Arnold’s Country Kitchen

Cafeteria | Meat-and-Three
Worth driving from anywhere!

“Just about the very best meat-and-three … wildly popular with lawyers, Music Row notables, and working stiffs,” is how Arnold’s was described to us many years ago by a correspondent. We took the tip seriously and found ourselves in a short cafeteria line one day among a crowd of hungry locals pushing towards the food. On the wall were signed photographs of local and national celebrities singing the praises of Arnold’s roast beef, meat loaf, fried oysters, and cream pies.

That day we piled our trays with hunks of fried chicken, whipped potatoes and gravy, turnip greens, corn muffins, and slices of lightweight but heavy-flavored chocolate pie as well as classical Dixie banana pudding with vanilla wafers in the custard. Delicious, from first bite to last! Arnold’s has since become one of our favorite places to eat in Nashville, and a definitive meat and three eatery.

It’s a funky little joint that doesn’t look like much from the outside – just a squat cinderblock building now painted red. But at high noon, expect to wait for a seat (and perhaps to share a table with strangers). To Music City eaters who know good food, this little restaurant is a country star.

Note Arnold’s very limited hours of operation: lunch only, Monday through Friday.

What to Eat
Arnold’s Country Kitchen, Chess Pie
Chess Pie
Arnold's also serves traditional chess pie without the meringue topping, like this perfect wedge. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better version in Nashville.
Arnold’s Country Kitchen, Banana Pudding
Banana Pudding
Banana pudding is a rarity in many regions of the country, but it is a common dessert throughout the South. Arnold's is especially nummy. (buffetbuster photo)
Arnold’s Country Kitchen, Meat Loaf (& 3 Vegetables)
Meat Loaf (& 3 Vegetables)
If ever there is an 'Encyclopedia of Excellent American Food' that needs an illustration of a classic Mid-South meat-and-three meal, we would submit this photo taken by buffetbuster. It is meat loaf accompanied by green beans, squash casserole, and mac 'n' cheese.
Arnold’s Country Kitchen, Cornbread
Flat, griddle-cooked cornbread is common in Nashville. Try to get yours fresh from the pan. They don't keep well.
Arnold’s Country Kitchen, Black-Eyed Peas
Black-Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas are served in their creamy cooking liquid.
Arnold’s Country Kitchen, Fried Catfish
Fried Catfish
Fish and three: fried catfish with greens, fresh tomatoes, and mac and cheese.
Arnold’s Country Kitchen, Pulled Pork
Pulled Pork
Plate lunch at Arnold's.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Monday10:30 am - 2:45 pm
Tuesday10:30 am - 2:45 pm
Wednesday10:30 am - 2:45 pm
Thursday10:30 am - 2:45 pm
Friday10:30 am - 2:45 pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
5 stops | 958 MILES | 14 hr 34 min

It would be crazy to travel through the South and eat only banana pudding, but every place that serves it at its best precedes it with an excellent well-rounded meal, whether barbecue, meat-and-three, or cafeteria cornucopia. So, while every meal on this tour ends with four-star banana pudding, the variety of what comes before and…

5 stops | 39 MILES | 1 hr 14 min

After many happy weeks eating our way around Nashville. we've created a one-day eating plan that presents you with the best of the best: five fantastic meals in memorable eateries that will be the highlight of any visit. Don't be discouraged by the line of customers waiting to get in the Pancake Pantry. It moves…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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