The 12 best spots in Nashville for celebrating right now

Yolan in SoBro's Joseph hotel serves modern, inventive plates inspired by various regions across Italy. | Credit: The Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville
Local beef tartare topped with edible flowers at Yolan in Nashville

Nashville is fluent in all things festive. It’s a booming bachelorette and bachelor party town, an adored weekend getaway destination, and a concert-goer’s dream. So you can bet its restaurants are equipped to celebrate. 

Toasting to an engagement, professional victory, or an extra-special birthday is especially fun in this neon-lit, ready-to-party city. A visit to one of these 12 restaurants makes any occasion extra-special—book one of Nashville’s top spots for celebrating right now. 

Yolan (SoBro)

One of the most special things about this modern Italian hotspot inside the Joseph hotel is the La Tavola in La Cucina experience. It’s an exclusive table for four set up in the restaurant’s kitchen, complete with a multi-course tasting menu (including a vegetarian version) and dedicated sommelier. If it’s not that kind of celebration, reserve a place in the airy modern dining room for excellent meats, seafood, and housemade pastas—the black summer truffle gnocchi is especially occasion-worthy—by James Beard Award winner Tony Mantuano. Bonus points for the see-through cheese cave.  

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Sinema (Downtown)

A server pours Champagne into a coupe glass on a table topped with rose petals and a charcuterie board at Sinema in Nashville
Sinema’s opulent atmosphere makes it a go-to for anniversaries and special dates. | Credit: Sinema

Sinema’s opulent digs make it a go-to for anniversaries and special dates. Don’t miss a photo by the over-the-top entrance, decked with a curved staircase, exposed brick, and tufted velvet booths. The lavish restaurant lives in the historic Melrose Theater and serves modern riffs on American classics. For extra-special occasions, consider the five-course tasting menu featuring short rib with horseradish and buttermilk potato puree and scallops with spinach orzotto. Whiskey lovers, take note: Sinema’s bar stocks more than 200 varieties to toast your celebration.

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Sunda New Asian – Nashville (The Gulch)

An art installation resembling a school of fish hangs over the rectangular bar at Sunda - Nashville
Sunda New Asian – Nashville is a transportive special-occasion star with a sleek bar and private rooms for more exclusive get-togethers. | Credit: Sunda New Asian – Nashville

For a celebration that feels more like a getaway, head to this transportive Southeast Asian restaurant. Two-time Emmy award-winner Billy Dec was inspired by his travels when he opened Sunda’s Nashville outpost (a follow-up to his Chicago flagship) in 2018. From low-key occasions at the rectangular bar to private rooms for more exclusive get-togethers, Sunda can do it all. To that, add dishes like oxtail pot stickers with white wasabi cream and tom yum sea bass, and you’ve got a menu that’s as refined as the sleek, museum-like interiors. 

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The Optimist – Nashville (Germantown)

The dining room at the Optimist in Nashville has dim lights and a colorful stained-glass wall.
The handsome nautical interiors fuel a luxe vibe at The Optimist. | Credit: The Optimist – Nashville

Seafood is often a not-so-subtle code for special occasions. And there’s plenty of it at this Ford Fry winner. The Optimist’s oysters, lobster rolls, and whole-roasted flounder have the power to level up a birthday, date night, or just an extra-special Friday. Reserve a cushy banquette and take in the luxe nautical interiors, all blue plaster accents and steel-studded walls. Consider a pre- or post-celebration drink at the elegant stained-glass bar—the vodka-and-hibiscus Pleasure Cruise is especially toast-worthy.

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Skull’s Rainbow Room (Printer’s Alley)

Since 1948, Skull’s Rainbow Room in Printer’s Alley has been the place for one of Nashville’s most epic nights out. Its tin ceilings, low lights, and heavy velvet curtains call for more intimate occasions. Start with a cocktail from one of its renowned bartenders before making way for French American classics like red wine demi-braised short rib and herb-roasted half chicken. Dinner comes with a side of entertainment—once graced by Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, Skull’s famous black-and-white stage hosts some of the area’s best performers, from jazz bands to burlesque dancers, on a nightly basis.

