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Our History

For more than 65 years, the Loveless Cafe has been offering families and friends a place where they can enjoy a home-cooked, Southern meal and reconnect with each other around the table.

Lon and Annie
Lon and Annie Loveless

Our story starts in 1951 when Lon and Annie Loveless opened their front doors to serve fried chicken and biscuits to hungry travelers on Highway 100. Their homemade Southern dishes became so popular that they converted their home into a restaurant and built a 14-room motel for overnight guests. Long stayed busy managing the motel and curing and smoking country hams, while Annie whipped up made-from-scratch biscuits and preserves in the kitchen.

Given these roots of big-hearted hospitality and a mouth-watering menu, it is no wonder that the Loveless Cafe has become a Nashville landmark. Our iconic neon sign welcomes more than half a million visitors a year who are seeking a chance to slow down and savor home-cooked meals. We stay true to our Southern flavor and serve up meals that fuel conversation, laughter and love. Our guests are our family and there is nothing we enjoy more than to see them return, year over year. So many people come to taste the biscuits that put us on the map that we’re now making up to 10,000 every day!

Since the early days with Lon and Annie, we’ve continued to add new ways for visitors to enjoy the Loveless Cafe while always staying true to our roots. The motel rooms that Lon managed are now quaint shops full of signature gifts for visitors to take home. For larger gatherings, we have added two event spaces - the Barn and the Harpeth Room - where the Loveless Events team infuses our distinctive Southern hospitality into creating one-of-a-kind weddings, celebrations, meetings and more. The dedicated catering team also goes on the road, bringing our broad talents to kitchens, offices and venues throughout the Nashville area.

Stories about the Loveless Cafe continue to be told around the world. We’re humbled and flattered to have received the following acknowledgements:

  • USA Today named us the “Top Down-Home Dining Spot” and one of the “10 Great Places to get a Southern-style Biscuit.”
  • Southern Living named the Cafe one of the “Five Must-See Sights in Nashville,” in addition to “Favorite Southern Dives” and the “South’s Best Breakfast Spots.”
  • Taste of the South magazine included us as one of the “35 Iconic Southern Restaurants,” saying we serve the “South’s Best Pies.”
  • The Atlanta Journal Constitution included the Cafe as one of the “8 Restaurants to Try if you Want a Taste of Nashville.”
  • The Tennessean called the Cafe’s pulled pork sandwich one of the top 5 in Nashville, a city full of legendary barbecue joints.
  • Thrillest online said the Loveless Cafe is one of “Nashville’s Best BBQ Joints.”

The TV cameras just love the Loveless Cafe too, from The Today Show to CBS News to Ellen DeGeneres to the Martha Stewart Show. We love representing the South and sharing some Southern hospitality with national television audiences.

Perhaps one of the most exciting nights for the Loveless Cafe was in 2013, when the famed James Beard House in New York City invited our team to serve a “Loveless Valentine’s Dinner” to its guests. Our team’s culinary presentation of five courses of authentic Southern favorites thrilled the sophisticated palates of New Yorkers. We were honored to be chosen to represent the heart and soul of Southern cuisine by serving the delicious food that has made the Loveless Cafe a culinary destination.

As you can see, there’s a lot of love to go around at the Loveless Cafe. We are proud to be a cherished ingredient in Nashville’s rich history.

Welcome to our table.