In 2023, the best food in the Nashville Airport is a huge improvement compared to my 1st trip thru BNA in 1989.
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Back in the day, there were no good places to eat in the Nashville airport. And the idea of a small, locally owned restaurant in the airport was just crazy talk.
Fortunately, BNA has flipped 180 degrees. Now, almost every place to eat in all the concourses are great, local Nashville restaurants.
Best Nashville Airport Food tl:dr
As a local who’s flown through BNA hundreds of times, here are my favorite Nashville airport food choices for each terminal:
- Concourse A: Arrington Wine Bar & Grill
- Concourse B: PigStar BBQ by Peg Leg Porker
- A/B Food Court: Chick-fil-A or Pharmacy Burger
- Concourse C: Swett’s BBQ, near C13
- Concourse D: Puckett’s Grocery, near Gate D4
- Concourse T (just past security): Acme Feed & Seed
If you want more options, read below for details on another 20+ Nashville Airport restaurants that we’ve visited.
2 Best Nashville Airport Restaurants
If you’re flying thru the new Southwest terminal (Concourse D) and have time to sit down for a great meal, there are 2 fantastic restaurants that are among our favorites anywhere in Nashville: Puckett’s Grocery and The Southern Steak & Oyster.
- Restaurant: Puckett’s Restaurant
- Location: Concourse D, near Gate D-4
Known as Puckett’s Grocery to us locals, Puckett’s Restaurant has been famous for Southern hospitality and home cookin’ since the 1950’s.
In addition to a full sit down menu of homestyle Southern food, Puckett’s has live entertainment, a full bar and grab & go.
- Restaurant: The Southern Steak & Oyster
- Location: Concourse D, near Gate D-4
Immediately across from Puckett’s is another of our favorite restaurants in Nashville. It’s a little more upscale than Puckett’s but The Southern Steak and Oyster is distinctly Nashville. There’s no live music at The Southern but you can clearly enjoy the performers right across from you at Puckett’s.
Like most places to eat in BNA, there’s a grab & go area in front of the main dining area at The Southern.
Best Nashville Airport Music
- Restaurant: Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge
- Location: Concourse C, near Gate C5 & C7
Didn’t get enough of Music City’s country music on Broadway & 2nd Avenue South?
Make a stop at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge near gate C7. You’ll absolutely find great food at Tootsie’s at BNA. But what’s the main reason to come here?
Experience live music at the airport version of Nashville’s most famous honky tonk.
And just for fun, visit Tootsie’s retro website. It’s definitely not your typical corporate looking website.
Other Live Music in BNA
- Restaurant: Blake Shelton’s Ole Red Bar
- Location: Concourse C Food Court, Gate C14
Another great option for live music is Blake Shelton’s Ole Red on the edge of the Concourse C food court. While they’re both new, Ole Red went with a more modern design & is much larger than Tootsies.
Zuzu & I love Blake Shelton, but I’m giving OG Tootsies the nod as the best live music in BNA. Blake, give us a shout if you want to discuss my rankings over a mess of Redneck Nachos!
Most Healthy BNA Food
The Urbanjuicer has been on the forefront of healthy eating in Nashville for years. With their new Nashville Airport location, The Urbanjuicer can fill you up with Acai Bowls, salads, wraps and their famous smoothies.
The Urbanjuicer is in the Terminal C food court near gate C14.
Visit their website here: https://theurbanjuicer.com/
Soul Food in BNA
- Restaurant: Swett’s BBQ
- Location 1: Concourse C Food Court, near Gate C13
Southern cooking doesn’t come any more authentic than at Swett’s BBQ in the Terminal C foodcourt.
And don’t call them Sweet’s.
It’s SWETT’s BBQ that has been putting smiles on locals in Nashville for 6 decades.
I got introduced to Swett’s at their original location near TSU back in 1989. The airport location stays true to the original, serving great southern food cafeteria style.
Hands down, I think Swett’s is the best Nashville airport food.
While there are some regular offerings, the menu changes a bit every day. If you get lucky, you’ll be able to sample my favorite: potato salad hash brown casserole!
