As Xennials, the odds are that we’re all probably on on some sort of health journey. Whether we are trying to lose weight or avoid a sensitivity, whether it’s doctor-mandated or just our own great idea, eating out can often present a challenge to those with dietary concerns.
But, have no fear! I’ve gathered a few restaurants around town that offer health-friendly menus (some of which may surprise you!). As with most lists at the Tip Jar, this one is ever growing as I make new discoveries (and as I receive tips from you all!), so check back for new spots!
Located in 5th & Broadway, Blue Sushi Sake Grill has an extensive menu which includes vegan sushi rolls and a gluten-sensitive menu. Even better, much of their menu is available at happy hour – including the vegan options!
East Park is not the only donut shop on this list, but it is the only with a full coffee (and tea!) bar. They offer gluten-free, paleo, and vegan options, so there’s something for almost everyone – and they’re yummy!
Is it even a list of foodie options in Nashville if the Pharmacy is not included? While a burger, milkshake, and beer joint is probably not the first thing people think of when they think health-conscious, the Pharmacy’s menu offers three vegetarian patties, salmon and grilled chicken options, as well as goat and vegan cheese – and sweet potato fries! (No GF bun is listed on the menu, but it’s always worth asking.)
The Wild Cow is essential to the plant-based food scene in Nashville. With a focus on local and organic ingredients, you can feel good about what you’re eating. The menu offers a lot of details, but they encourage guests to call for specific allergen questions.
Alright, so it’s a chain. But don’t hold that against them because True Food Kitchen in Green Hills is delicious and almost unparalleled in the many choices they have to appeal to almost any dietary needs. Their menu is clearly labeled, but they also offer to customize food to accommodate almost any need – including keto and paleo.
Sunda is elevated Asian dining at its best. Their regular menu indicates vegan friendly dishes, and they also offer an extensive gluten free menu. And, they have a really great food-forward happy hour. I ordered the Nacho Chinois which is probably not friendly to any diet – but they were delicious!
Greenery Co. is what you might expect by the name – a place to find delicious bowls and salads full of the freshest ingredients. Their menu is fully customizable, and they also have a menu for allergens/dietary restrictions.
If you’re looking for a nice dinner out in a classy space (a refurbished church!), Hathorne in Sylvan Park might be the place for you. They do a great job of labeling their menu vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and dairy free. They also list their suppliers, so if you’re also an ethical or local-preferred eater, you’re in luck. And…they have a killer happy hour.
Radish in Sylvan Supply may be the most on the nose restaurant on the list – I mean, it’s literally named after a vegetable, so it’s got to be healthy. Healthy it is, but it’s also delicious and the completely customizable menu clearly identifies gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian options, as well as nut warnings.
With half of their menu plant-based, and the other half full of non-plant-based healthy fare, Falcon Coffee has something to please everyone.
Another fully plant-based option, Avo in OneCity has a creative menu featuring many raw dishes and GF options. And, their cocktails (and mocktails!) are worth the visit for themselves.
Whether you’re dairy free or vegan – or neither – you need to try Koko’s. The ice cream is entirely plant-based (mostly coconut milk), and entirely fantastic. I expected the consistency of the ice cream to be a bit off, but it is super creamy and flavorful – just like ice cream should be. They also just have a really friendly, pretty, Instagramable shop in OneCity area.
The one hundred layers of buttery, sugary goodness for which Five Daughters is known is probably not within anyone’s diet. However…they also offer four varieties of paleo donuts, completely free of gluten, dairy, and sugar. The flavors change monthly, so you can always have something new to look forward to!
If you’ve not been to Sunflower Cafe, you are missing out! Even for a non-vegan like me, the food is delicious. And, they are very sensitivity-conscious, listing gluten-free and soy-free options on their menu (trust me – soy is tough to avoid otherwise!). If you need to delve even deeper into their ingredients list, they have a link to do so.
The original restaurant is in Berry Hill, but don’t skip their Donelson sister restaurant, where they offer a coffee shop and gluten free/vegan bakery that is out of this world.
Okay…hear me out. While pub food would hardly be classified as “healthy”, if food sensitivities are your concern, Tailgate is a great option for getting the junk food we all love, but staying away from the problem ingredients. Their pizzas can all be made gluten free, and they offer vegan cheese and meat. They also bake their wings, and the Germantown location is a seltzery – meaning even if you are gluten free, you can enjoy craft beverages in a brewery atmosphere.
One thing that’s especially tricky when eating out on a diet are sauces. Even the most attentive servers often don’t know the ingredients of their dressings, etc. But, Darfon’s menu lists which of their dressings/sauces are gluten free and/or vegetarian – as well as making those indications clear for other dishes, as well. Another great happy hour, Darfon’s caters to a less trendy crowd, but is nevertheless worth the drive to Donelson.
Located in Mt. Juliet, Billy Goat Coffee Café is a great place to WFH or to grab a casual bite with some friends. They have a large food and drink menu, including an entire section dedicated to keto friendly foods!
There are also many micro-restauranteurs serving up all kinds of tasty and health-conscious foods. Be sure to check out the many farmers markets around town (especially my favorite, Richland Park Farmers Market!) and find your new favorite vendors.
Did I miss any diet-friendly restaurants? Any places that make it easy to navigate around special eating concerns? Please leave a tip below or shoot me an email so we can all try it!