A Local’s Guide to Downtown Murfreesboro TN

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Located just south of Nashville, this hidden gem has a vibrant life all its own. If there’s one thing I know like the back of my hand, it’s the charm woven into every street corner of this historic gem. I have called downtown Murfreesboro home for the last several years. I’ve come to love the quaint feeling that defines downtown and the plethora of activities it offers.

In this guide, I’m taking you on an intimate tour, diving deep into the soul of this Tennessee town.

This post will guide you to:

  • Best Restaurants
  • Where to Shop
  • Attractions and Historical Sites
  • Downtown Events

So, pull up a chair, grab a glass of sweet tea, and let’s embark on an adventure through the heart of downtown Murfreesboro, TN – a place where Southern hospitality meets a tapestry of history, culture, and endless charm.

Best Restaurants in Downtown Murfreesboro TN

City Cafe, the oldest restuarant in downtown Murfreesboro, welcomes diners.
Credit: Southern Travelista

Nestled in the heart of downtown Murfreesboro, TN, are some culinary treasures. Let me introduce you to some of the best local dining establishments that define the soul of our town.

Puckett’s Restaurant

  • Location: Right off the downtown square.
  • Why Visit: Puckett’s is a cornerstone of downtown dining in Murfreesboro. This is a restaurant where I love to meet friends for breakfast! The skillet cinnamon roll is to die for! For lunch or dinner try their famous meat-and-three options. The live music and the cozy atmosphere at Puckett’s make it a popular spot to savor the flavors of Murfreesboro.

Jeff’s Family Friendly Restaurant

  • Location: Tucked away off East Main Street.
  • Why Visit: Jeff’s is truly the hidden gem of downtown Murfreesboro. If you are looking for a truly authentic southern meat and three, look no further. Known for their homestyle cooking, Jeff’s is a go-to for the best southern cuisine in town. Not only can you indulge in hearty dishes, but their 4 layer cakes are some of my absolute favorites!

Kleer-Vu Lunchroom

  • Location: Situated a few blocks off the square.
  • Why Visit: Kleer-Vu is another family-run restaurant serving up delicious southern-style staples. This old-school, cafeteria-style restaurant dishes out homestyle food classics. If you make a stop at Kleer-Vu make sure to try their famous BBQ chicken or ribs!

The Boulevard Bar & Grille

  • Location: Across the street from Middle TN State University campus.
  • Why Visit: The Boulevard Bar & Grille is a favorite for my family! The variety of selections on their menu is something that can’t be beaten. You can find pizzas, Mexican food, burgers and sandwiches, and classic American dishes. The Boulevard is also a great place to hang out on game day. Whether you’re cheering for the local Blue Raiders or a professional team, doing so at the Boulevard Bar & Grille gives you that community vibe that makes you feel like you’re hanging out with your friends.

City Cafe

  • Location: Situated in the heart of Murfreesboro on East Main Street just off the square.
  • Why Visit: There is nothing quite as downtown Murfreesboro as the City Cafe. In fact, City Cafe is the oldest restaurant in Murfreesboro, opening its doors in 1900. City Cafe has been a local favorite for years, not only for its great food but also for the sense of community that you find within its walls. They serve classic Southern comfort dishes with a side of nostalgia. This charming eatery is a testament to Murfreesboro’s rich culinary history.

Marina’s on the Square

  • Location: On the historic square.
  • Why Visit: Marina’s brings a taste of Italy to Murfreesboro. Indulge in authentic Italian cuisine where every dish is crafted with love. The cozy atmosphere and diverse menu make it a perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a gathering with friends. Try my personal favorite menu items… the cheese manicotti and stuffed mushrooms!

The Alley on Main

  • Location: Nestled on West Main Street.
  • Why Visit: The Alley is a local favorite for steak and seafood cuisine. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of The Alley, known for its diverse menu and vibrant character. One of the things I love about The Alley on Main is their wine tasting. On the first Monday of every month, you can enjoy a wine-tasting night with friends that also benefits a great cause!