Other BBQ Joints in BNA
- Bar-B-Cutie Smokehouse, local Nashville barbeque
- located near gate A4 in the rotunda
Nashville Hot Chicken in BNA
- Restaurant: Party Fowl
- Location: Concourse D, near Gate D2
Located in the new Concourse D (which only has Southwest Airlines gates), Party Fowl in the Nashville airport is one of a few local restaurants that specializes in Nashville Hot Chicken. While some may argue that Hattie B’s, Prince’s or Bolton’s is the best Nashville Hot Chicken, Party Fowl is your best option in BNA.
Depending on much HOT you want, you can get it from “Easy as Pie” (Southern Fried chicken) to “You’ve Been Warned” aka Poultry-geist.
You can get a chicken biscuit or omelet for breakfast or apple butter biscuits for brunch. Salads & wraps as well as beer is available all day long.
Party Fowl’s airport location isn’t listed on their website but it does tell their story and menus for their other locations.
Hattie B’s Nashville Hot Chicken
Easily the most famous Nashville Hot Chicken, Hattie B’s opened their airport location in 2023. Local’s know that they’re all about 2 things: Hot Chicken & Love! You can turn up the heat on both from mild Southern to the insanely hot Shut the Cluck Up!
- Restaurant: Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
- Location: Concourse C, across from Gate C1
Priority Pass Restaurant in BNA
A second option for hot chicken in the Nashville Airport is 400 Degrees in Concourse C. If your Southwest flight isn’t on the new Concourse D, 400 Degrees can give you that hot chicken fix near original Southwest gates in Concourse C.
But more importantly for Zuzu & me, this is the 1st Priority Pass Restaurant in the Nashville airport.
If you’ve got a Chase Sapphire Reserve like we do, your free Priority Pass membership means that you and a guest can get $28 of free food and drink. With a guest, that means $56 of free benefit from my favorite travel credit card!
- Restaurant: 400 Degrees Hot Chicken
- Location 1: Concourse C, near Gate C15 & C17
Best Coffee in BNA
- Restaurant: Bongo Java
- Location: Concourse C, near Gate C5
Nashville’s oldest coffee house (since 1993), Bongo Java now has a location inside the Nashville Airport. It’s not the largest coffee shop in BNA but you do get authentic Nashville coffee here.
Bongo Java prides themselves on “direct from small-scale farms” coffee.
It’s right next to Tootsie’s and across from Gate C5.
Need to stock up on their coffee? You can buy it at the Bongo Java Website.
Starbucks in BNA
Yes, there is a Starbucks in the Nashville Airport. In the new A/B Rotunda Food Court, you can satisfy your Grande Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso craving.
Fun fact: Plagued by slow service and crazy long lines, the original Starbucks at BNA shut down and there was no Starbucks here from 2020-2022.
Other Coffee Shops in BNA
While there is a Starbucks in the Nashville Airport, you’re missing out if you don’t try some of the other local Nashville coffee shops in BNA.
With locations in both Concourse C and Concourse D, 8th and Roast Coffee Co is one of 2 coffee shops with 2 locations.
- Restaurant: 8th & Roast Coffee Co
- Location 1: Concourse C, near Gate C9
- Location 2: Concourse D, near Gate D1
Another Nashville favorite, Barista Parlor is near the far end of Concourse C. It’s right in the middle of a lot of Southwest departure gates.
- Restaurant: Barista Parlor
- Location 1: Concourse C, near Gate C17 & C18
If you need some coffee before going thru the TSA security checkpoints, stop at Green Beans Coffee. It’s centrally located near the exit from Concourse C.
- Restaurant: Green Beans Coffee Co
- Location 1: Concourse C, outside of the security area
Best Beer in BNA
- Restaurant: Tailgate Brewery
- Location: Concourse C Food Court, near Gate C14 & C15
Craft beer and pizza are ready for you at Tailgate Brewery. Their BNA location is on the edge of the Terminal C food court between gates C14 & C15.
