The Nashville food scene has gotten a lot of great press lately, but the descriptions tend to be full of praises for the pork, steak, or fish dishes. This can make traveling as or with a vegetarian challenging.
Thankfully, most restaurants in Music City are vegetarian friendly and many of them make an excellent veggie burger. In fact, it was hard to chose just five, but these restaurants not only serve great veggie burgers, but delicious food for a variety of tastes. Most of them are also located in great Nashville neighborhoods for a real taste of the city.
PM’s regular burger actually won the local paper’s Best Burger contest back in 2008, but I think their veggie burger is even better. According to the menu it’s actually vegan, but you can add cheese if you’d like. The optional smear of wasabi mayo adds a bit of spice! Most of their menu is Asian fusion, so you can also get great sushi or some truly amazing nachos. PM is part of the group of local restaurants run by the Myint family, with Arnold Myint (of Top Chef DC fame) as the executive chef.
2017 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN
The name of this eclectic coffee shop/cafe dates way back to when this location housed a pet store, but those days are long gone. Now, they serve wonderful coffee and delicious food in the heart of Hillsboro Village.
Their veggie burger is a tasty mix of black beans and whole grains and is served on bread instead of a bun. It also holds up well while eating, unlike some veggie burgers. After your meal, be sure to check out some of the area shops or catch a movie at the Belcourt theatre. You may also want to stop in next door at Hot and Cold, their sister restaurant, for a locally made popsicle (Las Paletas) dipped in local chocolate (Olive and Sinclair).
1812 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN
Bobbie’s Dairy Dip has been a Nashville institution since 1951 and maintains a lot of the 50’s charm with dancing ice cream cones painted on the wall and lots of delicious milk shakes with names like the Chubby Checker.
However, the menu has been updated to include two veggie burger options. One of them is simply a frozen name brand patty, but their black bean burger is made in-house and is topped with guacamole, jalapenos, and salsa. I pair it with their sweet potato fries and a vanilla malt. Mmm.
They have two locations. The one downtown has a few inside seats and is open year round, but I prefer the location on Charlotte. It has a walk-up order window and picnic tables, but it is only open seasonally so plan accordingly.
5301 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN
While you are in town, you’ll want to swing by my neighborhood, 12 South. It’s full of great little shops, coffeehouses, and places to eat. One of my favorites is the 12 South Taproom. As the name implies, they have a wide variety of craft beer on tap, but they also have great food and use local ingredients whenever possible. Their veggie burger is actually made with Soysage. It’s a thick sausage like burger and goes great with a beer! Ask your bartender for suggestions and try one of Nashville’s many local brews.
2318 12th Avenue South, Nashville, TN
5. The Pharmacy
East Nashville is a growing neighborhood full of great restaurants, but the Pharmacy is one of my favorites. In the warmer months, you can enjoy the sprawling beer garden or eat inside. Then you must choose between two really tasty veggie burger options. They have a great black bean burger, but my choice would be the falafel burger. It’s chickpea base is a nice change of pace and it’s topped with a tangy raita sauce and goat cheese. Pair it with tater tots and one of their homemade sodas.
731 McFerrin Avenue, Nashville, TN
About Laura Ambler
Laura Ambler is one half of the team behind the food blog, The Table. She lives in Nashville, TN and her co-blogger, Amy, lives in Lexington, KY. Together they share recipes, reviews, and other food news.