Nashville claims more full-time musicians than any other city in the U.S. That means there’s a good chance the server, line cook, or hostess at any given restaurant could end up being the next big thing. Some of the more well-heeled of the bunch—like Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon, and Alan Jackson—have gone a step further and opened their own spots.
We asked some of the city’s prominent musicians for their favorite places in town. From East Nashville to Lower Broadway, and from Wedgewood out to Franklin, here are some of the best places to eat and drink in and around Music City.
Ruston Kelly: “Dino’s is the best burger in Nashville. It’s also such a communal, neighborhood, ‘familiar faces, welcome home’ type spot. Not just the burger, but literally everything on the menu is so good.”
Breland: “Dicey’s is my new favorite spot in Nashville, tucked right into the heart of the Wedgewood neighborhood. They easily have the best pizza in town, which never fails to impress this Jersey boy, but where Dicey’s wins is on the atmosphere. A big patio with a wraparound bar and solid service—it’s almost too good for me to let the cat out of the bag.”
Tommy Prine: “The place to get a beer with the buddies is GreenHouse, because it’s literally a greenhouse, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen another bar like that in any of the other cities I’ve been to. Sitting in a greenhouse getting a beer or cocktail with a bunch of buddies is a really cool vibe. It was definitely the place, when all the buddies were home from college for winter break or summer, that was always a common meeting spot. Maybe that’s why it’s so nostalgic for me, because it brings me back to the good old days, which were only a few years ago [laughs].”
Amanda Shires: “They have a full bar, and they have vegan burgers and all the barbecue that they smoke there, too. They have open mic nights on Thursdays and they also do ticketed performances—Lillie Mae played there and different folks come through, [such as] Béla Fleck [and] Abigail Washburn. It’s just a cool local hang, it’s near [my] house, and it’s one of those places where you could still take your kids and have beers and people aren’t like, ‘What are you doing with your kid here?’”
Lindsay Ell: “Lockeland Table is such a quaint restaurant, where every single thing on the menu is stunning. The staff is so pleasant, and their woodfire pizza oven makes the whole restaurant smell amazing the minute you walk in. My girlfriends and I go here for all of the things: the wedge salad, the chimichurri, the farm plate, and the bread pudding.”
Joshua Hedley: “The only place on Lower Broadway where locals dare step their booted feet in search of quality musicianship, cheap beer, and fried bologna is Robert’s Western World, [which] has been serving up good eats, cold beer, and classic country music since 1992. It’s been my personal home base for nearly twenty years. On any given day from 10 a.m. until 2 a.m., you can walk through that door, order a $6 Recession Special—a fried bologna sandwich, a Pabst’s Blue Ribbon, and a MoonPie—and hear good, old-fashioned country music from the best musicians in Nashville. It’s one of the few remaining iconic establishments that has stood the test of time.”
Sadler Vaden: “I love Tempo tacos because it’s family owned; it was started by a great drummer from Texas [Javier Solis] and his family. Everything there is made fresh. My go-to order is the potato and chorizo taco. Before hitting the guitar shop or the Country Music Hall of Fame, stop by Tempo and load up on some Texas-style tacos.”