Living in the food culture that we do, it has become almost like a competition for the most eco-friendly, Instagram-worthy, health-encouraging menu to appeal to the most people, no matter what meal of the day or genre of cooking. The Nashville community is very proud of its growing population and beautiful parks, both of which are bringing the rise of vegetarianism with them.
Let’s take a look at some of the hottest spots you can feed your taste buds without compromising your diet or lifestyle. The name may sound misleading, but one of the most well-known vegetarian restaurants is located in East Nashville called Wild Cow. They purchase almost all their food in whole form, so while the food is delicious, there are few ingredients. Many of them are also from local growers, so they are fresh and often organic. One of the restaurant’s claims to fame is that they have no microwaves or freezers. The goal beyond food is to bring people together. Every Thursday, 2.5% of sales go to a charity of the month. In efforts to help more animals of the area, each month also features a special dog up for adoption. The menu features bowls with additions such as quinoa, tempeh, tofu, beans, and lentils for protein. A unique taco they offer is sweet potato and black bean with lime slaw, and pumpkin seeds. Aside from the regular menu, there are daily specials and desserts. 1896 Eastland Ave, Nashville, TN 37206 .
Another popular and all-vegetarian, all-vegan spot is the Sunflower Café. Known for their veggie burgers and barbecue, the Café offers daily specials Monday through Saturday: black bean quinoa bake, barbecue tacos, lasagna, enchiladas, mock crab cake, chef’s choice, and every day has ginger tofu. Every menu item can be a la carte, so customers can have their meals customized any way they like. Salads, wraps, bowls, and burgers provide unique flavor that would keep even meat-eaters from missing a thing! The Aloha burger, for example, is a veggie patty topped with Sweet Chili Pineapple Compote, Red Onions, Spinach & Tomato. Sauce, topping, and side additions, as well as switches and substitutions (especially with grains, buns, and breads, or go all-veg and wrap it in lettuce). To extend beyond the store, Sunflower Café also offers full catering. 2834 Azalea Pl, Nashville, TN 37204
Relatively new, also in East Nashville, is Graze, another completely plant-based restaurant. A bit more upscale dining, Graze uses only the highest quality ingredients to ensure quality and satisfaction for the customers and the environment. Unique offerings include chickpea bay cakes made with tofu, cashews, and seaweed. Tofu rancheros on the brunch menu is a scramble with black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, green onions, and cilantro. Graze serves elite eats, but they also have fresh pressed and blended juices and smoothies! 1888 Eastland Avenue, Nashville, TN 37206
Open for all three meals as a part of the Bongo Java family, Grins Vegetarian Café is located on Vanderbilt’s campus, so it is only open when the University is in session, but it is open to the public. Try a unique buffalo cauliflower bowl with black beans, quinoa, red cabbage, cucumber, and house-made dressing.
The Woodlands is an Indian vegetarian restaurant, offering many authentic dishes. On the weekends, they serve a buffet, great for trying out new things! 3415 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203
These restaurants’ menus are totally vegetarian and/or vegan, but there are many other restaurants with a plant-based focus that also serve meat. Others have a traditional menu with many vegetarian and vegan options or substitutions. Vui’s Kitchen is a Vietnamese restaurant that is not exclusively vegetarian but has many options.
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Related article: Best brunch spots in Nashville