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  • Writer's pictureTennessee Family Vacation

Tennessee's "Meat-and-Three" Restaurants: A True Southern Experience (Middle TN)

If you're looking for a taste of Tennessee, you can't go wrong with a Meat-and-Three restaurant. They typically serve a meat dish and three side dishes, hence the name "meat and three."

In this 3-part blog post series, we take a look at the best from across the state.

tennessee meat and three

The tastiest dishes are often homemade and made with fresh ingredients, which adds to their appeal. Additionally, these restaurants provide a welcoming and cozy atmosphere that makes diners feel at home.

From fried chicken and catfish to collard greens and macaroni and cheese, there's something for everyone.

Our Tennessee Family Vacation Team has compiled a list of some of the most notable Middle Tennessee Meat-and-Three restaurants, from decades-old mom & pop diners to buffets, large eateries, and more.


tennessee meat and three

BELL BUCKLE CAFE 100 Main St, Bell Buckle, TN 37020

The Bell Buckle Cafe, located on Railroad Square in Downtown Bell Buckle has great music, great fun, and even better food!

Family-operated, four generations of good Southern hospitality & "Just like my Grandma used to make" Southern cookin'.

If you don't have room for dessert after you finish your Meat-and-Three, there are plenty of stores for you to "shop it off" and "relax."


tennessee meat and three

113 E Main St, Murfreesboro, TN 37130

City Cafe, Tennessee's oldest restaurant was opened on February 10, 1900, by Henry & Dorsey Cantrell.

This traditional "Meat-and-Three" restaurant features home-cooked meals and daily specials, like "Thirsty Thursday" when sweet tea is on the house with any meal purchase.


tennessee meat and three

Belle Meade Meat and Three

110 Leake Ave Nashville, TN 37205

This Southern-inspired restaurant is located on the famous Belle Meade Plantation.

Along with daily, chef-inspired menu additions, Belle Meade Meat-and-Three features smoked meats, fresh-cooked vegetables, biscuits, cornbread, and homemade desserts.


tennessee meat and three

ELLISTON PLACE SODA SHOP 2105 Elliston Place, Nashville, TN 37203

Elliston Place Soda Shop has been serving up classic Meat-and-Three plates & soda shop specials in the heart of Music City for 83+ years.

From the very beginning, Elliston Place Soda Shop has been located in the heart of Music City’s “Rock Block.” Nashville artists discovered this landmark restaurant decades ago. They opened a new space, right next door to the Soda Shop that features new talent and old friends.


tennessee meat and three

1918 Shady Brook St Ste A, Columbia, TN 38401 1958 Old Fort Pkwy, Murfreesboro, TN 37129

This Southern buffet with two Middle TN locations has something for everyone!

Every day, lunch and dinner are served. On weekends, breakfast is served. Salad bar, hot bar, & dessert bar are all available.


tennessee meat and three

11381 Lebanon Rd, Mount Juliet, TN 37122

Granny’s Kitchen, a "soul-food" Meat-and-Three restaurant, started out with four generations of southern women practicing and perfecting old recipes for years. Where? Why, at Granny’s house of course. Their passion for keeping Granny’s traditional style cooking alive turned into a dream and that dream became a reality when they opened the doors in 2014.


tennessee meat and three

1331 Highway 100, Centerville, TN 37033

After the J. L. Tilley grocery store burned down, the Homestead Restaurant was built on its site. This Meat-and-Three restaurant features all of your favorite Southern favorites.

Their buffet is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


tennessee meat and three

2037 N Mt Juliet Rd suite 110, Mount Juliet, TN 37122

Local Joe’s offers delicious Southern Dishes daily. Guests can expect to find a rotating menu that features timeless, freshly prepared meats + vegetables served in a fast-casual style.


tennessee meat and three

Lu Lu's Cafe

204 S Main St Estill Springs, TN 37330

Lulu's is a "Tennessee Tradition" that has recently come under new ownership. This locally-owned restaurant serves all of your favorite Southern favorites... and more! They are known throughout the area for their broasted chicken that produces juicy chunks of fried chicken with a crispy outer layer.


tennessee meat and three

4130 Thornton Taylor Pkwy, Fayetteville, TN

This old-school outpost features a buffet of traditional Southern comfort grub in a low-key atmosphere.

Marvin's features down-home, country cooking on the buffet every day. The atmosphere is very casual and relaxed.


tennessee meat and three

253 Clearview Dr, Clarksville, TN 37043

Moss' Southern Cooking was established in 1999 and has become a gathering place for this whole community. This down-to-earth restaurant offers traditional, homestyle Southern dishes in a relaxed space.

Fried chicken, country-fried steak, greens, cornbread, and sweet tea are among the favorites.


tennessee meat and three

Ramzy's Meat & Three 306 E Thompson Ln, Nashville, TN 37211

Nashville's Finest Southern Food Made With Love.

This Meat and Three is famous for its desserts and wide selection of meats and sides.


For more information about Unique Eats and more Meat-and-Threes around the state, explore the cities in Middle Tennessee here.

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