UPDATED FEB 26, 2020
If you've been paying attention, you know Nashville has gone from fried chicken capital to a healthy restaurant mecca. Luckily, we’re here to help keep you in the know — here are the best good-for-you restaurants in the Music City right now.
Vui's in Berry Hill, Germantown, and Hunter's Station is your healthy go-to for delicious fresh coconut, avocado shakes, and Vietnamese ice coffee that really hits the spot on a hot Nashville day. Beyond drinks, you can stock up on all the good stuff—bone broth, summer rolls, tofu lettuce wraps, banh mis—and leave feeling light and energized. Even better, everything is made with whole foods, right-from-the-garden herbs, and no MSG, ever.
Thanks to the brightly-painted avocados dotting the building, it's hard to miss this Nashville staple off Charlotte Ave. 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. Round 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 your fix.
Across the street on 12th South, Epice is a Lebanese restaurant that’s great for date night. The cozy, relaxing, and modern space is small and intimate, 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. That's why they offer the option to add dairy to any dish 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, go ahead, load up on the vegan nachos or buffalo tempeh, you’ve got no reason not to.
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 plant-based plates that both vegans and non-vegans alike can get behind. 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: Their sister restaurant, Sunflower Bakehouse also offers vegan and gluten-free breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
If you consider yourself a health-conscious eater, you’ve likely heard of True Food Kitchen. And lucky for Nashville, the famous superfood restaurant has a location in Green Hills. The menu is chock full of options that everyone can get down with, including vegan and vegetarian pizzas, gluten-free tacos, and ethically-sourced chicken and steak. Plus, their selections change with the seasons, so there's always something new to try. In addition to cocktails, wine, and beer, they also offer fresh juice elixirs for when you need a health-filled boost.
At Zoë’s Kitchen, they aim for fulfilling, not just full or filling. Mediterranean is the name of their game and they embrace the naturally healthy aspects of the culture with a lineup of kebabs, salads, bowls, and of course, lots of hummus. Grab a meal for yourself at any of their local shops — or be the MVP of mealtime and get a family-style meal to go.
Right in the heart of the city, Grabbagreen's Midtown eatery is making healthy eating quick and easy. Swing by to grab a bowl, wrap, or soup all made with locally-sourced, organic ingredients and nothing artificial. They even serve up acai bowls, fresh-pressed juice, smoothies, and cold brew coffee. So, 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.
Fido is a cozy cafe in historic Hillsboro Village with a large menu that has something for 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 tons of good-for-you small bites. Oh, and bring your pup along, they have a menu for your best friend, too.
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 "Roasted Broccoli Toast". Just make sure you don’t skip the raw bar!
This Nashville restaurant has been serving the community for 30 years, and there's a good reason it has been able to maintain its status as a local favorite. It may have something to do with the fact that no matter which of their three locations you pull up a seat at, you can expect a hometown feel and a warm, welcoming environment. Couple that with their seasonal, healthy dishes, house-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 Music City.
Create your ideal Mediterranean meal at CAVA in Green Hills. Load up a pita, a bowl of greens or grains with as many proteins and veggies as you can handle. Then top it off with some house-made dips and spreads. With nearly 59 million combos (for real, they counted), your taste buds will never get bored.
What was originally a small sandwich shop with a mission to put better ingredients between their bread has grown both within and beyond Nashville. The East Nashville restaurant is bigger and better than in its origins, going beyond the bread to offer an eclectic menu that changes frequently. The Butcher & Bee sources locally, so the menu reflects what they find that’s fresh. Though, trust that no matter what they’ve got cooking, you’re sure to find something to satisfy.
If you think a landlocked state can’t have good sushi, think again. Kawai Poke Company brings the flavors of the Hawaiian Islands to East Nashville. Build a bowl with fresh fish and all the fixin's or cool off with a tropical smoothie. Load ’em up as you like and know that they’ll happily help all diet types, including those avoiding animal products, dairy, or gluten.
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