the half-roasted chicken is hard to beat. 890 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37217. Closed Sunday.
La Hacienda Tacqueria long-time autentico restaurant on Nolensville Pike’s International Row. 2615 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211, open 7 days, with weekend specials.
DeSano Pizza has been called one of the best in the country – all Neapolitan ingredients and ovens. 115 16th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203. Open daily, 11:30 until the dough runs out. Till 5 Pizza- Small, laid-back pizzeria very close to the museum and reasonably priced. Dine-in or carry-out. 825 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37217
Asian & Other
Vinh Long offers Vietnamese as well as Japanese dishes. 1061 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37217. Closed Monday and cash only.
BJ Hot Chicken – Fast-casual hot chicken and other offerings. 818 Murfreesboro Pike, 37217
Sandwiches and Salads
Phat Bites has many inventive offerings. 2730 B Lebanon Pike, Donelson, TN 37214. Closed Sunday.