Now that warm weather and Summer break are here, it’s the perfect time to shut off your oven and explore some of Nashville’s coolest outdoor dining spots! Just because you’ve got small kids in tow doesn’t mean you’re relegated to a fast food picnic table or stuck inside at the mall food court. With a little pre-planning, you can have an enjoyable, al fresco dining experience at some of the city’s top dining destinations with the whole family.
If you need a high chair or booster seat, you might want to call and confirm that the restaurant has them. Most of the places listed do not take reservations, but some have call ahead seating preference for large parties, so it may be a good idea to double check before you head out.
You can imagine you’re in Little Italy—or perhaps even the real Italy—sitting at one of the tables lining the quaint open-air brick courtyard with strings of white lights dangling overhead. Brick oven pizza, wine, good times for the whole family.
1200 Villa Place Suite 206
The bbq is cooked slow and low, and the sides are not an afterthought here. Large patios at both locations (12 South and East Nashville). You can order a rack of ribs and a “moonjito” (moonshine, lime, mint, soda), and the kids can get a grilled cheese meal for under $4. Win-win!
2706 12th Ave S
908 Main Street
This neighborhood coffee shop, an anchor of the revitalized 12South district, has become a favorite place to take the family for a meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Your “Little Monkeys” will certainly find something to their liking any time of day.
2509 12th ave. South
*Frothy Monkey also has locations in in downtown Franklin and Nashville.
Locally sourced beef, communal tables, and crayons for the kids.
2901 12th Avenue South
Locally sourced beef, old fashioned sodas, and a pretty awesome (and awesomely popular) biergarten—which is great for craft beer lovers and families alike. (It has room to move around and even some leftover playground equipment!) Plan to go at off-times because if the weather’s nice, there will be a line wrapping around the building with wait times up to 2 hours. They are first come, first serve and do not accept reservations.
731 Mcferrin Ave
Their popular patio/porch attracts party people and families alike, drawn by the wide selection of tequila and the super cheap kids menu, respectively. Go early because—like most restaurants with decent patios in this neighborhood—it fills up fast!
1907 Eastland Ave.
You might not think of this restaurant as particularly kid-friendly, but they do welcome families. Go at happy hour, grab a seat on the lovely patio where the kids can split a $7 cheese pizza and you can kick back with a sangria and some potstickers.
97 Chapel Ave.
South Street serves up a little bit of everything: seafood, ribs, sandwiches, and enchiladas—AND they offer a $6 kids menu. Grab a seat in the upstairs “treehouse” for some bonus fun.
907 20th Avenue South
This fun establishment serves up delicious chicken fingers, wings, French fries, and cold draft beer. What’s not to love for grown-ups and kids alike?
2115 Belcourt Ave.
(615) 383 – 3005
(Second location in Nolensville)
McCabe’s describes their patio as a “lush secret garden,” surrounded by umbrellas and leafy green plants. This restaurant, sometimes referred to as the “Cheers” of Nashville, is a family-owned establishment serving unpretentious burgers and classic American dishes.
4410 Murphy Rd
Bobbie’s Dairy Dip
(Check their Facebook page for updates on hours)
Classic old school burgers and cones. Perfect for a family outing on a summer night, the speakers always play classic oldies, and it feels like you stepped into another era.
5301 Charlotte Ave
Additional location downtown.
A new favorite neighborhood taco joint that serves up fresh fare and includes a kids menu with several items for $4.
4501 Murphy Rd
Additional locations in East Nashville and Brentwood.
Gourmet burgers! Nutella milkshakes! Tater Tot fondue! Draft beer! If that doesn’t sound like fun for the whole family, I don’t know what does.
6900 Lenox Village Dr. Ste 22
Second location in the Gulch.
On the Edge of the City:
Blue Moon Waterfront Grille
Located on the Cumberland River at Rock Harbor Marina, the setting is perfect to keep restless kids entertained by watching the boats while you’re waiting for your food.
525 Basswood Avenue
Cumberland River Mile Marker 175 if you’re coming by water
Classic Southern food—including legendary biscuits—served up daily to throngs of locals and tourists alike. The grounds and shops are great for exploring while you wait.
8400 Highway 100
Bonus for Date Night:
Leave the kids at home, grab your honey, and head to Rumors East to enjoy some much needed kid-free time on the lush patio—which is more like a backyard wonderland than your typical concrete outdoor dining space. It’s a wine bar, so come thirsty!
1112 Woodland Street