7 Of Nashville’s Best Soul Food Restaurants
Dining out in Music City means choosing from a variety of local specialties to truly experience this surprising foodie town. And soul food restaurants in Nashville are a great way to delight your taste buds while enjoying the flavors, history, soul of the south. We have rounded up 7 of the best soul food restaurants to try in Nashville cooking up some unique and mouthwatering ingredients you are sure to love!
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Monell’s (both locations)
1235 6th Ave N (Germantown) Nashville, TN 37208
1400 Murfreesboro Pike (Monell’s at the Manor) Nashville, TN 37217
For an authentic soul food experience in Nashville, Monell’s delivers in spades. Noshing on collard greens, grits and gravy pork chops in a family-style setting might be a typical meal at Monell’s, but the daily menu rotates regularly. A tasty and unique soul food experience awaits visitors at each of the two locations. The Germantown Monell’s is located in a quaint redbrick house, adding to the charm of eating brunch, lunch or dinner at Monell’s while the Manor location is housed in a grand 1898 Southern colonial mansion, rebuilt in 1929 after a fire. Both locations hit the mark as two of the soul food restaurants in Nashville everyone should experience. And the family-style dining is truly unique.
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Dandgure’s Classic Southern Cooking
538 Lafayette St Nashville, TN 37203
This is one of the cafeteria-style soul food restaurants in Nashville that locals fondly refer to as meat-and-three’s where guests can pick their main meat and two sides and a bread (cornbread or roll) to devour alongside a sweet tea or lemonade. Devotees of Dandgure’s keep coming back in hopes of it being fried chicken day since they do a fantastic job with breading and frying up big portions of white or dark meat. But soul food is judged by its collard greens and catfish, too, so a visit to Dandgure’s to pick those out for your cafeteria plate here is a great way to see why this classic southern cooking kitchen is so loved by Music City.
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Wendell Smith’s Restaurant
407 53rd Ave N Nashville, TN 37209
This diner is a Nashville icon that has cranked out outstanding soul food for over 65 years. Namesake Wendell passed on his restaurant to his family and now the 4th generation is poised to continue the tradition of serving up southern comfort foods like roast beef, ham and bbq every day while their specials swap out. Locals swamp Wendell’s when catfish, fried pork chops or liver and onions are on the menu because this place does soul food better than most.
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Arnold’s Country Kitchen
605 8th Ave S Nashville, TN 37203
At almost 40 years old, Arnold’s is one of the mainstay soul food restaurants in Nashville. The family’s hospitality is evident throughout the experience here so thoroughly that you might feel like you dropped into a friend’s home for some southern soul food (who also happened to be a fantastic chef). Locals love choosing the roast beef, brisket and pulled pork alongside some honestly tasty greens and green beans among other daily rotating choices when they pass through the cafeteria line to fill up their meat-and-three meal.
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Silver Sands Cafe
937 Locklayer St Nashville, TN 37208
This 3rd generation, home cooking café makes soul food “like mama used to make.” And locals here have been lining up at the Silver Sands counter for years because of the undeniably delicious food served here. This cafe is easy to miss off the beaten path but the huge portions and classic soul food offerings like fried catfish and salmon croquettes that are on the daily menu will be hard to pass up once you’ve found Silver Sands. True soul food connoisseurs will love the pig’s feet and beef tips served here as well as the perfectly seasoned green beans.
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H & T’s Homecooking
2264 Murfreesboro Pike Nashville, TN 37217
Home-style cooking and great hospitality are hallmarks of H & T’s, but the delightful food is why most Music City patrons return here over and over. Hattie and her husband Thomas’s spot-on cooking turn out dishes like shrimp and cheese grits, fried pork chops and country-fried steak daily along with perfectly seasoned soul food mainstays like turnip greens, fried okra and mashed potatoes. But don’t leave without grabbing a cobbler to eat on the way home (because it’s too good to risk sharing with anyone else).
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3944 Clarksville Pike Nashville, TN 37218
You know when you see the menu scribbled out on a chalkboard in cheerful colors and a line out the door waiting in line for counter service, you have found a gold mine. Big Mama’s is one of the small but mighty soul food restaurants in Nashville to try when you want a meat-and-three with authentic, rich flavors. The no-frills restaurant pumps out reliably delicious menu items that may include chitterlings, liver and onions or even neck bones. Big Mama’s even offers up fruit punch and Kool-aid to enjoy along with the traditional soul food on their menu every day.