Nashville is known for its thriving food scene, but sometimes the best restaurants can be hidden away in unexpected places. These hidden gems are often overlooked by tourists and even some locals, but they offer some of the most unique and delicious dining experiences in the city.
Whether you're looking for a cozy spot for a romantic dinner or a casual spot for a quick bite, Nashville's hidden restaurants have something to offer for everyone.
The best hidden restaurants in Nashville are often tucked away in neighborhoods that are off the beaten path. These restaurants are not always easy to find, but once you do, you'll be rewarded with some of the most delicious food in the city.
From hole-in-the-wall joints to upscale eateries, these restaurants offer a variety of cuisines and dining experiences.
What sets these hidden restaurants apart from others in Nashville is their commitment to quality and creativity. Many of these restaurants are family-owned and operated, and they take great pride in creating unique dishes using locally-sourced ingredients.
The chefs at these restaurants are passionate about food and are constantly experimenting with new flavors and techniques.
If you're looking to explore Nashville's food scene, be sure to check out some of the city's hidden restaurants.
These hidden gems may not be well-known, but they offer some of the best dining experiences in Nashville. So, grab your friends and family, and get ready to discover some of the best hidden restaurants in the city.
1. Darfons Restaurant + Bar
Nestled away in a hidden location, Darfons Restaurant + Bar is a must-visit for those seeking a unique dining experience.
With a menu of classic American fare, this family-run eatery offers a comfortable atmosphere and top-notch service.
The steak is cooked to perfection and the seafood dishes are a must-try. The Italian Wedding cake is a delightful surprise for dessert.
Whether you're dressed up for a night on the town or just looking for a quick meal, Darfons is the perfect spot. Don't miss out on this Nashville gem.
2. Skull's Rainbow Room
Skull's Rainbow Room is a hidden gem that offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
This speakeasy-style lounge serves elevated American cuisine and craft cocktails in an atmosphere that takes you back to the 1940s. The nightly burlesque shows add to the unique ambiance of the place.
The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and the service is top-notch. While reservations are a must, the wait is worth it for the exceptional food, drinks, and entertainment.
If you're looking for a memorable night out, Skull's Rainbow Room is the place to be.
Etch is a hidden gem of a restaurant with an open-kitchen setting that offers upscale dining.
The menu is eclectic and the food is delicious, with highlights such as the mahi fresh catch and the crispy fried potato salad. The service is top-notch and the staff is attentive, making for a great dining experience.
The ambiance is perfect for a date night or a small business dinner. The cocktail and wine list is impressive, with a nice selection of hard-to-find bourbons.
If you're looking for a superb meal with great service and atmosphere, Etch is the place to go.
4. Margot Cafe & Bar
Margot Cafe & Bar is a hidden gem that offers rustic French and Italian cuisine.
With a rotating menu of creative and seasonal dishes, this warm and comfortable bistro is a must-visit for foodies looking for a unique dining experience. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the service is fast and accurate.
The menu includes grilled whole trout, steak, risotto, pasta, and pork loin over grits, all prepared with fresh ingredients.
The lentil soup, fresh salad, and Moroccan lamb pizzelle are great starters, and the spiced apple cake and chocolate hazelnut torte are perfect for dessert. Margot Cafe & Bar is an institution in Nashville and reservations are advised.
5. The Catbird Seat
The Catbird Seat is a hidden gem that offers an intimate and innovative dining experience.
The theatre kitchen layout allows diners to watch the dishes being prepared and assembled, keeping them guessing about what's coming next.
The non-alcoholic pairing is a highlight, with hand-crafted drinks that perfectly complement the food.
The winter menu features many seafood dishes, and the wine selections are terrific. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, making the entire experience truly unforgettable.
6. The Optimist
The Optimist is a hidden gem for seafood lovers. This trendy restaurant offers a variety of fresh seafood and meat plates, complemented by a robust wine list and creative cocktails.
