Nashvillians and visitors, gone are the days where you have to rely on the “value menu” to keep your food budget in check. We’ve
joyfully painstakingly crafted a list of our favorite local eateries that don’t break the bank, but definitely delight the taste buds. And don’t let the word cheap fool you. The places on this list not only know great value, but also great quality!
You’ve probably heard of Fido for their delicious coffee concoctions, but they also throw down in the kitchen as well. You’ll usually find us there during breakfast time, where the Banana Nut Pancakes magically turn us into morning people. If you’re more into the lunch or dinner scene, they have an ever-changing array of daily specials that will satisfy every palate.
What we eat: Everything Bagel (w/ Garlic Herb Cream Cheese) ($4) | Meat & Three ($10) | Banana Nut Pancakes ($9)
Nope, that’s not a typo, but a perfect name for our next pick, for there will certainly be a lot of “noshing” going on. This authentic New York style deli has been a Nashville staple for over 20 years, and one meal there can tell you why. They serve breakfast all day, and have a stellar lunch menu as well.
What we eat: Lox & Bagel Platter ($12.99)
Cochon is their name, and housemade meats are their game, and boy, do they do it well. You’re in for the sandwich of your life, as they make all their meats in house, as well as their pickles, jellies, jams, and sauces. Each time you order, you can be sure you’re about to partake in something special.
What we eat: Cochon Muffuletta ($12) | Cold Roast Beef ($11) | Le Pig Mac ($11)
Burgers. Beer. Does one need anything else in life? Although this is one of the more “trendy” places on our list, is not one to be overlooked. There is a very good reason why the line starts at lunchtime. Even vegetarians can get their grub on at the Pharmacy. If weather permits, try to snag a seat on their outdoor patio.
What we eat: Cheese Burger & Pasta Salad ($9.50)
A Tex-Mex must-have since 1984, San Antonio Taco Company (or SATCO), definitely knows their way around a taco. With their scratch-made goodies and ice-cold libations, you can’t go wrong ordering anything off their menu. You’ll also find another great patio here if you enjoy dining alfresco.
What we eat: Chicken Fajita Taco ($1.79/each) | Fish Taco ($2.59/each)
Nicoletto’s started as a fresh pasta company and the passion they put into their food shines with every bite. They opened their brick-and-mortar just a few years ago, and there you’ll find a myriad of beautiful pastas, fresh meats, and flavorful sauces. They’re even open late if the mood for Italian Poutine (??!!!!) strikes at 10 PM, which trust us, it will.
What we eat: Build a Fresh Pasta Bowl w/ Rosemary Chicken ($8.95 + $2.95) | Italian Poutine ($6.95)
Believe me when I tell you, it doesn’t get much more authentically Thai than this (unless, of course, you’re in Thailand). On the exterior, it looks like a grocery store, but one step inside will fill your nostrils with the aroma of all the delicious offerings within. If I had it to do over, I may have went to Belmont University JUST to be close to this wonderful treasure.
What we eat: Pad Thai ($8.50)
Slim + Husky’s is a relative newbie to the Nashville scene, but already dearly loved. As you wait in line, you can witness as your pizza’s dough is rolled out perfectly, topped with the ingredients of your choice, and baked to golden perfection. While building your own pizza is enticing, may we recommend trying some of their house specialties too!
What we eat: P.R.E.A.M & California Love – Husky Size ($14/each)
We sincerely hope this revitalized your idea of what “cheap eats” can really be, and would love to learn some of your favorites as well. Leave us a comment below with your suggestions.