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Let’s be honest — “paleo-friendly” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Nashville cuisine. With just about every restaurant in town serving hot chicken and beer flowing freely down Broadway, the task of finding paleo options in The Music City can seem daunting.
Luckily, we did some of the leg work for you (we know you’re too tired from that CrossFit workout you did earlier). While we don’t have many (or any) strictly paleo restaurants, there has been an influx in Nashville restaurants focusing on fresh, ethical, and seasonal ingredients. Combined with a little creativity and customization, you’ll have no problem satisfying your caveman cravings.
When your burger craving hits, a bunless McDonald’s patty just isn’t gonna cut it. Farm Burger on Charlotte Ave., on the other hand, offers grass-fed beef burgers and a long list of toppings: arugula, local bacon, roasted garlic, and fresh jalapeños, just to name a few. In the mood for something a little greener? The Market Salad (changed daily and based on local, seasonal ingredients) or the Superfood Salad (topped with a burger and sprinkled with plenty of nutritional yeast, of course) make for a more-than-satisfying choice.
Best for a grab-and-go option, Turnip Truck’s hot bar does not disappoint if you’re working in The Gulch or on the East Side. With menu offerings constantly changing, you can always find at least one entrée that is listed as strictly paleo! Ingredients for their hot bar are easily accessible, too, making your decision a breeze. Paired with freshly-cooked veggies or a salad bar, it’s the perfect lunchtime solution if your meal prep fell to the wayside this week. And don’t forget to end your meal with a paleo brownie, easily found in the refrigerated section right next to the kombucha.
With “butcher” in the name, it’s no wonder that all of your paleo friends are flocking to this hot Germantown spot known for their oak-smoked meats, and most notably, their brisket. You’re sure to find something on their menu inspired by the neighborhood’s German roots and, surprisingly enough, Tex-Mex. We promise the unassuming combination works. Our recommendations? Sub corn tortillas for lettuce cups when diving into a plate of their street tacos. Or, go for the smoked turkey plate with a side of Brussels sprouts. Whether it’s their happy hour on the patio—one of the best in town—or the ideal setting for a romantic date night, Butchertown Hall is sure to impress.
If you’re searching for somewhere to take out-of-town guests while keeping your diet on track, look no further than Burger Up. The soul of the menu is in the name, with over a dozen different burgers to choose from. Substitute a bun for a lettuce wrap, order a side of the best sweet potato fries in Nashville, and get ready for a guilt-free, paleo meal dreams are made of. But if you’re looking for something lighter, go with one of the veggie-packed salads that are just as beautiful as they are tasty. Burger Up is perhaps one of the most indulgent paleo-friendly options in town and you’ve gotthree locations in 12 South, East Nashville and Cool Springs to choose from.
One of the most anticipated restaurants in Nashville is True Food Kitchen in Green Hills. Known by healthy food enthusiasts around the nation, Nashvillians patiently awaited the arrival of this infamous real food and flavor restaurant with specially-designed anti-inflammatory dishes. And yeehaw, does it deliver! Order up the charred cauliflower to start and any of their crush-worthy chopped salads or entrées catered to your paleo preferences. Cocktails and juices are freshly squeezed and dangerously refreshing. And with tons of delicious and diverse seasonal options on the menu, True Food Kitchen will satisfy even the pickiest of paleo eaters.
This list wouldn’t be complete without something on the sweeter side. Found in Franklin, East Nashville and 12 South, bring in Five Daughters Bakery for an office treat you won’t have to miss out on. The “Paleo Crushers”—void of any grains, sugar, gluten, or dairy—will satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising taste. The flavors of these deliciously dense donuts rotate by season with offerings like blueberry lemon, pumpkin, or peppermint patty. You can feel good about eating these donuts, just try not to eat the whole box.
**Updated by Jules Thompson, November 2018