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Nov 15, 2010 07:28 PM

Downtown Nashville on a Budget

We used to live in Clarksville, so we have spent some time in Nashville. We are coming back for a conference this week, and we are on a bit of a budget. We used to spend our time in Nashville at the more well known places like Melting Pot, Demos', etc.

We will be on foot, staying at the Courtyard downtown, conference at Convention Center.

Any suggestions for great places to grab a cheap bite nearby?

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  1. Jack's BBQ on Broadway.
    Try the Mojo wings @ Broadway Brewhouse
    Try a fried bologna sandwich @ Paradise Park
    The newly revamped Merchant's (downstairs) has a fairly reasonably priced starters and sandwiches menu.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pete k

      Yes, at Merchants the cheaper options are downstairs in the "bistro" area. It's not super-cheap, but moderate.

      Honestly, Melting Pot and Demos' are overpriced and mediocre compared to so much of the wonderful food in Nashville. Downtown is really geared towards business people and tourists, and that doesn't make for the best cuisine. Many of the best dining choices -- cheap and otherwise -- are outside of this central tourist / business zone. But, that doesn't mean there aren't choices.

      The new free shuttle, the Music City Circuit, really expands your options. You could take it down to the Gulch -- where there are expensive restaurants but also the more reasonable Urban Flats. You could take it up to the Farmer's Market for lunch and sample B&C Barbecue. A little walk from the Farmer's Market stop, on the other side of the Bicentennial Mall, is the Germantown area. Germantown Cafe is very reasonable for lunch, and there are some other spots there as well such as a hot dog place. There is a Panera at 5th and Commerce. In the Arcade is a well-regarded pizza place (House of Pizza?) and a deli. The Flying Saucer at the Union Station hotel isn't bad, and if you like beer it's the place to be. There's Past Perfect on 3rd just south of Broadway. Not super-cheap but reasonable is Koto Sushi on Union -- i think it was Nashville's first sushi bar (in a different location).

      Oh, and there's an HG Hill Urban Market on Church St. next to the Presbyterian church.

      There's always The Old Spaghetti Factory! :)

    2. I second Jack's BBQ. The Wildhorse Saloon has outstanding southern specialties such as salads, BBQ, sandwiches, burgers and steaks. The drinks are good and there's entertainment also.

      Wildhorse Saloon @ 120 2nd Avenue North, Nashville, TN 615 - 256 - 9453.

      Wildhorse Saloon
      120 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201

      2nd Avenue Cafe
      204 Cumberland St E, Cowan, TN 37318

      1 Reply
      1. re: Littleman

        Hate to disagree with you, Littleman, but I have found the food at the Wildhorse to be consistently mediocre. What do you order there that's good?

        The OP's hotel is right smack in the middle of the business district, so most of the restaurants in the vicinity of your hotel will be open for lunch only. Here are some good options:

        -Varallo's on 4th Ave N (good chili, also Nashville's oldest restaurant) [LUNCH ONLY]
        -Manny's House of Pizza in the Arcade (best pizza in town) [LUNCH ONLY]
        -Greek Touch in the Arcade (very solid Greek food) [LUNCH ONLY]
        -Sam's Sushi at the corner of 4th Ave N & Church (the sushi nazi!!!)
        -Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar in Printer's Alley (good Cajun food) [DINNER ONLY]
        -Puckett's Grocery at the corner of 5th Ave N & Church (new branch of a Williamson Co classic)
        -Piranha's Bar & Grill on 2nd Ave N (serves Primanti Bros-style sandwiches that are good)
        -Jack's BBQ on Broadway
        -Broadway Brewhouse on Broadway
        -Paradise Park on Broadway

        Good luck, and please report back and let us know where you went and how you liked it!

        House of Pizza
        15 Arcade, Nashville, TN 37219