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12 restaurants ideal for date night in Nashville

A photo of Red logo
by Kellie Walton
Updated January 24, 2024

Whether you’ve been married for a decade or just bravely swiped right, there’s a pitch-perfect Nashville restaurant for you. Break the ice with a sushi-rolling class at a pan-Asian favorite. Dial up the heat on a weekly date night with dinner and a burlesque show. Take your relationship to the next stage at a seasonal American spot in a historic movie theater.

This guide pairs Nashville restaurants with romantic occasions from first dates all the way to milestone anniversaries. These are Nashville’s 12 best date-night restaurants.

A photo of Blanco Cocina + Cantina - Nashville restaurant
4.7
4.7 (799)
$30 and under
Mexican
Downtown / Sobro
About the restaurant

A first date at Blanco Cocina + Cantina feels like a stroll through a stylish Mexican street fair, full of bright colors and plants. If you’re just testing the waters, opt for happy hour, where you can grab tacos and a tequila cocktail, like the crowd-fave jalapeño and pineapple margarita. For a full-on dinner, get the Tucson chimichanga with short rib machaca and carne asada fajitas—plus a bowl of warm queso to share.


Top review
AES96
Dined on Mar 29, 2024
The food was incredible! While it was very loud and hard to hear the person across from you, the service and food completely made up for it. I already plan on coming back and bringing my out-of-town guests with me!
A photo of Chauhan Ale & Masala House restaurant
4.8
4.8 (5127)
$30 and under
Indian
The Gulch & North Gulch
About the restaurant

Chef Maneet Chauhan’s first Nashville restaurant is peak first-date material. Grab a seat at the bar to take in the quirky brick garage surroundings—unless you’re too distracted by your date. Cocktails and apps that shout out Chauhan’s Indian and Southern connections are the way to go here, and include pub grub like hot chicken pakoras. If you’re seeing green flags, graduate to the dinner menu which stars more traditional South Asian hits like tandoori chicken and paneer.


Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 3 days ago
A wonderful experience! Our first time having Indian cuisine, certainly not the last! Our server was awesome and explained everything! Love Moneet! Congrats on win #2❤️❤️❤️
A photo of The Optimist - Nashville restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2743)
$31 to $50
Seafood
Germantown
About the restaurant

Get better acquainted over super-fresh, sustainably sourced seafood at The Optimist. Despite Tennessee’s landlocked setting, the vibes are definitely coastal here—and the dim lights fuel a flirty atmosphere. Share a plateaux piled high with oysters, shrimp, ceviche, smoked fish dip, and more, available in different sizes. Or get a dish that pairs Southern-grown produce with seafood from further away like mahi mahi with foraged mushrooms and nduja butter.


Top review
Mojo
Dined 2 days ago
Great food ; well prepared redfish and halibut dishes. Delicious sweet potato fries; big chunks crispy outside and soft inside..perfectly seasoned. We enjoy the Atlanta Optimist and the Nashville version did not disappoint.
A photo of Ophelia's Pizza + Bar - Nashville restaurant
4.7
4.7 (263)
$31 to $50
Pizza Bar
Downtown / Sobro
About the restaurant

From the lively streetside patio to the comforting Italian American dishes, Ophelia’s aces the second-date test. There’s an entire wall crammed with framed photographs and pictures that bring a slice of Europe to downtown Nashville; they also make good conversation-starters in case you run into any awkward pauses. Come for brunch or dinner, and don’t skip the bechamel-soaked lasagna—arguably the best in town—and pepperoni pie with hot honey, ghost-pepper salt, and Calabrian chile.


Top review
Madeline
Dined on Apr 2, 2024
Stopped by for a lunch with some coworkers downtown! What an amazing experience. Loved the hospitality and atmosphere. Their caesar is the best in town!
A photo of Red Pony Restaurant restaurant
4.8
4.8 (4446)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Franklin
About the restaurant

Red Pony is the kind of cozy-chic gem you and your date can happily become regulars at. Between the brick walls, stunning paintings, and elegant light fixtures, the downtown Franklin charmer feels like an elegant extension of your dining room. And then there’s the food—a beautiful mashup of chef Jason McConnell’s Southern heritage and his global travels. Dishes like shrimp and garlic-cheese grits and grilled mahi with Tanzanian curry will have you plotting your return.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
The food was fantastic, and Griffin, our server was top notch.
A photo of Sinema restaurant
4.2
4.2 (3694)
$30 and under
American
Waverly / Melrose / Breeze Hill
About the restaurant

Sinema drips with Old Hollywood glamor that’s ideal for an epic anniversary celebration. For starters, it lives in a former movie theater with its grand original staircase. The decor matches Sinema’s refined menu of hits like pan-seared scallops with spinach orzotto, lemon spinach mignonette, and black garlic brown butter. If you’re celebrating a major milestone, splurge for the five-course tasting menu. Don’t forget to toast with a rare whiskey—Sinema’s collection includes over 200 kinds.


