Down-home cooking doesn’t get any better than Arnold’s Country Kitchen. For more than 30 years, Arnold’s has served delicious Southern staples to the Nashville lunch crowd. This classic meat-and-three has earned a James Beard Award, been featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, and regularly makes top 10 lists for its superior service and quality cooking.
Arnold’s is a true mom-and-pop joint. Jack and Rose Arnold have been running the place since 1982 when Jack bought the tiny block building and outfitted it with a simple steam table and tray line. Today, the Arnold children, along with long-time staff, run the tray line and the kitchen. True to their Southern hospitality roots, servers know the names and orders of their regulars, sneaking in questions about their kids, pets, and plans while keeping the busy line moving.
Check out how the Arnold family does it in this behind-the-scenes video.
Arnold’s is a cafeteria-style eatery where guests grab a red tray and move through a serving line while selecting their meat and side options. The most popular choice is the meat-and-three. A few salad options are available, but folks with dietary restrictions may have trouble finding a meal on the decadent menu. Guests choose from a rotating menu of five types of meat and eight sides. Crowd favorites include sugar-cured ham, country-fried steak, roast beef, mac & cheese, turnip greens, white beans, and mashed potatoes. But choosing what not to eat can be a greater challenge than picking what ends up on the plate. Generous portions mean that diners often leave with to-go boxes that could make for a second meal. The food here is made from scratch daily. Although a platter is more than enough to fill up on, don't overlook the homemade desserts. Pecan pie, banana pudding, and chocolate pie with meringue are mouth-watering temptations that beg to be tasted before the end of a meal. Native Nashvillians wash it all down with sweet tea or fresh lemonade.
Arnold’s is open Monday–Friday from 10:30 am–2:45 pm. It’s so popular that the line often wraps around the perimeter of the building, so arriving after the lunch rush is recommended for quicker seating.
Cover Image: "Meat And 3 @ Arnold's Country Kitchen" by revrev is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0