You’re in Nashville for the NFL Draft. Music City’s southern hospitality has covered you like a warm blanket.

Now it’s time to eat! If you googled the options, you likely came across a term you may have not heard before — “meat and three” — and probably got a recommendation for one of the more well-known options, like Arnold’s Country Kitchen.

Definition of Meat and Three

Very simply, a “meat and three” is one meat (protein) and three sides (vegetables). There is often some question as to what constitutes a veggie, by folks who like to debate those kinds of things in magazines and blog articles. Other terms are sometimes used interchangeably with or alongside “meat and three”: meat and two, plate lunch, blue plate special, country cooking, home cooking, home-style cooking, down-home cooking.

Just know this … you can order a meat-and-three, meat-and-two or a meat-and-one or a veggie plate. Some type of bread usually comes with the plate (cornbread and rolls are the two most popular), and a drink is included in certain joints. Of course, sweet tea rules in places like Nashville, being in the South and all.

Nashville – Ground Zero for Meat-and-Three Restaurants

If you happen to be the adventurous type, you will find a gold mine of options to pick from in the Middle Tennessee area, especially if you are not spending all your time downtown with 100,000 or so of your closest NFL fan friends, and you’re staying a bit after draft days. We’re going to help you sift through those nuggets.

One super popular option includes “hot chicken”, which seems to be a household word. Not all hot chicken joints are meat-and-threes, but the ones that do double duty are worth checking out. Look for those in the list below.

The map shows the locations and the list below shows more details (style, address, phone, draft day hours if available, etc).

NOTE: the restaurants, diners and cafes that serve only meat-and-three/two/one meals are labeled as “Traditional” in the list below.

Take care, and enjoy!