The brick-lined eatery has a cool ambiance, perfect for intimate dinners or group celebrations.
Don't miss out on trying their oysters, which come in a variety of flavorful options. The service is impeccable, with knowledgeable staff who can guide you through the menu and wine list.
Be sure to make a reservation in advance, as this place gets busy quickly. The Optimist is a must-try for foodies looking for a unique dining experience.
7. Red Phone Booth – Nashville
Red Phone Booth in Nashville is a hidden gem that offers an authentic speakeasy experience. The ambiance is classy and the cocktail menu is impressive.
The staff is knowledgeable and the cigar menu is a fun addition. The Neapolitan pizzas are a must-try and the Italian desserts are delicious.
This is a great place to enjoy a night out with friends or a romantic date. The dress code is upscale, so make sure to dress to impress.
If you're looking for a unique and upscale dining experience, Red Phone Booth is definitely worth checking out.
8. Love Language Nashville
Love Language Nashville is a hidden gem offering great food and drinks. The service is top-notch, and the staff is friendly and attentive.
The atmosphere is cozy and perfect for a night out with friends or a date.
The menu features a variety of mouth-watering dishes and creative cocktails that are worth trying. The owner is passionate about creating a unique dining experience for patrons.
Love Language Nashville is a must-visit for anyone looking for a great restaurant and cocktail bar in the city.
9. Ella's on 2nd
Ella's on 2nd is a hidden gem that offers fresh and tasty food with a limited but good menu.
The upscale atmosphere and attention to detail make for a great dining experience.
The friendly and accommodating staff provide fast and attentive service. The restaurant also offers vegetarian options.
Ella's on 2nd is a great spot to enjoy a quiet and delicious meal away from the busy tourist areas.
10. The Yellow Porch Restaurant
The Yellow Porch Restaurant is a hidden gem of a restaurant that offers delicious American bistro fare with an eclectic twist.
The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great place to enjoy a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.
The menu features a variety of dishes, including the must-try TN cheese fritters and the mouth-watering crusted salmon.
The service is top-notch, and the reasonable prices make it a great value for the quality of food and experience. If you're looking for a unique dining experience, The Yellow Porch Restaurant is definitely worth a visit.
11. Sedona Taphouse
Sedona Taphouse is a hidden gem that offers great food and drinks. The atmosphere is inviting and diverse, making it perfect for a lunch date or a night out.
The staff is attentive and friendly, and the menu offers a wide range of options to choose from.
The outdoor patio is dog-friendly, and the restaurant is mindful of food allergies. While the prices may be a bit high, the quality of the food and service is well worth it.
Sedona Taphouse is definitely a must-visit for anyone looking for a great dining experience.
12. Marsh House
Marsh House is a hidden gem of a restaurant that offers upscale Southern seafood in a chic and modern setting.
The service is prompt and attentive, and the staff is knowledgeable about the menu and drinks.
The food is delicious and beautifully plated, with standout dishes like the grilled octopus and oysters, shrimp and grits, and Korean chicken and waffles.
The ambiance is inviting and perfect for a date night or group meal, and the Sunday brunch is a must-try. Although the portion sizes can be small, the overall experience at Marsh House is worth every penny.
13. Gray & Dudley
Gray & Dudley is a hidden gem that should not be missed. This artsy restaurant is located in an artful hotel, and offers both brunch and dinner options.
The menu features locally sourced ingredients and the cocktails are especially flavorful and unique.
The atmosphere is relaxed and personal, with a good energy in the room. The staff is friendly, helpful, and professional.
If you're in the mood for something different, Gray & Dudley is definitely worth checking out.
Josephine is a hidden gem that serves up delicious modern American cuisine in a stylish setting.
The menu changes daily, but favorites like the brussel sprouts and beef cheeks are always available.
The cocktails are refreshing and the decor is cozy and dark. The service is quick and courteous, and the little details are amazing.
If you're looking for a chic spot for contemporary American fare, Josephine is definitely worth checking out.