Nashville, Tennessee, often referred to as the "Music City," is the heart and soul of country music. It's where legends are made and where aspiring artists come to chase their dreams. While you can find country music throughout the city, there's nothing quite like experiencing it in the honky tonks and legendary venues that line the streets of downtown Nashville. In this guide, we'll take you on a tour of the top 10 best places to hear country music in Nashville, in no apparent order. Note: All Honkytonks are on Broadway and feature 3 levels (most have open rooftop levels), unless otherwise noted.
Located on Broadway, Honky Tonk Central is a three-story honky-tonk that boasts live music on each floor, like most places on Broadway. With a rooftop bar offering a panoramic view of downtown Nashville, it's an ideal spot to enjoy your favorite country tunes while taking in the city's vibrant atmosphere. This place fills up quickly, so if you find an open barstool, you better grab it. Expect some huge portions if you get the nachos loaded with pork; It's a meal for two but it’s delicious. We suggest the Buffalo Wings, Cheese Burger, Chicken Fingers, Onion Rings, Mozzarella Cheese Wedges, Supreme Nachos with Beef, Hot Chicken Sandwich, Chicken Wrap, Chicken Fingers, Onion Rings.
Looking for a hidden gem and “beer and a shot” type of bar NOT on Broadway? Located in West End away from the craziness and high prices of Broadway, this one-story place is low key and has great live & local country music and indoor and outdoor spaces. Locals love this place for their cheap drinks and great service, a solid whiskey selection, and lots of local drafts. The Local is very close to Centennial Park & the Parthenon so it’s a great spot to relax after exploring Nashville. Also check out the Fable Lounge cocktail bar across the street. Within walking distance is a fantastic vacation rental.
Twelve Thirty Club combines classic country vibes with a modern twist. This upscale Honky Tonk (main floor) serves up fine americana food and a mix of live music, including country and rock. This is a great place for large groups. Located on the less crazy side of Broadway.
While all the food here is above average, even finer dining is available on the 2nd floor’s “Supper Club” where you’ll hear live jazz & R&B while enjoying steak & seafood.
Elevate your perspective from the rooftop and feel the pulse of the bustling streets of the Music City down below. While enjoying cocktails, revel in the elevated vibes and enjoy the company of friends all night long. Tables are first come first serve.
Tootsie's is a Nashville institution. This historic Broadway honky-tonk has hosted countless legendary musicians, including Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline. Its vibrant atmosphere and rich history make it a must-visit for country music fans. Expect a crowded, dive bar experience here.
Known for its traditional country music (mixed with a little Blue Grass occasionally), Robert's Western World (on Broadway) is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Step inside for live music and some of the best fried bologna sandwiches in town. Some of the most affordable food on Broadway. Check out the “recession special”: a fried Bologna sandwich on toast with lettuce and tomato, a bag of chips, a moon pie and a 12 ounce can of PBR for $6 (as of August, 2023).
With its Highway men mural and lively atmosphere, The Stage on Broadway is a top destination for country music enthusiasts. This venue hosts both up-and-coming artists and established acts, ensuring a diverse musical experience. No draft beers. Drink around $12 are part of the appeal.
Famous Saloon on Broadway offers a unique blend of country music and Southern cuisine. Enjoy live performances while savoring delicious comfort food and drinks.
Legends Corner is another Broadway gem, known for its classic country tunes and memorabilia. The walls are adorned with photographs and memorabilia celebrating the icons of country music. Expect a great mix of new & older country music. This place gets slightly raucous on the weekends. Just drinks, no food here.
Rippy's is famous for its BBQ and live music. It's a great place to enjoy some delicious Southern food while listening to Nashville's best country artists. Located on Broadway.
Layla's is a no-frills honky-tonk that's all about the music. Located on Lower Broadway, it offers an authentic Nashville experience with live country performances. Don’t forget to try the house beer and hanging out on the balcony! There’s a small dance floor for when the song hits you right. Many folks find the drinks reasonably priced for a Broadway Honky Tonk.
This long-standing venue on Broadway features live country music seven nights a week. It's a fantastic place to dance and soak up the traditional Nashville sound. Drinks only, no food.
A car hanging on the wall? Yes! Named after the legendary Nudie Cohn, who designed iconic outfits for country stars, Nudie's Honky Tonk is a lively spot with live music and a very unique atmosphere featuring Elvis costumes among many other interesting things. Drinks might be a bit more expensive here, but the music and atmosphere makes up for it.
Whiskey Bent Saloon is a whiskey-lover's paradise. Enjoy a wide selection of spirits while listening to talented country musicians. Check out the 2nd level for a less crowded experience.
Located in the heart of downtown, Wildhorse Saloon offers a modern twist on the honky-tonk experience. It's not just a music venue but also a dance hall, making it perfect for those who love to two-step.
"Kid Rock's" is very popular and you'll hear a lot of Rock n Roll here. Their in-house cover bands are very good. We're not sure how much country music is played here.
Looking to visit all of these Broadway venues in a row? Here’s the ordered list geographically, starting at 12/30 Club at 5th Ave & Broadway and heading East.
- Legends Corner
- Rippy’s (South side of Broadway)
- Second Fiddle
- The Stage on Broadway
- Nudie’s (South side of Broadway)
- Honky Tonk Central (South side of Broadway)
- Whiskey Bent
- Kid Rock's
- Famous Nashville (2nd Ave, East side)
- Wildhorse Saloon (2nd Ave, East side)