Gone are the days when ordering vegan or vegetarian meant smiling politely over limp green salads or a haphazard array of vegetable sides. These days, Nashville is home to a vibrant vegetarian and vegan (sometimes called “plant-based”) dining scene. From walnut chorizo-studded nachos blanketed in coconut queso to hefty, meat-free Italian deli sandwiches and even vegan barbecue, Music City has a growing array of options that put vegetables and non-meat proteins in the starring role.Read More
Vegans and Vegetarians Can Indulge at These Nashville Restaurants
It’s easier than ever to eat meatless in Music City
Yellow & Lavender
Newcomer Yellow & Lavender is Nashville’s first and only queer- and BIPOC-owned vegan bakery, cranking out a variety of sweet and savory baked goods from a New York City-style alley bakery in East Nashville (look directly behind the Riverside Clinic). The selection changes regularly; you might find chocolate babka cups, blueberry pastries inspired by Pop-Tarts, and gluten-free strawberry muffins alongside massive croissant cubes stuffed with vegan cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, chorizo gravy, and ranch sauce.
The Be-Hive Deli & Market
Even the most dedicated carnivores flock for a taste of seitan crunch wraps, Nashville hot “chxn” sandwiches, and rotating specials at this East Nashville deli from popular fake-meat producer Be-Hive. The market also sells all of the company's popular vegan products, including plays on pepperoni, bacon, and cheese, and wholesales to other restaurants in the area.
East Nashville’s sunny Graze serves vegan dinner and weekend brunch, including highlights such as a Nashville hot tempeh sandwich; a burrito stuffed with seitan chorizo and potatoes; and a mock tuna melt. And a former Graze manager started vegan bakery Bite Club Baked Goods, which supplies several farmers markets and restaurants (including Graze) with pastries and desserts like cakes and cookies. Graze’s nearby sibling restaurant, the Wild Cow, is also worth a visit for the likes of buffalo tempeh strips, black bean patty melts, and sweet potato and black bean tacos.
The Southern V
Tiffany and Clifton Hancock are the husband-and-wife team behind this North Nashville vegan restaurant, which does convincing meat- and dairy-free takes on classic comfort food from mac and cheese to Nashville hot chicken to a decadent burger served on a doughnut. Order for dine-in through a self-serve kiosk.
Butcher & Bee
The chefs over at the East Nashville location of Charleston-born Butcher & Bee showcase their vegetable wizardry in undeniably delicious dishes like avocado crispy rice, a fire-roasted carrot meze, and falafel with sweet potato tahini, making vegetarian dining a breeze for even the most devout meat-eaters. A roomy patio dotted with plants opens seasonally.
Succulent Vegan Tacos
Find Mexico City-style tacos brimming with seitan al pastor, chipotle carrots tinga, and soy asada alongside esquites and black beans at Nashville’s first-ever fully vegan taqueria. Founders Adriana Ortega and Ronald Cerdas moved to Nashville more than two decades ago from Mexico City and Costa Rica, respectively, and operate out of the Nashville Farmers Market Tuesday through Sunday for lunch. As a bonus, this place is also kosher-certified.
One of the best fixtures at the Nashville Farmers Market is Ouida and David Bradshaw’s Caribbean restaurant, Jamaicaway. Popular meatless offerings include curry tofu, spicy jerk seitan, and barbecue soy chik’n. And the culinary skills run in the family — the Bradshaws’ sons Kamal Kalokah and Rashean Conaway run Riddim N’ Spice, which also serves some great vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Bettina Thomas opened this North Nashville restaurant in 2018 serving exclusively vegan and gluten-free versions of soul food like Nashville hot chicken, lasagna, burgers, mac and cheese, and Philly cheesesteaks. You can even order dairy-free cheesecake here. Look for a second Vegelicious location in Antioch.
Owner Annie Choo recently moved Avo to a larger, sunnier spot in Onec1ty, and that’s great news for all the thirsty folks hankering for a sip of the vegan restaurant’s widely acclaimed avocado margaritas. Abundant brunch, lunch, and dinner options pack a punch, including pistachio-walnut-pesto primavera, nachos blanketed in coconut queso and walnut chorizo, and CBD fudge brownies.
E+ROSE Wellness Cafe
With half a dozen locations around Nashville, E+Rose is a fast-casual vegan restaurant founded by registered dietician Robbie Nowinski. The bright cafes sell any number of superfood bowls, toasts, and beverages from nut milks and smoothies to cold-pressed juices and wellness shots. If you’re in a hurry, you can also grab packaged juices, salads, wraps (including a Nashville hot kale wrap), soups, and noodle bowls to go.
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Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine
Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine in the West End serves some of the most popular meatless food in town. The weekend lunch buffet offers an affordable way to sample many of the hits at once, but a la carte favorites include the aloo gobi and the vegetable korma.
Nestled in a cute cottage in Berry Hill, Sunflower Cafe offers a wide variety of soy-free veggie burgers, salads, vegetarian barbecue, and more. Visit sibling restaurant and bakery Sunflower Bakehouse in Donelson for additional options that include completely vegan and gluten-free baked goods like cupcakes, scones, cookies, and upside-down cakes.
You’ll find a bounty of vegetarian and some vegan Vietnamese dishes at Vui’s Kitchen locations in Berry Hill, East Nashville, and Franklin, including lemongrass tofu banh mi and pho with tofu, mushrooms, and vegan broth. And if a dish with meat catches your eye, the restaurant will typically work to make the dish vegetarian upon request.
Gojo Ethiopian Cafe and Restaurant
This Ethiopian standout on Nolensville Pike boasts a vegetarian menu with traditional dishes (all of which may be spelled in various ways) like shiro wet (ground, seasoned chickpeas with onion and garlic), ful (lightly crushed fava beans with raw onion, tomato, and jalapeno), and tikle gomen (cabbage sauteed with garlic, ginger, and turmeric). Go ahead and order Gojo’s vegetarian combo to try all of these and more atop a base of tangy, spongy injera bread.
Taj Indian Restaurant
Ask a local where to find the best Indian food in Nashville, and Taj on Nolensville Pike will likely be at the top of the list. It’s so popular, in fact, that a wait is common during peak dinner times. Paneer, eggplant, and lentils form the base for an array of vegetarian highlights with varying levels of heat.