When most people think of Nashville, they probably think of Music Row and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Nashville is much bigger than just the music they’re known for, though, and we think it’s best that we highlight some of the less trafficked areas you’ll find great restaurants in around the city. Below, you’ll find a list of some of the best restaurants you’ll find in East Nashville.
With any big city, the prices are bound to be a bit steeper than what you might be used to in small town life when you go out to eat at restaurants. Even when you’re out of the way of all the tourist traps, the prices might still be a bit above your usual budget - especially if you’re new to the area and not quite used to the cost of living yet. GiftYa is hoping to make eating out at restaurants a little easier for everyone by providing e-gift cards to anyone who needs them. Order one for someone who could use a break from cooking today!
Potatoes, eggs, and fresh greens? Sounds like the perfect combo of French and southern fare to us! Image courtesy of Margot Cafe & Bar Instagram.
1017 Woodland St | Five Points | margotcafe.com
Nashville is home to many a restaurant that will give you a great place to find a burger or a BLT, but sometimes you’re just in the mood to eat something a little more refined (not that there’s anything wrong with traditional American comfort food). If you find yourself in this predicament while wandering the streets of East Nashville, Margot Cafe & Bar is the perfect place to stop.
With a menu heavily inspired by French fare and a few classic southern flavors tossed in here and there, Margot is the perfect restaurant for people who like a little bit of refinement while still feeling like they’re in a comfortable and casual environment. This rustic restaurant is sure to give you the best of both worlds.
Whether you’re in the market for something eggy like their egg hash with sausage and butternut squash or something a bit more southern in origin, such as their omelet with a side of crispy potatoes, they’ve got a little something for everyone here. Each dish takes classics from each cuisine - and all of them can be altered to fit your palate!
“Hard to sum up just how good it is. The staff is friendly and the decor is unique and transports you to another place and time. The owner, and other kitchen staff, have a beautiful rotating menu that never disappoints.” - Yelp Review
If you didn’t know you needed some vegan food in your life before now, we’re pretty sure you will after a trip here. Image courtesy of Graze Instagram.
1888 Eastland Ave | Lockeland Springs | grazenashville.com
Tennessee isn’t exactly well-known for having the kind of vegan options that could make anyone - let alone vegans - salivate at the mere thought of them. If you happen to be vegan, however, or even vegan-adjacent or just looking for a place to bring a vegan friend in East Nashville, there isn’t a better vegan restaurant than Graze.
Owner Nick has been serving up plant-based food throughout Nashville for ten years now, beginning with his flagship restaurant The Wild Cow back in 2010 and now with Graze - and the food has only gotten better over the years.
Not only can you find vegan options that reflect everything you imagine vegan food to be, but you can also find vegan options that perfectly emulate classic comfort foods, such as mac n’ cheese, grilled cheese, and even homemade tacos.
Graze is family owned and operated, and we think they get their point across pretty easily simply with their name. After all, cows do “graze” when they feed on grass out on long stretches of farmland - so even if there aren’t exactly any meat or dairy products on their menu, you might just find yourself grazing on delicious plant-based dishes as a cow might.
“YUM!!! Forced my whole non vegan crew to eat here, one of which is "allergic to vegan food" and they all loved it. Highly recommend the breakfast bowl. It is so filling and so much food for a great price.” - Yelp Review
Yes, the potatoes do look that good in real life. Image courtesy of Edley’s Bar-B-Que Instagram.
908 Main St | Edgefield | edleysbbq.com
You’ve probably heard of that old adage “slow and steady wins the race” (in reference to “The Tortoise and the Hare”), but if you’ve never thought of that phrase in relation to the restaurants you dine at, think it’s about time if you start.
While many people find a restaurant most appealing when it can get their meals out as fast as possible, we think there’s some value in restaurants that take their time to make sure everything is as perfect as it can possibly be - and Edley’s Bar-B-Que is definitely one of those restaurants in East Nashville.
Touted as being one of Nashville’s best BBQ restaurants, we think it’s only fair that we should share with you exactly why that is. All of the meat they cook up as a part of their bar-b-cue dishes are cooked slowly over a low heat to ensure the best, smokiest flavor they can manage.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you’ll have to wait several hours just to get that BBQ you’ve been craving. They’ll still start cooking it well-enough ahead of time to make sure it’s delivered to your table after a reasonable period, but we’re sure that you’ll taste the difference!
