Nashville’s nightlife is about far more than just live music and line dancing. We have an accompanying late-night food scene sure to satisfy any craving. The bars beckon downtown Nashville revelers with neon marquees and thumping odes to country’s greatest hits, but the brightest stars on Broadway just might be hidden away on a menu.
In tribute to the growing dining scene in Nashville, we’ve pulled together a list of our favorite late-night food options. Whether you’re looking to delve into the chaos or find a quieter spot for a midnight snack, this should help you sort out where to get a great, late meal in Nashville.
Sunday - Thursday open until 11 p.m.
Friday and Saturday open until 1 a.m.
One of the few establishments on Broadway not dedicated to drinking, Merchants offers a glimpse at a Nashville gone-by (if you squint just right), long lost to cranes constructing skyscrapers and strips of celebrity-backed bars. Originally built in 1892, the building housed a hotel and restaurant for almost 100 years before its transformation into Merchants Restaurant in the 1980s, when downtown Nashville was primarily a seedy spot that both locals and tourists avoided. Now under the helm of Strategic Hospitality, Merchants is tapping into the late-night downtown-dining demand, offering its full menu in the first floor bistro until close at 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Order the Duck Fat Tater Tots, served with a divine trio of dipping sauces, and the Soup & Sammy, a grown-up grilled cheese with gouda and white cheddar plus crispy bacon served with a cup of tomato bisque and chips.
Monday - Thursday open until midnight
Friday and Saturday open until 1 a.m.
Closed on Sundays
Black Rabbit is located in another historic building that survived the downtown boom, just off Printers Alley (inside the former office of a law firm that famously represented the infamous Jimmy Hoffa, when he was called to a Nashville federal court). Original hardwood floors run throughout the space, which is accented with dim, period-inspired lighting. Expect to see creative small plates flying out of the open kitchen, centered around a live-fire oven. The restaurant is known for its signature Rabbit Rolls — delightful bites that are legions beyond the ham sandwiches you once knew. Atop a house-made bun sweetened with pineapple juice sits a slice of cured rabbit terrine, covered in melted swiss, onions and poppy seeds with a dash of mustard.
Monday - Thursday open until midnight
Friday and Saturday open until 2 a.m.
Sunday open until 10 p.m.
Tucked away just two blocks south of Broadway, Bakersfield churns out tacos and margaritas that keep locals and visitors alike coming back for more. It’s a relaxed environment, with long picnic tables anchoring the space across from the bar, and accordion style windows opening up to the sidewalk when the weather is nice. Chuck your Bro-Country swag at the door: Bakersfield embodies the classic Country Western spirit, with old Westerns playing on TVs throughout. The tacos are great, but the star of the show is the Short Rib Queso, topped with braised short ribs, pickled white onion, crema, radish, queso fresco and cilantro.
On the Legends Patio, 9 p.m. - 3 a.m., Thursday - Saturday
Commerce Street, located one block north and parallel to Broadway, has long been a late-night dining destination for Downtown revelers. Hot dog carts arrive every weekend and line each intersection, there to meet stumbling patrons flooding north from the bars. Owned by a multi-generational Nashville restaurant family, Bertie’s Biscuits turned the Nashville street-food scene upside down in August of 2017, when their souped-up cart made its debut on the corner of Fifth and Commerce Streets. Doling out biscuit sandwiches instead of hot dogs, Bertie’s offers guests a choice between buttermilk, rosemary and goat cheese or cheddar and chive biscuits, which are then adorned with toppings like jam, honey, sausage, bacon, and cheese.
Kitchen open until 1:30 a.m. nightly
If the call of the honky-tonks is too strong, grab a quick bite at Robert’s while enjoying some of the best music on Broadway. The space has been largely unchanged since the ’90s, and its commitment to traditional country music has made (and kept) it a favorite to locals. The kitchen is open until 1:30 a.m. nightly, and for a true Nashville experience, order the Recession Special: a fried bologna sandwich served with chips, a MoonPie and a PBR for just $6.
Late night menu served until midnight Friday and Saturday
If you’re searching for something a bit more upscale, look no further than Ellington’s, located in the Fairlane Hotel. Featuring a mid-century motif and a wrap-around terrace with city views, this is the perfect spot to get away from the bustle. Ellington’s serves a late-night menu until midnight on Friday and Saturday, which includes the knock-out Midway Burger, the Smoked Porkchop Sandwich and delectable cheese curds served with green goddess dressing.
Midnight breakfast on Saturdays from midnight - 3 a.m.
Tucked away on a sleepy street in Germantown (a mile north of downtown), Monell’s comes to life every Saturday from midnight until 3 a.m., with a midnight country breakfast that’s handily among the best late-night food in Nashville. The restaurant has been luring folks away from Broadway for over 20 years, offering Southern specialties all served family style. The concept is simple: You’re seated in the order you arrive, and your table is served once it’s full of hungry patrons. The tables are long enough to seat around a dozen or more people, so be prepared to make friends. From there, you’ll be bombarded with dishes from the kitchen: biscuits and gravy, corn pudding, scrambled eggs, grits, country ham, bacon, baked apples, fried chicken and more, which won’t relent until your entire table taps out. If you have the foresight to know that you’ll be sleeping through Sunday Brunch, this is the spot to hit before the hay on Saturday night.
Slice window and carryout counter open:
Sunday - Thursday until 1 a.m.
Friday and Saturday until 3 a.m.
Voted Best Pizza by locals in the annual Nashville Scene poll every year since opening in 2012, Five Points Pizza has quickly become a Nashville institution. Thanks to the recent addition of their slice window, it now anchors the late-night dining scene in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood. The carry-out counter is open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, ensuring that you have enough time, post-last call, to still swing by for a slice. Five Points Pizza offers a rotating meat and vegetarian slice of the day, and always has cheese, pepperoni and prosciutto and basil on standby.
Open until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays
For the Midtown drinkers: Tavern can satisfy all your late-night cravings. Open until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the restaurant serves elevated pub fare with a fresh spin. The atmosphere is always buzzing, and the side patio is a great spot to settle in on a late summer night. Try the Philly Cheesesteak Eggrolls served with chipotle queso and sambal ketchup or the Bazooka Guacamole with goat cheese and pistachios.
Open Thursday - Saturday until 3 a.m.
One of the newest late-night food options in Downtown Nashville is the Easy 8 sandwich window in Printers Alley. Right across from Miss Kellie’s (where locals will remember Lonnie’s once lived) now sits a sandwich window from the Dream Hotel slinging eight, seasonally rotating signature subs, like the Veggie Bahn Mi, the Italian and the Hot Ham & Cheese. We’d recommend ordering any sandwich that’s slathered in Easy 8’s divine mustard cheese sauce, like the Alley Cheesesteak. This behemoth of a sandwich is served open-faced and piping hot, so be sure to grab some napkins if you’d like to remain presentable after enjoying.
Looking for a way to explore the best food in Nashville? Walk Eat Nashville walking food tours make it easy — covering East Nashville, Midtown and SoBro/Downtown, each tour includes tastings at multiple restaurants/shops and behind-the-scenes interactions with chefs and owners. Learn more about Walk Eat Nashville food tours.