Living in Nashville as a foodie is incredible—it seems like every month there are dozens of new restaurants opening. From Mexican to Thai to vegan, this city has it all. As college students, we’re always looking for low-budget options that will match up to the big names of M Street restaurants or trendy Germantown joints without the expensive price tags. As two juniors at Vanderbilt, we’ve learned how to navigate the food scene so that, when we aren’t splurging with parents or for birthdays, we can get the best taste for the best price. If you want to follow our food journey and our collection of local Nashvillian’s pictures of the best #foodporn, check us out on Instagram at @Nashville_Eats. Here are our picks for the best bites on a budget.
When tacos are only $3, you’ll be saying, “Mas Tacos Por Favor.” With great, authentic flavors at an amazing price, you really can’t go wrong.
This famously delicious food truck has a cult-like following because, let’s be honest, is there anything better than a grilled mac and cheese sandwich? As a college student, it was a challenge to chase down the truck, which is why their storefront opening in Hillsboro Village is a game changer.
Hattie B’s is one of the many reasons why Nashville hot chicken has erupted as a national food trend. But, while it might be famous, you can still score this amazing fried chicken and two sides for only $9.
Super fresh, seasonal and local ingredients are what makes Farm Burger such a great spot. Factor in the great prices, like with a make-your-own burger starting at $6.75, farm-to-table never tasted better.
While studying abroad in Australia, I had my fair share of Thai food—so I was pleasantly surprised when I tried Thai Esane. You don’t have to travel to Thailand to taste classic flavors in dishes ranging from $4-$15.
As a New Yorker, one of the hardest parts about heading south for school was thinking I would have to settle for sub-par pizza. Enter Five Points and their NY style pizza by the slice for $3.25. Gasp!
By no means am I a vegetarian, but when I first tried Wild Cow, it was so good that I forgot it was actually vegan. With most menu items under $10, it’s a great bargain that’s healthy for you, too.
Samurai is my go-to sushi spot because it’s reasonably priced. Regular rolls range from $4.25 to $8.95, so you definitely get your money’s worth.
Nestled in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood, Clawson's satisfies your sandwich craving and has you covered with every option under $10.
This true Australian-inspired restaurant is more than just a chill café. They’re serving up food alongside hope with their dedication to helping Nashville’s homeless. Get the coffee rubbed pork lettuce wraps for $7.25 and you’ll feel your money was well spent.