Moving out to Nashville may be a daunting prospect for vegetarians. It ain’t easy being (or eating) green in a town packed with hot chicken and barbecue joints on every street corner. However, this notion is simply not true, as Nashville’s booming restaurant industry delivers no shortage of awesome and creative eateries with veggie-friendly options that will make even the most devout meat-eater drool. So whether you’re an herbivore or a carnivore or anything in between, if you’re looking for Nashville vegetarian food, here are the top 5 to try, along with specific dish recommendations.
5 to Try – Nashville Vegetarian Food
Situated on the East side, this little joint is one of Nashville’s most well-known vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Its peculiar name actually comes from the owners’ disapproval of the factory farm system where animals are treated in a despicable manner. Championing more humane farming, the Wild Cow uses locally and organically grown produce and has a splendid group of chefs that are constantly contributing to a rotating menu with new specials that can be found on their website. Try their Buffalo Tempeh Strips, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos, and their to-die-for smoothies that are made with organic soymilk and agave nectar. Don’t forget their Burger and Beer Nights every Monday after 5 pm when you can snatch a high gravity brew + veggie burger + chips for only 10 dollars. Holy cow, am I right?
Quite literally the mecca of veggie restaurants in Nashville, Sunflower Café boasts an extensive menu including over eight veggie burger options, vegan BBQ (yes, this totally exists), and several mouthwatering veggie bowls served “cafeteria” style in a cute cottage in Berry Hill. Try their cabbage salad with coconut, apple, and currants (hailed as an improved Waldorf), or their tomato-based sloppy joes made with lentils, as well as their chai-tinged kombucha. Soak in the sunshine and nourish your body!
Grins Kosher Vegetarian Cafe
Affectionately called Grin’s (pronounced green’s) by Vanderbilt students, this vegetarian and kosher gem is located on Vanderbilt’s campus and is technically only open while school is in session (grr – those darn student breaks). Regardless, Grin’s is very much open to the public and has nearby metered parking for non-Vandy folks who crave Nashville vegetarian food to enjoy their short and sweet menu of veggie and vegan options. Try their Nashville Hot Tofu, Superfood Wrap with a side of honey miso dressing, or a simple grilled cheese (ask for avocado or tomato tucked inside). With a full-fledged cult following, Vandy students have even compiled a list of insider tips on their favorite twists on Grins’ classic dishes. The cafe also has daily specials that are internationally inspired, including favorites such as the Sushi Burrito and Pita Pizza. Both are mind-blowing and will leave you grinning from ear to ear.
Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine
Don’t let this restaurant’s scruffy exterior deter you. Woodlands is unanimously agreed upon by basically everyone as the best Indian food in all of Nashville. Good thing it’s 100% vegetarian, too. This veggie-friendly spot is humbly hidden at the bottom of a condo building off West End, but their service and offerings are impeccable and fast. If you’re new to Indian cuisine or just can’t choose between your favorite dishes, go to their special lunch buffet during the week and indulge in a wide variety of authentic Indian options, such as the aloo gobi or vegetable korma. Bonus – they even have a bring-your-own-wine policy!
Two words. Avocado margaritas. Avo is one of Nashville’s newer vegetarian joints and the only full raw, plant-based dining concept in town, opened by raw food chef Jessica Rice and Hot Yoga Plus owner Susannah Herring. The menu features naturally gluten-free and 100% plant-based (vegan) dishes without any processed ingredients. You can’t go wrong with Avo if you’re looking for something healthy, trendy, and fresh. Try their Ceviche Tacos made with mushrooms or the BBQ Maiitake Sliders. Oh, and did we mention avocado margaritas?
We hope this helps those of you who are new to Nashville or planning to move to Nashville that are looking for something a little outside of the Southern meat-lovers traditions. Want to know more about what Nashville has to offer? Check out our list of things you just gotta do when you’re new to our city. And if you’re still in the middle planning your move, give us a call to help with those details too!