These Nashville restaurants are some of the best for their live music scene. They will sweep you off your feet with good vibes, great company, and epic food. A night out in Music City just isn’t the same unless you’re getting in front of an up-and-coming live band. The best part is that one of country music’s biggest acts could always decide to blow into any old dive bar in Nashville without warning. Check out the nine of the best spots for live music served as fiery as Nashville’s famous hot chicken.
402 12th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37023
The Station Inn is an intimate spot where patrons sit inches from live performances. You know you’re in an authentic Nashville jam spot when only guitars, fiddles, mandolins, and the like are allowed on stage. This is a top spot for bluegrass, blues, and American root music. While the focus is on music at the Station Inn, a menu with pizza, hotdogs, and beer makes it easy to stay all day to catch act after act!
113 2nd Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37210
The Stillery serves up wood-fired pizza, cocktails in mason jars, and live music that will get you rocking in your bar stool. The hot chicken is the big draw on the menu here. Those who are feeling bold ask for their strips and sandwiches to be done the “Nashville hot” way. The baked cheese, ultra-creamy mac and cheese, and pizza are also big hits. The Stillery’s second floor is open for live music every Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
416B Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
Robert’s Western World is a pillar of the Broadway scene where the music scene and foodie culture collide in perfect harmony. The Honky Tonk Grill at Robert’s is famed for its burgers, sandwiches, wings, fries, onion rings, and fried pickle spears. There’s also the world-famous fried bologna sandwich that’s meant to be washed down with a moon pie and cold beer. Robert’s list of premium and domestic beers hits just right regardless of what you order. The stage is alive every night of the week with up-and-coming performers from the Nashville music scene. Keep in mind that this restaurant goes from an all-ages eatery to 21 and over after 6 p.m. nightly.
220 Printer’s Alley, Nashville, TN 37201
A great place to vibe to some live bluegrass, Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar offers shows from bands that are about to break in a big way on a stage that has welcomed James Brown and B.B. King. The wrought-iron balconies and neon lights make this bar feel like a Nashville fever dream. It has remained a staple of Nashville’s nightlife scene for 25 years by serving up amazing Cajun and Creole food consisting of alligator bites, catfish bites, fried okra, and shrimp and crawfish etouffee. The drink menu features beer, wine, and fun cocktails named Mardi Gras Heat, Alley Cat, and Big Easy Hurricane.
1006 Forrest Avenue, Nashville, TN 37206
Locals come to The 5 Spot for soul music combined with great bar service. A menu boasting an island pork sandwich, jalapeno chicken sandwich, and Cali cheese fries helps the vibes to go down easier. The Havana Moon featuring apricot, rum, liqueur, Kronan Swedish “punsch,” orange juice, and lime juice is the standout drink from the eclectic cocktail menu that doesn’t shy away from going heavy on tequila, mezcal, bourbon, and aperol.
618 4th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37210
Famed for being the best-sounding room in Nashville, this intimate venue is a favorite of songwriters because it allows for easy conversations with the audience. Of course, the food and drink menus here also draw people from around the country. An appetizer list that consists of beer cheese pretzels, smoked wings, and a BBQ sundae lets you know that it’s going to be a good night out. The dinner menu famously consists of handhelds and baskets that keep things causal. Finally, the draft beer list offers everything you’d expect from one of Nashville’s most hip spots.
222 Printer’s Alley, Nashville, TN 37201
Skull’s Rainbow Room is an acclaimed jazz and burlesque venue offering brunch, dinner, and drink menus. It almost has the feel of a throwback speakeasy. While the spot is hip, it should never be considered trendy. The stage at the famous Skull’s Rainbow Room has hosted Etta James, Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, Joni Mitchell, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Tim McGraw, Brett Eldrege, and Dierks Bentley are among the big names that regularly pop in today! Prepare to be impressed by a cocktail list consisting of fancifully named cocktails that go hard with scotch, sherry, velvet falernum, rye, gin, rum, and torched orange. In fact, the drink menu has a strong Italy-meets-Tennessee vibe. The dinner menu offers up diver scallops, prime rib, short rib, foie gras, tuna tartare, filet mignon, and many more fancy favorites.
110 Lyle Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203
The bands show up every evening to play at this acclaimed eatery. While most of the acts here are locals, it’s also quite common for the latest stars from The Voice or American Idol to swoop in for a few sets. The superstar of the menu is the famous Nashville hot chicken. It can even be served with challah French toast. Fried pickles, Row poppers, biscuits, and bacon queso dip with bottomless tortillas all make ordering exciting!
329 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37201
Found right in the heart of Broadway, Honky Tonk Central is everything you could want from a Nashville Live-Music joint. With three floors of non-stop country music its no wonder that its packed darn near every day of the week. In fact, it wouldn’t be a reach to call Honky Tonk Central one of the iconic establishments in the Music City. You’ll often see Bachelorette and Bachelor parties partying away. We recommend trying the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich while you’re here. It’s similar to the classic Nashville Hot but with their own unique twist on things. Pair that with a Honey Do Broadway specialty cocktail and you’re well on your way to having a memorable night!
For more information on where to eat and drink in Nashville, visit our city page!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on July 29, 2022 and last updated on June 2, 2023. Please refer to restaurant websites and social media pages for the most up-to-date information.