by Ashley Hubbard
Veganism is growing at a rapid rate worldwide and Nashville is no exception. Anything vegan you may want, you can probably find in the area with many specialty restaurants and countless non-vegan locations offering vegan menu options. After several health documentaries like What the Health and Forks Over Knives have shown the realities of animal agriculture and the effects on our health, more and more individuals are choosing plants over animals for food sources. Although a whole food plant-based diet is the best way to live a vegan lifestyle, I am also a huge advocate of showing that eating only plants does not mean giving up your favorite guilty pleasures. There are countless vegan treats to be eaten in Nashville and I’ve found the best.
For Something Savory
If you’re looking for a savory bite, definitely check out the oven fries at Graze in East Nashville. The oven fries are roasted potatoes topped with cashew cheese, sour cream and green onions. Not only are they dairy free but those watching their gluten intake can also enjoy these!
1888 Eastland Ave., Nashville, TN 37206
For Something Light & Fruity
While some may love a rich chocolate dessert, some gelato from Legato will leave you satisfied in a completely different way. While Legato isn’t completely vegan, they always have a few different vegan options including a couple fruit flavors and one richer flavor such as chocolate. Found in the Edgehill neighborhood, it’s the perfect light dessert after dinner at Bella Napoli or Taco Mamacita.
1200 Villa Place 113, Nashville, TN 37212
For the Hot Chicken Lovers
Everyone comes to Nashville to try hot chicken, right? If you’re vegan or looking to cut down your meat consumption, you can still be part of the club and join in on the hot chicken tradition. Head over to The Southern V at breakfast time and get a hot chick’n biscuit. If you’re not a biscuit person or you can’t manage to get out of bed before noon, drop in for dinner and satisfy your tastebuds with a piece of hot chick’n.
1200 Buchanan St., Nashville, TN 37208
For the Ice Cream Aficionados
Koko’s opened last year participating in pop-ups in their adorable bicycle cart. Their ice cream became so popular that they now have a to-go shop in East Nashville and it is worth a visit! All of their ice creams are coconut based and absolutely delicious. They typically have five different unique flavors that you can sample before buying. Their new item is what I would recommend though. It’s basically a vegan gourmet drumstick – a cone dipped with chocolate on the inside, vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate and covered in pepitas.
729 Porter Rd., Nashville, TN 37206
For Whimsical and Unique Creations
If unique baked goods sets your soul on fire, you need to know about Leeuw Bake Shop. All of their products can be custom ordered, bought at scheduled pop-ups, or purchased at cafes and stores around Nashville. From succulent potted cakes to homemade pop-tarts to matcha cinnamon rolls, the creativity is endless. All of her creations look like they are straight out of Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and are almost too gorgeous to eat. Once you finish taking a photo for Instagram (and you will), they taste even better than they look. The best part is funds from your purchase go towards saving animals through the owner-operator’s non-profit, Hope Springs Animal Sanctuary.
Various locations around town:
Order online at leeuwbakeshop.com
For Everything Else
Ask any vegan in Nashville where their favorite spots are and almost all of them will have Vegan Vee on their list. Narrowing down one item from here is a horrible injustice to all the other items, so you’ll have to try them all. Only open Friday-Sunday, it’s the perfect spot for a little weekend splurging. When you arrive, you’ll find a wide variety of tasty selections, but some of my favorites are the donuts, cookie sandwiches, and gourmet muffins. Vegan Vee is completely gluten-free with many soy-free and nut-free options as well.
306 46th Ave. N., Nashville, TN 37209
NFM Staff Favorite
We’ve been a fan of Sunflower Cafe since day one and they have more vegan and gluten-free options than you can shake a stick at. Stop in and grab their BBQ Wrap. Seriously. The best food we ever ate.
2834 Azalea Place, Nashville, TN 37204