You didn’t even know I was going to Nashville, did you?
Of all the amazing places I’ve traveled this year-Tampa, Austin, Denver, Boulder, LA, San Diego, Laguna Beach, Vegas, Boulder and Denver AGAIN-they’ve all had some really incredible plant-based options.
And though I found some insanely awesome vegan eats in Nashville, I will definitely confess that I was the MOST hungry during my time there.
That’s not to say Tennessee isn’t veg-friendly. It could very well be home to some killer food, it just wasn’t super accessible for me during our short trip there. There was a vegan festival going on when we were in town, and even though it was kind of random and weird and they sold out of food way too soon, it was still nice to be able to hit that up. But I’m going to assume a city with leather cowboy boot stores on every corner and an equal amount of BBQ spots, ISN’T the most ideal place for vegans to trek to.
But I can’t stress enough how dope the food we did find was, and I highly, HIGHLY recommend getting to these spots if you find yourself in the Nashville area anytime soon. My phone decided to die in the beginning of the trip and so my incessant food porn photography and posting was super limited. Luckily, my boyfriend (boyfriend-yes, that’s a new development) snapped enough pictures for me to compile this post. He’s no stranger to plant-based food or being force fed kombucha and other weird things he’d probably never heard of before he met me, be he seemed as genuinely pleased by the food we had as I was.
Who am I kidding. I was WAY more excited. Like, TOO excited. Especially for The Wild Cow. But still-I promise, any carnivore you bring to any of these spots will be thoroughly impressed.
I’ll stop talking now. Enjoy the food porn
THE JUICE BAR
I flew into Nashville late Thursday night and didn’t have time to eat, so I was absolutely STARVING the next morning and struggled to find anywhere close to downtown that had a solid vegan breakfast option. Luckily, there’s quite a few Juice Bar locations around Nashville and my AirBnb happened to be near one of them. And I just have to note, that everyone in Nashville was freakishly nice. EVERYONE. And so when I stopped at Juice Bar, the woman working there gave me tons of other vegan options and lesser known spots that I hadn’t found just by Googling places. The space itself was really relaxed, had ample outdoor seating and almost too many options to choose from. I opted for the green matcha smoothie (unreal), a juice flight, with shots of ginger, lemon, pineapple and wheatgrass (intense, but delicious and one of the best hangover cures I’ve stumbled upon) and chia overnight oats with granola and fruit. Everything was SO good, and I would have ate there every morning if I could have. Everything is really fresh, local and extremely flavorful. Thanks for being your amazing self, Juice Bar.
Boyfriend keeps saying that I ALWAYS claim a meal is one of the top five meals I’ve ever had (he might be right), but I SWEAR The Wild Cow is what vegan dreams are made of. I probably would have died of happiness right then and there if that hadn’t been sold out of their high ABV beers. Mimosas at 9 at night are fine though, right? Anyways, I pretty sure I was jumping up and down in my seat just reading over their menu. 100% not kidding. We went for the buffalo tempeh sandwich, because I’m obvious a sucker for anything buffalo. We also got the chipotle seitan tacos. ANDDDD a seitan Philly cheesesteak.
…I honestly just started salivating reminiscing about it all.
The cheesesteak was everything I’d ever dreamed it would be. I never had a non-vegan version, but I’m fairly positive this is as spot on as you’re going to get. The cheese sauce was luxurious and the veggies and seitan were a perfect texture and consistency. I could eat that thing forever if I could. The tacos and tempeh sandwich were equally life-changing. The also had a plant-based cheesecake, which was great, but not the best I’ve ever had.
Overall, one of the BEST places I’ved dined in a longggggg time.
We unknowingly stumbled upon Graze, which is also completely vegan and right next door to The Wild Cow. There was a long wait at TWC, so we went here for drinks and I quickly realized it was also fully plant-based. Totally different vibe than their neighbor, but equally as impressive. Though it was a 20 minute uber each way to these spots, we went to Graze for brunch the night after having dinner at The Wild Cow. We opted for the loaded cheesy chorizo potatoes and the cauliflower sausage biscuit plate.
I know what you’re thinking-cauliflower sausage?!
I don’t even know how it was possible-all you have to know if that is was awesome. The potatoes were super filling and every aspect of them was absolutely delicious. And $5 Bloodys and mimosas? COME ON.
Though we didn’t make it anywhere else, there were a few other spots I heard were a must-visit. Five Daughter’s Bakery is in the same strip as Graze and The Wild Cow and has lots of vegan and paleo options, like cookies and donuts. I’m still kicking myself in the ass for not getting a donut, actually. I waited in line at the Vegfest for what felt like 500 years to get food from The Southern V and they were almost completely sold out when I finally got to order. I did get a small cup of mac and cheese which was phenomenal, and an apple fritter donut, which was yummy, but way too sugary for me. I heard Avo is also great for brunch, too, though a lot of their dishes are raw vegan rather than just vegan.
Have you been to Nashville before? Where have you dined?