If you’re searching for incomparably delicious offerings in Nashville, but you don’t want to fight the throngs to find the front door and be forced to holler over the neighboring table’s bachelorette party to be heard, today’s list is for you.
Despite their legendary reputation, the experience of dining in the Top Cozy Restaurants in Middle TN won’t feel like more work than your Monday – Friday grind. Make reservations where possible, plan to park earlier than you think you ought to, and you’re going to have a beautiful experience.
1017 Woodland St | East Nashville
Margot Cafe is a French and Southern fusion, farm-to-table experience. Their menu changes daily to reflect the produce and proteins that are top-notch early that morning. Be sure not to skip the bread; it’s no standard filler fare but is instead hand-crafted in-house fresh daily and worth the visit all on its own.
Each visit made by one of our Parks associates has garnered rave reviews, so we recommend being adventurous when you dine at Margot Cafe. While the dishes are comforting and familiar thanks to their Southern influence, you will have the opportunity to enjoy novel and exciting creations as well! The craft cocktails here are likewise superb, so do your best to leave room for both a drink and dessert.
The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club
2905B Gallatin Pike | East Nashville
This cocktail bar is retro, relaxing, a touch mysterious, and is famous for serving delicious craft cocktails. When you arrive, you may be disoriented at first; there’s no signage, merely a fox mural hinting at the bar’s location behind a petite Italian restaurant.
Once inside, let yourself be enveloped in the deep green velvet booths, guided by your server, and you’re guaranteed to enjoy your night. Keep an eye on your bartender to witness their entertaining ice block wizardry and careful execution of your order.
The Fox Bar also offers charcuterie boards that range from petite to enormous, so no matter the size of your party, you’ll have plenty to eat. You may wish to start or end your night here or spend all night lingering over immaculate cocktails—either way, the sultry vibes and excellent service will surely be memorable.
218 3rd Ave N | Printers Alley
Since 2017, Black Rabbit has been creating elevated cocktails, delectable small plates, and light canapés in a sumptuous, vintage space. Relax on a sofa, pull up to high-top tables, or slide into a booth.
You’ll notice that the kitchen surrounds a wood-fired grill where meats and oysters are grilled, bread is baked, and vegetables are roasted to perfection. The drink menu includes the aforementioned cocktails alongside wines and beers, including an array of draft beers.
If you’re ready for a rejuvenating evening out with friends or a loved one, dress up a bit and head over to Black Rabbit.
2600 8th Ave S Suite 102 | Melrose and Breeze Hill
Sinema is the restaurant that makes its home in the renovated and revived Melrose Theater. The Melrose had its heyday between 1942 and 1965, and Sinema has honored this history by welcoming each guest into a space that feels like a Golden Age of Hollywood movie premier event.
Relax in plush booths, pull up to the bar, reserve a private dining space, or curl up on a couch upstairs in the lounge. The lounge is perfect for enjoying drinks and quiet conversation because it’s where classic movies are always playing to complete the experience.
No matter where you choose to dine, the modern American cuisine will draw you back to classic family meals, though they are masterfully crafted and presented with seasonal, artisanal flair. The whiskey program here is likewise tough to beat because it stars more than 200 selections that extend back 150 years. Wine and craft beers are also on offer, just in case whiskey isn’t quite your bag.
We recommend Sinema for an elevated brunch, lunch, dinner, special occasion, or experience for visitors to Nashville. Come one, come all! Selfie-takers will be pleased by the flattering lighting, cinephiles will delight in the resurrection of this historic venue, and Americans of all walks of life will thoroughly enjoy the cuisine.
102 19th Ave S | Midtown and Music Row
Since 1987, Midtown Cafe has brought Nashville accessible, casual fine dining prepared with a loving Southern heart. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner are each excellent here, and represent Nashville beautifully.
Please note that you may have trouble not coming back for a second meal in a single day—we’ve seen it happen! We do try not to tell our readers what to order, but here we must make an exception: the biscuits are absolutely essential if you stop by for breakfast.
