The South is known for its polite residents, beautiful open spaces, and great barbecue. Nashville, Tennessee, is one of the best places to get steaks in the region, offering a wide range of steakhouses for guests who want to get some high-quality beef.
Keep in mind when planning your trip that the customs and traditions of Southern cities differ from those in the North—while some Northerners may want to dress up for a steak dinner, many Nashville establishments welcome guests in cowboy boots and hats or otherwise dressed down. After all, for people in Nashville, steak isn't a delicacy—it's a way of life.
Nashville boasts a ton of great steakhouses, enough to fit anyone's budget or lifestyle, and a large majority of them are family owned and operated. On this list you'll find some of the more unusual steakhouses Nashville has to offer.
When it opened in the spring of 2011, Kayne Prime set a high goal—to be the top steakhouse of all steakhouses in Nashville, labeling itself a "Boutique Steakhouse." What's great is that Kanye Prime achieved its goal when it won Nashville Lifestyle's "Best Steakhouse," "Best of the Best Fine Dining," and "Best Service" awards in 2017. This upscale steakhouse is located in the Gulch Area in the former home of Radius10 and offers guests skyline views through picture windows. Guests can expect "modern interpretations of the classic" and farm-to-table service.
Located in downtown Nashville, Bob’s Steak & Chop House is a nationally renowned steak house specializing in the finest corn-fed, Midwestern prime beef. If you're in the area, check out the Music City Center at the Omni Nashville Hotel across the street. It's also connected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Jimmy Kelly's—a third-generation, family-run business—originally opened its doors in 1934 during the Great Depression with the promise to "serve a great steak, a generous portion of whiskey, and ensure the service was always attentive." This steakhouse is an integral part of Nashville's history during the post-Depression era when families began to recover and wanted relatively cheap yet exquisite meals like those served at Jimmy Kelly's. Housed in a Southern mansion near Downtown Nashville, this old-time establishment still serves up an excellent steak.
Fleming's is a steakhouse chain, and this one originally opened in California. However, the location in Nashville offers one of the most extensive wine lists in town, with more than 30 local selections and 100 total varieties. Fleming's has won multiple awards for its wine and steaks, including the Wine Spectator "Award of Excellence" from 2010 to 2016, the "Venue of the Year" award from Tennessee Business Travel Association in 2012, and the "No. 2 Best Steakhouse" award from Nashville Lifestyles Magazine in 2012.
Independently owned and in business for decades, the Hermitage Steak House is as unpretentious as it can get. It has a cozy, rustic atmosphere, a surf and turf menu, and big portions for a reasonable price. Hermitage often hosts live music events featuring some of the Music City's talented artists and has enough room to accommodate large groups of friends. Located in the suburb of Hermitage, just a few miles northeast of Nashville, this steakhouse is worth the trip.
Merchants has a fascinating history and high standard of service and quality. The building in which it is housed originally opened in 1870 as a pharmacy, manufacturing facility, and wholesale drug company on each of its three floors, but it was converted into the current building in 1892. The three floors are divided into separate features, with the bottom floor serving as a bistro, the second as a high-end steakhouse, and the third as a private dining space for large groups.
For a really special occasion, go to the Gaylord Opryland's Resort & Convention Center's Old Hickory Steakhouse. Not only is it an award-winning restaurant with a romantic antebellum-style setting, Old Hickory is also set against a backdrop of the majestic Gaylord Opryland gardens. This restaurant is a great choice if you're also looking for a place to stay the night after a steak and a few glasses of whiskey.
This traditional yet eclectic establishment features a state-of-the-art, shuck-to-order oyster bar, a real wood-fired grill, a locally grown buying strategy, deliciously tender meats, and directly sourced, sustainable seafood. Located in the newly establish (renamed) SoBro District of downtown, it also offers great access to some of the area's best attractions, including the Johnny Cash Museum and the Music City Star Riverfront.
Sperry's opened its doors in the Nashville suburb of Belle Meade in 1974, and its owners have a long history of restaurateurs in their family, dating back more than 100 years. Sperry's has expanded and has another restaurant just south of Nashville in the Cool Springs area, but the flagship address has a more classic, traditional feel. Plus, the Belle Meade location was also the first restaurant in all of Nashville to offer a salad bar—and it still does.
Originally opened in 1958 as a fish house, the Cherokee Steak House, located in Lebanon, has been a local family-run business since the 1980s. Its reasonably priced dining and hometown atmosphere have made this steakhouse a local family favorite, but just because it's in Lebanon doesn't mean it's not worth the trip to this pleasant suburb of Nashville.