The Best Barbecue Restaurants In Nashville, Tennessee

Photo of Kate Harrington
9 February 2017

Nashville, Tennessee, also known as Music City USA, is probably best-known for its country music scene, but its dining scene is no slacker either. Here we highlight the very best barbecue joints in the city to visit while you’re here.

Jack’s Bar-b-que | © Ronald Woan/Flickr

Jack’s Bar-B-Que

Bar, Restaurant, BBQ, $$$
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Jack’s Bar-B-Que is the essential barbecue restaurant. It’s cafeteria-styled with wooden tables and chairs for seating. The exterior is glamorously Nashville, with bright lights on the Broadway strip. More importantly, the barbecue is slow-cooked and famous, serving brisket, ribs, pork and turkey. It’s fairly reasonable, but every cent is worth it for the food and the atmosphere.

Papa Turney's

Restaurant, BBQ, $$$
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On the outskirts of Nashville there’s Papa Turney’s. As far as barbecue architecture goes, Papa Turney’s is the winner with a two-story wooden spot right on the water. It’s just as casual as any barbecue restaurant should be. And the food is exceptionally traditional with hickory-smoked dishes including pork, brisket and ribs.

Martin's Bar-B-Que

Bar, BBQ, $$$
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BBQ combo
BBQ combo | © Jeremy Keith/Flickr
Martin’s Bar-B-Que is one of the elite in Nashville. The barbecue is whole-hog traditional, and the meats vary from pulled pork and chicken to sausage and brisket. Martin’s has made a name for itself by virtue of the homemade sauces. Either wet or dry, the sauces added to the ribs make it an experience.

Smoke Et Al

Smoke Et Al has made Nashville’s barbecue a little different. Instead of residing in an establishment, Smoke Et Al has taken its food mobile. The food truck includes chicken, pork, and ribs. However, they’ve become creative with the barbecue fare and include sandwiches, tacos, and even veggie tacos. Find details about whereabouts and hours on their website.

Smoke Et Al, +1 615-601-5993

Loveless Cafe

Cafe, Restaurant, American, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Fast Food, Street Food, $$$
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Loveless Café is a veteran when it comes to barbecue and Southern food. Serving classic Southern breakfasts, lunches and dinners, the Loveless Café is superficially known for their country ham and fried chicken. However, a little deeper down, Loveless Café makes nearly perfect barbecue. Their barbecue options are limited but include slow-cooked pork, ribs, and sandwiches.

Peg Leg Porker

Restaurant, Bar, American, Gluten-free, Fast Food, Pub Grub, $$$
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Peg Leg Porker is about as Southern barbecue as a restaurant could get. It’s no-frills with a bare interior and outdoor patio, but it’s inherently Southern. Pulled pork and ribs are the main dishes, and the ribs are dry rubbed with spices. The sides are all traditional barbecue with the mac’n’cheese and coleslaw.


Bar, Restaurant, BBQ, $$$
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Edley’s Bar-B-Que is an urban casual restaurant. It’s distinct within Nashville’s barbecue realm because of its dedication to traditional BBQ. Smoky and slow-cooked, the ribs are flavorful and served with original sauces. However, there are multiple menu options, including tacos, beef brisket and pork. All of the sides are traditional barbecue and include the likes of mac’n’cheese and coleslaw.

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