When you think of Nashville, your immediate thought is of country music.
The capital state of Tennessee is commonly mistaken for a rural, “yeehaw” city by most international countries - but this is far from true.
Whilst Nashville has stuck true to its country music roots, it has developed into a modern, metropolitan, and lively city that is bursting with the entertainment industry.
Oysters aren’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Nashville, but that doesn’t mean the capital city doesn’t know how to cook great seafood.
Nashville is a land-locked city, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some freshly cooked oysters whilst looking out to the Cumberland River.
Whether you’re in downtown Music Row exploring the local music scene or at the International Country Music Fan Fair in June meeting your favorite musicians, here are the best oysters in Nashville that you must try.
150 3rd Avenue South, Nashville TN, 37203
The clue is in the name of this restaurant. Located in the lively downtown SoBro district, this restaurant is all about cooking and serving hearty and flavorsome Southern food.
The interior features a lively bustle of customers situated in what looks to be a traditional Southern bar with a modern twist. Of course, the bar is still alive and well for the adults reading this.
The loveliest part of this restaurant is the open kitchen, which means you can watch the chefs prepare and cook your meal as you mingle with your table.
The service is said to be outstanding and very accommodating, so even holiday travelers from different states and around the world can be made to feel like a local.
The menu is the standout feature of The Southern Steak & Oyster, featuring both a brunch and dinner menu to suit everyone throughout the day.
They offer a daily rotating selection of oysters for both brunch and dinner, alongside an array of other seafood dishes. If you’re not convinced by the oysters, you can always opt for a sumptuous steak.
Of course, this restaurant also offers an expansive range of alcoholic beverages, including a large cocktail list that is designed to give you a real taste of the South.
If you’re lucky, you might be able to listen to some live local music to set the ambiance of the restaurant.
2719 Old Lebanon Road, Nashville TN, 37214
If you’re looking for a more unique dining experience that really gives you a sense of what it’s like to be a local, you should check out Uncle Bud’s Catfish Shack.
As the name suggests, this restaurant is all about providing great seafood dishes.
The standout feature of this restaurant is its homey and lively atmosphere.
The seating might be on the tight side, but it means that you can mingle with other tables and get to know the locals in a fun and exciting, raw Southern restaurant.
Sure, it’s not exactly fine dining, but it exudes everything authentically Southern.
Of course, Uncle Bud’s Catfish Shack offers a wonderful fried oyster dish to give you a taste of real Southern fried seafood.
All of the dishes come with an all-you-can-eat option, so you can pair your fried oysters with hushpuppies, french fries, creamy slaw, sweet onions, pickles, and more.
If you’re not tempted by the fried oysters, you could always push the boat out and try the Shack’s infamous frog legs.
Whilst the food is great, the service is even better. This is an ideal restaurant for families, because nobody is going to make your lazy teenager feel more involved than the waiters.
2506 12th Avenue Street, Nashville TN, 32704
Urban Grub is the ideal mix between fine dining and homestyle family cooking.
This restaurant is all about traditional Southern cuisine with a twist, as they specialize in smoked and grilled meats, fresh fish and seafood, and - of course, freshly shucked oysters.
This restaurant exudes coziness and authenticity. It started off as a carwash and gradually developed into a restaurant, bar, beer garden, and private cabanas.
You can either sit inside to indulge in the warmth during winter, or you can lounge around the outdoor bar next to a fire pit as you delve into your oysters.
The oysters come in two forms: raw or wood-fired. The raw oysters come with either an apple mignonette or a sriracha cocktail sauce, whilst the wood-fired oysters come with either a garlic parmesan or oysters Rockefeller.
If you don’t fancy the oysters, Urban Grub offers a range of other seafood dishes and Southern specialties like the Memphis-style ribs.
The best part? The portions are huge and the price is low. Talk about bang for your buck.
1200 4th Avenue North (Madison Street), Nashville TN
Henrietta Red is one of the best places in Nashville if you’re looking for a wide range of oysters.
Their raw oyster bar is the standout feature of this restaurant, offering 10 types of raw oyster dishes - ranging from Fanny Bay oysters to Palmetto Island oysters.
They can come with either the house cocktail sauce or a classic mignonette.
For the adults, Henrietta Red offers a huge list of alcoholic beverages that can go wonderfully with the oysters - why not indulge in a lovely Champagne?
This is definitely the most modern-looking restaurant on our list.
You can sit on a lovely marble-topped bar as your drinks are being served whilst you wait for your oysters, as you take in the bright atmosphere from the white exposed brick walls and fashionable leather seats.
This restaurant is all about providing fresh and healthy meals that are vegetable-forward. The price of the oysters is affordable, which means you can try as many dishes as you like - plus, there’s an oyster bar happy hour.
4617 Old Hickory Boulevard, Old Hickory, Tennessee, 37138
You’re not going to find as much of a fun and lively restaurant that sells great oysters like the Roadside Bar and Grill. This restaurant started off as a conversation between friends, which then turned into a bar to hang out in.
The bar developed into a restaurant with great live music and everything that represents neighborhood dining.
This is a great place to come to if you’re on vacation and wanting to delve into local culture, or if you’re a local who wants a change of scenery from the metropolitan city.
The staff is what makes this place so special, as they are experts in making people feel welcomed and like they’re old friends.
The menu is all about good food that is designed to make you feel at home. The oysters on half shell are a standout dish on the menu, and definitely one of the favorites in the eyes of locals.
It’s all bar food, so whilst it might not be a large meal for dinner, this is a brilliant lunch option for catching up and hanging out with friends.
1103 McGavock Street (at 11th Ave. S.), Nashville TN
At the other end of the spectrum, Kayne Prime is all about fine dining.
The dress code is business casual, and this is definitely one of the fanciest restaurants on our list.
Kayne Prime describes itself as an “artful fusion of a chef-chic boutique restaurant”, which essentially translates to “ a very posh and fancy place that serves delicious food”.
This is an ideal location for people celebrating special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and promotions.
On their expansive list of dishes on the menu, the cold water oysters are an excellent purchase for the seafood lovers.
They come raw and with a unique matcha tea mignonette with cocktail sauce, and are said to be outstanding.
You can finish your meal with a dessert, libation, or a glass of dessert wine to cleanse your palate.
Kayne Prime stands out for its gorgeous interior. As long as you dress accordingly, you can spend an evening feeling like you’ve won a million bucks.
343 53rd Avenue North, Nashville TN, 37209
Miel is a haven for locally sourced food and Australian wine, so it’s great if you’re the type of person who likes to experiment with good food.
This restaurant sells stock and produce at the West Nashville Farmers Market, so you can always try to replicate your favorite dishes at home.
Miel sells a delicious Whale Rock Oysters dish either in roasted or half-shell form. Mop up the remains with some homemade bread, and you’ve got a bunch of happy and satisfied customers.
This restaurant is all about encouraging people to eat and cook with locally sourced food, so they offer a bunch of classes and events throughout the year to teach people how to cook with a twist as well as wine-tasting classes.
They also have live music events, which is ideal for showcasing Nashville’s local talents.
So, there you have it! Despite the fact Nashville is a land-locked city, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer some of the country’s best oysters.
Why not experience the city’s best live music whilst indulging in their unique and totally delicious oyster dishes?