Eat & Drink Local: Murfreesboro’s Unique Restaurants

In the last edition of the Pulse we took a look at some of the many independent restaurants that have closed over the past few years.

So, where are the existing local restaurants that Murfreesboro diners can currently support?

Many of those new to town—and many who have lived in Murfreesboro for years, even—ask that question. They may be familiar with the Red Lobster, Burger Kings, Cheddars and Taco Bells of the world and want to discover the unique flavors of Murfreesboro but simply don’t know where to look.

Chains are fine; eat there if you like. The customer usually has a good idea of what they will receive at a chain, and many welcome that consistency and familiarity.

But the following list recognizes the places that offer spins on dishes found only in Murfreesboro.

Check out a new one sometime. You may just find your new favorite restaurant on this list.

To set some criteria, these are independent restaurants, unique to Murfreesboro.

Even though Sir Pizza, Toot’s, Demos’, Whitt’s, Sam’s, Oscar’s, Camino and La Siesta are chains, they are Middle Tennessee-based, so let’s include them here.

Also, many of the chain restaurants in Rutherford County are franchises owned and operated by hard-working local families. Support them too. But still, the flavors of Dairy Queen, Domino’s and Subway are certainly not unique to Murfreesboro. You can find them all over the world.

Not every spot fits neatly into a particular category; “unique” is a qualifier for this collection, after all. But this piece aims to list the locally owned restaurants in town in one place.

The 2016 independent restaurant landscape of the Murfreesboro area:

Pasta from Milano II

Pasta from Milano II

ITALIAN / PIZZA:

Ahart’s Pizza Garden
2476 Old Fort Pkwy.

Luca’s Pizzeria
2658 New Salem Rd.

Marina’s on the Square
125 N. Maple St.

Milano II
114 E. College St.

Sal’s Pizza
536 N Thompson Ln

Sauce
2858 S. Church St.

Sir Pizza
3219 Memorial Blvd.
1902 E. Main St.
110 Barfield Crescent Rd.

Spooky’s Pizza
5995 Lebanon Rd.

BARBECUE:

Bob’s Barbecue
517 Cason Ln., Ste-A

Rick’s BBQ
3364 Memorial Blvd.
212 Warrior Dr.

Slick Pig BBQ
1920 E. Main St.

The Hoof
352 W. Northfield Blvd.

Whitt’s BBQ
105 Sulphur Springs Rd.
2898 S. Church St., Ste. A
198 Sam Ridley Pkwy., Ste. E

Hot chicken from Deezie's

Hot chicken from Deezie’s

MEAT & THREE / SOUTHERN:

B McNeel’s
215 N. Church St.

City Cafe
113 E. Main St.

DC’s Country Kitchen
2435 S. Church St.

Deezie’s Hot Chicken
452 N. Thompson Ln.

Goodness Gracious at The Mill
5418 Murfreesboro Rd., Readyville

Farmer’s Family Restaurant
1958 Old Fort Pkwy.

Jeff’s Family Friendly Restaurant
467 S. Hancock St.

Kleer-Vu Lunchroom
226 S. Highland Ave.

Miller’s Grocery
7011 Main St., Christiana

Sylvan Park Restaurant
1443 NW Broad St.

The Fish House
1626 Middle Tennessee Blvd.

Knockout shrimp from Nobody's Grill

Knockout shrimp from Nobody’s Grill

FAMILY RESTAURANT / BAR:

Coconut Bay Cafe
210 Stones River Mall Blvd.

Demos’ Steak and Spaghetti House
1115 NW Broad St.

Nobody’s Grille
2227 Old Fort Pkwy. (Clarion Inn)

O’Possum’s
2341 Memorial Blvd.

Peter D’s Restaurant
2357 Medical Center Pkwy.

Sam’s Sports Grill
at Stones River Mall,
1720 Old Fort Pkwy.

Station Grill
2053 Lascassas Pike

The Block Restaurant & Catering
123 SE Broad St.

The Boulevard Bar & Grill
2154 Middle Tennessee Blvd.

The Gavel Grill & Speakeasy
109 N. Maple St.

The Green Dragon Public House
714 W. Main St.

The Curious Kitchen
1602 W. Northfield Blvd.

BURGERS / SANDWICHES / SUBS:

Tilapia from The Alley on Main

Tilapia from The Alley on Main

Buster’s Place
1615 NW Broad St.

Campus Subs
1124 Old Lascassas Rd.

Fat Mo’s
1301 Memorial Blvd.

Garage Bar & Sandwich Shop
405 N. Front St.

Sandwich Factory
116 Chaffin Pl.

Sub Stop
306 W. Vine St.

Toot’s
860 NW Broad St.
2992 S. Church St.

Your Burger
206 N. Thompson Ln.

FINE DINING / STEAKHOUSE:

CJ’s Restaurant & Catering
352 W. Northfield Blvd.

Five Senses
1602 W. Northfield Blvd.

Parthenon Grille
1962 S. Church St.

The Alley on Main
223 W. Main St.

Fish tacos from Mexiven

Fish tacos from Mexiven

MEXICAN FOOD:

Blue Cactus Cantina
2805 Old Fort Pkwy.

Camino Real
301 NW Broad St.
2628 Rideout Ln.
205 Lasseter Dr.

Carmen’s Taqueria
206 W. Northfield Blvd.

Dos Rancheros
2458 Old Fort Pkwy.

El Rincon
255 N. Rutherford Blvd.

La Siesta Mexican Restaurant
1608 NW Broad St.
1111 Greenland Dr.
2424 S. Church St.

Mercados Marias
264 Heritage Park Dr.
1820 Bradyville Pike

Mexiven
1706 Bradyville Pike

Mi Patria Mexican Restaurant
230 Stones River Mall Blvd.