Boro Bowls

  • Location: Just off the square on Church Street.
  • Why Visit: Boro Bowls is a go-to for nutritious whole-food bowls and smoothies. Dive into a bowl of freshness, where wholesome ingredients come together to create a nourishing experience. A must-try for those seeking something different from the traditional southern meat and three. Boro Bowls is a delightful and health-conscious dining option.

Red Bicycle Coffee and Crepes

  • Location: The heart of downtown Murfreesboro’s square.
  • Why Visit: Home to Red Bicycle Roasting Company, Red Bicycle Coffee and Crepes is a haven for coffee enthusiasts. Indulge in your choice of sweet or savory crepes paired with expertly brewed coffee at Red Bicycle. This quaint spot is perfect for meeting with friends or getting a little work done away from the office.

Boro Kabob

  • Location: On Vine Street in downtown Murfreesboro, TN.
  • Why Visit: Boro Kabob introduces Mediterranean delights to our southern town. Diners can indulge in the exotic flavors of the Middle East, where each bite is a journey through rich and aromatic tastes. With a variety of salads, bowls, platters, and wraps; there is truly something for everyone. Boro Kabob is a fantastic addition to Murfreesboro’s downtown restaurant scene.

Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint

  • Location: On Maple Street in downtown Murfreesboro.
  • Why Visit: Although Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint is not exclusive to Murfreesboro, TN, I have decided to include it on the list because it is such a fun hangout for visitors and locals alike. Diners can experience a burger masterpiece paired with an extensive selection of craft beers at Jack Brown’s. The laid-back atmosphere and creative menu make it a great addition to downtown Murfreesboro for those seeking a casual dining experience.

Domenico’s Italian Deli

  • Location: The west side of Public Square.
  • Why Visit: Domenico’s brings the flavors of an authentic Italian deli to downtown. Experience the essence of Italy at Domenico’s, where artisanal sandwiches and deli delights transport you to the streets of Rome. This hidden gem is an example of the culinary diversity in downtown Murfreesboro.

Donut Country

  • Location: On Middle TN Blvd, just down from MTSU Campus.
  • Why Visit: Donut Country is a local favorite for delectable breakfast treats. My family loves enjoying the mouthwatering array of donuts and pastries at Donut Country. A perfect spot to start your day with a touch of sweetness and a dash of local charm.

Slick Pig BBQ

  • Location: Situated on East Main Street close to MTSU.
  • Why Visit: Slick Pig BBQ is a haven for barbecue aficionados. Delight in the savory goodness of perfectly smoked meats at Slick Pig BBQ. A Murfreesboro staple, this spot promises a taste of authentic Southern barbecue in a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere.

Bean Loft Coffee Company

  • Location: Nestled right next to MTSU Campus on Middle TN Blvd.
  • Why Visit: Bean Loft Coffee is your go-to for a cozy caffeine fix. This charming coffee spot exudes a laid-back vibe, making it the perfect place to recharge and savor the essence of downtown Murfreesboro, TN. They even feature local artists selling some of their wares. Bean Loft Coffee is definitely my preferred coffee spot!

Hattie Jane’s Creamery

  • Location: Next to Puckett’s on the East Side of the Square.
  • Why Visit: Hattie Jane’s Creamery is a local ice cream shop that features a modern twist on traditional Southern flavors. It’s the perfect sweet treat while out for an evening on the square.


  • Location: Next to Red Bicycle on the South Side of the Square.
  • Why Visit: Joanie’s takes the title for best breakfast in Murfreesboro and I have to agree! Made from scratch breakfast staples and a variety of gourmet coffees make it hard to beat. Or stop in for something from their made-to-order lunch and dinner menu.