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Tailor (Downtown)

Date night feels especially unique at this South Asian American stunner. The two-hour-plus experience is meant to replicate a home-cooked feast and requires a pre-booked ticket. Expect high-touch service and a multi-course dinner that regularly changes, featuring dishes from chef Vivek Surti’s ancestral home of Gujarat, India. For a boozy celebration, upgrade your dinner tickets to include drink pairings. The plush space is an ode to the chef’s family history—Surti even repurposed the 64-bulb crystal chandelier from his childhood home to serve as a striking focal point at this sensational dinner party-inspired restaurant.

Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse – Nashville (Downtown/SoBro)

If your celebration calls for extravagance—and don’t they all?—Jeff Ruby’s downtown Nashville edition is the place. Oversized lion statues, walls draped in velvet, and a bar lit in hot pink all scream “big night out.” So does the larger-than-life menu with everything from sushi rolls to macaroni and cheese (made with six imported cheeses) and the star attractions—USDA prime and wagyu steaks. Nightly live entertainment and a cigar menu add to the celebratory Nashvegas vibes.

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Noko (East Nashville)

Fries with furikake, wood-fired edamame, and Caesar salad with kimchi dressing at Noko in Nashville
Asian street food inspired a lot of the shareable menu at Noko. | Credit: Mick Jacobs

This East Nashville spot just landed in Nashville in 2023, but it’s already taken the city by storm and hosted many celebratory evenings. Noko’s Japanese farmhouse-inspired space is the place to woo just about anyone, thanks to a creative wood-fired menu by executive chef Dung “Junior” Vo. He shows off his culinary muscle in Asian street food-inspired dishes like tuna crispy rice and a gussied-up grilled cheese with prosciutto, white cheddar, and togarashi. That innovative magic is also alive on the cocktail menu—don’t skip the wagyu fat-washed old fashioned if you’re drinking. 

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Bastion (Wedgewood-Houston)

Nashville’s only 2023 James Beard Award finalist, Josh Habiger, is the force behind this fine-dining restaurant and casual cocktail bar. The quirky New American spot is known for its split personality—it’s a rare place that’s just as famous for nachos as it is for a five-course tasting menu. Depending on what you’re celebrating, either post up at the lively, mural-clad bar or one of the 24 seats in the intimate restaurant section. Choose from a family-style feast or a nightly changing prix-fixe menu that could include oysters, caviar, fresh catch, and a sommelier-led wine tasting. From the bingo card-style menu to the wild flavor combos (watermelon and chanterelle mushrooms, anyone?), Bastion’s innovative touches make this a celebration meal for the books.

etch (Downtown/SoBro)

Sweet potato beignet with cashew cream, dried cranberries, orange brown butter sauce, chile crunch, black bean tofu drizzle, and scallions at etch in Nashville
etch’s globally inspired menu was designed by acclaimed chef Deb Paquette. | Credit: 4Top Hospitality

Chef Deb Paquette became the first woman in Tennessee to qualify as a certified executive chef, and that’s reason enough to celebrate at her globally inspired restaurant. Paquette brings her precise touch to dishes like burrata with compressed cantaloupe and pan-seared scallops with edamame risotto. A large lunch menu means etch is a sought-after daytime celebration spot in this part of town. Make your occasion extra-special by booking a seat at the chef’s bar for a chance to catch Paquette in action.

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RH Courtyard Restaurant at RH Nashville (Green Hills)

RH is home decor goals, and now fans of the swanky furniture brand can celebrate in a stunning courtyard-style restaurant inside the brand’s Green Hills location. From a massive twinkling chandelier to a working fountain, there are plenty of spectacular design accents to elevate your occasion. Toast with a glass of wine from the elegant American menu, then keep the celebrations going with the ultimate celebration trifecta: a shrimp cocktail, 16-ounce charred ribeye, and decadent truffle fries.

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Audrey (East Nashville)

Award-winning chef Sean Brock has four Nashville restaurants, but this museum-like beauty—an ode to his grandmother—is his crown jewel. Audrey’s impressive art collection, quilt-clad walls, and historic photographs set the stage for a big night out. The menu takes cues from Appalachian traditions, so expect Southern all-stars like cornmeal-fried okra and chicken and dumplings. If you’re celebrating with a group, get the “Feast,” a multi-course option featuring the restaurant’s favorite dish of the moment, served family style.  

Tried them all? Check out other options here.

Kellie Walton is a food, drink and travel writer based outside of Nashville. Follow her adventures and eats on Instagram at @kellieewalton.

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