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Vegan Nashville travel and restaurant guide.
Thinking you might not find any vegetarian or vegan cuisine in the midst of meaty southern cuisine? Think again! I’ve got an entire vegan Nashville travel guide, including everywhere I ate during my time in the city.
Nashville is a very vegan-friendly destination and there are numerous restaurants with options. Thankfully, there are also entirely vegetarian and vegan establishments serving up traditional food of the south prepared completely using plants. Amazing!
UPDATED: July 6, 2018
THE SOUTHERN V
When I visited The Southern V, they operated out of a small, blue trailer. Those in the know line up early for their weekend eats, even before they open. It’s that good.
From its humble roots, The Southern V is moving into their own restaurant location. I can’t wait to return to sample their insanely delicious meals and perhaps try something new. If you know someone who is hesitant to try a vegan meal, take them here. Right now. Do it.
I arrived bright and early and ordered the hot chick’n and waffles. Even though there was a big line-up, my food was made quickly. Everything tasted so good. I only wished that I had more than one stomach so I could order another meal.
Be sure to check The Southern V Facebook page to see when their new restaurant is open.
My top recommendation for best breakfast spot in this vegan Nashville travel guide goes to The Southern V.
The Southern V
(The new location, when it opens!)
Although I’m not a fan of avocados (sorry, guys), I’m a HUGE fan of AVO!
Focusing on both raw and cooked vegan cuisine, AVO serves up organic, biodynamic, healthy meals with a focus on seasonal ingredients. Beautifully designed, the restaurant is perfect for a date night or gathering with family and friends.
Everything on the menu looked amazing, so it was really tough to choose. I decided to try the braised yu choi (soy and sesame braised greens, miso butter, and nori dust) as my starter, and the burger as my main (lentil and walnut patty, vegan muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, beet ketchup, chickpea mayo). It’s definitely one of my favourite veggie burgers ever.
If I returned, I’d like to try the kimchi spring rolls, sesame nori popcorn, cheese board, pad Thai, kale Caesar, or the mushroom Reuben. SO MANY CHOICES.
If there’s one place I’d choose to go for dinner in this vegan Nashville guide, I’d choose AVO.
Graze is a plant-based Bistro in East Nashville. The focus here is vegan comfort food. Essentially, your favourite meaty dishes have gone vegan, and you won’t miss the lack of animal products for a second.
Highlights from the regular menu include chickpea bay cakes (veggie crab cakes), seitan banh mi (with a wheat meat substitute), spaghetti and wheatballs, and a Caesar wrap.
While I didn’t taste any selections from Graze’s regular menu, I dined there during their weekend brunch. On weekends between 9am and 3pm, you’ll find an entirely different menu, perfect for easing into a relaxing weekend.
It was my first time trying southern comfort food in the south, and it did not disappoint. I ordered the hot tempeh biscuit (cast iron tempeh, tossed in hot chicken spices, served on a biscuit with ranch, coleslaw & red onion) and my omnivorous friend ordered the cauliflower sausage biscuit (house-made biscuit and veggie sausage, tempeh bacon, arugula, avocado, red onion and hollandaise).
Graze is an ideal place for a vegan to bring all of their friends as it’s truly a meal that everyone will enjoy.
THE WILD COW
The Wild Cow is right next door to Graze in East Nashville, forming a super vegan-friendly pocket of eateries in town. It’s a relaxed, comfortable environment, making it a great place to gather with your pals for a tasty meal.
With a focus on local, organic ingredients, you’ll find fresh and flavourful meals here. Many items are marked gluten-free and everything is vegan.
You’ll find a great selection of vegan desserts here, mostly freshly baked at the local bakery, Vegan Vee.
A fun fact that I love about the Wild Cow: they donate 2.5% of sales every Thursday to a local charity that changes every month. It’s awesome to dine at a restaurant that supports its own community. They even have a section on their website with a “Dog of the Month” – a pup looking to be adopted.
