Nashville has a thriving food culture, but between hot chicken shacks and barbeque joints, where is a vegan supposed to eat? Don’t worry! You have plenty of options.
Whether you’re in town for school or just passing through, take a look at the city’s best vegan restaurants. Nashville may be a meat lover’s dream, but vegans have a lot to choose from too.
Here are the 10 best vegan restaurants to visit while in Nashville.
1. The Wild Cow
The Wild Cow may be a nod to Nashville’s great barbeque tradition, but it’s less about eating the cow than following in its grazing footsteps. This is a Nashville mainstay, and it’s one of the best vegan restaurants Nashville has to offer.
All the menu items are vegan, so feel free to try out new things. Whether it’s the Buffalo tempeh strips or the chipotle seitan tacos, the menu offers a variety of things to snack on and share.
Keep in mind, though, that The Wild Cow is closed on Tuesdays, so you may need to plan your trip accordingly.
2. Thai Phooket
If you’re craving a little Thai food, Nashville has you covered. Thai Phooket is one of the city’s best vegan restaurants. Nashville has a lot of restaurants to offer, but this one shouldn’t be missed.
Don’t let the exterior scare you away. This is one of those holes-in-the-wall that are a gem once you get past the rough look. Order one of their veggie curries like the Jungle curry served with bamboo shoots, zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, basil, and young pepper corns.
Be careful about your heat level, though. Tell your waiter the specifications you would like; it will make the difference between pleasant heat and a searing hot meal. These guys don’t play around when it comes to spiciness.
3. Grins Vegetarian Café
Are you frequently on the Vanderbilt campus or do you just enjoy pretending to be a student from time to time? Either way, if you find yourself nearby when school is in session, you may want to check out Grins Vegetarian Café.
Be sure to grab a superfood wrap full of nutritious goodness including avocado, quinoa, and edamame. Alternatively, you can try out a bowl of vegan mac n’ cheese. Breakfast is served from 7:30 am to 11 am. You should get there early or you’ll be battling the tide of hungry students rushing to class.
4. Sunflower Café
Nestled in Berry Hill, The Sunflower Cafe is one of the best vegan restaurants Nashville has to offer. This cute little pastel yellow house may be reminiscent of your grandmother’s home, but it serves up some serious eats.
The menu is full of entrée salads, wraps, sandwiches, and plant-based veggie bowls to suit anyone’s taste. They also have a variety of hot and cold sides to choose from, so don’t forget your side of sesame kale or curried chickpea salad when you place your order.
Should you find yourself in the West End, you may want to wander over to one of the city’s best vegan restaurants. Nashville may not be known for its Indian cuisine, but maybe it should be. Woodlands offers vegetarian cuisine inspired by North and South Indian dishes.
Check out their daily lunch buffet that’s open from 11 am to 2 pm all week long or stop by for dinner until 9 pm.
While there, make sure to try their wide selection of delectable samosas, curries, and paneers. Also, don’t forget to order the mango lassi to wash it all down.
6. Vegan Vee
If you’re looking for a good vegan bakery, Vegan Vee may be the one for you. They offer vegan-friendly gluten-free delights such as doughnuts, brownies, muffins, cakes, and truffles.
You have to plan ahead before you drop by this specialty bakery because they have very limited operating hours. And if you have a hankering for some vegan sweets outside of business hours, you can try local vegan restaurants that carry Vegan Vee desserts like The Wild Cow.
7. The Southern V
Who says you can’t give into your southern food craving if you’re vegan? The Southern V gives you all your comfort food favorites with a creative plant-based twist. So the next time you’re in the Buchanan Street Business district, stop by for a guilt-free bite to eat.
Can you get Nashville’s famous hot chicken here? You bet! You can also order the BBQ jackfruit nachos to share with your party. With gluten-free selections, a kid’s menu, and yummy weekend breakfast menu, this little eatery has it all.
Showing that even vegans love a little southern comfort food, this is certainly one of the best vegan restaurants Nashville has to offer.
The next time you want contemporary dining with a creative menu, you may want to check out Avo. All their selections are vegan and naturally gluten-free. They are also 100% kosher and locally sourced.
From the house made kimchi to the zucchini noodle pasta topped with sun-dried tomatoes, hemp-basil pesto, almond ricotta, and cherry tomatoes, Avo’s menu is inventive and fun. They also have a happy hour with discounts on popular favorites like avocado margaritas and gluten-free beer.
If you find yourself in East Nashville, you may want to check out Graze. The sister restaurant to The Wild Cow, this eatery caters to vegans on the go who are looking for casual dining options.
Don’t miss their mac n’ chorizo served with seitan chorizo sausage and cashew cheese or snack on their chickpea bay cakes. These little faux crab cakes are made with chickpeas, tofu, cashews, hijiki seaweed, and topped with a horseradish aioli.
The restaurant is open Tuesday through Friday from 4 pm to 11 pm. They’re closed on Mondays, so plan accordingly before you stop by.
10. Little Octopus
The next time you have a party with people who have mixed dietary needs, you may want to check out Little Octopus. It’s not exclusively vegan, but there are plenty of options to make the most finicky eater happy.
These little inventive dishes focus on fresh and whimsical cuisine. Try out their eggplant plate served with sake katsu, cucumber, and shiso buds. While many of the dishes may appeal to seafood lovers, there is an ample selection that is also gluten and dairy-free as well as vegan.
Nashville may be the heart of country music, but it’s also home to a rising vegan movement. So the next time you find yourself in the city, check out some of these great plant-based restaurants. Eating in the city is so much more than hot chicken and barbeque and these eateries strive to prove that.