Satisfy Your BBQ Cravings at Some of Nashville’s Top Spots
A city synonymous with great music and even better BBQ, Nashville is anything but bland.
Over the decades, the city has simmered in a rich BBQ culture — carving out a savory history that finds its way into every bite you take today.
What makes the BBQ scene here so special? Whether it’s the meticulously chosen wood, the slow-cooking process, or the secret blend of spices that every pit master guards with their life, the best BBQ in Nashville is truly special.
So let’s get right this BBQ journey that promises a feast for your taste buds — one legendary joint at a time.
Finding the Best BBQ in Nashville
When it comes to great BBQ in Nashville, what matters most is quality and flavor. There’s no room for pretentiousness here: it’s all about finding the perfect balance between smoke and spice, tender and crisp, and sweet and tangy.
That said, it’s not always easy to find the perfect barbecue joint that suits all your cravings. And after a lot of testing and trying, we found that sweet spot.
These are our top five BBQ spots in the city that you simply can’t miss:
1. Edley’s Bar-B-Que
Address: Three locations in Five Points, 12 South, and Sylvan Park
Hours: Mon-Thurs, 11 AM – 9 PM
Stepping into Edley’s Bar-B-Que is like getting a big, warm, southern hug. The place is famed for serving a medley of BBQ styles — which means there’s always something special for everyone. And with one of three prime locations in Nashville’s 12 South neighborhood, it’s hard to miss — or skip.
Whether it’s the tender brisket or the spicy pork that packs a punch, Edley’s serves up dishes that pay homage to the very essence of local BBQ tradition — which ultimately makes it one of the best BBQ joints in Nashville. Make sure you also add a side of their signature cornbread to your order, and you’ve got yourself a meal unlike anything else you’ve had before.
Our personal favorites? The BBQ nachos and the catfish.
2. Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint
Address: Three locations in Downtown, Belmont, and Midtown
Hours: Open daily, 11 AM – 9 PM
Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint skillfully blends tradition with a fresh, modern approach. If you’re looking for the quintessential West Tennessee whole-hog BBQ — a specialized preparation method that entails slow-cooking over a pit — look no further than Martin’s.
The outcome? A serving of meat that is incredibly tender, brimming with flavor, and just about ready to melt on your tongue. Add a serving of classic southern sides — from baked beans to mac & cheese, slaw, cornbread, or green beans — and you’ve got yourself an authentic Nashville dining experience.
Don’t forget to try their Alabama white sauce wings or the brisket — two of the menu’s top contenders!
3. Peg Leg Porker
Address: 903 Gleaves St, Nashville, TN 37203
Hours: Open Mon-Tues, 11 AM – 9 PM & Wed-Sat, 11 AM – 10 PM
No frills, no fuss, just outstanding BBQ – that’s the motto at Peg Leg Porker. A testament to simplicity done right, this BBQ joint brings to the table a BBQ experience that is both authentic and straightforward. At Peg Leg Porker, the ribs are the star of the show — offering a mouthful of smoky, tender delight in each bite.
With a varied menu that echoes the true spirit of Nashville’s BBQ scene without any distractions, this eatery — located in Nashville’s lively neighborhood, the Gulch — is consistently ranked as one of the best in the South.
4. Shotgun Willie’s
Address: 4000 Gallatin Pike, Nashville, TN 37216
Hours: Open Wed-Sun, 11 AM – 3 PM
Another classic eatery that makes our list of the best BBQ in Nashville, Shotgun Willie’s brings you BBQ with a side of personality. A go-to for locals looking to indulge in some traditional BBQ, the restaurant’s casual setting is perfect for enjoying a feast of smoked meats — all of which have been treated to a signature blend of spices and sauces, adding a unique character to the dish.
Make sure you treat yourself and try the brisket — their signature dish is an explosion of flavors that keeps people coming back for more.
5. Jack’s Bar-B-Q
Address: Three locations on Trinity Lane, Charlotte Ave, and Broadway
Hours: Mon-Thurs, 11 AM – 10 PM; Fri-Sat, 11 AM – 11 PM & Sun 11 AM – 9 PM
Last on the list, but certainly not least, we have Jack’s Bar-B-Q. Operating since 1976 and a staple in the Nashville BBQ scene, Jack’s offers an array of meat options — all of which have been carefully smoked to perfection.
The pulled pork shoulder is a crowd-pleaser — known for its delightful texture and rich flavor — along with the Texas beef brisket.
Nashville’s BBQ Legacy: More Than Just a Meal
The BBQ legacy of Nashville is deeply entrenched in its history. Throughout the years, the city has seen a confluence of different BBQ styles — thanks, in part, to its geographical location and the influence of various cultural groups over the years.
In the early days, BBQ was more than just a culinary delight: it was a community event, a celebration, and, at times, even a political tool. Community BBQs in Nashville were a regular feature where locals gathered to share stories, laughter, and, of course, a hearty meal. After all, this wasn’t just about the food — it was about coming together.
From there, the BBQ scene in Nashville has grown exponentially, shaping a culinary landscape that is both steeped in tradition and boldly innovative.
But what is it that makes the best BBQ in Nashville so irresistible? While every BBQ joint has its secret recipe, many agree that the choice of wood plays a major role in the final flavor profile. The preference for hickory and oak woods can be traced back decades — establishing a flavor profile that is distinctively ‘Nashville.’
Over the years, the BBQ maestros of Nashville have made a concerted effort to preserve the age-old traditions — marrying the old and the new to create flavors that tell a story of resilience, community, and a celebration of life itself.
So, as you sit down to enjoy your BBQ meal in Nashville, remember that each bite carries with it a piece of history upheld by many hands over countless years.
Get Your BBQ Fill in Nashville
If the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, then Nashville’s BBQ scene has won over countless hearts — including ours. After all, these joints serve more than just meals: they offer an experience, a peek into age-old traditions, and a taste of the powerful and vibrant Nashville spirit.
But why stop at only dreaming about this BBQ haven? Turn those dreams into reality by booking your stay with us! Our cozy vacation rentals in the heart of Nashville are the perfect starting point for your dining adventures.
With two locations to choose from in the coolest neighborhoods in Nashville, we’re more than ready to help you dive deep into the Nashville culture one BBQ joint at a time.
Book your visit with Nashville Luxury Stay and get ready for a culinary journey that’s as vibrant and warm as Nashville itself.