We’ve heard the expression sleeping with the fish, but never dining with the fish. Thankfully, it’s exactly as it sounds. Nashville’s Aquarium Restaurant, located in the Opry Mills Mall across the street from the Grand Ole Opry, offers diners the chance to enjoy a delicious meal while watching over 100 species of tropical fish swim through the restaurant’s 200,000-gallon aquarium with floor-to-ceiling viewing from all tables.
Containing both saltwater and freshwater aquariums, the venue features fish from the Caribbean Sea, Hawaii, the South Pacific, and the Indian Ocean. You can watch as barracuda, black tipped sharks, shovelnose guitarfish, Queensland groupers, green moray eels, and a long list of other sea life dart between rocks and coral. There’s even a tunnel you can walk through where the fish swim overtop.
Beyond the exotic sea life, the restaurant offers a Mystic Mermaid show that takes place in the dining room tank while guests are eating. It’s a 10-minute interactive performance choreographed to music where divers dressed as mermaids swim among the tank’s sea life, teaching about conservation.
If you want to get up close and personal with the fish, you can book a behind the scenes tour with a marine biologist who will show you the inner workings of the aquarium. Everything from the filtration system to fish food preparation to interesting facts about each species.
The Aquarium Restaurant is known for its fresh seafood and steak offerings. Don’t worry, none of the aquarium fish are on the menu.