Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Nashville

Published by: Bounce19 July, 2022

Nashville, TN, is a southern city in a southern state. And historically, that has meant that the cuisine served here tends to be heavy in meat. Whether it's barbecue or that classic Nashville dish, hot chicken, this city takes its carnivorous nature very seriously.

But times have changed. Just as in other cities around the world, Nashville has been opening up to vegetarian food and vegan dishes in recent years, and every year, new vegetarian and vegan restaurants seem to spring up in the city to serve those looking to limit their meat intake. Whether you're a vegetarian for ethical, health, or environmental reasons, you won't find it hard to enjoy some great vegetarian food in Nashville.

Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Nashville, and get ready to enjoy some truly delicious food. With more and more vegetarian options popping up in the city all the time, Nashville is rapidly becoming a great place to eat for herbivores.

Graze

What's it like:

Nashville is famous for its hot chicken, but traditionally, vegetarians have been excluded from trying this quintessential Tennessee dish. Well, not anymore. Head to Graze and try their hot tempeh sandwich for a cruelty-free version of this Nashville classic.

Of course, there's more on the menu here than just that. The juice bar is a great place to get fresh-squeezed juice that will boost your health while you explore, and there's a weekend brunch that makes it a great place for a leisurely dining experience. Located in downtown Nashville, this popular restaurant also offers some gluten-free options, making it a great place to try southern food while remaining strictly vegetarian.

Our recommendation:

Do you even need to ask? The tempeh sandwich uses authentic hot chicken seasonings to replicate this Nashville classic, and there is also a mild version if the regular style is too spicy for you.

Location:

1888 Eastland Ave, Nashville, TN

The Wild Cow

What's it like:

Located in trendy East Nashville, The Wild Cow is a health-focused eatery that offers both vegetarian and vegan options and gluten-free meals. You'll find vegan cheese, sandwiches, wraps, smoothies, and nutrition-packed veggie bowls here, making it a great place to eat if you're trying to be healthy while avoiding meat. On Thursdays, 2% of sales are donated to a local charity, so you can feel good about eating here.

Our recommendation:

Try the Carrot Dawg with homemade hummus for a vegetarian version of a classic American treat. The Wild Cow is one of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in Nashville and has been serving this and many other popular veggie dishes for long enough to have perfected their process.

Location:

1100 Fatherland Street, Nashville, TN

Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine

What's it like:

Indian food is usually a safe bet for traveling vegetarians who want to know they're eating meat-free. Woodlands is a Nashville institution and is completely vegetarian, so you can try just about anything on the menu and not have to worry about reading through the list of ingredients. One of the most popular vegetarian restaurants in the city, Woodlands also offers some vegan options thanks to the diversity of Indian cuisine.

Visit on the weekends to sample the popular buffet. This is an excellent way to try a bunch of different dishes, and if you're not too familiar with Indian food, you're bound to find some new favorites here.

Our recommendation:

The menu is huge and filled with options, but the Aloo Gobi is a classic dish that you can't go wrong with. This cauliflower and potato curry is flavorful and filling, making it a great option if you want something hearty. The masala dosa is also an excellent choice, bringing a taste of South Indian cuisine to Nashville, TN.

Location:

3415 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN

Sunflower Cafe

What's it like:

If you're looking for a great vegan restaurant in Nashville, Sunflower Cafe is a place you can't afford to ignore. Located in Berry Hill, this café focuses on healthy food, and nearly all the items on the menu are completely vegan. There's also a great selection of gluten-free items.

Sunflower Cafe focuses on local ingredients and simple but delicious food. Think gigantic salads, quinoa bowls, and an impressive selection of wraps. But perhaps most exciting is the vegan barbecue options on offer here. If you feel you're missing out on the whole barbecue culture so prevalent in the South, this is a great place to get your barbecue fix without eating meat.

Our recommendation:

Along with vegan BBQ, sunflower Cafe is famous for its veggie burgers. These gourmet burgers go far beyond the usual bland veggie patty and combine all the best produce and flavors from the local area.

Location:

2834 Azalea Place, Nashville, TN

Be Hive Deli

What's it like:

If you're looking for a great vegetarian sandwich in Nashville, Be Hive Deli is the place to go. This local deli specializes in sandwiches made with homemade focaccia bread, and there are plenty of vegetarian options to choose from. The Caprese is a great option if you're craving something light, or go for the roasted portobello if you want something a little more filling. Alternatively, try out the vegan pepperoni for something truly unexpected.

This deli is also a market that sells its products direct to customers, so if you're a vegetarian, this is a great place for unique food souvenirs.

