As a foodie, I like to find all the budget friendly restaurants in Nashville, and stay as far from chains as possible, and that’s easy to do here! Supporting local eateries is no joke; you’d be hard pressed to find a chain restaurant anywhere near downtown. I am a HUGE foodie (especially finding the best restaurants on a budget) and making Nashville my home is one of the smartest things I could have done for myself in that respect.

Every chef here is seriously talented and puts their own twist on every dish on the menu, without making you sacrifice your bank account. Nashville is growing though, and it might get more expensive so get these must eats before it ain’t cheap!

We take BBQ and hot chicken seriously, but there’s a multitude of other delicious, mouthwatering foods from places you cannot miss out on if you’re like me and can’t handle spice. For your convenience I have organized my favorite restaurants by location! Make sure to pin this so you don’t forget while you’re in Nashville!

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Hillsboro Village (10-15 min. from downtown)

The Grilled Cheeserie – Gourmet adult grilled cheese! Need I say more? They were on Diners Drive Ins and Dives and Guys Grocery Games, and it was such a popular food truck, they were finally able to get a brick and mortar!

grilled cheeserie food in nashville tennessee

Fido – Casual breakfast and lunch, my favorite in Nashville. You can’t go wrong with any of their menu items and you might even spot a celebrity- they are known to come in here! They serve coffee from Bongo Java and have the most interesting seasonal drinks (Bongo also has a cafe at the Johnny Cash Museum on 3rd Ave. downtown)!

Pancake Pantry – It’s a teeny bit more in price, but it’s delicious and unique to Nashville. Their pancakes, of course, are the best part of their menu. The photo below reflects the Georgia Peach pancakes! All food here is cooked to perfection and doesn’t taste cheap, either. It’s the next best southern home cooked breakfast next to Cracker Barrel.

pancake pantry pancakes, where to eat in nashville

Georgia Peach Pancakes


The Stillery – 2nd Ave. – Okay but really, they have THE BEST MAC AND CHEESE IN NASHVILLE from what I have tasted. Pretzel burgers, brick oven pizza, unique tasty salads (as of this writing, their Strawberry Gorgonzola salad is freaking amazing), hot chicken, etc.

local food nashville

2nd Ave Downtown Nashville

Best Nashville restaurants

Mike’s Ice Cream & Coffee – 2nd Ave. – Hands down the best coffee and ice cream.

best food downtown nashville

City Tap – German pretzel and beer cheese. You’re welcome.

Oscar’s Taco Shop – Just a few blocks off Broadway is this ALWAYS PACKED Mexican shop! They have very few tables so plan on eating it elsewhere, but it’s the closest thing I’ve gotten to a big, fat juicy breakfast burrito with GREEN CHILI (hello fellow Coloradans you know what I’m talkin about!)

Goo Goo Factory – Chocolate and Ice Cream, so many different assortments and types of Goo Goos (grab a Premium, you will not be disappointed)! As of November, 2021 they just upgraded their interior and atmosphere to a more Willy Wonka-y experience! Check it out here.

best places to eat in nashville

nashville restaurants

This is on the wall inside the factory (as of this writing), they even have props to take pictures with!

Robert’s Western World – I know it’s the bar where everyone goes to hear the best old country from a cover band BUT it has the BEST burgers and is the epitome of budget friendly.

Legendairy Milkshake Bar – If you like a creamy, flavorful and milky milkshake, this place is for you! In a ton of different assortments with gourmet flavors and full size dessert on top – you will never forget this experience. This legen-wait for it-DAIRY milkshake bar will require a little more pocket change but for those that need a cold sweet treat – this is the place to spend it!

Bakersfield – Superb Mexican food with drool worthy tacos, the best queso and cheap shots!

East Nash (10 min. from downtown)

Calypso Café – East Nash or Berry Hill – There’s a few around Nashville but if you’re one that loves veggies and healthier versions of your favorite foods, this is the place for you!

The Pharmacy – German beer garden with phenomenal burgers and tons of unique brews.

Mas Tacos – Best tacos, hands down. Also right across the street from Pharmacy! Their prices are just as good as their food, too. The epitome of budget friendly restaurants in Nashville lies within this taco joint.

Two-Ten Jack – Japanese restaurant known for their ramen. Look, I lived in Japan for two years. This is the closest I got to good Japanese and it’s WORTH IT!

Ugly Mugs – A wonderfully affordable and delicious option for breakfast and lunch! They have unique beverage flavors, bagels for breakfast and paninis for lunch. It’s in the shopette with Two Ten Jack, Jennie’s Ice Cream, and Five Daughters (the East location, there’s also a Five Daughters Bakery in 12th South).

The Gulch (about 5-7 min from downtown, you could walk for about 10 minutes.)

Bar Loui – There is nothing bad on their menu. They have everything. Pot stickers, soup, burgers, mac and cheese, bottomless mimosas (my fave brunch place!), etc.! The Gulch is not really budget friendly but Bar Loui has always been easier on the eyes, without sacrificing taste!

Rush Bowls – Acaì bowls and smoothies that have pretty much any add-on that you want.

Peg Leg Porker – Sweeter barbecue pulled pork and heavy, creamy mac and cheese is my favorite combination at this iconic southern BBQ joint!

Midtown/West End

Hattie B’s – this is the hot chicken everyone talks about. Get the pimento mac and cheese for your side, too!

Coco’s Italian Market – almost all of their ingredients are imported from Italy and they have cooking classes. The family is Italian – they even set up TRIPS TO ITALY! It’s a restaurant and a market.

8th&Roast – They put a twist on some of your favorite lattes and cold brews, it’s perfection. I highly recommend stopping here if you have a Nashville coffee bucket list.

Hugh Baby’s – Out drinking in Midtown? Have your Uber take you to this burger joint on the way home – it won’t break the bank like the bars do. Grinding their own beef and “following time honored Memphis barbecue traditions”, they keep things simple yet delicious! Better yet, the owner, Pat, opened Martin’s Barbecue, the best dang BBQ I’ve had in Nashville.

As I try new budget friendly, local places, I will add them to this list!

Happy eating!

Be sure to check out my list of things to do in Nashville from a local’s perspective here!

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Budget Friendly Restaurants in Nashville, TNBudget Friendly Restaurants in Nashville, TNBudget Friendly Restaurants in Nashville, TN