I don’t know about you, but when I hear something called a “tour,” I immediately think it’s a service pertaining to visitors, not residents. But this is definitely not the case when it comes to Walk Eat Nashville food tours, a concept veteran journalist Karen-Lee Ryan and later sold to Shannon Largen.
This post was last updated in March 2022.
Why you should take a Nashville food tour
Seeing how the food and drink scene had flourished in the past decade and change, Walk Eat Nashville is as great excuse for locals to sample a wide variety of local cuisine as it is visitors who are coming to town and want a greatest hits list of the best Nashville restaurants in a mere afternoon.
On my first Walk Eat Nashville food tour with Karen-Lee as my guide, we explored Five Points, a rapidly expanding neighborhood in East Nashville. We got to visit several places I know and love like Five Points Pizza, but this time not only hear from one of the owners but also watch the kitchen staff make the dough.
Next, was another of my favorites, Edley’s BBQ, where we passed around shared plates of down-home Southern staples. I had planned to take it easy, but man, I just can’t pass up on the mac and cheese or pulled pork at Edley’s.
We then meandered down over to Yeast Nashville, a bakery I didn’t even know existed before our visit. But you can be sure I’ll be back—kolaches, it turns out, are delicious.
The next couple hours, we wound our way through Five Points and Edgefield as our guide gave us a detailed history on the area and pointed out some fantastic buildings (including Gunnar’s house on Nashville!) and historical landmarks (Jesse James hid out in this area? who knew!).
While technically, you could walk this route by yourself, you don’t want to—it’s nowhere near as fun and informative without such a champion for East Nashville guiding your every move.
We rounded out the tour with chocolate, juice and coffee—all necessary staples in any well-rounded diet, I say.
The pacing was perfect. The tour started at 11am so I didn’t eat anything that morning (unless coffee counts) in anticipation of it and assumed I would be rolling home afterward. Not the case! Karen-Lee paced the three-hour experience just perfect so that we had plenty of walking and digesting between stops. And we even had room left for dinner later that night!
The portion sizes were just right—not too big, not too small. Other than Five Points Pizza, we were all sharing plates everywhere else so we didn’t get too stuffed.
Which Nashville food tour to take
Due to Nashville’s ever-shifting restaurant scene, many of the stops on my initial tour have since closed. That said, Walk Eat Nashville has expanded to include even more tour options.
The East Nashville food tour is perfect for the visitor who has seen the major sites and wants to explore the Brooklyn of Nashville. I later went on a Downtown Nashville food tour, which is perfect for the first-timer who wants to see iconic spots like the Batman building and the Country Music Hall of Fame but is pressed for time. The Midtown Nashville food tour is currently on pause, but if it’s brought back, it’s a great third option for those who have already experienced Downtown and Midtown.
Pro tip: Tours also make great gifts for those of you residing in the Nashville area—or for your friend who may be planning to visit Nashville soon.