Nacho’s Mexican Restaurant
2962 S. Rutherford Blvd.

Oscar’s Taco Shop
1875 Memorial Blvd.
2804 Old Fort Pkwy.

Yum beef from Oriental Express

Yum Beef from Oriental Express

THAI / LAO:

International Grocery
1622 Bradyville Pike

Lemongrass Sushi & Thai
220 Barfield Crescent Rd.

Oriental Express Laos and Thai Cuisine
1619 Bradyville Pk.

Pad Thai Cafe
2568 S. Church St.

Sabaidee Cafe
505 Cason Ln.

Taste of Thai
1841 S. Church St.

Thai Pattaya
810 NW Broad St. Ste 262

The Bangkok Thai Cuisine & Sushi
315 Robert Rose Dr.

Thai Spice Restaurant
225 N. Rutherford Blvd.

Sushi from Fin Fusion

Sushi from Fin Fusion Sushi Bar

ORIENTAL:

Bobo Chinese Restaurant
1312 NW Broad St.

Cathay Asian Bistro
1845 S. Church St.

Chef Wang’s
1145 NW Broad St.

China Spring
1638 Middle Tennessee Blvd.

China Wok
1668 Memorial Blvd.
2658 New Salem Rd.

Daily Buffet & Grill
2808 S. Rutherford Blvd.

Far East Restaurant
1529 E. Main St.

Fin Fusion Sushi Bar
2862 S. Church St.

Koji Express Japanese Grill
1010 Memorial Blvd.

Sushin
528 N. Thompson Ln.

Wasabi Japanese Steak House
2812 Old Fort Pkwy.

Wok & Roll
2924 S. Church St, Murfreesboro

Grape leaves from Gyro Tabouli

Grape leaves from Gyro Tabouli

GREEK / MEDITERRANEAN:

Chicago Style Gyros
535 NW Broad St.

Garden Greek Grill
3006 S. Rutherford Blvd.

Greek Cafe
2441 Old Fort Pkwy.

Gyro Tabouli
2706 Old Fort Pkwy.

Kitchen Way Gyro Deli
225 N. Rutherford Blvd.

Opah Greek Grill
133 James Luscinski Dr.

Naan from Tandoor Fine Indian Cuisine

Naan from Tandoor Fine Indian Cuisine

INDIAN:

The Clay Pit
1813 Memorial Blvd.

Tandoor Fine Indian Cuisine
529 N. Thompson Ln.

CAJUN:

Jazzmatazz Lounge & Restaurant
1824 Old Fort Pkwy.

POLYNESIAN:

Omni Hut
618 Lowry St., Smyrna

Paletas from Fresko Frozen Treats

Paletas from Fresko Frozen Treats

COOL TREATS:

Fresko Frozen Treats
132 St. Andrews Dr.

Frozen Treats from Mars
123 S. Church St.

Karin’s Kustard & Hamburgers
470 S. Lowry St.

Paletas la Desi
1679 Middle Tennessee Blvd.

Reeve’s-Sain Soda Shoppe
1801 Memorial Blvd.

COFFEE:

Coffee Fusion
836 N. Thompson Ln.

Just Love Coffee
129 MTCS Rd.
2863 Old Fort Pkwy., Ste. F

Eclair from Donut Country

Eclair from Donut Country

BREAKFAST / DOUGHNUTS / SWEETS:

All American Cafe
2805 Old Fort Pkwy.

Boro Town Cakes
128 N. Church St.

Donut Country
1311 Memorial Blvd.

Donut Palace
1623 NW Broad St.

Julia’s HomeStyle Bakery
1911 Medical Center Pkwy.

Kwik Mart
315 N. Front St.

Simply Pure Sweets
118 N. Walnut St.

The Artful Donut
810 Medical Center Pkwy.

The Country Gourmet
107 E. Main St.

Yum E Donuts
2486 Old Fort Pkwy.

JUICE / SMOOTHIES / HEALTH FOOD:

Juice Bar
804 N. Thompson Ln.

Strong Body
833 Memorial Blvd.

Sunshine Nutrition Center
621 S. Church St.

Vibe Nutrition
208 W. Main St.

BARS (21 and up):

Campus Pub
903 Gunnerson Ave.

Gentleman Jim’s
2115 E. Main St.
1325 Greenland Dr.

Handlebars
2601 E. Main St.

Liquid Smoke
#2 Public Square

The Boro Bar & Grill
1211 Greenland Dr.

The Wheel Lounge
534 SE Broad St.

Wall Street
121 N. Maple St.

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About the Author

Bracken, a 2003 graduate of MTSU’s journalism program, is the founder and publisher of The Murfreesboro Pulse. He lives in Murfreesboro with his wife, graphic artist and business partner, Sarah, and son, Bracken Jr. Bracken enjoys playing the piano, sushi, Tool, football, chess, jogging, spending time in his backyard with his chickens, hippie music, climbing at The Ascent, bowling, swimming, soup, tennis, sunshine, revolution, defiance and anarchy. He can cook a mean grilled cheese, and can fry just about anything.

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5 Comments

  • Teresa Harmon

    Speaking of LOCAL. Thank you, Bracken, for the amazing long term commitment you have made to give and give to this area by way of The Murfreesboro Pulse.

  • Bob Fish

    How an article specifically featuring Murfreesboro’s unique local tastes could overlook Buster’s Place in the Burger category is remarkable to me.

  • Megan

    We’ve enjoyed the “goat” over by the avenue too! Can’t beat their homeade tater tots. Def a place worth checking out. It’s tucked away so most don’t know about it!

  • diane w nix

    THE BLUE CACTUS!!! How could this wonderfully unique restaurant have been omitted

  • Debbie

    Forgot to add Wok & Roll on 231 S. in the Kroger shopping center. Best Chinese ever!!

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