Dinner and a movie? Sounds like the usual. Dinner and the theater? Now that’s a step up.
When you think of Nashville, the first thing that might come to mind is its deep-rooted musical legacy. But beyond the honky-tonks and legendary music venues, the city offers an array of dinner theaters that promise a memorable night out. Combining delicious cuisine with captivating performances, these spots provide a unique blend that’s perfect for date night, special occasions, or just a fun twist on the usual evening out.
In a city brimming with creativity, Nashville’s dinner theaters are no exception. They offer a mix of traditional shows, musical extravaganzas, and contemporary performances. So whether you’re a local or just passing through, taking a seat at one of these venues guarantees a taste of the city’s culture, both on the plate and the stage.
Looking to elevate your next date night or simply want to experience Nashville’s artistry in a new light? Check out some of our favorite dinner theaters and get ready to set the scene for an evening unlike any other.
What Is a Dinner Theater?
A dinner theater — as the name suggests — combines two of life’s greatest joys: food and entertainment. You might even go as far as to say that the dinner theater concept reflects the spirit of Nashville as a whole… because we love to eat, and we sure know how to put on a show.
Originating in the mid-20th century, dinner theaters started out by aiming to provide patrons with a satisfying evening out. And what makes them so great is that they are intimate; every seat has a good view of both the stage and their plate. This, in turn, amplifies the experience and allows the audience to feel closely connected to the performance
So, how does it work exactly? Guests usually start with a meal — this could be a multi-course dinner, a buffet, or even a more casual dining setup, depending on the venue. Then, as the meal winds down, the lights dim, and the stage comes alive, with performances curated to suit the dining.
Our Top 7 Favorite Nashville Dinner Theaters
Combining scrumptious meals with top-notch performances, dinner theaters in Nashville promise an evening you won’t forget. From mysterious events that’ll have you playing detective to vibrant showcases of local talent, there’s something for everyone.
Here’s a curated list of some of the best spots in town:
1. Skull’s Rainbow Room
Address: 222 Printers Alley, Nashville, TN 37219
A place where glamor meets theatrics, Skull’s Rainbow Room is known for its captivating burlesque show and specialty cocktails. It’s a lively spot, perfect for travelers looking for something a bit out of the ordinary that’s both tantalizing and entertaining.
Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the stage is set for their signature burlesque shows. A tip from those in the know: if you book a table before 9:30pm, you can enjoy the burlesque performance without the cover charge. We recommend reserving your spot at least two weeks in advance to ensure you don’t miss out!
2. General Jackson Showboat
Address: 2812 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214
Get ready to enjoy dinner on the water aboard the General Jackson Showboat! One of the largest showboats in the world, enjoy a serving of hearty Southern cuisine alongside live music, country-themed performances, and a lively atmosphere. Interested in bypassing the show? While we do highly recommend it, you can still savor the exquisite deck and take in a magnificent view of downtown Nashville.
Check out their website for more information on tickets and showtimes.
3. Ray Stevens’ CabaRay Showroom
Address: 5724 River Rd, Nashville, TN 37209
With a mix of music and comedy, Ray Stevens’ CabaRay Showroom combines the best of both worlds under one roof while you enjoy a delectable meal. Get comfortable in the VIP, Elite, or Standard seating areas depending on your preference, and let Stevens serenade with his hits, including “The Streak”, “The Mississippi Squirrel Revival”, “Gitarzan”, and “Everything is Beautiful”.
The show takes place every Saturday night, and tickets are available online.
4. The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery
Address: Two locations available
Love food and crime? The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery is just what you need! A classic ‘whodunnit’ experience, this is the largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show in the country — which means you’ll be sure to have a blast while solving a gripping case!
The event takes place every Saturday night at both of their locations and reservations are encouraged.
5. Nashville Jubilee Country Music Comedy Show
Address: 416B Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
The Nashville Jubilee is a blend of country music and comedy. With live performances that’ll have you on your feet, as well as a touch of comedy entertainment and some wild party games. Hosted by Gil Grand and Jenny Carson, the show is everything you’re looking for in a lively evening out and more.
Make sure you book tickets in advance — the event tends to fill up quickly!
6. Nashville Nightlife Dinner Theater
Address: 2416 Music Valley Dr, Nashville, TN 37214
Voted as the best Nashville dinner theater show, the Nashville Nightlife Dinner Theater is a staple for both locals and tourists alike. A celebration of country music’s finest tunes, the show takes you on a musical journey through decades of music, songwriters, and iconic performances. Plus, their all-you-can-eat buffet also means you’ll go home feeling pretty satisfied,
Reservations are available online or via phone, and there are different price points for couples, groups, or families.
Final Recommendations to Enjoy Nashville’s Dinner Theater Scene
Ready to enjoy an evening of great dining and entertainment out in Nashville? Here are a few recommendations to help make your night out even more special and seamless:
- Research Ahead: Each one of Nashville’s dinner theater experiences offers a unique flavor of performance and cuisine. Check out reviews and sample menus online to pick one that aligns with your preferences.
- Dress Code: While most venues in Nashville have a relaxed dress code, some might require semi-formal attire. It’s always good to check in advance so you’re dressed appropriately for the evening.
- Allergies and Dietary Preferences: If you have specific dietary restrictions, call ahead. Most venues are accommodating but will appreciate a heads-up to cater to your needs.
- Arrival Time: It’s advisable to arrive a bit early. This gives you ample time to settle down, soak in the ambiance, and not feel rushed as you begin your meal.
- Engage and Participate: Some shows, especially interactive ones like murder mysteries, might involve audience participation. Be open to engaging — it’s all part of the fun!
- Limit Distractions: It might sound obvious, but turning off or silencing your cell phone enhances your experience and respects the performers and fellow diners.
- Tip Accordingly: Just like any dining establishment, if you enjoyed your service, make sure you show your appreciation. Keep in mind that in many dinner theaters, the servers might also be part of the performance crew.
- Consider Parking: Nashville can get busy — especially on weekends. Check if the venue has dedicated parking or if there are nearby parking lots, that way you won’t have to stress about driving around when your show’s getting started.
Nashville Dinner Theater is For Everyone!
The beauty of Nashville’s dinner theater scene lies in its diverse offerings, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a die-hard theater enthusiast, someone looking to try something new, or even a local wanting to rediscover the city’s artistic flair, dinner theaters in Nashville promise a memorable experience.
And after an evening of splendid food and entertainment, why not continue the experience by staying at the heart of the city? With Nashville Luxury Stay, you’re not just booking a place to rest your head — you’re securing a centrally-located haven that offers easy access to everything that Nashville has to offer.
Experience Nashville like never before! Book your stay with us, and immerse yourself in the city’s rhythm — right from the comfort of our luxurious vacation rentals.