If you’re in Nashville for a few days, visit one of their taprooms listed on the Tailgate Brewery website.
Other Beer Joints in BNA
While there are several Nashville Airport Restaurants that serve beer, Little Harpeth Brewing is the best beer that you’ll find on Concourse B, near the Delta and JetBlue gates.
- Restaurant: Little Harpeth Brewing
- Location 1: Concourse B, near Gate B7
Best Bars in BNA
- Fugitive Public House, near Gate A1
- Arrington Wine Bar & Grill, near Gate A4
Best Pizza in BNA
Newly opened on Concourse C, right next to Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is Slim & Husky’s Pizza. Known for their fast casual, artisan pizza, Slim & Husky’s is easily my favorite pizza in the Nashville Airport.
- Restaurant: Slim & Husky’s Pizza
- Location: Concourse C, near gate C1
Best Fast Food
- Restaurant: Chick-fil-A
- Location 1: Concourse A/B Rotunda, near Gate B3
Finally, there’s now a Chick-Fil-A at BNA! My go-to for fast food has all the menu favorites that I expect. Waffle fries & chick-fil-a sauce? A match made in heaven!
Other Fast Food in BNA
- Restaurant: Burger King
- Location 1: Concourse D, near Gate D1
At the entry to the new Southwest Concourse D is the Home of the Whopper. It’s right next to Party Fowl Hot Chicken.
There is no McDonalds in the Nashville Airport.
- Restaurant: Hisso Sushi
- Location 1: Concourse A/B Rotunda, near Gate B3
In the new food court between Terminals A and B, you’ll find Hissho Sushi. It’s right next to Chick-Fil-A. It’s the only place to get sushi in BNA.
I’d never heard of Hissho Sushi but it looks like they have at least 2200 locations in grocery stores & gas stations across the US. As soon as I get a chance, I’ll take one for the team & let you know if it’s exactly what I expect from gas station sushi or not.
Sit Down Restaurant
Try out the newly opened Acme Feed & Seed in the new Concourse T. Just past security, you’ll find this Honkytonk Highway favorite with a full menu, bar and even a small convenience store.
- Restaurant: Acme Feed & Seed
- Location: Concourse T (just past security)
New Restaurants Coming
In addition to the BNA restaurants on this list, there are several more that are scheduled to open soon in the Nashville Airport:
A/B Rotunda Food Court
BNA has over 20 restaurants, bars and coffee shops including Starbucks, several Nashville Hot Chicken places, breweries, and honky tonks.
No, there is no McDonald’s at BNA but there is a Burger King and several other fast food restaurants.
Most restaurants at the Nashville airport are open from 8am – 8pm but hours vary. For example, the BNA Starbucks is open from 4am – 8pm and 400 degrees (a Priority Pass restaurant) is open from 4am – 9:30pm.
You can drink from 4am until 3am at BNA. Dozens of restaurants at the airport serve alcohol and they all have different hours of operation. For example, 400 Degrees opens from 4am and Tootsies Orchid Lounge serves until 3am.
Restaurants Near Nashville Airport
If you want to eat before your flight, there are several great restaurants near BNA as well as plenty of fast food joints. Most are close enough that you can be at the airport in 5-10 minutes regardless of traffic.
If you have time to sit down, the best places to eat near BNA are:
- Darfon’s: Local, medium-upscale dining that has way more character than your average fern bar
- Monell’s: Great southern cooking in an upscale restaurant. Might need a reservation at peak times.
- Nectar Urban Cantina: Just a little further (10-15 minutes) will get you to one of our favorites in Donelson. Hip, modern Mexican dishes with a big open backyard area. Expect kids, dogs, cornhole & a few hipsters.
Fast Food Near BNA
Immediately next to the airport, at the I-40 Donelson Pike exit, you’ll find a handful of fast food restaurants including:
- Panda Express
- Panera Bread
- Taco Bell
Read More About Nashville
Visiting Nashville? This is our hometown so here’s a local’s take on some of the things that you’ll want to know when visiting Nashville: