After a long, hard day of shopping at Opry Mills Mall (or in the surrounding area), there is an escape… an underwater tropical paradise to rest your aching feet and fill your empty belly.
The Aquarium Restaurant is an underwater dining adventure that’s hard to pass up!
Not to mention the fact that it’s Nashville’s only aquarium.
Conveniently located on the property of Opry Mills Mall (with direct mall access), it’s also a great place to go for a family night out with the kids or a date night with your special someone.
Just picture underwater (yet breathable) tranquility.
Classy, dim lighting that brings peaceful, happy thoughts and sometimes is reminiscent of Ariel’s Grotto without the Disneyness.
From the moment you request a table to after the check is paid, the ambiance at the Aquarium Restaurant does not disappoint!
Anywhere you are seated in this restaurant you’ll have a terrific view of the 200,000-gallon tank which is home to a variety of tropical fish and plants. If you’re lucky — or if you time it right — you may get to experience feeding time. We did, and my kids loved it! They got to watch as a skilled scuba diver entered the tank to feed the many hungry species. (By the way, there are even sharks and stingrays inside that tank.)
What’s The Food Like?
If ambiance alone doesn’t entice you, then hopefully awesome food does.
The Aquarium Restaurant is a bit pricey (not too bad though).
And let’s be honest… the scenery rocks!
It’s been my experience at some establishments that you either have awesome views or awesome food. At the Aquarium Restaurant you have both and we were very happy about that because, like I said, it’s a little pricey.
It’s a circular-shaped, layered and stacked salad with — you guessed it — lobster on top.
Our server said that most of the time the lobster towers fall over before he can get them to the tables but mine didn’t. (Yay!) In order to eat it though, you pretty much have to knock it over anyway. Still, the presentation is wonderful and the salad was delicious. I really enjoyed it.
- My kids loved their fish & chips entrees.
- Hubby got a cup of clam chowder (that he did not share, by the way). He said it was one of the best he’s ever had.
- My unadventurous daughter devoured her bacon burger.
- And my dad loved his chicken wrap.
Other Perks About Dining At The Aquarium
We took our sweet time and no one hurried us along — good thing too, because we were not budging.
Our kids were entertained. (Finally, we weren’t the rowdy bunch in the corner that everyone stares at.) Anytime they got antsy, “Go look at the tank” was this mom’s response.
This would be a wonderful place for a date as well (…as long as you don’t mind having your date at the mall). They also have a bar if you’d like to enjoy some adult beverages while you’re there.
Once we were done with our meal and our fish-gazing, we moseyed on over to the gift shop inside the Aquarium Restaurant. My kids are older so it takes a lot to get their attention in a gift shop, but let’s be real, I was not going to splurge today. (Oh wait I already did that on lunch.) So we window-shopped at the gift store and enjoyed a much needed walk to our vehicles.
We will be back!
- You don’t have to eat at the restaurant to enjoy the tropical sights. At the entrance of the Aquarium Restaurant there’s a good-sized tank to enjoy.
- The gift shop is open to everyone too. (Sometimes they run contests.)
- The Aquarium Restaurant also offers learning programs, birthday parties and special events.
- They have a very reasonably priced 10-and-under kids menu
- Mall parking is FREE.
Looking for a full day of fun at an aquarium near Nashville?… The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga is the closest one.
Don’t want to drive that far?… Check out all the fun things to do at the Adventure Science Center in Nashville.
I'm a happily married mom to 3 wonderful children: Taylor (13), Gavin (10) and Garrett (8). We recently relocated to the Nashville area from Florida and we're enjoying exploring Middle Tennessee and all it has to offer. My hobbies are: writing, photography, digital scrapbooking, cooking, and all things parenting.