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CMA FEST: Your GF Guide!

It’s that time of year again in Nashville… CMA Fest! All of country music’s latest, greatest, and up and coming artists will be all along Broadway playing live music and try to sell you their music and merch. 😉 Planning on being downtown to enjoy the events but are freaking out about where you’ll eat? Just need someone to tell you what places downtown are safe for gluten free diners? You’re in the right place!

I’ve created a comprehensive list of gluten free dining options in the downtown (Broadway) area of Nashville and a few worth the visit just on the outskirts of downtown. You’ll see that I’ve noted which restaurants I have personally dined at and which ones have been highly recommended by fellow gluten free diners. I’ve listed the addresses of each page so you don’t have to bother looking them up and linked gluten free menus where necessary. Bookmark this page! 

DOWNTOWN AREA
Puckett’s (800 Church Street) – In the spirit of honesty, I’m not a fan of the “traditional” Southern (read: fried and heavy) food that Puckett’s serves, BUT they have an entire gluten sensitive menu and you can walk there from Broadway so they deserve a spot on this list. I’ve had the grilled chicken with smashed potatoes and broccoli. 

Martin’s BBQ (410 4th Ave S) – Walking distance from Broadway, Martin’s serves excellent barbecue and they have a full allergen info list. They do use shared fryers but are happy to try to accommodate any food allergies or sensitivities. There is a large variety of items that are GF (shared fryers not accounted for) such as: nachos, farm fries, deviled eggs, hippie salad, baked potatoes, stew, most sides, and most bbq plates without the bread. Their wings are smoked and then fried, FYI. 

Frothy Monkey (235 5th Ave N) – Just over 2 blocks off Broadway, this Frothy Monkey location is adorable and offers a full bar and dine in dinner service. Many of the items on the breakfast menu are gluten free and breakfast is served until 5pm. Dinner menu also has plenty of options that appear GF but I’ve only had breakfast food. Gluten free bread is offered for an upcharge. Menus are not marked, but servers are knowledgeable about items that are GF. 

Margaritaville (322 Broadway) – I love Jimmy Buffett, but I’ve admittedly never dined at this restaurant. A fellow GF foodie in the area mentioned that they have gluten free denoted on their menu and it’s true (see here). They also have been known to have separate fryers so you can enjoy all the fries you want! Hallelujah! This is a great option for CMA Fest since it’s in right on Broadway and has lots of options. 

Little Mosko’s (41 Peabody Street) – This gem of a place is located inside the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and serves a great lunch menu with GF available every day. They also have a baked goods case full of gluten free treats that are so delicious (especially that pound cake). Only open during the week 7:30am – 2pm but worth the walk along Riverfront Park – a nice stroll from downtown. 

Pinewood Social (33 Peabody Street) – My full thoughts on dining at Pinewood will be live on a blog post later this week, but there are a few options in the appetizer and entree categories and all the salads are gluten free. I know, I know who really wants salad for dinner? It was a good salad. They also have an amazing outdoor patio space with bocce as well as bowling inside. Just like Little Mosko’s, it is well worth the walk from downtown along Riverfront Park. 

Barlines (250 5th Ave S) – Inside the Omni Hotel, this is a great stop to cool off from the heat and get a break from the sun with a cocktail or glass of wine. They serve Arrington Vineyards wine (Red Fox Red is my fav!) and have a great patio. A few of the items on the menu are gluten free like their nachos. Good for a snack and drink! 

JUST OUTSIDE OF DOWNTOWN
Butcher town Hall (1416 4th Ave N) – I can’t wait to try this establishment, but haven’t made it there yet. I’ve communicated with them about their menu as it was hard for me to determine if they had anything I could eat. They do not currently have GF items marked but are going to work on that. They can make their tacos with corn tortillas (they talk about their house made flour ones on the menu and no mention of corn). They do have shared fryers, but are happy to cook any of the fried items in a cast iron skillet if you have an allergy. Their rubs and spices do not contain gluten. 

Germantown Cafe (1200 5th Ave N) – Oh, how I love this wonderful restaurant just outside of downtown. Cute neighborhood with wonderful food that is marked GF or can be made GF on their menu. The chicken and tri-tip are both amazing and any fellow diners who are not GF should definitely try the crab cakes and plum pork. The best crab cakes I’ve ever had… consumed in my former life. 😉 

Red Bicycle (1200 5th Ave N) – Right next door to Germantown Cafe, they serve gluten free crepes and other typical coffee house food. Good for a snack or quick lunch. 

Von Elrod’s (1004 4th Ave N) – This is a recent addition to the neighborhood that I tried a few weeks ago during brunch. Plenty of brunch items are gluten free and others are gluten free without the bun. Ask a server for more details as menus are not marked. It’s a fun environment with bar games and a great selection of drinks. 

Burger Republic (420 11th Ave S) – Once upon a time, I couldn’t decide if the best burger place in town was Burger Republic or Burger Up… the milkshakes at Burger Republic definitely kept it in the running. They also have gluten free buns (they aren’t the best, but they work) and a server can tell you which burgers are gluten free or can be made gluten free. They have shared fryers and their sides aren’t amazing, but the Nutella milkshake makes up for all that. A short ride from downtown to The Gulch. 

Mas Tacos (732 McFerrin Ave) – Located on the east side of town as it is assumed many CMA Fest visitors are staying on the east side… great little taco joint serving on corn tortillas. Cash only! 

The Wild Cow (1896 Eastland Ave) – Vegetarian restaurant with marked gluten free options. I haven’t been here yet but many other gluten free friends in Nashville will tell you that this is their favorite place! 

There are plenty of other restaurants in downtown Nashville that potentially are safe for eating gluten free, but we don’t eat downtown that much and rarely eat at chain restaurants so I can’t name those places for you. Follow my instagram for more recent eats in town and check out the “GF Dining” tab if you’re venturing outside of just the downtown area. 

Most importantly: HAVE FUN and enjoy the music! 

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