Nashville has undergone 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 is a BFD.
This roundup doesn’t just include the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants — Nashville has expanded its health food scene to include a range of good-for-you restaurants and on-the-go healthy options serving up high-quality meals suited for all types of eaters. And we’re here to help keep you up to date on the healthiest restaurants in Nashville right now.
Stock up on all the good stuff at Vui’s Kitchen—bone broth, summer rolls, a banh mi, a lotus root salad—and you’ll leave feeling light and energized. Vui’s is a healthy Vietnamese cafe featuring delicious fresh coconut, avocado shakes, and Vietnamese Iced Coffee to sip. You can find Vui’s original cafe in Berry Hill, and its larger locale in Germantown.
AVO off Charlotte Ave. is hard to miss thanks to the brightly-painted avocados dotting the building. More than just avocados, this upscale vegan plant-based cheese plate, and try some of our favorite dishes, including Mushroom Tartare Toast, Seasonal Squash Bowl, and the Zucchini Pasta Verde.
Across the street on 12th South, Epice is a Lebanese restaurant that’s great for a date night out. The cozy, relaxing, and modern restaurant is small and intimate, making it so you’ll feel as if you’re sitting in a Lebanese kitchen eating family-prepared food. Scales of turmeric, cayenne, and other spices hang from the ceiling, so you know your food is prepared with the healthiest ingredients and ounces and ounces of flavor.
The Wild Cow
Everything at The Wild Cow in East Nashville is made vegan, but anyone has the option to add dairy, and gluten-free options are clearly marked. The best part, though, is this place has all the best 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 (that melty cashew cheese goes straight to your soul), cashew dip, and the best vegan brunch in town. Want the yum earlier? Brunch 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.
True Food Kitchen
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 for every diet, including a vegan seasonal squash pizza with almond ricotta cheese, a gluten-free spaghetti squash casserole, and grass-fed steak. In addition to cocktails, wine, and beer, True Food offers fresh juice elixirs, too.
Right in the heart of the city, Grabbagreen is making healthy eating quick and easy with their new location in Midtown, but you can also catch them at their second location in Cool Springs. Grabba bowl, grabba wrap, or grab an elixir and good-for-you snack. Their menu even has acai bowls, smoothies, and coffee. This is your one-stop shop for those busy, on-the-go weekdays.
The Urban Juicer
The Urban Juicer provides healthy juices, smoothies, and more all throughout town thanks to their many locations — 8th Ave. S, Charlotte, East Nashville, West Haven, Downtown, and Hillsboro Village. And their newest location in Hillsboro Village is set up restaurant style with some fancier options. Get ready to dig into egg sandwiches for breakfast and build-your-own salads for lunch and dinner.
Frothy Monkey is easily one of the more reliable places to get a good (and healthy) bite to eat in Nashville. Set up all over town — and even in Chattanooga, Frothy Monkey serves up sandwiches, soups, salads, and farm-to-table entrées to 12th Ave. S, Downtown, The Nations, and Franklin. Fitt Tip: if you don’t want to wait in line, avoid stopping by during busy hours like Sunday brunch, or hit up their largest location in The Nations.
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 and is a quieter place to grab a bite to eat known as BOX. Serving breakfast and lunch, BOX’s best menu items include their mushroom veggie burger, avocado toast, panzanella squash salad, flattop steak & romaine, and whole wheat pancakes (duh). But really, there are no bad choices here.
If you’re looking for something more upscale that will still meet all of your dietary restrictions, 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 cauliflower 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!
**Updated by Kate Wilke, October 2018