Food Tours in Nashville

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From mouthwatering bites to sips of something special, the Nashville: 3-Hour Secret Food Tour is all about uncovering the delicious bites and dishes that make Nashville a food lover’s paradise. Explore the vibrant East Edgefield neighborhood, indulge in unique creations by James Beard Award-winning chefs, and uncover the craft of the local culinary scene. From the first Food Hall to Memphis-style BBQ, this tour is a feast for the senses.

Post for Nashville Food Tour showing a BBQ sandwich a small bowl of banana pudding.

Taking a food tour is a great way of sampling delicious food from local restaurants thanks to a knowledgeable local guide. The 3-Hour Secret Food Tour takes a small group of hungry participants on a fun food tour in East Nashville where participants get to sample of variety of classic southern foods and more.

Noble’s Kitchen and Beer Hall

Noble's Kitchen Beer Hall restaurant.

My sister and I took the food tour during the summer of 2023. The tour kicked off with our first stop at Noble’s Kitchen & Beer Hall, which, by the way, was named after a dog. We had two delicious options to choose from: Nashville Hot Chicken or Deviled Eggs and a Fried Green Tomato. Since there were two of us, we chose to divide and conquer by sharing half of our plates.

Slice of hot chicken on a piece of bread and a small tomato salad.

Who’d thunk you would get some tasty bites like that at a joint that serves home-style IPA and craft cocktails like the Watermelon Mule and Strawberry Sangria?

Hard boiled eggs, green salad, and a fried green tomato.

FYI: Noble’s Kitchen is located at 974 Main Street and it is open daily from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.

From there, we strolled down charming streets to Joyland, a haven of Southern comfort food. 

Joyland Restaurant

Joyland sign in front of a buildling.

Joyland is the creation of Chef Sean Brock. If you keep up with James Beard Award winners, you will be familiar with him. (In 2010, he won the James Beard Award for Best Chef, Southeast, and his New York Times best-selling cookbook, Heritage, was the winner of the 2015 James Beard Award for American Cooking .) If chilling out and watching cooking on tv is your jam, then you might have spotted him on Mind of a Chef or on Chef’s Table.

It was here that we each got a buttermilk biscuit which is made with Boonville flour and Cruze Farms buttermilk and – get this – black pepper in the dough. 

The restaurant even has its own brew – Joy Bier. While we did not select the upgraded alcohol package, we were able to purchase the bier and give it a try on our own dime.

Biscuit on a paper plate and a bottle of beer.

If you like classic Southern comfort food like fried chicken biscuits, then you should check out Joyland at 901 Woodland Street, Suite 101. It opens daily at 8:00 a.m. and is open until 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 2:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Sun flowers in front of a city scene.

Burger & Company

Green building with a sign that says Burger and Company.

Next, we walked for about half a mile to make our way to Burger & Company. Oh, those burgers! Nestled on toasted brioche buns, they were juicy masterpieces with jalapeño & balsamic onion, accompanied by crispy fries that were quickly devoured.

Note: As of December 2023, the owners decided to retire and Burger & Company has closed. We are confident that the food tour will find another delicious option in its place.

It was cool walking to the different locales and taking in the scenery, such as the Five Bears mural at Five Points. Would you believe that this simple mural is controversial? Yep.

Mural of five bears walking.

Edley’s Bar-B-Que

Edley's East Nashville sign on a red brick building.

As if all of that was not enough, we loosened our belts and made our way to the final pit stop – Edley’s Bar-B-Que.

Tender, smoky pulled pork piled high on a toasted bun, and a dessert that whispered sweet Southern goodbyes…let’s just say, our bellies were happy and our hearts content.

BBQ sandwich on a plate with a cup of banana pudding.

Edley’s Bar-B-Que is located at 1004 Woodland Street. It opens at 11:00 a.m. daily.

Food Tour Tips

Food tours can be amazing experiences, offering delicious bites, cultural immersion, and unique insights into a city’s culinary scene. Here are some tips to make your experience even better:

Before you book:

  • Do your research: Choose a tour that aligns with your interests (e.g., specific cuisine, hidden gems, historical highlights). Read reviews and compare itineraries to find the perfect fit.
  • Consider dietary restrictions: Notify the tour operator in advance if you have any allergies or dietary needs. Most tours can accommodate or offer alternative options.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: You’ll be doing some walking, so ditch the stilettos for something you can explore the city in with ease.
  • Come hungry: Food tours are focused on sampling multiple dishes, so pace yourself and avoid eating a big meal beforehand.

During the tour:

  • Be an active participant: Ask questions, engage with the guide and other participants, and be open to trying new things.
  • Embrace the local experience: Sample local specialties, learn about the city’s culinary history, and soak up the atmosphere of each neighborhood.
  • Pace yourself: Take breaks if needed, savor each bite, and don’t feel pressured to finish everything on your plate.
  • Bring cash: Some vendors on the tour might not accept credit cards, so it’s best to have some cash on hand for tips and souvenirs.
  • Capture the memories: Take photos of the food, the sights, and the people you meet on the tour.

Additional tips:

  • Book in advance: Popular tours can fill up quickly, so secure your spot early, especially during peak season.
  • Tipping: Check if the tour price includes gratuities for the guide. If not, tipping is customary to show your appreciation.
  • Leave feedback: Share your experience with the tour operator and other travelers to help them improve.

Remember, food tours are meant to be fun. Relax, let your taste buds guide you, and be open to discovering new culinary delights!

Spill the beans! We would love to know if you have been on food tours and where your favorite tour was.

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