Places to Eat
Vanderbilt is very much located in the hub of Nashville’s food scene with many great food places located walking distances from campus, short driving distances away or near main Music City attractions. This list is by no means an exhaustive representation of Nashville’s booming food scene. With many tourists coming to Nashville just to experience the food, this list is a small taste of what Nashville as to offer.
Classic Southern Foods: Nashville features many traditional Southern fares such as hot chicken, low-and-slow barbecue, burgers, and the meat and three meals dish.
Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint
Featured on the Food Network, Travel Channel, and The Today Show, Martin’s, Nashville’s most famous barbecue restaurant, serves classic Tennessee BBQ.
Locations: 410 4th Ave South, Nashville, TN 37201 and 3108 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN 37212
One of Nashville’s best hot chicken restaurants serving mild to very spicy fried chicken, Southern sides & local brews in a casual, counter-service eatery. Fun fact: One of Nashville’s best known culinary contributions, hot chicken, was an accidental creation by a woman seeking revenge. Prince’s Hot Chicken, the first and perhaps most well-known hot chicken restaurant, began when Thornton Prince’s girlfriend suspected him of cheating on her so she put extra pepper in his fried chicken.
Locations:112 19th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203 and 2222 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204
All-you-can-eat Southern comfort food served family-style at communal tables in a Victorian house. Voted as Nashville’s #1 restaurant.
Location: 1235 6th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208
Local Favorites: Restaurants that are often frequented and popular among the student body and the community for brunch/lunch as well as quintessential famous Nashville finds.
Southern cafe featuring an eclectic Uptown menu & a Downtown skyline view amid sleek decor. Fun fact:The cafe was created by a Vandy alum.
Location:1200 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208
Buzzing Italian spot serves pizza, pasta & housemade sausage made with Southern ingredients & flair.
Location:1222 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208
Airy, chic spot for oysters & elevated seafood small plates, plus a separate bar for cocktails.
Location:1200 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208
Stylish kitchen & beer garden for wood-fired & smoked American/Tex-Mex grub, plus brews & cocktails.
Location: 1416 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208
Extremely popular breakfast and lunch spot that offer sweet as well as savory pancake and flapjack options.
Location: 1796 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212
Biscuit Love (Hillsboro Village)
A family business born in the South serving breakfast, lunch and brunch featuring delicious biscuits.
Location: 2001 Belcourt Ave, Nashville, TN 37212
Nama Sushi Bar
Student favorite sushi bar walking distance from campus.
Location: 2300 Elliston Pl, Nashville, TN 37203
Right across the street from the main campus, this hip Latin style bar serves delicious tacos and great drinks.
Location: 202 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203
Walking distance from Commons campus this colorful Mexican taqueria & bar serves inventive tacos, enchiladas & margaritas.
Location: 1200 Villa Pl, Nashville, TN 37212
Bella Napoli Pizzeria
Serving wood-fired pizzas, wines & spirits in a polished, exposed-brick setting with an outdoor courtyard.
Location: 1200 Villa Pl #206, Nashville, TN 37212
This converted pet shop features gourmet espresso drinks, elevated food & a funky coffeehouse vibe.
Location: 1812 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212
Hugely popular among students this strip-mall counter-serve joint with a Zen-like vibe providing Thai classics, plus bubble tea & beer. Has Halal and vegetarian options.
Location: 2412 Elliston Pl, Nashville, TN 37203
Curries, lamb & veggie dishes at a casual Indian spot with a lunch buffet & take-out options. Has a lot of Halal and veggie/vegan options.
Location: 116 21st Ave N, Nashville, TN 37203
Red Bicycle Coffee & Crêpes
Laid-back, counter-serve crêperie & espresso bar with gluten-free & vegetarian options.
Location: 1200 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208
The Southern Steak & Oyster
Diners come for wood-fired meats, Southern fried staples & the oyster bar at this trendy spot.
Location 150 3rd Ave S #110, Nashville, TN 37201
Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Hip, eco-minded burger joint with all-natural meats, housemade buns, shakes & interesting beers.
Location: 1805 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212
Hip local chain serving gourmet burgers, spiked shakes, beer & tater tot fondue in a sleek space.
Location: 420 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203
A sleek gastropub serving up small plates, retro cocktails & tacos until the wee hours, plus brunch.
Location: 1904 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten-Free Friendly: Restaurants that have a lot of dietary options or even offer exclusively dietary foods.
Located on the Vanderbilt University campus, this cafe sells vegetarian breakfast, lunch & pastries as well as maintains a Kosher kitchen.
Location: 2421 Vanderbilt Pl, Nashville, TN 37212
Homemade, locally sourced vegetarian dishes in a cozy setting with windows offering garden views.
Location: 2834 Azalea Pl, Nashville, TN 37204
Amerigo Italian Restaurant
Casual Italian dining spot for business lunches or family dinners serving traditional dishes. Has a whole GF menu.
Location: 1920 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203
Sweet Tooth: Restaurants that satisfy a craving for something sweet.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Chain scooping creative flavors of ice cream & frozen yogurt made from local ingredients.
Location: 2312 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204
Five Daughters Bakery 12th South
Airy, counter-serve bakery run by a family known for its 100-layer donuts & classic pastries (with paleo, vegan and GF versions).
Location: 1110 Caruthers Ave, Nashville, TN 37204
Minimalist counter-serve featuring artisanal breads & sweets, plus breakfast fare & sandwiches.
Location: 516 Hagan St #103, Nashville, TN 37203
The Cupcake Collection
Specialty cupcakes in a variety of creative flavors are the draw at this local, cheerful bakeshop.
Location: 1213 6th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208
Vegan Vee Gluten-Free Bakery
Simple bakery selling vegan & gluten-free treats, including cakes, cupcakes, donuts & rolls.
Location: 306 46th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37209