Good Local Eats at Nashville Airport Restaurants. Seriously.

Airport food? By choice? Sounds crazy but you can get legit Nashville-centric grub and local brews from a number of local proprietors.

Break the habit of the chains and get some local chow and beer at one of these homegrown on-site operations that defy the standards of airport restaurants.


Arrington Wine Bar and Grill¬†Country artist Kix Brooks and his associates have a vineyard in Arrington, south of Nashville. They’ve sent some of their finest to the airport to pair with chef-inspired menu.

Fugitives Public House The fugitives in question are the literary brat pack at Vanderbilt University in the 1920s–Robert Penn Warren, John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate and others.¬† No book signings here–just a farm-to-table concept with an emphasis on local vendors.

Kijiji Coffee Nashville’s first African-American-owned coffee shop, it opened in 1997. Kijiji is Swahili for “community” and its first location was designed to be a gathering place on Jefferson Street, the equivalent of Main Street for the historically black neighborhood. They take pride in roasting their own African-derived beans in small batches.


Kijiji Coffee Yep, there’s one here too.

Little Harpeth Brewing

Pig Star by Peg Leg Porker I’m not a fan of their name but they have a solid reputation around Nashville for Memphis-style barbecue. A savory stop of southern eatin’.


400 Degrees near Gate C-14. So you want to try hot chicken on your way in or out of town? Order something cool to drink and have it. I”m kind of a wimpy but the 200-degree version numbed my lips.

8th and Roast Coffee Co. The satellite location for the 8th Avenue mothership where it roasts its beans, it offers a variety of craft drinks.

Barista Parlor in Concourse C is known locally as one of our finest coffeehouses. Also serves breakfast biscuits, pastries and such.

Bongo Java Locally-owned coffee shop with several locations around town, it also features a tidy food menu.

Ole Red You probably won’t see Blake Shelton at the airport but you could visit this outpost of his honkytonk.

Pyramids Cafe Yeah, you’re thinking Egyptian cuisine but it offers a variety Mediterranean and Greek food. Locally owned since 1993.

Swett’s A soul food tradition since 1954, they’ve compressed the menu of their original restaurant to include their greatest hits of southern favorites.

Tailgate Brewery Local beer operation with two locations in the city and this hot spot with a limited menu of cold brews.

Tennessee Rickhouse Affiliated with locally-owned Pennington Distillery, their beverages are available with upscale dining options.

Three Casks As you guessed, alcohol in its various forms from local distillers is front and center. But don’t drink on an empty stomach–they offer burgers, sandwiches and house-made barbecue.

Tootsie’s is the drinking companion to Swett’s meat-and-three restaurant

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge near Gate C-7 functions as a complete eating-and-drinking establishment. Live music almost all the time. Interesting artifacts along the walls.

Urban Juicer Yes, it may look like a national chain but it’s a “locally owned, locally loved” fixture for healthy options.

Yazoo Brewing Company One of Nashville’s oldest breweries, enjoy a variety of beers on tap or take a six-pack home with you.


8th & Roast Coffee (see above)

Party Fowl Hot chicken and boozy slushies are the headline news.

Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant The restaurant eclipsed the grocery years ago but they’ve kept the name and their dedication to homestyle dining. Live music too.

Southern Steak & Oyster Upscale dining of the surf-and-turf variety, it’s the little sister of a restaurant just south of Broadway.


Bar-B-Cutie SmokeHouse A scaled-down version of their restaurant, originally opened in 1950. Pulled pork served a variety of different ways along with hand-cut fries.


Hissho Sushi Okay, Nashville is not renowned for its sushi but hey, give’em a try.

Starbucks You’ve probably heard of them.

Tennessee Brew Works I happened to pass through the day they were celebrating its arrival. Somewhere I still have the souvenir guitar pick. Nice selection of beers ready to become souvenirs.

Check out a few of my other food-centric posts:

Meat-and-Three: Eat Like A Nashville Local

Where to Find Hot Chicken and How to Eat It (Without Dying)

And here’s a little friendly advice about our airport.

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