Looking for the best affordable restaurants in Nashville, TN? Ya girl’s got you covered!
It can be tough to find delicious, quality meals for less than $10 in any city, let alone one as popular as Nashville. But thankfully, finding excellent cheap eats wasn’t an issue during our weekend trip to Ca$hville aka The Athens of the South. In fact, we had SO many options of all sorts of food that we’ve already mapped out two additional mini food-cations that need to happen, like, STAT.
If you want to eat like a king in Nashville without spending a lot of money, then you must add these five outstanding meals to your itinerary. Every full meal listed below is less than $10! I mean, what!? Honestly, that’s amazing because you can barely go to Chick Fil A for $10.
I’ve also included two additional honorable mention meals at the end. One isn’t specific to Nashville, but it’s a must-eat meal in general, but especially when you need to save money. The other is a meal deal I’m aware of but wouldn’t personally order, BUT something a lot of you may love or just want to get because it’s a “thing to do” that’s uniquely specific to the city.
Here are five amazing meals you can get in Nashville for under $10:
#1: Peg Leg Porker – Lunch Special
Because you cannot visit Nashville without getting barbeque food at least once! There are tons of extremely highly rated BBQ joints all over Nashville, but we chose Peg Leg Porker because: a) it is one of the highEST rated options, and b) it is a family-owned small business instead of a big chain. Don’t let the words “small business” fool you, though. This place is super popular. It has more than 2,200 Google reviews, and it gets slammed quickly, so be sure to arrive early! If you get there right before they open, you’ll be good. Any later and you’re risking a wait.
The lunch special at Peg Leg Porker includes a BBQ pulled pork sandwich, your choice of a side, and a fountain soda. The sandwich is flavorful, tender, and not overly dressed or greasy. Creamy coleslaw tops the smoky pork. The bun is huge and pillowy– a perfect catcher’s mitt to contain your meal. Despite being barbequed meat, this delicious sandwich was somehow light and didn’t weigh us down or make us feel crappy afterward.
We chose the mac and cheese for our side because duh, how could you not? I loved this mac; we all did. Our toddler tried hoarding it after his first bite. This mac is rich, creamy, and smooth, with a bold sharp cheddar flavor. Using shells provides tons of gooey cheese pockets. A heavy hand of black pepper serves an extra kick in each bite. It’s delicious, and it complements the pulled pork sandwich perfectly.
Your fountain soda comes in a reusable plastic cup, which we brought home as a white trash souvenir. And, to make it even better, Peg Leg Porker has a great chicken wing mural on the side of it’s building. It’s also a very short walking distance to three other excellent wall murals you’ll definitely want to take a photo with. AND it’s right next to Uncommon James– Kristen Cavalleri’s store– if you’re into that sort of thing.
Peg Leg Porker’s delicious meal deal runs M-F from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. only. You’ll pay just $8.90 + tax + tip for your barbeque sandwich, side, and drink. At one of the highest rated joints in Nashville? AND a cup you can drink Sunny D out of at home??? You can’t beat that. And don’t fret if you can’t make it during lunch hours because their barbeque sandwich is always just $6! Barbeque is rarely cheap, so to be able to get a quality BBQ meal for under ten bucks is amazing. Peg Leg Porker is definitely one of the best affordable restaurants Nashville.
PRO TIPS: There is street parking right out front of Peg Leg Porker, but it is quarters only. Be sure to have some on hand! There is a to-go, walk-up window on the left side of the building so you can avoid going inside altogether. Then, you can take your food to one of their patio tables if you want. The patio is dog friendly.
#2: 51st Deli – Tons of meal options!
51st Deli is exactly my type of place. I adore a good grocery store/market/deli/low key/no frills/cheap but delicious food type of place, and 51st Deli more than delivers on all of those things. This place sells breakfast and lunch, along with all sorts of snacks, desserts, beverages, and some amazing Mexican popsicles. And everything is so yummy and cheap!
Breakfast is served all day long. You can get 2 eggs any style with meat and cheese for just $6. Or add a belgium waffle to that for just $2 more. How about a giant steak, egg, cheese, peppers, onions, and potatoes breakfast burrito for only $6.50?