Top review
SusannaL
Dined 6 days ago
Great service. Food was plentiful. Very great ambience. Had a wonderful time!
A photo of Harper's restaurant
4.7
4.7 (638)
$31 to $50
Steakhouse
Downtown / Sobro
About the restaurant

Everything at Harper’s is dressed to impress, from its stylish interior archways to a menu that includes premium cuts of meat and one impressive raw bar. Celebrate a special occasion by cozying up in a banquette and get a massive tomahawk to share. If you’re drinking, consider cocktails like the tropical, vodka-forward Amalfi Sunburn or the smoky That One Night in Guadalajara, made with prickly pear and mezcal, and you’ll be ready for that celebratory getaway as soon as you finish dessert.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
My new favorite restaurant in Nashville. Everything was exceptional from atmosphere to the service. The food was hands down some of the best food I’ve had here.
A photo of Germantown Cafe restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2338)
$30 and under
American
Germantown
About the restaurant

This inviting staple is all about shareable old-school Southern recipes like marinated pork tenderloin with savory plum sauce and a locally loved apple pie à la mode with brown-sugar walnut butter. Make it a double date and bring friends to the cafe’s lively boozy brunch scene, fueled by mimosas, frosés, and bloody marys, and you’ll see why it’s one of the most sought-after group hangout spots in town.


Top review
ChadSvip
Dined 3 days ago
Germantown Cafe is consistently delicious. Their chicken salad sandwich with pickled apples is particularly yummy.
A photo of Iberian Pig - Nashville restaurant
4.8
4.8 (490)
$30 and under
Spanish
The Gulch & North Gulch
About the restaurant

This Atlanta-born spot is Nashville’s newest tapas go-to. Take a crew to jamon happy hour on weeknights for a chef’s selection of charcuterie and discounted sangrias, then make way for Spanish small plates to pass around—if your group is feeling super ambitious, pre-order a whole suckling pig for $95 per person. Depending on the kind of vibe you’re all craving, there’s a dim indoor dining room or a rooftop patio with sweeping downtown views.


Top review
Hanna
Dined 2 days ago
I have been wanting to try this place because of the big gluten free menu. Everything was so good! I will be back again soon!
A photo of Sunda New Asian – Nashville restaurant
4.6
4.6 (2106)
$31 to $50
Contemporary Asian
The Gulch & North Gulch
About the restaurant

Sunda’s pan-Asian menu will take you and your date on a whirlwind tour of Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. There’s dim sum to share, a full sushi bar, and entrees like pan-seared sushi rice with ghee and tamari, topped with a choice of wagyu or spicy tuna. Sign up for the restaurant’s monthly sushi-rolling and try your hand at maki making together.


Top review
FoodforThoughtvip
Dined 4 days ago
Tuna 'pizza' very good crispy rice, miso cod awesome Server great
A photo of Skull's Rainbow Room restaurant
4.8
4.8 (4515)
$31 to $50
French American
Downtown / Sobro
About the restaurant

Dinner always comes with a show at Skull’s Rainbow Room, which has perfected the craft cocktail and steak game since opening in 1948. You and your date can move to the tunes of talented artists who take the venue’s checkerboard stage; the Rainbow Room’s past performers have included legends like Etta James, Elvis Presley, and Bob Dylan. A burlesque show (beginning at 11 pm on weekends) turns up the heat on date night.


Top review
Jeffv
Dined 4 days ago
We’ve had a perfect time at Skulls both times we have visited Nashville. The atmosphere and mood are so unique and the music is fantastic. The food was excellent and the service and staff really took care of us and went out of the way to make us feel special on our honeymoon.
A photo of the River House – Nashville restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1445)
$50 and over
American
Downtown / Sobro
About the restaurant

If you’re popping the big question, head straight to The River House, a modern, high-ceilinged escape. With the Ryman Auditorium and Schermerhorn Symphony Center just a stone’s throw away, The River House is also a no-brainer for a blockbuster pre-show dinner. Expect updated steakhouse faithfuls like prime New York strip, Chilean sea bass, and one of the tastiest wedge salads in town. Luxe banquettes and soft mood lighting provide just the right backdrop for an ultra-romantic proposal.


Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 1 day ago
Everything we ate was excellent—from the sides, the beef Wellington and the crab cake appetizer
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