I ordered the buffalo beans and greens bowl (sauteed garlic kale, pinto beans, brown rice, shredded carrots, tofu or tempeh, with house buffalo sauce and vegan ranch dressing) and my friend ordered the veggie quinoa bowl (roasted seasonal vegetables, quinoa, toasted pumpkin seeds, garlic aioli). My meal was deceivingly filling and had just the right amount of heat.
For dessert, I ordered a chocolate donut and my friend got a double chocolate cookie. Every meal should end with a chocolatey dessert, right?
The Wild Cow
Grins Vegetarian Cafe is a veggie spot with several vegan options on the Vanderbilt university campus. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I dined there around lunch time, and it was a really popular eatery. Even still, my meal was prepared within a decent amount of time. While you order at a takeout counter, there are plenty of tables nearby if you choose to dine in.
For breakfast, your vegan choices include: grilled cheese (with Daiya vegan cheese), the superfood wrap, and breakfast tacos.
For lunch, the vegan options are: the same options as above, Nashville hot tofu, buffalo cauliflower bowl, and the vegan mac and cheese (what I ordered).
The mac and cheese was an excellent portion size and satisfied my cravings for melty, cheesy goodness.
Need a quick meal on the go? I recommend Grins in this vegan Nashville guide as your go-to spot.
Grins Vegetarian Cafe
Confession: I didn’t dine here. I had a couple of cocktails that were super yummy. However, Pinewood Social has vegan offerings on their menu that you might want to try between drinking and bowling.
Roasted garlic hummus, fried broccoli, and a couple of salads are some of the vegan choices. I would definitely make a meal out of these shared plates and salads!
Unfortunately, the Cupcake ATM is closed in Nashville. Thank you to a reader for the tip!
Yes, you read correctly. It’s an ATM machine that dispenses cupcakes! There’s one vegan cupcake at Sprinkles Cupcake ATM in the 12 South neighbourhood, and it’s a red velvet cupcake. And it’s absolutely delicious.
Seeing that little cupcake box appear in the ATM window brought a huge smile to my face.
Sprinkles Cupcake ATM
2606 12th Ave S
JENI’S ICE CREAMS
Jeni’s has multiple locations all over Nashville and beyond, though I went to the location at the Factory at Franklin. There was one flavour of vegan ice cream, advertised as dairy-free. It was a dark chocolate truffle made out of coconut milk, and it was heavenly.
Jeni’s at the Factory at Franklin
230 Franklin Rd. 11S
Multiple locations around Nashville and the USA
PLACES FOR NEXT TIME
With only three days in Nashville, I only had a limited amount of time to try several vegan meals at restaurants with plant-based offerings. However, there are a few other places that I’d like to try for next time to round out my vegan Nashville guide:
- Coco Greens (212 Louise Ave): A vegan cafe with juices, nutritious vegan eats, takeout meals, and desserts.
- Lynne Lorainne’s (1100 Fatherland St Ste 102 ): A vegetarian smoothie bar with wraps, breakfast bowls, and salads.
- Sunflower Cafe (2834 Azalea Place): Wraps, burgers, side dishes, and desserts. Tons of choices here and all vegan, with the exception of one item.
- The Wild Muffin (998B Davidson Dr): Gluten-free bakery with vegan cupcakes.
- Woodlands (3415 W End Ave): Indian restaurant with mostly all vegan items and some vegetarian. Be sure to ask which ones contain dairy.
- Vegan Vee Bakery (306 46th Ave N): It’s a vegan and gluten-free bakery. While I didn’t visit their bakery, I got to try one of their sweet treats at The Wild Cow. Can’t wait to visit the bakery itself next time.
If you’re staying at an apartment or accommodation with a kitchen, be sure to pop into Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s grocery stores for packaged meals or items from the hot bar/salad bar.
Love coffee? Check out my list of the best coffee shops in Nashville.
And I know there are even more places that have vegan options in Nashville, too. Thankfully, as veganism becomes more common, the options continue to grow, becoming even better and better. If you have found a delicious meal, please leave your suggestions in the comments below to add more options to this vegan Nashville restaurant collection.
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