7 Scrumptious Spots for Southern Soul Food in Franklin, Tennessee

No visit to Franklin is complete without a classic Southern meal. Whether you’re hankering for BBQ, hot chicken, buttery biscuits, or decadent cakes, pies, and pastries, you’ll find some of the best country cooking in the state right here in town. 

Barbara’s Home Cooking

Hidden away in Franklin’s Grassland community, Barbara’s Home Cooking has been serving up Southern home cooking since 1997. Featuring a rotating menu of three entrees daily, Barbara’s is a great place to enjoy lunch or pick up a delicious meal to take back to your home or Airbnb. Local favorite dishes include Barbara’s famous poppyseed chicken, crab cakes, chess pie, and chicken salad with rolls. 

Puckett’s Restaurant 

Whether you’re in the mood for cherry wood-smoked baby back ribs, hot chicken, or a meat and three plate, you can’t go wrong at Puckett’s. This popular local chain got its start right here in Williamson County, and locals and tourists alike have been enjoying Southern breakfasts, lunches, and dinners here ever since. For an added treat, go on a night when Puckett’s features live music. You’ll find the schedule on their website.

Merridee’s Breadbasket

Craving Southern desserts like grandma used to make? Head over to Merridee’s Breadbasket in downtown Franklin for delectable icebox pies, cakes, cookies, sweetbreads, rings and rounds, and more, as well as a full breakfast and lunch menu. Open since 1984, Merridee’s has been featured in Southern Living and on Food Network.

Big Shakes

For hot chicken and fish, you can’t beat Big Shakes. Choose from hot chicken sandwiches, tacos, or salad, and pick your heat level from “cry baby” all the way up to “executioner”! Don’t want chicken? Try Big Shakes’ hot fish sandwiches or platters. Top off your meal with an order of deep-fried Oreos, and you’ll definitely leave satisfied! 

Bishop’s Meat & 3

Meat and three restaurants are a Tennessee staple, and one of the best can be found right here in Franklin. At Bishop’s Meat & 3, you’ll find crispy fried chicken, smothered pork chops, turnip greens, mac & cheese, and chess pie, to name just a few of the options on the menu. The quality of their ingredients makes Bishop’s stand out from the rest; they buy organic and local ingredients whenever possible.

Fox & Locke

It doesn’t get more Southern than Fox & Locke in Leiper’s Fork. Open since 1947, the menu at this former country grocery includes a meat & 3 option as well as comfort food favorites like pimento cheese sandwiches, fried catfish, pulled pork, and cobbler. Buy tickets ahead of time and see live music Wednesday through Saturday nights.

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint

The name Martin is synonymous with BBQ in the South, and the local chain got its start right here in Williamson County. Martin’s “whole hog” process from West Tennessee is what makes it famous, creating unbelievably flavorful BBQ. And from the sides to the sauces, all of the menu items at Martin’s are made from scratch every single day, starting at 5 a.m. Try the Redneck Taco, a local favorite featuring a cornbread hoecake with your choice of meat, topped with slaw. 

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