The Best Restaurants in East Nashville, Tennessee

Five Points Pizza in East Nashville serves delicious New York-style pizza
Five Points Pizza in East Nashville serves delicious New York-style pizza | © Images-USA / Alamy Stock Photo
East Nashville has got it. Even if you can’t put your finger on what it is – you can certainly feel it in this neck of the woods. Across from Downtown and along the river, some of Nashville’s top restaurants await you. This neighborhood hasn’t forgotten its Southern roots, but its restaurants and food spots have grown into a melting pot of international fare. Here is Culture Trip’s local insiders’ ultimate selection of East Nashville eats.

Folk

Pizzeria, Restaurant, American
FOLK Nashville
Courtesy of FOLK Nashville

With exposed brickwork and paper lanterns strung from high ceilings, Folk is achingly hip in a good way. The friendly staff and buzzing atmosphere mean you’ll have a great time before your wood-fired pizza and organic wine have even arrived. Chef-owner Philip Krajeck takes his pizza seriously – only using flour from carefully sourced mills and the freshest of ingredients. But, it’s not all about the pizzas – customers return time and again for the innovative family-style dishes and bar snacks. The ever-changing menu and unique atmosphere make Folk a standout winner. Recommended by local insider Juliette Lefaivre

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Two Ten Jack

Restaurant, Japanese, $$$
Two Ten Jack Nshvi
Courtesy of Two Ten Jack

Two Ten Jack brings the Japanese izakaya concept to East Nashville. Traditionally, an izakaya is an informal spot to share bar snacks and dishes over glasses of sake – typically attracting post-work get-togethers. The tradition started back in the 17th century when a sake merchant served his drinks with small plates. For the hungry, this welcoming watering hole boasts an expansive menu of ramen, sushi and yakitori (chicken skewers) – all made with local, Southern ingredients. Enjoy a Japanese movie projected on the wall with one of Two Ten Jack’s craft beers or specialty cocktails in hand. It’s an ideal, cozy spot for date night. Recommended by local insider Cristy Wicks

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Cafe Roze

Cafe, Restaurant, American, $$$

Roze, meaning pink in Croatian, is a fitting nod to owner Julia’s heritage, with the color softly splashed throughout the monochrome interiors. Serving everything from brunch to late-night suppers, Cafe Roze is perfect for solo diners looking for a quick bite and group celebrations. The stout waffles, egg bowls and smoothies make this a popular place, so be prepared to wait in line on the weekends. The brunch is exceptional – try the egg sandwich with avocado. Recommended by local insider Chaney Curd

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Meal service:

Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, All Day

Atmosphere:

Stylish, Arty, Quirky

Dino’s

Diner, Restaurant, American

“Ice-Cold Beer + Fine Food” – with a tagline like that, what’s not to love? Dino’s is East Nashville’s most acclaimed and oldest dive bar. Anthony Bourdain dined here in 2016, while it made the Top 3 Burgers in America list in Bon Appétit in 2017. This dive bar really comes into its own at night, offering its famous animal fries and greasy burgers perfect for soaking up one too many beers. Grab yourself a chair on its patio out back or nestle up to (a life-size cutout of) Dolly Parton in one of the booths. Dino’s is a guaranteed good time. Recommended by local insider Juliette Lefaivre

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Redheaded Stranger

Restaurant, Mexican
redheadnshvi
Courtesy of Redheaded Stranger

Redheaded Stranger – a name inspired by Willie Nelson – was the first to bring the Tex-Mex vibe to East Nashville. Fresh tacos, burritos, Frito pies and more, it offers an array of traditional Southwest dishes – make sure to come here on your cheat day. Chefs from across the US are often invited to collaborate, so there may be a surprise guest or two in the kitchen. As for the interiors, local artists were asked to help, and the outcome is swoon-worthy. Grab a seat at the bar or in a booth, and dive into the first of many, many tacos. Recommended by local insider Cristy Wicks

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Mas Tacos Por Favor

Restaurant, Mexican
This food truck-turned-restaurant is legendary in East Nashville. Owner Teresa Mason fell in love with Mexican food while traveling around Mexico and wanted to bring a slice back to the US. From the chicken tortilla soup and the creamy horchata to the fried avocado and the Cuba libres, it serves authentic, delicious cuisine. The quinoa and sweet potato taco has the Guy Fieri seal of approval and is not to be missed. “The best idea in Nashville since country music” is quite the claim, but confidence is king and the food rocks. Recommended by local insider Juliette Lefaivre
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Five Points Pizza

Restaurant, Italian, Vegetarian, $$$
Five Points Pizza is a favorite for lunches or late nights in East Nashville. The pizza toppings will make your mouth water, with specialties including vodka sauce, meatball and habanero cream pies. Kick things off with a sourdough garlic knot topped with pecorino and basil, before selecting a pizza from its drool-worthy menu. Its open-plan seating makes for a buzzy atmosphere when dining in, but if you’re in a rush or just in need of a snack post-tipple, its late-night slice window has got you covered. Recommended by local insider Juliette Lefaivre
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Peninsula

Restaurant, Portuguese, Spanish, $$$
Peninsula
Courtesy of Peninsula

Peninsula feels high-end but informal. It’s a place where you can sip a cocktail at the bar with a light bite or have a full meal in the dining room. The dim lighting adds a touch of romance, while the menu makes it feel like you’re on an adventure. With dishes inspired by the Iberian Peninsula, you will have the pleasure of traveling to Spain, France and Portugal without even leaving your seat. Whatever you do, make sure you try the broth, served in a teacup, and while it changes daily, it never fails to please. Recommended by local insider Cristy Wicks

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This is an update of the article by Kate Harrington.

These recommendations were updated on June 11, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.