Your Comprehensive Guide To The Best Vegan/Vegetarian Food In Nashville

© The Wild Cow, Used with Permission
© The Wild Cow, Used with Permission
Photo of Katie Miller
8 October 2016

When it comes to Nashville’s food scene, the Southern staples that the city is most known for (think hot chicken or meat and three) might not exactly be vegetarian friendly. But this does not mean that those on vegan and vegetarian diets are destined for disappointing dry salads; in fact, Nashville contains a plethora of vegan/vegetarian-friendly restaurants serving a myriad of cuisines. Read on for a guide to the best plant-based (and plant-friendly) restaurants offering dishes that are just as inventive, filling, and satisfying as any meat-based meal.

Strictly Vegetarian

A few of the best restaurants in town offering exclusively vegetarian and vegan fare.

The Wild Cow

Restaurant, Vegan, Vegetarian, American, $$$
Map View
Ask any in-the-know local for the best vegetarian spot in Nashville, and chances are that they will name The Wild Cow. And for good reason: this East Nashville joint is one of the city’s most popular casual restaurants among vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. This quirky, no-frills restaurant offers dishes that range from the standard vegetarian fare (hummus, a wide range of fresh salads and soups, etc.) to the eclectic (vegetarian twists on the BLT, reuben, Philly cheesesteak, and french dip sandwiches, for example). The Buffalo Beans and Greens bowl is a particularly fantastic option; consisting of sautéed garlicky kale, pinto beans, and brown rice topped with tofu or tempeh tossed in buffalo sauce and vegan ranch, this dish is not only delicious but will keep you fueled for hours. (Tip: The Wild Cow is closed on Tuesdays and, due to its small size, fills up quickly. If you arrive during peak dinnertime hours, plan on a wait before you’re able to snag a table.)

Sunflower Cafe

This bright-yellow restaurant, tucked away in Berry Hill, offers some of the best vegan food in the city. In fact, with the exception of its bread and its option of adding dairy cheese to your dish, all of its menu items are vegan, in addition to being prepared with primarily fresh, local, and organic ingredients. While the entire menu is delicious, their house-made veggie burgers and their vegan BBQ sandwiches are particularly mouth-watering. Bonus: while finding quality vegetarian food can often require you to shell out a few more dollars per meal, Sunflower Cafe manages to be remarkably affordable.


Not only is every single item on the menu at AVO — a relentlessly hip and relatively new player in the Nashville vegetarian food scene — vegan, but many of its menu offerings are also raw, meaning that they are not heated above 118 degrees. Unlike The Wild Cow and Sunflower, AVO is a bit more upscale, and its small menu may not satisfy diehard meat-eaters, but in terms of inventiveness and dedication to using only the freshest and most sustainable ingredients possible, it is certainly worth a visit. Particular standouts are the zucchini pasta verde and the AVO Margarita (which is made with avocado — and, yes, is way better than it sounds).

AVO, 3 City Ave #200, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 329 2377


Restaurant, Indian, Vegetarian, $$$
Map View
You may have heard Woodlands mentioned in conversations about the very best Indian food in Nashville, but what you may not realize about this fantastic hidden gem is that it is also entirely vegetarian. The extensive menu offers a large variety of traditional Indian dishes such as pani puri (crispy rice puffs served with spiced chickpea gravy), dosa ka dhaba (traditional South Indian crepes), and curries, in addition to a number of fabulous desserts; many of the dishes can also be made vegan. (Tip: Go for the lunch buffet, from 11am to 2:30pm on weekdays and 11:30am to 2:30pm on weekdays, to sample as much of this top-notch vegetarian fare as your stomach can hold for the cost of a regular meal elsewhere. Additionally, know that the restaurant is nestled on the ground floor of an apartment building, so do not be dissuaded if you drive past it the first time.)


Around the corner from The Wild Cow — and founded by Wild Cow owners Melanie and John Cochran — sits Graze, one of the newest plant-based eateries to hurtle its way onto the Nashville vegetarian food scene. While it has been open for only a handful of months, Graze has already attained an impressive reputation among locals for its wide range of vegan goods: from breakfast to small plates to lunch, dinner, and even drinks, Graze offers an elevated-but-still-casual (not to mention delicious) take on plant-based eating. Try the Seitan Bahn Mi or the Hot Tempeh for a vegan spin on your favorite sandwich, or, if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, try the Mac & Chorizo — a dish Nashville Scene recently voted the ‘best vegan junk food‘ in Nashville.

Graze, 1888 Eastland Ave, Nashville, TN, USA, +1

Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly

While not entirely vegetarian, these restaurants offer a wide array of standout plant-based options.


Jamaicaway has cultivated a robust local following among both omnivores and vegetarians for its fantastically authentic Jamaican cuisine (in fact, Nashville Scene recently named the joint ‘the best place to be a vegetarian dining with meat-eaters). Meat-eaters will love the jerk chicken, oxtail stew, and curried goat; vegetarians will be similarly pleased by the substantially sized vegetarian section of the menu, which in addition to numerous vegetarian twists on classic Jamaican dishes, also includes two vegan dishes, including a curried tofu dish so good that even picky omnivores won’t miss the meat. And be sure not to pass over the extras on the menu, as their sides (especially the fried plantains), beverages, and desserts are also standouts.

Jamaicaway Restaurant at Midtown, 1812 Hayes St, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 678 4031 or 900 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 255 5920 (in the Nashville Farmer’s Market)

Calypso Cafe

Known for its menu of delicious, healthy, and hearty Cuban-inspired meals, Calypso Cafe is one of the best options in town for good-for-you food that won’t wreak havoc on your budget. Each of the cafe’s three Nashville locations boasts a relaxed, no-frills atmosphere in addition to menu offerings adaptable to nearly every diet. While meat-eaters will likely be fond of the fantastic rotisserie chicken, plant-based eaters will be equally delighted by offerings such as the veggie burger, Cuban black beans, and the bioja muffins (think sweet, coconut-topped corn bread). Oh, and be sure to try the fruit tea, because this joint offers one of the best renditions of this Southern staple in town.

Calypso Cafe, 3307 Charlotte Ave, Nashville, TN, USA, +1

700 Thompson Ln, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 297 3888

301 Gallatin Ave, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615 227 6133


Restaurant, Asian, Fusion, Vegetarian, $$$
Map View
While PM is first and foremost a sushi restaurant, this small Belmont-area joint also happens to offer a robust and inventive selection of vegetarian fare. In addition to a fantastic Asian-style veggie burger, vegetarians will love the thai wrap (which can be made with tofu instead of chicken), the tofu sushi burrito, and the thai fry nachos (made with thai eggplant salsa, cheese, guacamole, and sour cream piled high on a bed of french fries).

Honorable Mentions

The following restaurants offer vegetarian/vegan spins on classic meat dishes that are, perhaps, even better (or at least just as good) as the original.

Veggie Burgers

The falafel burgers and the black bean burgers at The Pharmacy; the Marathon and Troyathalon burgers at Burger Up; and the veggie burger at Fido.


The sweet potato at quinoa tacos at Mas Tacos Por Favor; the veggie taco at Taqueria del Sol; and the vegetarian jerk tacos at Taco Mamacita.

Check out our delicious vegan options! 🌮⭐️

A photo posted by Taco Mamacita (@tacomamanash) on


Both Mellow Mushroom and Two Boots offer fantastic vegan pizza options.

Get your vegan on this weekend save an animal #herbivore

A photo posted by @twobootsnashville on

Hot Dogs

Even hot dogs can be made vegetarian-friendly! I Dream of Weenie, in East Nashville, serves up one of the best veggie hot dogs you can find.

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