Nashville isn’t just about hot chicken anymore. Music City has more than its share of great beef emporiums, including a crop of fantastic steakhouses that have popped up in the past few years–not to mention some beloved old-school spots that serve up great steaks. (But don’t worry, we’ll mention them in a future story soon!)
Here are the best of the best when you’re looking for a fine filet or a rockin’ ribeye.
Kayne Prime is the jewel of the MStreet restaurant group empire, a slick and modern steakhouse offering as much to delight the eye as the palate. Thanks to a recent expansion, Kayne Prime has room to host large private parties or intimate dinners for two. Their menu features dramatically-plated presentations of premium beef ranging from lean filet mignons to delightfully marbled wagyu beef from Australia and the US. Don’t miss out on their side dishes either, especially the decadent cream corn brûlée with a hint of spice from roasted jalapeños.
Acclaimed chef Michael Mina has arrived in Nashville courtesy of his latest outpost of Bourbon Steak high atop the magnificent new JW Marriott in SoBro. Offering what is without a doubt the best view of the Nashville skyline from any restaurant in town, Bourbon Steak prides itself on serving prime Angus beef cooked over oak wood-fired grills. Add in an inventive cocktail menu and a wine list of more than 500 bottles, and a dinner at Bourbon Steak is sure to be a special occasion. Their signature Lobster Pot Pie is prepared tableside for dinner and a show at the same time and needs to be a part of any meal at this welcome addition to the local dining scene.
Bob’s Steak & Chop House in the Omni Nashville kicked off the recent trend of excellent steak restaurants associated with modern new hotels when it opened about five years ago. This lobby eatery has quickly earned acclaim for the classic chop house menu of massive steaks and pork chops, in addition to a menu of seafood that can be ordered alone or alongside a steak to create a delectable surf n’ turf. Save room for dessert, particularly Bob’s signature bread pudding served with Grand Marnier caramel sauce.
The Southern Steak & Oyster is owned by Tom Morales, the clever restaurateur behind other popular Nashville dining spots like Acme Feed & Seed, Woolworth on 5th and Fin & Pearl. While all of Morales’ restaurants have devoted followings, none of them does the volume of The Southern, thanks in part to the fact that it is open from breakfast until late night. True to its name, the restaurant has an exemplary raw bar featuring shellfish and oysters from around the country in addition to dry-aged beef and other smoked meats. The Southern’s motto is “South of Somewhere,” so many dishes surprise with international flavors like Jamaican fried shrimp and a clever sandwich named “The BarbeCuban.”
Union Common occasionally gets overlooked as a destination for great steak, but the Midtown favorite–which recently relaunched with new decor–serves up some of the best beef in town. Designed around a menu that is meant to be shared, large-format steaks are served sliced after being properly rested so that diners can experience more than just one cut of beef as part of the dining experience. The kitchen can even cook one steak to different wellness levels to accommodate individual preferences, as long as one person doesn’t want it rare while the other Philistine at the table prefers well done. (Seriously, just order a burger instead.) Cover the rest of your table with smaller share plates like seared pork belly or some of the best BBQ shrimp north of New Orleans for a memorable meal.
CHAR Nashville has landed in Green Hills with quite a splash. It’s surprising that there wasn’t already a good steakhouse in the tony suburb south of downtown, but CHAR doesn’t coast just because they are the only game in the neighborhood. In addition to a cozy piano bar that is a perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine while listening to cool jazz, CHAR gives the people what they want with expertly-prepared affordable steaks and a broad selection of seafood dishes for pescatarian options. CHAR’s chili-rubbed 20-ounce bone-in Cowboy Ribeye might just convert anyone into a carnivore, though.