Shopping in Downtown Murfreesboro TN

A bright red church door found on St. Paul's Episcopal church.
Credit: Southern Travelista

In the heart of Downtown Murfreesboro, TN, you’re not just in for a treat for your taste buds but also a delightful haven for unique and charming discoveries. Take a leisurely stroll along the historic streets and explore a variety of local shops that bring a touch of Southern flair to your shopping experience. Each store holds its own charm and adds to the character of our vibrant town.

Gallagher Guitar Co.

  • Location: On Walnut Street.
  • Why Visit: Let me introduce you to Gallagher Guitar Co.—it’s like stepping into a world where guitars are more than just instruments; they’re pure works of art. Dive deep into the realm of finely crafted guitars that’ll make any music lover’s heart sing. Each one of these beauties has a tale to tell—stories of passion, skill, and downright precision. It’s a spot you can’t miss, whether you’re a music buff or a collector.

Marketplace Home and Gift

  • Location: On the square.
  • Why Visit: If you are anything like me, no trip is complete without a little retail therapy. Marketplace Home and Gift is a charming boutique that offers a curated selection of items that blend sophistication with Southern charm. From exquisite furniture pieces to delightful home accents, it’s the perfect destination for those seeking to add a touch of style to their living spaces.

Quinn’s Mercantile

  • Location: Tucked away on North Spring Street.
  • Why Visit: Step into Quinn’s Mercantile for a shopping experience that transports you to a bygone era. This mercantile gem offers a carefully curated collection of gifts, apparel, and home goods. Explore the shelves and discover a delightful array of items that celebrate the spirit of downtown Murfreesboro, TN.

Bella’s Boutique

  • Location: On the East side of the square.
  • Why Visit: Unleash your inner fashionista at Bella’s Boutique, where Southern charm meets contemporary style. Explore the latest trends while enjoying the personalized shopping experience that Bella’s Boutique has to offer.

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Drip Purple Vintage

  • Location: On North Walnut Street.
  • Why Visit: Drip Purple Vintage is a haven for vintage enthusiasts. I absolutely love a good vintage band T-shirt and you can find that and more in this eclectic world of vintage fashion. Drip Purple Vintage definitely celebrates individuality and style. Pop in for a visit and uncover treasures that speak to your unique taste.

Wand and Willow Day Spa

  • Location: On West College Street.
  • Why Visit: Wand and Willow Day Spa is an oasis of relaxation in the heart of downtown. This haven of relaxation offers a range of spa services designed to rejuvenate the mind and body. One of the things I love about Wand and Willow is the vibe! From the moment you step through the doors, you are in for a magical experience straight out of Harry Potter! After your spa treatments make sure to purchase some products for a spa day at home.

The Grumpy Bookpeddler

  • Location: At the Roundabout on West College Street.
  • Why Visit: I am a total book nerd. In fact, I don’t think I can visit a new destination without popping into a local bookstore! If you are like me then The Grumpy Bookpeddler is your spot. Scour the shelves for old and rare book finds or simply get a great price on used books.

Attractions in Downtown Murfreesboro TN

A fun mural adorns the side of a building in downtown Murfreesboro
Credit: Southern Travelista

Beyond the culinary and shopping delights, downtown Murfreesboro offers a rich variety of attractions that cater to diverse interests. From family-friendly adventures to cultural exploration, these attractions add layers to the vibrant essence of our town.

Discovery Center at Murfree Spring

  • Location: Nestled on Southeast Broad Street.
  • Why Visit: The Discovery Center at Murfree Spring is a downtown Murfreesboro gem. It’s a wonderland for young minds and a long-time favorite in our family. Since our very first visit after moving to Murfreesboro, it’s been a go-to for my daughter. A place where curiosity and creativity collide, offering hands-on exhibits, educational programs, and loads of fun for kids of all ages. If you’re looking for an engaging and enlightening experience for your little ones, The Discovery Center is the place to be. Trust me, it’s worth every visit!

