By Jennifer Cuellar, on July 8, 2019

Where to Find the Best Cheap Eats in Nashville

When you visit Nashville, you’re in for great music and friendly, good-natured folks. You can also get excited about all the cheap eats in Nashville—from favorites like hot chicken and barbecue pork to unexpected picks like banh mi and hot dogs. This city will give your taste buds something to sing about. Wondering what cheap foods in Nashville you can’t miss? Read our guide to find out!

1. Pancake Pantry

1796 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN, 37212

The Pancake Pantry serves a variety of sweet and savory pancakes topped with sauces and syrups made from family recipes. Check out their good-as-pie Apple Walnut Pancakes or the bacon-and-green-chili-stuffed Santa Fe Cornmeal Pancakes.

2. Arnold’s Country Kitchen

605 8TH Ave S, Nashville, TN, 37203

Get your southern-fried fix at this down-home joint that’s also a James Beard American Classic Award recipient. This prestigious honor hasn’t affected Arnold’s affordability—it’s still one of the best cheap restaurants in Nashville. Arnold’s menu rotates daily, so come on a Monday for fried chicken or Wednesday for fried catfish.

3. Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

Various locations in Nashville

If you like your chicken as hot as your music, head over to Hattie B’s for the food Nashville is famous for: hot chicken. What’s hot chicken? It’s a crispy-fried piece of chicken covered in spicy sauce and often served as an open-face sandwich. This amazing restaurant also lets you choose how daring you want to be, with spice levels ranging from “Southern” (no heat) to “Shut The Cluck Up!!!”

4. Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint

Various locations in Nashville

Don’t even think about leaving Nashville without treating yourself to a heaping plate of Tennessee barbecue. One of the most iconic cheap restaurants in Nashville is also one of the most delicious: Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, where a whole hog is pit-roasted every day and you can eat your fill for well under $20.

5. Biscuit Love

316 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN, 37203

Grab a fresh, hot, buttery biscuit to sop up all that barbecue sauce. Biscuit Love serves plain biscuits a la carte as well as a variety of biscuit-based meals.

6. Miss Saigon

5849 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN, 37209

It’s not all biscuits and barbecue in Nashville; this city also has a strong scene for international cuisine. Miss Saigon serves fresh, tasty Vietnamese food, and they even advertise $10 lunch specials.

7. Frothy Monkey

Various locations in Nashville

If you feel yourself slowly slipping into a food coma and need to pep up for a night out in Music City, head over to Frothy Monkey and get your java fix. This coffee roaster and café serves fresh brews with house-made syrups.

8. Vegan Vee Gluten-Free Bakery 

306 46th Ave N, Nashville, TN, 37209

If you follow a restrictive diet, you don’t need to miss out on the sweetest treats in Nashville. All Vegan Vee’s items are vegan, gluten-free, and peanut-free, proving that allergy-free food can still be delicious and satisfying—as well as a great option for cheap food in Nashville. Try the vanilla confetti cupcakes or the triple chocolate brownies.

9. Uncle Bud’s Catfish Chicken & Such 

2719 Old Lebanon Rd., Nashville, TN, 37214

The name says it all. Uncle Bud’s is well-known for its cornmeal-dusted fried catfish and all-you-can-eat sides, including hush puppies, slaw, and fries. You’ll also find other Southern favorites on the menu, like sweet tea and fried shrimp. Be bold and try the gator tail bites or frog legs! This is an excellent cheap restaurant in Nashville you’ll never forget.

10. Edley’s Bar-B-Que

Various locations in Nashville

Banana pudding, like barbecue, is a Nashville staple. At Edley’s Bar-B-Que, you’ll find Tennessee barbecue and sides, but you’ll also find the classic Nashville banana pudding dessert. Custard layered with vanilla cookies makes for a scrumptious dish that melts in your mouth and crunches at the same time. You gotta love when the best cheap eats in Nashville are also the sweetest.

11. Gabby’s Burgers & Fries

493 Humphreys St., Nashville, TN, 37203

Burgers are magical, aren’t they? Meat, veggies, and a crunchy bun combine for the perfect meal. Mosey over to Gabby’s on Humphreys Street for a simple menu that packs a punch. Favorites include the chili burger, bacon swiss burger, and the double patty burger that encourages you to “unfasten the belt.” You won’t see anything over $11 on the board, so go ahead and treat yourself to one of those classic milkshakes.

12.  The Grilled Cheeserie

2003 Belcourt Ave, Nashville, TN, 37212

Cheese lovers unite! Nashville is the mecca of a certain ooey-gooey delight: the grilled cheese sandwich. This is one of the best cheap foods in Nashville, with sandwiches oozing with cheese (of course), along with options like roast beef, marinated artichokes, free-range turkey, and bacon. Craving a monster of meat and aioli sauce? You can get that, too—create your own!

13. Cori’s Dog House

106 29th Ave N, Nashville, TN, 37203

Nashville might be better known for its hot chicken, but you can’t deny the power of a tasty weenie. The menu is like a map of the United States. The New York dog comes slathered in mustard and sauerkraut, while the Cincinnati dog comes with mustard, chili, cheese, and onion. If you prefer the flavors of the West, you can order the West Texas, which comes with BBQ sauce and onion rings. Additionally, you can indulge in tropical flavors when you order the Hawaii dog with pineapple mango relish. For variety alone, it’s no wonder this is one of the best cheap eats in Nashville.

14.  The Cookery

1827 12th Avenue South, Nashville, TN, 37203

Here’s something you don’t see every day: coffee-rubbed baked fries. After a trip to The Cookery, you’ll never look at fries the same way again. Order up a big batch of favorites like the Cockney fries, topped with white gravy and parmesan, or the BBQ pork fries, with pork and caramelized onions. They also offer a half-dozen types of salad to choose from if you feel like balancing it out.

Though you could easily spend your whole trip enjoying the best cheap places to eat in Nashville, there are all kinds of inexpensive adventures to be had in this city. Get excited about some of the unforgettable things to do in Nashville:

Put your dancing shoes on and head to Nashville for entertainment–and eats–you’ll never forget! You’ll find truly unique Nashville restaurants that excite the taste buds and give you something to write home about. And when you enjoy Nashville on a budget, there’s more cash for what matters most: another round of dessert.

Looking for more cheap eats? Check out our guide to the best cheap eats in America!

Header image: Via f11photo/