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Sure, there’s the music, but don’t over­look an essen­tial part of the Nashville expe­ri­ence – the food! For fam­i­lies trav­el­ing with kids, find­ing fam­i­ly-friend­ly, fun places to eat in Nashville can some­times be a chal­lenge, but we’ve dis­cov­ered there are tons of kid-friend­ly restau­rants in Nashville. From old-fash­ioned burg­er stops to upscale or casu­al South­ern fusion, use this guide to find the best Nashville restau­rants for fam­i­lies with kids. 

 

 

 

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Best places to eat in Nashville for kids and families. Looking for a fun place to eat in Nashville? This guide has the top restaurants discovered by a local foodie.

 

 

Bobbie’s Dairy Dip

 

Bob­bie’s Dairy Dip is one of the most icon­ic restau­rants in Nashville and a must-eat for sum­mer months. (Real­ly. Bob­bie’s has sea­son­al hours and is closed dur­ing the win­ter.) With a walk-up win­dow and out­door seat­ing, Bob­bie’s has been a Nashville tra­di­tion since 1951. You can order burg­ers and fries, but every­one knows you’re real­ly there for ice cream sun­daes and peanut but­ter shakes.

 

 

fun places to eat with kids in Nashville

Bob­bie’s Dairy Dip offers clas­sic shake fla­vors along with spe­cial­ty shakes like Mem­phis Mafia (banana, bacon, and peanut but­ter) and Bar­ney Rub­ble (Ore­os, M&Ms, and choco­late syrup). Pho­to by Paul Nichol­son.

 

 

Lockeland Table

 

Lock­e­land Table is an award-win­ning East Nashville sta­ple. The restau­rant is known for its fam­i­ly-friend­ly Com­mu­ni­ty Hour, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. each day, when a por­tion of pro­ceeds is donat­ed to local school PTOs. Adults can enjoy Kore­an street tacos or pimen­to cheese hush­pup­pies while lit­tle ones have grilled cheese, piz­za, or corn dogs. We’ve enjoyed going to Lock­e­land Table to cel­e­brate the first week of school since my kids were ele­men­tary school­ers. The restau­rant is best for fam­i­lies with chil­dren who can sit still at a table for the full meal, although patio seat­ing does pro­vide some flexibility. 

 

 

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Nectar Urban Cantina

 

Nec­tar Urban Can­ti­na is known for its expan­sive back lawn that some­how screams “kid-friend­ly” and “super trendy” at the same time. With live music, plen­ty of seat­ing, and a fence sur­round­ing the whole yard, Nec­tar is the go-to place for fam­i­lies on warm sum­mer nights (and that fence means it’s great for fam­i­lies with tiny escape artists). But it’s not just about their out­door space — the Mex­i­can-inspired food is heav­en­ly. I rec­om­mend the street corn and the Brus­sels sprouts. 

 

 

fun places to eat with kids in Nashville

A tiny peek at Nec­tar Urban Can­ti­na’s out­door patio, which extends into a grassy yard, com­plete with lawn games and a music stage. Pho­to by Christy Nicholson.

 

 

East Nashville Beer Works

 

East Nashville Beer Works is a favorite with local fam­i­lies. Have you ever been in the car with crazy kids and thought, “I just need some­place with a play­ground?” East Nashville Beer Works is hap­py to be your safe space. Just grab a drink and a piz­za (veg­an options avail­able!) and let the kids wear them­selves out on the climb­ing wall and the slides.

 

 

Five Points Pizza

 

Five Points Piz­za is one of our absolute favorite restau­rants to vis­it, most­ly because all four of us are addict­ed to their gar­lic knots. With loca­tions in West Nashville and East Nashville, access to this amaz­ing New York-style piz­za is con­ve­nient to most places in the city. My kids’ favorite part of eat­ing at Five Points Piz­za is the lump of dough the restau­rant pro­vides to enter­tain their small­est cus­tomers (after being stretched, shaped, and torn, the dough usu­al­ly ends up eat­en by the end of the meal). 

 

Pro-Tip: Go ear­ly to avoid a long wait. Lines are espe­cial­ly long on weekends. 

 

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fun places to eat with kids in Nashville


These are the amaz­ing, addic­tive gar­lic knots from Five Points Piz­za (in the back­ground — small hands play­ing with a lump of dough). Pho­to by Paul Nichol­son.

 

 

Rosepepper

 

Rosepep­per is known nation­wide for its quirky signs declar­ing things like, “Tequi­la may not be the answer but it’s worth a shot.” We’ve been tak­ing our kids here since our old­est was a baby when the host­ess would greet us and ask how our “pre­cious gift to the uni­verse” was doing. The siz­able patio area means there’s plen­ty of kid-friend­ly space where no one will fuss over dropped food and wig­gles. Try the que­so, then head across the street after your meal for Five Daugh­ters Donuts or Jeni’s Ice Cream.

