Vanderbilt Commodores: Top 10 Restaurants in Nashville on Gameday

by Dustin Schutte
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Don’t let the moniker “Music City,” fool you, college football fans. If you’re heading to Nashville for a Vanderbilt football game, you’re going to be in store for quite a treat — so be sure to bring your appetite.

As great as the country music is in Nashville, the food scene might be just as good. Whether you love Nashville Hot Chicken, are looking for great barbeque or are in the mood for a juicy burger, the city has a ton to offer.

We’ve spoken with some of our Nashville-based Outsiders to get recommendations on their favorite restaurants to visit on a gameday. Needless to say, we’ve got an incredible variety of options.

Tennessee Brew Works

  • Location: 809 Ewing Ave.
  • Distance to FirstBank Stadium: 2.6 miles
  • Saturday Hours: 11 AM – 10 PM
  • Gotta Try: Five Beer Burger
  • Website

Tennessee Brew Works has more to offer than just great beer, although that’s what brings most guests to the taproom. This spot is actually a great spot for some gameday grub, including one of the best burgers in Nashville.

“Tennessee Brew Works has the BEST burger in Nashville.”

– Jim Casey, Outsider

A description of the Five Beer Burger is enough to make your mouth water. This local favorite is topped with white cheddar cheese, Southern Wit comeback sauce, Basil Ryeman ketchup, Imperial Porter onions and Cutaway pickles. If you want something a little different, Tennessee Brew Works also offers Nashville Hot Chicken, a southern grilled cheese and plenty more.

San Antonio Taco Company

  • Location: 416 21st Ave. S.
  • Distance to FirstBank Stadium: 1.1 miles
  • Saturday Hours: 11 AM – 10 PM
  • Gotta Try: Chili Con Queso
  • Website

Part of the allure of college football season — especially in the south — is spending time outdoors. Enjoying the crisp air during a gameday in the fall is a great experience. So, for those who want to spend as much time outside as possible, the San Antonio Taco Company is a must.

“The Tex-Mex menu (try the chili taco), coupled with the old-school wooden deck and shade trees, make this Vanderbilt locale a go-to spot.”

– Jim Casey, Outsider

The ambiance isn’t all you’ll enjoy at “SATCO.” This Tex-Mex place has become well known for its chili con queso, which has earned the label “best of the best in Nashville.” There’s a reason San Antonio Taco Company has become a favorite for those at Vanderbilt.

Prince’s Hot Chicken (Assembly Food Hall)

  • Location: 5055 Broadway Place (multiple locations)
  • Distance to FirstBank Stadium: 2.0 miles
  • Saturday Hours: 11 AM – 10 PM
  • Gotta Try: The Andre Chicken Sandwich
  • Website

What’s a trip to the Music City without grabbing the city’s namesake food item? Nashville Hot Chicken continues to grow in popularity and Prince’s has some of the best around. It’s also located in the heart of downtown Nashville, about two miles from Vanderbilt’s campus.

Fans heading to see the Commodores can stop by Prince’s before kickoff or after the game and enjoy some of the city’s best hot chicken. The Andre Chicken Sandwich is a popular menu item here, with your choice of eight spice options, ranging from plain to XXX-Hot. But if you’re hoping to enjoy your time in Nashville, we’d recommend not going too extreme — unless you’re a seasoned veteran (pun definitely intended).

Bringle’s Smoking Oasis

  • Location: 4901 Centennial Blvd.
  • Distance to FirstBank Stadium: 3.6 miles
  • Saturday Hours: 11 AM – 10 PM
  • Gotta Try: Beef Ribs
  • Website

We’re breaking out the triple-option attack at this next spot. Bringle’s Smoking Oasis might be located a little further away than some of these other spots, but it’s definitely worthy of consideration. What’s better than BBQ, football and a giant outdoor space?

Enjoy some of Nashville’s autumn air, grab a BBQ sandwich — or platter — and enjoy college football on the outdoor big screens. Or challenge some of your friends and family to a game of cornhole. You could spend an entire day at Bringle’s watching college football and munching on some of the city’s top barbeque.

Commodore Grille

  • Location: 2613 West End Ave.
  • Distance to FirstBank Stadium: 0.2 miles
  • Saturday Hours: 7 AM – 11 AM/ 5 PM – 11 PM
  • Gotta Try: Breakfast Buffet
  • Website

Looking for some live entertainment to go with your post-game meal? Commodore Grille offers customers live music nightly. It really adds to the Music City experience, and with it being just 0.2 miles from FirstBank Stadium, it’s a great spot to stay close to the action.

Commodore Grille is open for lunch and dinner. While there are plenty of options on the menu to satisfy just about every appetite, the breakfast buffet is worth checking out at this Vanderbilt hotspot.

