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Nicholas Milewski

MAY 16, 2019

No doubt, Southern soul cooking goes heavy on the meat and dairy, but there’s a growing veggie-loving community in Nashville that’s pushing to make the most of the abundance of fresh, local produce.

Thanks to the surrounding farmlands and a whole bunch of foodies who like to keep it sustainable, Nashville’s got some of the best veggie eats in the South. And not to worry — we’ll help you weed them out from the fried chicken shacks.

If you find yourself near Centennial Park, you’ll want to pop into AVO, a 100% plant based restaurant off of Charlotte Ave. Sink your fork into a mostly gluten-free menu of raw and cooked dishes packed full of locally-sourced vegan-friendly ingredients. Oh and did we mention this modern, healthy restaurant is set inside a big shipping container? Yes, a shipping container. And, if the name didn’t tip you off, they are best known for their avocado margaritas! We’ll see you during happy hour.

The Wild Cow is one of the OG fully-vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Nashville. And they don’t just stop there — almost everything is organic, locally sourced, and made in-house from whole foods. They’re one of those places that really cares about what they’re feeding people, and it shows in the quality meals they serve. Speaking of quality, be sure to get down with their sweet potato and black bean tacos the next time you’re in the Eastland area.

Vui's Kitchen


Yes, this place is pho real. With two locations in Berry Hill and Germantown, Vui’s Kitchen does Southeast Asian food right — by that we mean, light, fresh, and full of veggies. Certified by Eat REAL Tennessee, you know you’re getting a holistic and environmentally-friendly as well as mouth-watering meal. While Vui’s offers paleo delights like bone broth, you can also make most items vegetarian or vegan. Ever had a veggie banh mi with lemongrass tofu? Well, you should. Like, right now.

With a name like Coco Greens, you can definitely expect some hardcore veg-love. And Coco’s delivers on all fronts. This fully-vegan restaurant and market serves up their plant-based dishes even late into the night. So the next time you’re out in Music Row, swing by the Louise Ave shop for a meatless snack, alkaline water, or any one of their many healthy products.

Who knew there was a veggie cafe on the Vanderbilt campus? Um, we did, because we’re looking out for you. Grins slings some amazing vegetarian soups and sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every weekday. Don’t worry — they’ve got plenty of parking for non-students. Just make sure you do yourself a favor and dig into one of their vegan cookies. You won’t regret it.

It’s time to put the laid-back, super-casual vegan cafe trend to rest and open the door to more upscale vegan eats. We love cheap vegan food, don’t get us wrong, but we could use more places that focus just as much on the atmosphere and experience as they do on the food. Graze is exactly that. Right on the corner of Eastland Ave. in East Nashville, Graze is a buzzing vegan restaurant that offers brunch and entrées like roasted veggie alfredo, seitan steak and potatoes, and spaghetti and wheatballs.

Over in the quaint neighborhood of Berry Hill, Sunflower Cafe serves up some of the best burgers in all of Nashville. Yeah, their veggie patties can compete with the OG meat variety — they’re that good. Oh, and if burgers aren’t your thing, head over for a bit of vegetarian barbecue. (No, they didn’t!) Yup, they did, and it’s amazing.

If you consider yourself a hardcore herbivore, we’ve got some news: the best, authentic Indian food in Nashville also happens to be fully vegetarian. Woodlands is right past Midtown on West End Ave., and here, they put out a Palak Paneer (creamy spinach curry) that’s absolutely to die for. They also offer plenty of dishes with vegan-friendly options, so bring the whole crew.

Think that eating vegan means you’ll forever miss out on Nashville hot chicken? Well, The Southern V in the Buchanan Street Business District is the answer to your prayers. Sink your teeth into their vegan hot fried chick’n dish, and while you’re at it, order a side of mac n’ cheeze and a doughnut for dessert. While it may not look like it, everything on this made-from-scratch menu is completely plant-based. The weekend breakfast menu even puts hot chick’n in a biscuit. Need we say more?

Nestled in the heart of Sylvan Park on the West side of town, Vegan Vee is a dedicated vegan and gluten-free bakery boasting American and European delights like doughnuts, muffins, cookies, cakes, and more. All ingredients are organic and no artificial flavors or sweeteners are used. The only downside is you only have three days a week to indulge! Make sure to stop by Friday-Sunday until 2pm.

Using food for fuel is the idea behind the menu at E+ROSE Wellness Cafe. If you’re in the mood for a smoothie bowl, avocado toast, fresh pressed juice, or snack on-the-go, they have you covered with plenty of vegetarian options to keep you full and happy. Stop by in the Brentwood area or downtown across from The Diner on 3rd Ave. for a refreshing treat.


**Updated by Jules Thompson, September 2018