Our recommendation:

The Be Hive Deli offers a wide variety of sandwiches, all of which are delicious. However, the real star of the show is the soup. The soup of the day is always fresh and flavorful, and there are usually at least two vegetarian options to choose from. So whether you're looking for a quick lunch or a tasty snack, the soup at Be Hive Deli is always a great option.

Location:

2414 Gallatin Ave, Nashville, TN

Gojo Ethiopian Restaurant

Nashville may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of great Ethiopian food, but this restaurant flies the flag for Ethiopia in the capital of Tennessee. Ethiopian food has been vegetarian and even vegan friendly for centuries, making this one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Nashville.

The menu is full of stews and curries, all served with injera bread. Injera is a spongy sourdough bread that's used as both an eating utensil and a plate, so it's perfect for messy dishes like doro wat (a chicken stew) or misir wat (a lentil stew).

Our recommendation:

If you're not sure what to order, give the vegetarian combo a try so that you can sample a little bit of everything on the menu. For those who don't like too much spice, try the gomen wat, which is collard greens in a mild sauce.

Sunflower Bakehouse

What's it like:

Owned by the same people as the popular Sunflower Cafe, one of Nashville's most popular vegetarian and vegan restaurants, this gluten-free, vegan bakery is the place to come if you're hungry for baked goods that don't use animal products.

The menu changes daily, but you can always expect a selection of delicious vegan cupcakes, cookies, and cakes. The cinnamon rolls are particularly popular, and they're big enough to satisfy even the heartiest of appetites. If you're looking for something savory, the quiche is also worth trying.

There's also more on offer here than just baked goods. You'll also find other vegan dishes and gluten-free options like sandwiches and wraps, with a similar menu to that you'll find at the Sunflower Cafe.

Our recommendation:

The Sunflower Bakehouse is best known for its cupcakes, and for good reason. These light and fluffy cakes come in a variety of flavors, from classic chocolate to more unusual options like lavender Earl Grey. They're all vegan, and they're all delicious.

Location:

2414 Lebanon Pike, Nashville, TN

Vegelicious LLC

What's it like:

If you're looking for soul food in Nashville, TN, but you want to avoid meat, Vegelicious is a place you simply have to try. The unassuming restaurant is easy to miss, once you find your way inside, you're in for a plant-based treat. You can get a meat-free hot chicken sandwich here, along with meat substitutes like seitan chorizo, a black bean burger, and a vegan BBQ chicken Po Boy.

Vegelicious also offers sides like vegan mac and cheese, black-eyed peas, and collard greens. The restaurant has a southern feel, but the food is all plant-based. So if you want to enjoy some good old-fashioned comfort food without the meat, Vegelicious is the place for you.

Our recommendation:

The BBQ chicken Po Boy at Vegelicious is our top pick. The seitan chicken is crispy and flavorful, and the vegan BBQ sauce is perfect. It's served on a fresh baguette with lettuce, tomato, and pickles, and it's big enough to satisfy even the hungriest of appetites.

Location:

513B Fisk Street, Nashville, TN

AVO

Another of Nashville's vegetarian and vegan restaurants that takes the health of its customers seriously, AVO offers both raw and cooked vegan food designed to give you a perfect balance of nutrition. The menu here is 100% plant-based and kosher certified, and many menu options are gluten-free, making this a great place to come for those with special dietary requirements.

But just because the food is healthy doesn't mean it's not delicious. This socially conscious restaurant offers dishes like kimchi spring rolls, imitation crab cakes, a selection of veggie burgers, and a raw Pad Thai. They also offer a small but tasty section of brunch options that keep customers coming back for more.

Our recommendation:

The kimchi spring rolls are a must-try at AVO. These light and crispy rolls are filled with a flavorful kimchi mixture, and they're served with a sweet chili sauce for dipping. They're the perfect start to your meal or a tasty snack on their own.

Location:

3 City Avenue, Nashville, TN

Conclusion

Like most cities in the southern US, Nashville has a proud heritage of barbecue and soul food that is rightfully famous around the world. But if you're concerned that you won't find anything green to eat in Music City, you couldn't be more wrong.

The truth is, the city is changing, and it seems like a new vegetarian restaurant or vegan café springs up somewhere in the city every other week. The trendy East Nashville area is often your best bet to find some of these plant-based restaurants, but you'll also find some good options in downtown Nashville if you're looking for a vegetarian or even a vegan restaurant.

The restaurants on this list offer more than just the traditional veggie wrap or veggie burger — although you'll find plenty of those, too, if that's what you're looking for. The vegetarian restaurants of Nashville offer everything from Southern comfort food to Indian cuisine to macrobiotic health food, so whatever you're looking to eat, chances are good you'll find it here. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Nashville and get ready to dive into the plant-based cuisine on offer. Most likely, you'll be pleasantly surprised by just how many vegetarian options the city has.

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