 

 

The Pfunky Griddle

 

Locat­ed in a tiny house in South Nashville, The Pfunky Grid­dle is a make-your-own pan­cake place. Why, you may be ask­ing, would you want to go on vaca­tion and then have to cook for your­self? Cus­tomiza­tion, my friend. Each table has a built-in grid­dle, and you can choose a selec­tion of top­pings and add-ins, includ­ing straw­ber­ries, M&Ms, pineap­ples, and gra­nola. You can mix and match ingre­di­ents to suit every fam­i­ly mem­ber’s wish­es. There’s even an option for gluten-free batter. 

 

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fun places to eat with kids in Nashville

The after­math of our meal at The Pfunky Grid­dle. Pho­to by Paul Nichol­son.

 

 

Gabby’s Burgers and Fries

 

The first clue about the amaz­ing food at Gab­by’s Burg­ers and Fries will be the cars fill­ing the tiny park­ing lot and sur­round­ing streets. The small, unas­sum­ing build­ing is home to Nashville’s best burg­ers and sweet pota­to fries. A friend­ly atmos­phere fills the build­ing, which is big­ger than it looks, thanks to out­er rooms with plen­ty of space for fam­i­lies. This is a great place to refu­el after vis­it­ing the Adven­ture Sci­ence Cen­ter, but be aware — the restau­rant clos­es at 2:30 p.m. after the lunch rush. 

 

Pro-Tip: Be sure to ask about the secret menu, which is kept under lock and key. (Pssss….the pass­word is “Sea­mus.”) 

 

 

Assembly Food Hall

 

The new­ly-opened Assem­bly Food Hall is one of the best spots to find kid-friend­ly restau­rants on Broad­way in down­town Nashville. With tons of din­ing options con­ve­nient to Nashville’s top tourist areas, there’s some­thing for every taste. If you’re look­ing for Nashville’s sig­na­ture hot chick­en, then try the orig­i­nal at Prince’s Hot Chick­en (and see if some­one will tell you the sto­ry behind the famous dish — it’s a good one). Not sure if you’re up for super spicy chick­en? Try Slim & Husky’s Piz­za or Thai Esane. 

 

 

fun places to eat with kids in Nashville


Assem­bly Food Hall offers a vari­ety of din­ing options right across the street from the Ryman Audi­to­ri­um. Pho­to by Paul Nichol­son.

 

 

The Market House at the Nashville Farmers Market

 

The Nashville Farm­ers Mar­ket is an easy day­time stop near down­town, Bicen­ten­ni­al Capi­tol Mall State Park, and the Ten­nessee State Muse­um. Caribbean food, piz­za, veg­an tacos, and south­ern bar­be­cue are all avail­able, with spa­cious indoor seat­ing as well as pic­nic tables out­side. Grab some food and eat in the mar­ket house or take a pic­nic over to the park next door, then walk a cou­ple of blocks north for dessert at the Cup­cake Collection.

 

 

 

The Loveless Cafe

 

The Love­less Cafe draws locals and tourists with its tra­di­tion­al south­ern food, but the bis­cuits are the real star of the show. Love­less is great for large groups look­ing for an old-fash­ioned din­ing expe­ri­ence; be sure to see if reser­va­tions are avail­able ahead of time. The wait can be long dur­ing peak hours, but there’s plen­ty to do on the prop­er­ty like vis­it­ing the tiny shops or play­ing corn­hole. No time to wait? Swing into the Bis­cuit Kitchen next door to grab a few bis­cuits and pre­serves when you’re on the go. 

 

 

fun places to eat with kids in Nashville


The Love­less Cafe is a pop­u­lar restau­rant, event space, and shop­ping area. It’s no longer a motel, but the famous sign still draws in vis­i­tors for home­made bis­cuits and com­fort food. Pho­to by Paul Nichol­son.

 

 

Hugh Baby’s

 

Mar­t­in’s BBQ is a long-time Nashville fix­ture, and own­er Pat Mar­tin has expand­ed his food offer­ings to include Hugh Baby’s, a casu­al burg­er-and-BBQ stop. Their pulled pork sand­wich­es, hand-ground beef burg­ers, hot dogs, and milk­shakes are the ulti­mate vaca­tion food. I rec­om­mend stop­ping by the West Nashville loca­tion, which offers a play area for kids on their cov­ered patio. 

 

 

Hunter’s Station

 

Hunter’s Sta­tion is a food hall in East Nashville with plen­ty of open seat­ing and patio space for fam­i­lies. The Grilled Cheeserie is one pop­u­lar stop inside the hall thanks to their offer­ings rang­ing from a sim­ple cheddar/toast com­bo to culi­nary mas­ter­pieces fea­tur­ing house-made pimen­to cheese and Ten­nessee bacon. Cit­i­zen Mar­ket has break­fast and snacks from a vari­ety of Nashville mak­ers as well as free Wifi and board games for cus­tomers to enjoy. While you’re there, grab a scoop of Pied Piper Ice Cream from the mar­ket. (Try the one called Trail­er Trash. Trust me.)

 

 

Hunters Sta­tion offers quick, casu­al food from The Grilled Cheeserie, Vui’s Kitchen, and more. Bonus: The first 90 min­utes of park­ing are free for cus­tomers. Pho­to by Paul Nichol­son.

