5 Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants In Nashville To Try Now
In recent years vegetarian and vegan restaurants have increasingly stepped up to the plate to serve flavorful dishes sans meat—and though Nashville is known for heavy Southern-style flavors and barbecue, it is also home to some of the best plant-based fare you can find. To satisfy a mood for a meatless dish that doesn’t compromise on flavor, here are five vegetarian restaurants you’ve gotta try.
The Wild Cow: Sure, its name pays homage to the bovine, but we promise that The Wild Cow doesn’t want to start any beef. Located in trendy East Nashville, this veggie-forward spot serves up vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free fare while bringing people together in a fun, casual atmosphere. Kick off your meal with the vegan queso, made with dairy-free cheese alongside salsa verde and non-GMO tortilla chips. From there, explore the full menu’s surprisingly hearty entrees, like the veggie quinoa bowl (topped with pumpkin seeds) or the meatless taco salad.
Little Octopus: Arguably one of the most Instagrammable restaurants in Nashville, Little Octopus places an emphasis on serving fresh vegetable- and seafood-driven eats in a refined setting. Although Little Octopus doesn’t exclusively serve vegetarian fare, much of its menu is meatless and focused on plant-based ingredients. On the lunch menu, the cauliflower sandwich packs a hefty punch, with a roasted cauliflower “steak,” smoked cheddar and fermented chili sauce between a bun, with a side of shoestring sweet potato fries. At dinner, don’t miss the vegan Caesar salad, made with little gem lettuce, polenta croutons and nutritional yeast.
Graze Nashville: Graze Nashville bills itself as a “plant-based bistro and bar” located in the heart of East Nashville. Hop over to this eatery for your fill of small plates, sandwiches and wraps, with many ingredients sourced from local farmers and businesses. You’ll love the chickpea bay cakes: veggie crab cakes made with chickpeas, tofu, cashew and hijiki seaweed. If you’re looking for something a bit heavier, the spaghetti and “wheatballs” is calling your name: it’s a vegetarian take on spaghetti and meatballs, made with “wheatballs,” house marinara, chopped spinach, parsley, spaghetti and garlic bread.
Avo: With a 100-percent plant-based menu, Avo prides itself on serving clean, healthy eats that nourish patrons’ appetites and well-being. Pop into Avo for lunch or dinner and partake in the restaurant’s seasonally rotating menu, which always offers something new and inventive for vegetarian diners. One stand-out entree is the pad Thai, made with kelp noodles, zucchini noodles, cabbage, carrot, peanut, chili and sesame. To unwind with a cocktail, Avo serves up healthy versions of those, too. Check out the avocado margarita, expertly mixed with avocado, reposado, cilantro, lime, orange dust and lime salt.
Grins Vegetarian Cafe: Grins Vegetarian Cafe is located on Vanderbilt University’s beautiful campus and specializes in crafting healthy vegetarian dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition to its veggie-forward options, Grins also serves up rotating internationally inspired dishes throughout the week, like chile rellenos, Indian vegetable curry and more. If you’re in the mood for a fresh meal on the go, check out Grins’ superfood wrap, packed with avocado, quinoa, edamame, spinach, carrots, cucumber, tomato and red cabbage, all wrapped up in a wheat tortilla.
Cover image: Avo