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. You’ve got walnut chorizo-studded nachos blanketed in coconut queso, hefty meat-free Italian deli sandwiches, and even vegan barbecue at your fingertips. Yes, Music City has a growing array of options that put vegetables and non-meat proteins in the starring role, and that’s a very good thing.Read More
Vegans and Vegetarians Can Indulge at These Nashville Restaurants
It’s easier than ever to go meatless in Music City
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 faux-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 using Be-Hive cheese. A former Graze manager started a vegan bakery named 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 staples including mac and cheese, Nashville hot chicken strips, and decadent burgers served on freshly baked buns. Order for dine-in through a self-serve kiosk.
Succulent Vegan Tacos
Find Mexico City-style tacos brimming with seitan al pastor, chipotle carrots tinga, and soy asada alongside esquites (Mexican corn in a cup with mayo, lime, and tajin) 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, Succulent’s fare 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. 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.
Copper Branch Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurant
You’ll find this locally and Veteran-owned vegan and vegetarian restaurant downtown serving hearty breakfasts, lunches, and dinner with a side of the occasional live music performance. On the menu: power bowls, burgers topped with sriracha slaw, a slew of gluten-free pizzas, tacos, and even poutine topped with mushroom gravy. Pair the chai latte with a slice of New York-style cheesecake to cap off your meal.
Also featured in:
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 cheese sandwiches. Don’t forget to add an order of the dairy-free cheesecake here for dessert. You can also find a second Vegelicious location in Antioch.
Owner Annie Choo 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 gluten-free CBD fudge brownies.
Grins Vegetarian Cafe
Named after the Yiddish word for “vegetable,” Grins has been serving up vegetarian and 100% certified kosher fare from inside the Ben Shulman Center for Jewish Life for years. While it’s located on the Vanderbilt campus, the cafe’s quiches, black bean burgers, and belly-warming daily soup offerings are available to the public — not just students.
Also featured in:
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.
Also featured in:
Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine
Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine in the West End serves some of the most popular meatless food in town. The daily 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, Nolensville, and Franklin, including 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.