Nashville has experienced a huge transformation in the past few years. We’ve gone from being famous for fried chicken, BBQ, Southern comfort food, and underwhelming pancakes to now having a plethora of gluten-free, vegan, and organic options in every neighborhood.
But since Nashville's health food scene has expanded so rapidly, it can be hard to keep up with all the good-for-you restaurants and on-the-go healthy options serving up high-quality meals. Luckily, we’re here to help keep you in the know — here are the healthiest restaurants in the Music City right now.
Vui's is a healthy Vietnamese cafe featuring delicious fresh coconut, avocado shakes, and Vietnamese Iced Coffee to sip. Which means here, you can stock up on all the good stuff at—bone broth, summer rolls, a banh mi, a lotus root salad—and leave feeling light and energized. You can find the original cafe in Berry Hill, and its larger locale in Germantown but you'll find creative and healthy dishes no matter which one you hit up.
AVO off Charlotte Ave. is hard to miss thanks to the brightly-painted avocados dotting the building. More than just avocados, though, this upscale vegan eatery serves up a locally-sourced, plant-based menu that starts with small plates like Kimchi Spring Rolls and a must-order cheese plate and rounds things out with a handful of delicious burgers and pasta dishes. Even better, they're open for lunch and dinner, so you can stop by any time of the day to get you fix.
Across the street on 12th South, Epice is a Lebanese restaurant that’s great for a date night out. The cozy, relaxing, and modern space is small and intimate, making it so you’ll feel as if you’re sitting in a Lebanese kitchen eating family-prepared food. Don't believe us? Just take a look at the scales of turmeric, cayenne, and other spices that hang from the ceiling. And if you're still not convinced, we think the incredible flavor profiles of their health-forward signature dishes may change your mind.
Everything at The Wild Cow in East Nashville is made vegan, but they're also committed to catering so everyone's tastes, which is why anyone has the option to add dairy, and gluten-free options are clearly marked. The best part, though, is this place has all the plant-based “junk” food you can imagine, but prepared in the healthiest way possible, of course. So load up on the vegan nachos or buffalo tempeh, you’ve got no reason not to.
Just around the corner from The Wild Cow is Graze. This plant-based bistro and bar has vegan-style animal fries (you'll be dreaming of that melty cashew cheese days after you've left), cashew dip, and all sorts of other mouth-watering menu items you'll have to taste to believe. Want the yum earlier? They also offer one of the best brunches in town, which includes items like a root veggie biscuit, tofu rancheros, and cauliflower sausage biscuit.
A Berry Hill favorite, Sunflower Cafe touts a laid-back cafeteria style and delicious plant-based plates, making it welcoming to vegans and non-vegans alike. Walk along the bar to design your own bowl and pick whatever sides catch your eye. Oh, and get the caramelized apples. Trust us — just get them. Fitt Tip: they also cater, so the next time you've got a special event planned, hit them up, their platters surely impress your guests.
If you consider yourself a health-conscious eater, you’ve likely heard of True Food Kitchen. And Nashville is proud to welcome this famous superfood restaurant to Green Hills. The menu is chock full of options that everyone can get down with, including a vegan and vegetarian pizzas, a gluten-free tacos, and ethically-sourced chicken and steak. Plus, their selections change with the seasons, so there's always something new (and delicious) to try. In addition to cocktails, wine, and beer, they also offer fresh juice elixirs for when you need a health-filled boost.
Right in the heart of the city, Grabbagreen's Midtown eatery is making healthy eating quick and easy. Swing by for a grabba bowl or wrap, soup, or good-for-you snack all made with locally-sourced, organic ingredients that don't include anything artificial. They even serve up acai bowls, fresh-pressed juice, smoothies, and cold brew coffee. Consider this your one-stop shop for those busy, on-the-go weekdays. And if you don't happen to be in Midtown, you can also catch them at their second location in Cool Springs.
With locations peppered all over the city—8th Ave. S, Charlotte, East Nashville, West Haven, Downtown, and Hillsboro Village—this homegrown juice spot makes getting your daily dose of fruits and veggies a no-brainer. Even better, their location in Hillsboro Village is set up restaurant-style, and is slinging some pretty fancy options. Get ready to dig into egg sandwiches for breakfast and build-your-own salads for lunch and dinner. And if you need an extra kick to get you where you're going, you can opt to add superfoods like bee pollen, flax powder, and spirulina to any juice or smoothie.
Fido is a cozy cafe in historic Hillsboro Village with a large menu that has something for everyone — even the pickiest eater in your group. This place serves breakfast all day (savory and sweet), and their salads are substantial. We recommend the Big Chop (peppers, cabbage, mesclun, golden raisins, avocado, feta, and lemon vinaigrette). Not a salad person? Also on the menu are grass-fed burgers, a veggie burger, sandwiches, and healthy snacks.
Nestled on 10th Ave. S is BOX, a charming (and quiet) place to grab a healthy bite to eat. Serving breakfast and lunch, this local spot features incredibly creative menu items, including a mushroom veggie burger, avocado toast, panzanella squash salad, flattop steak & romaine, and whole wheat pancakes (duh). No matter what you choose, though, you can pair it with a piping hot cup of Bongo Java coffee and a sweet treat from their on-site bakery.
If you’re looking an upscale dining experience with a healthy twist, our top recommendation is Henrietta Red in Germantown. The staff are happy to lay out all their gluten-free and vegan options — the best being the savory mushroom steak. And the menu has loads of other healthy selections (think wood-roasted veggies and wild-caught fish). But we highly suggest trying the Kimchi Farro Bowl for brunch. Oh, and make sure you don’t skip the raw bar!
This Nashville staple has been serving the community for 30 years, and there's a good reason why they've been able to remain a local favorite even as handfuls of new and trendy restaurants stake their claim in the Music City. It may have something to do with the fact that no matter which of their three locations (in East Nashville, 100 Oaks, and on Charlotte Ave.) you pull up a seat at you can expect a hometown feel and a warm and welcoming environment. Couple that with their seasonal, healthy dishes, home-made dressings (available by the pint, no less!), perfectly-cooked rotisserie chicken, and vegan and gluten-free options, and you've got one of the best places to eat in Nashville.
**Updated May 2019.