“Every time I eat here, the food has the best flavor. I'm a fan of the burnt ends platter, which comes with grits casserole (the best!!!), cornbread and a side (I always get the banana pudding--yum!).” - Yelp Review
If you’re a fan of New York Style pizza (or just pizza in general), Five Points Pizza is a must for you! Image courtesy of Five Points Pizza Instagram.
1012 Woodland St | Five Points | fivepointspizza.com
Would it really be a complete listicle of the best restaurants to find in a specific area if we didn’t include at least one popular pizza place? Five Points Pizza offers up some of the most beloved pizza in all of Nashville, and it’s located right in East Nashville within the Five Points neighborhood.
Their particular specialty is a thin crust New York Style pizza, and if the reviews are anything to go by, they happen to do it pretty darn well. Each of their pizzas are cooked on a 2” brick inside a gas-fired oven, and you can order your pizza either by the individual slice or as a whole pie to feed your entire family or friend group.
If you need any further enticing, they also have daily specials that highlight specific pies by selling one veggie and one meat option by the slice every day of the week - and each day highlights a different flavor combination! During less restrictive times, they even have a late-night time for you to walk up to a window and buy their pizza by the slice.
“Love this local pizza joint. I've tried just about every pizza and you can't go wrong. Beat kept secret is their habanero cream sauce. If you dig spicy food get a side of this to go with your pizza. You're welcome!” - Yelp Review
Even people who aren’t big BBQ fans will love the BBQ here at Drifters. Image courtesy of Drifters BBQ Instagram.
1008B Woodland St | East End | driftersnashville.com
While Tennessee isn’t necessarily in the deep south, it is still considered a southern state - and with that territory comes a pretty strong association with southern barbecue. So, if you happen to be on the lookout for a local barbecue place that doesn’t take itself too seriously, East Nashville is home to Drifters BBQ, a hidden gem for many locals.
Quite literally tucked back into an alley, you might find Drifters a bit difficult to find at first - but once you do, we’re pretty sure you’ll love every moment spent there. Not only do they serve up some of the best smokey BBQ in all of Nashville, but they do so while playing the live music you might be more familiar with hearing on Music Row.
Listen to their live bands perform while you chow down on some brisket or barbecued chicken with a side of your favorite potato, and be sure to pair it with your favorite beer that they have on tap! They even welcome you to bring your dog along for the ride (provided they’re good with strangers), so this really is the kind of place you can bring the whole family to!
“Listen Yelp. I destroyed their food (in a good way). I was so hungry coming from downtown. Coming to Nashville, it is a must to have a plate of BBQ. Glad I was able to look up this place.” - Yelp Review
Simplicity is key in the dishes here at Cafe Roze. Image courtesy of Cafe Roze Instagram.
1115 Porter Rd | East Nashville | caferoze.com
Sometimes keeping things simple is the best way for a restaurant to ensure absolute perfection for every single visit their customers make to their place of business. Whether you’re looking at the casual atmosphere, the simple decor, or the simple menu at Cafe Roze, they really take keeping it simple to a level of perfection not many other restaurants could achieve.
They prefer to use the freshest ingredients they can get their hands on here at Cafe Roze, which means that when they tell you the items on their menu are good for you, they really aren’t kidding. Most of their menu is based around breakfast and brunch items, but there is no shortage of a perfect blend between sweet and savory here.
Whether you’re in the mood for something eggy and green or something to satisfy your unwavering sweet tooth, they’ve got a little bit of something to keep everyone happy at this restaurant. They have also curated quite a selection of handcrafted cocktails for all the adults to enjoy while the kids sip on their non-alcoholic juice.
“Had a very delicious meal and cocktails here with friends. Sunday dinner consisted of Fried okra, the dinner bowl, hamburgers, hot and crispy fries, and the halloumi. Service was fast. They were very accommodating. Can't wait to go back and try brunch.” - Yelp Review
You don’t have to be on Music Row to find some of the best food in Nashville. Let us know which of these restaurants exceeded your expectations in the comments below!