Murfreesboro Ax

  • Location: On West Main Street, just off the Square.
  • Why Visit: Unleash your inner lumberjack at Murfreesboro Ax, where the age-old art of axe throwing meets modern-day excitement. It’s a great place to gather your friends or family for a memorable time of competitive fun. With expert guidance and a safe environment, Murfreesboro Ax promises an adrenaline-pumping adventure that adds a dash of thrill to your downtown escapade.

Murfreesboro Murals

  • Location: Throughout downtown.
  • Why Visit: While taking a stroll through downtown Murfreesboro, TN, you will see pops of color and creativity that grace its walls. Murfreesboro Murals showcase the talent and vibrancy of our community, turning ordinary spaces into captivating canvases. Each mural tells a story, celebrating the history, culture, and spirit of Murfreesboro. It’s a self-guided art tour that invites you to explore the town through the eyes of local artists.

Center for the Arts

  • Location: On West College Street.
  • Why Visit: In the heart of Murfreesboro stands The Center for the Arts—a true beacon of cultural expression. From plays and musicals to captivating art exhibitions, this vibrant venue has something for every theater enthusiast and art connoisseur. More than just a stage, The Center for the Arts is a nurturing space for local talent and a community hub where we all come together to celebrate the arts.

Historical Sites in Downtown Murfreesboro TN

The welcome sign at Cannonsburgh Village in downtown Murfreesboro
Credit: Southern Travelista

Now, let me take you on a stroll through time in our charming downtown Murfreesboro, where every brick seems to whisper tales of the past. Prepare to be enchanted by the rich history that unfolds as we explore some of the most captivating historical sites this town holds dear.

Historic Homes on East Main Street

Step into the embrace of East Main Street, where historic homes stand tall, guardians of Southern charm. Each porch is a storyteller, and every window whispers secrets of days gone by. As you stroll along, imagine the echoes of laughter from grand parties, the gentle rustle of hoop skirts, and the enduring elegance that lingers in the air. Many of these beauties even wear the distinguished title of being on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a stroll through history, where the very essence of Southern charm is etched in every detail.

Cannonsburgh Village

Quaint, preserved buildings, creaky wooden floors, and the soft rustle of Southern magnolias in the breeze—that’s Cannonsburgh Village for you. This living history museum right in the heart of Murfreesboro is like a time machine. Stroll down the paths, peer into the old-timey shops, and let the echoes of yesteryear transport you back to a simpler, Southern way of life. It’s a charming step back in time, right here in our beloved downtown.

Oaklands Mansion

Meet the grand dame of Murfreesboro – the Oaklands Mansion. With its towering columns, majestic architecture, and sprawling grounds, it’s a true Southern belle. This antebellum beauty gently whispers stories of bygone eras, from the pre-Civil War to the present day.

As you wander through the historic rooms, where every piece of furniture seems to have its own tale to tell, consider taking a self-guided tour to delve into the rich history of the mansion and the Murfree and Maney families.

And don’t miss the enchanting gardens and grounds – they’re an attraction all their own, adding an extra layer of Southern charm to your visit. It’s not just a mansion; it’s a living, breathing testament to the grace and grandeur of the South.

Rutherford County Courthouse

Right at the center of it all stands the Rutherford County Courthouse, a symbol of Southern justice and civic pride. The courthouse square is like the beating heart of Murfreesboro, surrounded by the echoes of legal arguments, triumphs, and maybe a few Southern tales. Take a moment to appreciate the stately architecture, the clock tower ticking away the hours – it’s a cornerstone of our town’s history.

Downtown Murfreesboro Events

The historic courthouse on Public Square in downtown Murfreesboro
Credit: Southern Travelista

One of the things that I love most about living in downtown Murfreesboro is the proximity to all of the events that are the heartbeat of this town. From weekly gatherings to seasonal festivities, each event is a chance to soak in the vibrant energy and warm camaraderie that defines this beloved town.

