Airport Food By Choice?! Yes!

Airport Food by Choice? Yes!

Sounds crazy but you can get legit Nashville-centric grub and brews from 20+ local proprietors.

Break the habit of the chains and go local with one of these homegrown operations that defy the bland standards of airport restaurants. You can also order a Nashville-made brew, sample some Tennessee whiskey or sip a midstate wine before boarding. Consult this terminal map for exact locations. Here’s the airport guide to dining.

TIP: there are vending machines under the escalator on the ground floor where you can buy Gatorade, sodas, and snacks for a little less than what merchants in the concourses charge.

Airlines served by Concourse A and B:

Allegiant, Air Canada, Avelo, Breeze, British Airways, Cape Air, Contour, Delta, Flair, Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit, Sun Country, Swoop, United, Vacation Express, Viva Aerobus, WestJet

A/B Rotunda

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.

Chick-Fil-A but not on Sunday. 🙂

Hissho Sushi Nashville is not noted for sushi rolls but hey, if you’ve got the urge, give this chain a try. Short breakfast menu too.

Pharmacy Burger Parlor This East Nashville mainstay is known for its German wurst as well as designer burgers.

Starbucks You’ve probably heard of them.

Tennessee Brew Works We tried several of their brews and give them a thumbs up. Also recommended, their base just south of SoBro. Nice selection of beers packaged in six-packs to become souvenirs.

Concourse A

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 a 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 sourcing.

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

Concourse B

Kijiji Coffeehouse at the airport


Kijiji Coffee Yep, there’s one here too.

Little Harpeth Brewing Enjoy a good German lager? Here’s a flavorful way to wait out your delayed flight.

Pig Star by Peg Leg Porker. Pitmaster Carey Bringle has a solid reputation around Nashville for Memphis-style barbecue. A savory stop of southern eatin’ with a more concise menu than their original location.

Airlines served by Concourse C and D:

Alaska Air, American, Southwest

Concourse C

400 Degrees  So you want to try acclaimed hot chicken on your way in or out of town? I’m kind of a wimp but the 200-degree version numbed my lips. Warning: the spices have a way of hurrying through your system, if you get my meaning.

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 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. We’re fans of its sister operation called Fido.

Ole Red You probably won’t see Blake Shelton at the airport but you could visit this outpost of his honky tonk, one of the largest vendors in the concourse.

Pyramids Cafe Yeah, you’re thinking Egyptian cuisine but it offers a variety of Mediterranean and Greek food. In business since 1993, its owners were an early arrival on our international food scene.

Swett’s A soul food tradition since 1954, they’ve compressed the menu of their original meat-and-three restaurant to include their greatest hits of southern favorites. (Pictured at top.)

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 Orchid Lounge Yes, it’s a scaled-down version of the now-famous Lower Broadway honky tonk. 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.

Concourse D

Burger King Just because they’re there.

8th & Roast Coffee (see above)

Party Fowl Hot chicken and boozy slushies are the headline news. Purists complain their version of  spices isn’t completely authentic but many love the taste.

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. (Pictured at top.)

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

BNA Marketplace

ACME Feed & Seed Named for the restaurant/music venue on the corner of Broadway and 1st Avenue, S. For generations, the building really was a feed and seed store. These days you’ll find southern-inspired dining.

Hattie B’s Not the oldest but the most prominent purveyor of Nashville hot chicken. Try the banana pudding as balm.

Goo Goo Shop Nashville’s signature candy offers satisfaction for the sweet tooth.

Titans Press Box Upscale dining in a casual atmosphere with an extensive wine list and designer cocktails.

Kitty Hawk Fast-casual dining as well as grab-and-go meals. Also home to Portland-based Voodoo Donuts.

Tennessee Moonshine Bar

Tennessee Whiskey Company