If you want lunch food, you can choose from 23 different mouth-watering sandwiches, all ranging in price from $6-9. We ordered a philly cheesesteak and it was seriously delicious. The meat was chopped super finely, with onions and peppers blended in. The bread was crusty on the outside and chewy inside. And once again: this sandwich wasn’t overly greasy or heavy, which is a huge plus in my books and not always something you can say for a philly!
There is Boar’s Head chipotle mayo kept on the counter alongside to-go ramekins, so we added some of that to our sandwich and it was a phenomenal pairing.
51st Deli also serves super tasty street tacos for just $2 each. You can choose from asada, chicken, pastor, carnitas, barbacoa, or chorizo. We got a bunch of them along with our philly and a popsicle, and we split everything. They had two super fresh, spicy sauces on the back counter as well, so we made sure to take some for topping.
Other offerings at 51st Deli include a half-pound burger for just $6.99, an array of prepared deli salads for $7.99/lb, or a mound of carne asada fries for just $8. The food is so tasty and the prices are so low that you can also add some fried plantains or rice for just $2 on the side. And don’t forget to save room for the copious dessert options they sell! Cheesecake, chess pie, or a two-pack of cannolis, each option for just $3.
With all of the variety that 51st Deli has to offer– with food that can work for any time of the day– I’m definitely keeping this one at the top of my list of best affordable restaurants Nashville. I think this joint will become one of our reliable go-to’s when in town!
PRO TIPS: Don’t miss out on the cooler case loaded with Mexican popsicles in the back of the store! They are only $2 and so incredibly delicious! There are tons of flavors to choose from– everything from strawberry to coconut to horchata to vanilla raisin! We chose the mango, and it was incredibly creamy and fresh, with real chunks of mango in it. This area is also where you’ll find their Boar’s Head chipotle mayo and taco sauces with to-go ramekins, and you do NOT want to skip those!
#3: Mas Tacos Por Favor – 3 tacos or 2 tacos + 1 side
Who knew that Nashville offered so many amazing tacos? Mas Tacos Por Favor was even featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives for its outstanding and affordable Mexican food. We have found some incredible cheap restaurants thanks to DDD, so you already know that Mas Tacos is one of the best affordable restaurants Nashville. Sadly, I wasn’t aware of this accolade until after we left town. If you’re a fan of the show, be sure to look for the Guy Fieri face art on the inside wall. I wish I would’ve known and photographed it while there!
Mas Tacos has a small, but mighty menu and slings tacos for just $3 each, tax included. Three tacos make a delicious, cheap meal for only $9 out the door. Music to my ears!
We ordered the spicy carne molida tacos, which are made with Cuban-style ground beef, spicy onions, salsa, and sour cream. These tacos were super juicy and full of flavor. They were double-wrapped in corn tortillas, which was helpful considering the meat cooks in a flavorful broth and a good portion of that broth ends up in your taco. To me, this is a perk.
If you want to splurge and spend more than $10, then you should know that Mas Tacos also has amazing and inexpensive sides, daily aguas frescas for only $2, and fresh fruit margaritas for just $6. They also serve a tamale special on Wednesdays, a pickled cactus and chorizo taco on Thursdays (which we totally would’ve ordered if we could have), and breakfast nachos during Saturday brunch.
Oh, AND they have really cute swag. Kory walked in and immediately bought a t-shirt.
PRO TIPS: Saturdays will be super, duper busy. Choose a different day if you can. They also have two great vegetarian taco options that could both easily be made vegan.
#4: Five Points Pizza – Lunch Special or Slices
Giant NY slices in the middle of Tennessee? I didn’t expect it, but I will gladly take it. Five Points Pizza is a two-location joint: one in East Nashville, and one in West Nashville. Perhaps they’re purposefully trying to start a pizza gang war, IDK, but either way their pizza is bomb– and cheap– AF.
Five Points is no hidden gem. It’s super popular, beloved, and widely regarded as one of the best affordable restaurants Nashville. And with good reason.