Saturday Farmers Market

Every Saturday morning, the Square transforms into a bustling haven of local goodness. The Saturday Farmers Market is not just a place to snag the freshest produce; it’s a community event. You’ll find a huge variety of businesses selling all sorts of handmade wares from baked goods to soaps. It is such a great way to feel part of the community and get to know your neighbors.

Friday Night Market in the Boro

On Friday evenings in the summer, Patterson Park comes alive with the Friday Night Market in the Boro. Local artisans display their crafts, food trucks tempt you with the most delicious variety of cuisine. Each Friday is like a community block party with good food and great friends!

Seasonal Events

In the fall, downtown Murfreesboro embraces the Halloween spirit with Trick or Treating on the Square. Little goblins and princesses roam the streets, and local businesses join in the fun, handing out treats and spreading a festive air of spookiness. It’s a Southern-style Halloween, where the community comes together for a night of laughter, costumes, and sweet treats.

As winter rolls around, we gather on the Square for the Tree Lighting Ceremony. It’s a Christmas spectacle that warms the heart, bringing together friends and families to kick off the holiday season with a touch of Southern charm. It’s a magical moment where downtown Murfreesboro sets the tone for a merry Christmas season.

Middle TN State University (MTSU)

The sign at the entrance of Middle TN State University
Credit: Southern Travelista

Nestled in the heart of downtown Murfreesboro, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) stands as a testament of knowledge, culture, and community engagement. Established in 1911, MTSU has evolved from a small teacher-training school to a comprehensive university that plays a pivotal role in shaping the character of our beloved town.

Today, MTSU stands as the largest undergraduate university in the state of Tennessee, offering a diverse range of programs and degrees.

Beyond its academic significance, MTSU plays a crucial role in the community dynamics of downtown Murfreesboro. The university hosts numerous events throughout the year, from concerts and art exhibitions to lectures and cultural festivals.

The charming blend of historic landmarks, local businesses, and the vibrant campus of MTSU creates an atmosphere that is distinctly Murfreesboro. As students walk the streets, locals attend university events, and the community converges on the Square, MTSU becomes an integral part of the downtown experience.

In downtown Murfreesboro, the university is not merely an educational institution; it’s a living, breathing entity that contributes to the town’s character and fosters a sense of unity and collaboration. The intertwined history of MTSU and Murfreesboro has created a relationship that goes beyond academics, turning the university into a staple of downtown life and a testament to the enduring spirit of Southern education and hospitality.

Where to Stay in Downtown Murfreesboro TN

The picturesque Carriage Lane Inn is a cozy bed and breakfast in downtown Murfreesboro

There is only one choice when looking for a place to stay to enjoy the heart of Murfreesboro. There’s no cozier spot than the Carriage Lane Inn. This charming bed and breakfast holds a special place in my heart – it’s not just an accommodation; it’s where I got married and honeymooned before ever calling Murfreesboro home.

Nestled in the heart of downtown, the Carriage Lane Inn welcomes you with Southern hospitality and a touch of romance. The historic charm of this B&B is like a warm embrace, offering a unique and intimate experience. The rooms, each with their own personality, invite you to unwind and make yourself at home.

Whether you’re strolling through the picturesque gardens or relaxing on the porch with a sweet tea in hand, it’s a retreat that feels like a page out of a Southern love story. When staying at the Carriage Lane Inn, you’ll be in the heart of downtown Murfreesboro and able to try some of the local restaurants and attractions I’ve highlighted above.

Final Thoughts: Downtown Murfreesboro, TN

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a longtime resident seeking new adventures, downtown Murfreesboro offers a warm invitation to explore, savor, and create your own memories. Remember that in every corner, on every porch, and down each historic street, there’s a piece of the South waiting to be discovered.

Come join us in the heart of Tennessee, where the hospitality is as genuine as the Southern sunset. Until next time, may your memories be lasting, your tea be sweet, and your days be filled with the charm that only downtown Murfreesboro can offer. Cheers to the magic of downtown and the stories yet to unfold!

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