Nashville might be known for it’s music, but the South in general is known for their impeccable ability to make any idea you had in regards to food, taste that much better. Whether Grandma put her foot in it, or Uncle Such-N-Such spent two days slaving over a hot grill, we know how to eat around here. This week, here on the Nashville Bar Bike Blog, we would like to take you on a journey. Come wade through pools of barbecue sauce with us and keep reading to find out where to go in Nashville when you’re craving a piece of heaven straight off the grill. What better way to recharge after a tour on the #BarBike than with a huge plate of barbecue goodness?
Don’t forget to bookmark this page so you can refer back to it for later. This piece and any of our posts from the past can be great itinerary planning tools. From Chicken to Happy Hour, here at the Nashville Bar Bike, we are in the business of making sure that you and your party have the time of your lives while visiting or living in Nashville. Part of what makes this place so much fun is the immense amount of things to do, see and eat. There’s always something open and there’s always something going on. So with that, here’s a list of a few favorites in the realm of barbecue greatness, enjoy!
Peg Leg Porker BBQ
Claiming that the only way to find better barbecue would be at Grandmas house, Peg Leg Porker BBQ has won it’s fair share of awards in the past ten years. Go ahead and stop by, you can even mail order their products to anywhere in the country, information that you will want to have after one trip to the Peg Leg Porker. Family owned and operated, this restaurant is one that should be added to your list anytime you can make the trip. Every day except Sunday, head over to Gleaves Street in Nashville for some home style barbecue that’s sure to impress anyone in your party.
If you’re interested in finding a spot to enjoy lunch or dinner and have a hankering for barbecue, you won’t have to look too far before running into one of three locations that Edley’s Bar-B-Que is known for. When you’re wanting to enjoy a “Tribute to all things Southern” you won’t have to go any further than Edley’s Bar-B-Que. Check out their website to find out with location fits in with your trip to the city!
Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint
With many locations dotted throughout Tennessee, you can trust that Martin’s Bar-B-Que joint is the place you want to experience at some point. Nine different locations can’t possibly be wrong. There’s even one in Alabama, and another in South Carolina. When most of the South decides that it’s time to house another barbecue joint, you know it has to be something high quality, and Martin’s is just that. Bragging about their entirely fresh menu, made new every day, you can taste the home-cooking at this restaurant, despite not being at your own dining room table. After taking a taste of the whole hog at Martin’s, you’ll wonder where they have Grandma hidden in the kitchen.
When you see something along the lines of “Open until 3pm or until we run out of food” then you know this is a restaurant you have got to try out. If you’ve ever gotten to Shotgun Willie’s a little later than planned, you might have been disappointed when your favorite sides or main dishes have already run out that day. Shotgun Willie’s is much more than a cool name based on Willie Nelson. For anyone looking to walk out with your jeans a bit tighter, this is the place to be. With plates that feature ½ lb of meat and all from scratch sides, you can’t help but indulge a little too much at Shotgun Willie’s. Walk on up and sit for a spell at one of their “fancy” picnic tables and find out what you’ve been missing all this time.
For more than 50 years, Swett’s Restaurant has been serving up barbecue along with other classic country style menu options. With a cafeteria style service, this is one of those “little slice of heaven” type of restaurants. From pork shoulder to pigs feet, there’s a bit of everything available on the menu and the prices aren’t half bad either. Politicians, celebrities and locals alike have been coming here for the better part of 62 years. Consistency is key when it comes to good food and Swett’s has been nothing if not consistent. Located just five minutes from downtown Nashville, there’s no reason to not stop in for at least a taste.
If you’ve ever found yourself checking out the history of downtown Nashville and checking out photos from Broadway Street, you’re sure to run into a shot or two that includes Jack’s big sign, facing the Ryman Auditorium. Combining the culinary skills of Texas and Tennessee, Jack’s Bar-B-Cue began as a small space set up to view Riverfront Park. Since it’s initial opening in the 1989, Jack’s has become a staple of Broadway Street at it’s 416 locations, with the infamous “3 pigs” sign drawing many photographers and film makers over the years. At one point, Jack’s was even the topic of a Jeopardy question. If Alex Trebec is willing to talk about it, then this restaurant must be worth talking about. Now with three locations open, this once small town specialty has managed to make a name for itself that spans the country, even being named “Best Barbecue city in the USA” by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2014. Come on down to any location and ask about the brisket if you’re wanting a treat.
The Gambling Stick
One thing about food that we here in the south know to be true is this, if it’s served on a food truck, the meal will be one of the best you’ve had. But, stopping by the Porter Road Butcher in east Nashville is no gamble, you’re going to leave satisfied when you have a bite with The Gambling Stick guys. All made with locally sourced meats and ingredients, The Gambling Stick is truly a local haven that you can feel good about eating at. When you’re wanting to taste what Nashville has to offer in the way of barbecue without any worry of where it came from, The Gambling Stick is a quick, friendly and tasty source of nourishment.