Central Bar + Kitchen

  • Location: 2555 West End Ave.
  • Distance to FirstBank Stadium: 0.1 miles
  • Saturday Hours: 7 AM – 3 PM/ 4 PM – 10 PM
  • Gotta Try: Steak Chimichurri and Eggs
  • Website

Another spot close to the action on gameday in Nashville is Central Bar + Kitchen. Because of its proximity to Vanderbilt, this is a popular spot on gameday so you’ll want to arrive early if you’re hoping to get a spot.

Speaking of early, Central Bar + Kitchen offers breakfast, brunch and dinner, but the morning meal might be the one to test out. Our recommendation is the steak chimichurri and eggs, but it’s hard to go wrong with anything on the menu. For those with a sweet tooth, the praline French toast on the brunch menu is an excellent option.

Plus, Central Bar + Kitchen offers seasonal-inspired cocktails and appetizers. No matter when you stop in, you’re bound to have some good options.

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint (Midtown)

  • Location: 2400 Elliston Pl. (multiple locations)
  • Distance to FirstBank Stadium: 0.2 miles
  • Saturday Hours: 11 AM – 10 PM
  • Gotta Try: Brisket Sandwich
  • Website

You can never have too many barbeque joints on a college gameday restaurant list. And because it’s Nashville, there are several to offer. Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint is a hop, skip and a jump from FirstBank Stadium. Fans can load up on some great BBQ (try the brisket sandwich or ribs) and head over to see the Commodores take the field.

“Not only does Martin’s have some of the best BBQ in Nashville, but its downtown location boasts a massive patio.”

– Jim Casey, Outsider

Remember that outdoor environment we talked about? Martin’s has a great patio space for fans to enjoy on the lovely fall days during the season. If it gets a bit too chilly, don’t worry, there’s indoor seating, as well.

The Row Kitchen & Pub

  • Location: 110 Lyle Ave.
  • Distance to FirstBank Stadium: 0.9 miles
  • Saturday Hours: 7 AM – 12 AM
  • Gotta Try: Famous Fried Pickles
  • Website

Want to taste a piece of Nashville history? The Row Kitch & Pub might be one of the most unique spots in the city — especially for country music lovers. The Row tabs itself as ” the hangout spot for singers & songwriters who helped shape country music history.” So, if you love good food and good music, make sure this is on your list.

The Row has a menu of traditional American fare but with some unique twists. Burgers and traditional hearty southern meals are the talk of this local restaurant, but you’ve got to try the Famous Fried Pickles, served with a white BBQ sauce.

Party Fowl

  • Location: 719 8th Ave. S. (multiple locations)
  • Distance to FirstBank Stadium: 2.1 miles
  • Saturday Hours: 9 AM – 10 PM
  • Gotta Try: Hot Chicken Street Tacos
  • Website

We can’t limit the Nashville Hot Chicken options to just one. Party Fowl is another great spot for those in search of finding the best version of the city’s favorite food. What’s unique about Party Fowl? There are a variety of ways to order the hot chicken.

“Party Fowl features deliciously hot chicken, plenty of cold beer on tap, and lots of TVs.”

– Jim Casey, Outsider

Some places stick with tenders or a sandwich, but Party Fowl gives its customers options. You can get anything from street tacos to a Po Boy. Or, you can pair it with beignets, if you want that sweet and spicy combination. The bottom line? There are several ways to try Party Fowl’s hot chicken, so we suggest you step outside the box.

Burger Republic

  • Location: 420 11th Ave. S. (multiple locations)
  • Distance to FirstBank Stadium: 1.9 miles
  • Saturday Hours: 11 AM – 10 PM
  • Gotta Try: The Tennessee Burger
  • Website

Get a taste of Tennessee in a single bite. Burger Republic makes a case for the best burger joint in Nashville, primarily because of its famous creation, “The Tennessee.” This delicious burger includes Jack Daniel’s honey glaze, American cheese, smoked ketchup, maple-basted Benton’s bacon and Memphis-dusted crispy onions. Hungry yet?

If that’s not enough for you, grab an order of the Nashville Hot Tots, which will have you thirsty for a brew or two. The Nashville Hot spices are paired with a homemade Buffalo sauce to create a tasty appetizer — or side item.

Hey, it’s hard to go wrong with a good burger before (or after) kickoff. Burger Republic has exactly what Vanderbilt fans want.

More on Nashville Food…

Making a trip to Nashville for the first time? With so many sights to see, things to do and places to eat, it can be overwhelming. Don’t worry, though, we’ve got you covered!

Outsider’s Jim Casey has plenty of great recommendations that didn’t make our Top 10. So, if you’re unable to make a stop at one of these spots, there are still plenty of other options on a Vanderbilt gameday.

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