 

 

McNamara’s Irish Pub

 

McNa­ma­ra’s Irish Pub has been a favorite for our fam­i­ly ever since we wan­dered in and dis­cov­ered a room full of peo­ple dressed as pirates. While the restau­rant is open for both lunch and din­ner, the main event is the live Celtic music that starts most nights at 6 p.m. The steak & Guin­ness pie is won­der­ful, but fam­i­lies will want to note the “Lep­rechaun Cor­ner” menu that offers kid-friend­ly grilled cheese and chick­en ten­ders. Due to crowd­ed tables, espe­cial­ly in the music room, this stop is best for kids who can stay at the table through the meal.

 

 

fun places to eat with kids in Nashville

Nashville is known for coun­try music, but the Irish band at McNa­ma­ra’s is not to be missed. Pho­to by Paul Nichol­son.

 

Coco’s Italian Market

 

Coco’s Ital­ian Mar­ket has been mak­ing authen­tic Ital­ian food in Nashville for gen­er­a­tions. Servers have been wel­com­ing and friend­ly to our kids on every vis­it, and I find that the patio area is par­tic­u­lar­ly good for lit­tle ones. There’s also a boc­ce court so the whole fam­i­ly can play a game while wait­ing for food. And don’t miss the adjoin­ing store, with selec­tions of import­ed Ital­ian favorites and home­made cannoli. 

 

 

Tailgate Brewery

 

A tap­room may not be the first thing that comes to mind for kid-friend­ly din­ing, but the folks at Tail­gate Brew­ery wel­come fam­i­lies of all shapes and sizes (plus dogs). We’ve tak­en our kids to triv­ia nights at the East Nashville loca­tion and felt right at home. The West Nashville loca­tion is the head­quar­ters and fea­tures a huge patio with pic­nic tables and out­door games.

 

 

fun places to eat with kids in Nashville

With three loca­tions across the city, Tail­gate Brew­ery is a com­mu­ni­ty favorite. Pho­to by Paul Nichol­son.

 

Plaza Mariachi

 

Plaza Mari­achi is the eas­i­est way to sam­ple Nashville’s inter­na­tion­al food scene. This elab­o­rate indoor shop­ping area often fea­tures live music and per­form­ers. Mex­i­can, Argen­tin­ian, and Mediter­ranean meals are avail­able in the food court, and a ter­rif­ic Indi­an buf­fet is just around the cor­ner at Taj Indi­an Restau­rant. Tito’s Play­land, which has an indoor play­ground and video games, will be a hit with kids of any age. (Plaza Mari­achi is our reg­u­lar stop for pale­tas after a warm day at the Nashville Zoo.)

 

 

fun places to eat with kids in Nashville

Plaza Mari­achi has fan­tas­tic food, gor­geous decor, and a play area for the kid­dos. Pho­to by Christy Nicholson.

 

 

Jack’s Bar-B-Que

 

Jack­’s Bar-B-Que has been part of the Nashville bar­beque scene for over 30 years. Their Broad­way loca­tion is a good stop for a quick meal with­in easy walk­ing dis­tance to the Ryman Audi­to­ri­um and Ernest Tubb Record Shop. Don’t be daunt­ed by long lines — the restau­rant serves cus­tomers quick­ly, even on busy Nashville Preda­tors game nights. (And don’t wor­ry, there’s more seat­ing upstairs.) Trav­el­ing with some­one who does­n’t like bar­beque? Try a “veg­etable plate” with mac and cheese, fried apples, and corn. (Veg­e­tar­i­ans, beware — many sides are fla­vored with meat, so dou­ble check ingre­di­ents before ordering.)

 

 

fun places to eat with kids in Nashville

Feel­ing over­whelmed by the honky-tonks crank­ing out loud music in down­town Nashville? Duck into Jack­’s for a quick meal (just think of it as a mac-and-cheese refill). Pho­to by Paul Nichol­son.

 

 

Acme Feed & Seed

 

Acme Feed & Seed is a great expe­ri­ence for fam­i­lies with old­er kids. At night the restau­ran­t’s four floors become a hip des­ti­na­tion for the par­ty crowd, but in the day­time and ear­ly evening, it’s a great spot to sam­ple unique South­ern fusion dish­es. Be sure to hit the rooftop, which offers panoram­ic views of the city and the Cum­ber­land Riv­er. Stop by the store on your way out to find local­ly made choco­lates, jams, and more. 

 

 

fun places to eat with kids in Nashville

Acme Feed & Seed offers beau­ti­ful rooftop views of down­town Nashville and the river­front. Go dur­ing the day­time for a fam­i­ly-friend­ly expe­ri­ence. Pho­to by Paul Nichol­son.

 

 

Christy Nichol­son is a writer, edi­tor, and recov­er­ing per­fec­tion­ist from Nashville, Ten­nessee. When not trav­el­ing with fam­i­ly, she enjoys cozy days at home read­ing, gar­den­ing, mak­ing music, and wran­gling two awe­some kids. Christy writes at Any-Worth.com about trav­el and sus­tain­able living. 

 

 

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Best places to eat in Nashville for kids and families. Looking for a fun place to eat in Nashville? This guide has the top restaurants discovered by a local foodie.