Dining Deals in Nashville
My friend and I will be spending the summer in Nashville this year. As college students with unpaid internships our dining budgets will be pretty limited but we'd still like to go out every once in a while. Does anyone know of any weekly dining specials or reasonably priced neat restaurants? (we're not too picky and open to any ideas). Also, are there any good places with outdoor seating or outdoor bar areas popular with younger crowds? Thank you- we're fist timers in the city so any help is appreciated!
Hi there. Well there's cheap, and then there's CHEAP! If you want cheap, I can tell you that Nashville is a wonderful place to eat lunch. There are a lot of places that the natives call "meat-and-threes" that are open weekdays only, lunch only, with hardcore Mid-South food that is absolutely wonderful. An enormous meal with dessert and drink won't set you back a full ten bucks at these places. Look particularly for The Pie Wagon and Arnold's Country Kitchen. It's a couple of dollars more, but there is a family-style place called Monell's on 6th Avenue North that has simply delicious food. People are sat around communal tables and brought out enormous platters of delicious, wholesome food. Also, the lunch buffet at Ru San's is pricey for lunch, BUT a cheap way to nicely indulge your inner sushi fiend.
The Hermitage Cafe has great meat-and-three lunches, delicious chess pie, and is a great place if you need a dirt-cheap burger or some equally cheap pancakes at three in the morning. Just don't try to go there during normal dinner hours as they are open from 10 pm to 1:30 pm and they are closed durning dinner. Go figure.
Now, there are also neat ethnic places around that will give you an inexpensive meal and send you home happy. I'm particularly partial to Istanbul on Nolensville Road. Oh, and if you want CHEAP! in Nashville, also check out the Calypso Cafe (I think there are three of them). The food is fresh, tasty, and dirt cheap, even for dinner. Also, all over the more Latino neighborhoods in Nashville are the taco trucks. A lot of them are really wonderful. Of the sit-down Mexican places, my favorite is El Arroyo in LaVergne. I am a native of Philadelphia PA, so I can't swear for the authenticity of their Mexican food. I can however swear for their yumminess. Angelo's Picnic Pizza in Antioch has some pretty good pizza (Back home in Philly, it would be consodered alright, no great shakes but for down here...it's STELLAR!). If you share a pie and get a couple of sodas, then it's pretty reasonable.
As to an outdoor bar with a younger crowd AND some inexpensive, yummy food I want to passionately endorse the Broadway Brewhouse at 19th & Broadway. It is set up in such a way that the outdoor area is covered but gets all the breezes. Also, their food is luscious. If you go order your food at the counter, they will give you free samples of their soup of the day, their chili, their gumbo if you ask for them. Be warned, their soups of the day especially are usually so delicious that you will not be able to help yourself but to order some once tasted. Their beer selection, tap and bottle, is enormous. It is a more laid back scene than you'll find closer to the touristy section of Broadway or in Hillsboro Village.
Not sure if you are 21yo yet, but tons of places here have 2-for-1 drink specials & cheap food.
The Dog Of Nashville is a great hot dog place (near Vandy/Hillsboro) with outdoor seating & they serve beer.
Broadway Brewhouse is near Vandy/Midtown and has awesome, cheap wings.
Arnold's Country Kitchen has the best Southern food ever and waaay cheap for the quality. They are only open for lunch though.
For a good Nashville experience I really adore Brown's Diner in Hillsboro. Go on a Friday night when the country band is playing. Great cheeseburgers, great country music and super-cheap beer pitchers. Umm, it's in a trailer but don't let that scare you. It rules.
Nashville has about eleven colleges and universities, so you aren't alone in needing cheap food. There are tons of good, cheap places. The Nashville Scene, the city's weekly, has a active food blog that details specials and hosts lots of lively discussions on cheap food finds www. nashvillescene.com/bites. You might go to the blog, find the most recent Open Thread, and ask people what their top 3 favorite cheap meals might be. Mine would be 1) Hot Diggity Dog off Lafayette for a gourmet hotdog that's less than $5 plus outdoor seating. 2) The Thai food on the buffet at International Market on Belmont Boulevard. 3) The cheap plate lunches and dinners at the Belmont Bi-Rite. 4) Chinese Kitchen in Green Hills. Cheap and good Chinese food in a no-frills atmosphere.