If you can make it to Five Points M-F from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., then you get your choice of three different meal deals, each for only $9. Your options are two gigantic slices and a drink, or one slice, one salad, and a drink, or a half-order of garlic knots with a salad and a drink. I think you’re a fool if you don’t go with the two-slice special, but who am I to judge your poor choices?
If you can’t make it to Five Points during lunch– like we couldn’t– no biggie. Pizza by the slice is super cheap around the clock at the ol’ F-P-P. You can grab a cheese slice for just $3.75, or a pepperoni, veggie, or meat slice of the day for less than $1 more. These slices are seriously huge and seriously delicious. Eating two of them would for sure fill you up! You could get 2 huge cheese slices for only $7.50 + tax. You could, and you definitely should.
Everything sounded amazing when we arrived, so we passion-slash-panic ordered 4 slices to go. One classic cheese, one pepperoni, one a la vodka, and one sausage and peppers. Every single slice was outstanding. Each slice was full of flavor, the ingredients were fresh, they did not skimp on using herbs or garlic, and each slice had its own completely distinct taste. We spent only $19.03 total for all three of us– me, my husband, and our toddler– to chow down on these slices.
PRO TIP: I’d say we’re relatively low-maintenance, easy going folks, but sadly we found the staff to be pretty rude. I don’t know if it was an off day or what, but just in case it is their usual vibe, set your service expectation bar low. Not a big deal, just a head’s up so you aren’t put off. The pizza is worth it. Just get your pizza and bounce!
#5: Hattie B’s – Small Meal Plate
We all know that Nashville is famous for its hot chicken, and we all know that Hattie B’s is one of the best places to get your fix. Hattie B’s has three Nashville locations, and each one is rated a 4.6 or higher with 4K-8K reviews per location. In other words, this food is undeniably good and adorned by many. And the best part? You don’t have to break the bank to try it.
For only $8.50, you can get the small dark plate, which includes a leg/thigh quarter, TWO sides, bread and pickles. That’s a steal, especially for such a famous restaurant! If you are strictly a white-meat person, then you can still get a full meal for under ten bucks. The small white plate includes a breast/wing quarter, two sides, bread, and pickles for $9.50.
My absolute favorite meal combo would be the small dark plate with the pimento mac and cheese and southern greens. Yes, baby! I can just taste it now.
I will admit that this time, we did not go to Hattie B’s because it was simply too slammed. We already checked out of our hotel and had our toddler and our dog with us, and even the line for to-go food was close to two hours long. Which is why I should’ve followed my own advice and…
PRO TIP: Place an online order WELL in advance and simply pick it up an hour or so later when it is ready! Seriously, Hattie B’s is ALWAYS slammed, so unless you are down to wait 1-2 hours in line, then heed my advice. I should’ve done this in the morning as we were checking out of our hotel, and then we could’ve just grabbed it to go and continued on with our park picnic as planned.
If you visit Hattie B’s WEST location, and the line is TOO long, and you’ve forgotten to order online in advance, then do what we did: walk across the street to Publix and get you a PubSub meal deal, baby.
Honorable Mention #1: A Publix Sub Meal Deal
A Publix sub is one of those “if you know, then you kno” type of things. Yes, Publix is a grocery store chain, but it is the BEST goddamn grocery store in the entire world. The best! No debate on this.
MAYBE you think I’m trash for including a grocery store on my list of best affordable restaurants Nashville, but hear me out. Publix is DIFFERENT. Anyone who goes there will tell you.
If recommending Publix’s food makes me trash, then so be it.
If loving PubSubs is wrong, then I don’t wana be right.
The Publix deli (and bakery… and the entire store) is a dream. They serve Boar’s Head meats and cheeses, their in-house baked sub loaves are perfect, and their vast fresh toppings selection is always crisp. People go especially bonkers for the fried chicken tender sub, variations of turkey subs (like my fave– the honey maple), and the Italian sub. Publix also offers seasonal favorites, like the Thanksgiving sub.
