Going Green

Up until last year, when I heard the word “vegetarian” I would picture hippies with nose rings and dreads eating rubbery tofu and beans. No joke. I would never think that going to college in Nashville (of all places) would turn me into a lover of all things veggie. Seriously. I haven’t met a vegetable that I don’t love. Much of my obsession is due to a select few vegetarian/vegan restaurants. For those of you who don’t know about these amazing spots, lettuce introduce you.

Grins Vegetarian Restaurant

Grins is definitely the most convenient option, as it is located on Vanderbilt’s campus and is on the meal plan. For a meal swipe, you can choose an entree, a daily side (which you can check online) and a drink. The healthiest Vandy students head to Grins after their jog in Centennial to order the superfood unwrapped. The biggest tip here is to always change something up and be extra annoying. Healthy additions to the veggie-packed superfood include veggie burgers, baked tofu and spiced apples (but definitely not all at once). You can also order the new cauliflower bowl, which pairs very nicely with tofu instead of beans. They charge extra for additions, but it’s on the meal plan so who cares, right? The most unfortunate thing about Grins is the line so we suggest heading over for a late lunch after 1 p.m. or a late dinner after 7:30/8ish, unless you want to wait 45 minutes for some vegetables in a container.

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

CONVENIENCE

QUALITY

COST


The Wild Cow

Wild Cow is a cute and casual vegetarian restaurant located in East Nashville. If you choose to actually venture this far off campus, you will see a lot of the hippie-type veg heads that I described in the first paragraph. However, it is much more convenient to order in via Favor delivery service. The menu is easy to follow, but so overwhelming due to all of the delicious and hearty vegetarian meal options. My personal favorite dish is the veggie quinoa bowl with garlicky kale and tofu, all topped with a delicious garlic aioli. Other delicious options include the lentil bowl (with quinoa instead of rice) and sides such as the garlic mashed sweet potatoes. You seriously can’t go wrong and you won’t even feel like you’re eating veggies!

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

CONVENIENCE

QUALITY

COST


Sunflower Cafe

Sunflower Cafe is a fast casual restaurant located in Berry Hill, which is also not the most convenient of options for Vanderbilt students. Luckily, you can also order in from Favor. If you do get the opportunity to head over to Sunflower, you will see that it is absolutely adorable. There is a little counter where you can taste and sample to design your perfect meal. If you like to create your own meal you can choose from their entrees and sides, ranging from mashed sweet potatoes that taste just like Thanksgiving to a light and fresh Cold Kale Salad. They also have affordable combination bowls that come with quinoa, kale and the entree of your choice. Personal favorites include the Tofu Bowl (seriously the best tofu I have ever had) and Veggie Burger Bowl (you can choose your style – I opt for Garlic Mushroom).

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

CONVENIENCE

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COST


Avo

Avo, the newest, trendiest raw vegan restaurant in Nashville, was recently rated one of the top spots of the season. Everything is 100% raw vegan, meaning they use no processed ingredients at all. The restaurant is in a shipping container in the middle of a parking lot on Charlotte Avenue, but it’s decorated with avocados that make for the perfect Insta. The inside has a chic, upscale vibe with a cool outdoor patio that overlooks a volleyball court from the CrossFit next door. The clientele is stylish and young, and probably not raw vegan or even vegetarian. When it comes to the food you really can't go wrong. I've had almost everything on the menu and have never been disappointed, but my one suggestion is to definitely share everything. The kimchi spring rolls are the perfect starter (or lunch if you’re ordering in solo), the pad thai zucchini noodles are absurd and the seasonal pizza is always amazing. If you can’t decide what to get you can make your own salad full of superfoods galore. The menu is always changing (and you can keep yourself updated on Instagram). They offer delicious raw vegan drinks as well, and the Avo Margarita is a must-have. Keep in mind the brunch is only offered on Sundays, but don’t worry; you have until 4 p.m. to get over your hangover and get some raw vegan cinnamon buns and acai bowls. The location is a solid walk or a short uber for Vandy students, but ordering in is always a worthwhile option.

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

CONVENIENCE

QUALITY

COST

 

Check out this article to see why I eat vegan sometimes.

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