Jim N’ Nicks Bar-B-Que
Located right on Charlotte Pike and open every day until at least 8:30 (a little later on Friday/Saturday) you will want to experience for yourself what “Jim N’ Nick” have going on at their restaurant. Have you ever had brisket chili cheese fries? Well if you have or have not, you are sure to find happiness at the bottom of this platter. Wear your stretchy pants for a visit to Jim N’ Nicks, you will need them.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Originating in Texas and going strong for the last 80 years, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has made quite the name for itself over the decades. Find the Nashville location on White Bridge Road and come on in anytime from 11 am til 9 pm every day of the week. Sourcing only quality, responsibly made meat products, you can feel good about every menu item available, and will want to plan a second trip to try everything they offer.
Look for Mission Barbecue on Opry Hill’s Dr and stop in for some St. Louis Style spare ribs or a pulled chicken sandwich. With all the epic menu options to select from, you might need an extra few moments to figure out what you’re tearing into. Ask about the “super seasonal” potato salad and you’re in for a great treat! Closing at 8pm most nights (9pm during the weekend) your family will enjoy fair prices and amazing food at Mission Barbecue.
Rippy’s Bar & Grill
Just like most of the businesses on Broadway St in downtown Nashville, we could have mentioned Rippy’s bar & Grill on one of our past “Music Venues” articles. Not just a solid meal made up of classic options like Pork Loin and Chicken Wings, Rippy’s Bar & Grill serves up a side of Honky Tonk with your meal. Hosting an array of talented musicians during most open hours, this is a stop you will want to add to your to-do list anytime you find yourself on Broadway St. More than one floor of fun awaits your party, so bring the whole crowd for an evening of epic food, dancing and the some kick butt Honky Tonk all at the same time!
We can give you 54 reasons to make your way down to 54th Ave and they are all because of The Ridge, a small BBQ joint that also comes with a bar in the attic. Shrimp, brisket and catfish are just a tiny handful of available menu options at this smaller venue. Different food & drink specials are regularly offered and the atmosphere is just cozy. There’s really no better word for it. If you’re the type of traveler who enjoys some “at home” comfort with your meal, you’ll have to look no further than The Ridge. Just like the website says, this might end up becoming your “Favorite little Barbecue Place” after just a single visit.
Six Tennessee based locations and counting, Bar-B-Cutie has a long history that began here in Nashville, with a future that has expanded all the way to (but is not limited to) Texas, with no intent to slow down. With platters of meat that are boasted at “seriously smoked” Bar-B-Cutie does not play around when it comes to their meals. Stop in to any location and try the greatest rib sandwich around. The rumor mill tells tale of half a rack of spare ribs barely held together by two pieces of white bread. Go find out for yourself and tell us all about it on Facebook or Instagram!
Mary’s Old Fashioned Pit Barbecue
Classic barbecue menu items provide all the comfort of Grandma’s cooking at Mary’s Old Fashioned Pit Barbecue. You won’t find a better Pig Feet Plate in the area if you tried. When you want some barbecue that is straight up, no gimmicks needed, Mary’s Old Fashioned Pit Barbecue has just what you need. Head on down to Jefferson St and walk up to the window any day other than Sunday if you want a tried and true plate that is guaranteed to fill you up. You won’t spend too much and always get your money’s worth (and more) at Mary’s Old Fashioned Pit Barbecue.
Bellevue neighborhood in Nashville remains home to the locally owned and operated HoneyFire Barbecue. Still new to the foodie scene of Nashville, this little family operated BBQ joint has been making a name for itself quickly since 2017. Mouth watering sides sit alongside slow cooked meat options that range from classic to modern and are memorable to each of your taste buds. Wraparound patio seating makes for the prime spring, summer or even early fall table choices. Take your pick of any beautiful day and spend the afternoon with some cheap drinks, fantastic eats and “at home” vibes that can only come from local owners at HoneyFire Barbecue. We expect this establishment to stick around for many years.
Well, there it is. Now, you have an awesome list of barbecue spots to try out while you’re in Nashville. If there’s anything we here at the Nashville Bar Bike Blog want to be sure of, it’s that you and yours end up fed and satisfied while you’re visiting. One thing about Nashville to keep in mind is this, if you’re hungry when you leave, that’s your own fault. Don’t forget to click around the blog and see what other lists we’ve compiled. There’s even a vegan/vegetarian friendly post that tells you all about how to find top tier plant based soul food. No matter what questions you have about Nashville, we make it our goal here on the blog to have either covered it already or be in the process of working on something new for you all, the readers. A trip to Nashville will always be a fun one, but we do try to make the planning process a little less hectic for you. Go ahead and bookmark this page, keep coming back to see what’s on the list and we are sure you’ll learn something new with each visit.