A footlong Publix sub with Boar’s Head meat is only $7.99. Get the meal deal for just $1 more– it’s worth it. Grab a bag of Dirty potato chips– the best! My favorite flavor is honey sriracha. And then fill your fountain drink to the brim with Publix deli lemonade– it’s the best you’ll ever have. Super tart, perfectly sweet, and exactly how lemonade should taste. Swing through the bakery and get your free Publix cookie, too. They’re always available for anyone, and you can choose from sugar, sprinkle, or chocolate chip.
Everything about the PubSub is high-quality. You can literally tell in its weight. I can order the exact same thing at Publix and at Subway, and my PubSub will weigh twice as much. None of the ingredients are old, discolored, soggy, wilted, or skimped. They load on your toppings as much as you want without the staff rationing out your four tomato slices. The condiments are all outstanding, and they offer regular dill and garlic dill pickle chips.
A huge, heart, quality, loaded up footlong sub with Boar’s Head meats, a bag of dirty potato chips, Publix lemonade, and a cookie for $8.99 plus tax? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes please.
This may not sound like a meal you must get, but trust me on this one. Anyone and everyone who has ever lived near Publix worships the Publix sub, and for good reason. If you’re coming from the Midwest, West Coast, or NW and do not have any access to a Publix, then I would honestly make this meal a priority for your on-the-road-back-home munchies. We get a PubSub any time we pass through a state with a Publix. It is and will always be tradition.
If you have NO idea what to get, here’s my perfect sub that I’ve been getting my entire life and always stick with: multigrain bread, mayo on both sides, spicy mustard on one side, munster cheese, BH honey maple turkey, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, pickles, black olives, and EXTRA lettuce on top with a sprinkle of herbs and black pepper. It’s amazing; order it!
You should also know that the Publix deli has other super cheap meal deals, and they’re especially great for traveling with kids. For instance, you can get two Publix fried chicken tenders (everyone LOVES them), 5 big potato wedges, a Hawaiian roll, and a dipping sauce cup for only $3.99! They have lots of grab ‘n go options, too. It’s a great staple store for traveling on the cheap.
Honorable Mention #2: Robert Western World’s Recession Special
Most people put a visit to Broadway at the top of their Nashville bucket list. Lined with honky tonks that play live country music all day and night, this activity is family-friendly during the day time and reserved for adults 21+ after 6 p.m, which is when it becomes more of a bar scene.
If you want to hit up the best honky tonk, you have a long list of options to choose from. The one that stood out to us the most, though, was Robert’s Western World. Robert’s offers free live music every day, and the entire month’s music schedule is kept on their website. Lots of people praise it for being a “real” honky tonk that plays “real” country music, not that I’d be able to tell the difference. If you can, though, this may be your spot.
If you want to get a classic honky tonk experience and need some fuel for super cheap, then Robert’s checks another box for you. They offer the “recession special,” which is a fried bologna special, chips, and a PBR for only $6. Lately, they’ve also been throwing in a Moon Pie, a marshmallow whoopie pie that was invented in Tennessee.
Robert’s Western World is open until 3 a.m. every day, and they always serve $2.50 PBR, Busch, and MHL beer. So if you’re looking to hear live, classic Nashville country music AND drink for cheap AND get something in your belly for cheap, then Robert’s Western World should hit the top of your best affordable restaurants Nashville list.
I wouldn’t personally order the recession special because I hate bologna, but my husband was totally down to get it. I would steal the Moon Pie if our meal came with one, though. 🙂 However, the timing for live music combined with our toddler’s nap schedule and how packed Broadway was when we were there prevented us from going.
So there you have it, folks. Five amazing meals (and maybe two more) that you can eat for under $10 on your next trip to Nashville! Because why spend a lot of money to eat delicious food when you don’t have to? If you’re into budget travels, then also be sure to check out our three-day guide to visiting Seattle for cheap! And if you’re into a food tourist in general, then get your behind to St. Louis! We have tons of great food, lots of it for cheap, and lots fun, free things to do! Be sure to self-guide and eat your way through a taco food tour while you’re here!
Have you been to Nashville yet? What are your best cheap eats recommendations?