Keep in mind that space here is limited, and the enthusiasm for the food never is. Upscale food at a great price is always at a premium, after all. Reach out directly to the restaurant to make a reservation no matter the time of day you plan to arrive. Third-party reservations made online may not be honored.
Once Upon a Time in France
1102 Gallatin Ave | Greenwood
Here in the Greenwood neighborhood, you can visit an authentic French bistro. Owned and operated by a French family, the bistro brings a slice of France to Nashville; the culture of France reigns here. There are no hosts or hostesses, no reservations to be had, and no fine dining fanfare either.
Instead, you’ll be offered a chance to enjoy the best house wine in Nashville on the patio if the small dining space is full, or any one of the bistro’s delicious drinks to sip. When your table is ready, you’ll be asked to order, dine, and move along within 90 minutes to make room for the next patron.
Yet for all this culture clash, we cannot recommend Once Upon a Time in France enough. Whether you’re craving a meal you had in a bistro in the French countryside or have always wished to enjoy French culture, this is the one and only perfect solution in Tennessee.
After one meal, you’ll be addicted. You’ve been warned! Prepare to return again and again to seek out the onion soup prepared with the family’s proprietary recipe, escargot in garlic butter, steak tartare, lamb, caviar, and desserts that will bring a tear of joy to your eye.
The Yellow Porch
734 Thompson Ln | Berry Hill
The Yellow Porch is one of only a few restaurants that are both independent and focused on casual fine dining. Open since 1998, this spot focuses on dinner. Their seasonal menu is clearly influenced by the cuisine found throughout the Mediterranean, but it also highlights methods and ingredients adored here in Nashville.
The wine and beverage list reflects this same personality. You’ll recognize the vintage focus, but you’ll also find fresh, local, and boutique spirits. Whether you eat on the eponymous yellow porch or choose seating within the intimate dining room, dinner at The Yellow Porch will always make you glad you chose a locally owned gem.
The Patterson House
1711 Division St | Midtown
The Patterson House blends modern rustic design with the soothing aura of an Art Deco library, and we’re smitten. Their exquisite cocktails are created bespoke for each guest and have been deservedly lauded as the absolute best drinks known to humankind.
While we are quick to recommend The Patterson House for the cocktails alone, they also offer a selection of small to large plates to accompany their incomparable drinks. Please make a reservation in advance; this popular, petite spot fills up quickly.
Two Ten Jack
1900 Eastland Ave #105 | East Nashville
Two Ten Jack was conceptually inspired by the standard Japanese neighborhood pub, or izakaya. Their menu includes ramen, yakitori, and other Japanese-style pub comfort foods, all infused with familiar Southern flavors and spices. Libations on offer are craft beers, domestic and foreign wine, handcrafted cocktails, shochu, and sake.
The ramen is flavor-packed and tender, the yakitori is grilled to perfection, the sake is warm, the booths are private, and the atmosphere is just off-beat enough to suit the denizens of East Nashville. This small, dimly-lit, relaxing izakaya is usually at capacity, so we strongly recommend making a reservation.
114 28th Ave N | West End
This speakeasy-style lounge is all high drama and dreamy literary references. Escape from your everyday life by passing through a heavy velvet curtain, under darkened ceilings, and settling into a high-backed booth. Or perhaps you would rather head up to the less formal second-story lounge? Out onto the balcony to gather around the fire pits?
Anywhere you decide to be, the craft cocktails and seasonal, farm-to-table menu await. Nashville-inspired modern American cuisine dominates the menu, though Mediterranean influences are unmistakably present. Choose from cheese and charcuterie boards, decadent appetizers, hearty (yet petite) entrees, large plates, and desserts that will make you want to blow the chef a kiss.
Before You Go
If you have a go-to cozy spot in Nashville where the grub is delicious, the drinks are golden, and you’re willing to give up the name, leave us a comment below. We value feedback from our readers, and as always, we thank you for simply being one.