Moving to a new city is hard. What’s even harder? Moving to a new city when you can’t eat gluten or dairy. A friend of mine recently found herself faced with this plight after deciding to move to Nashville for grad school. She’s grown up in California surrounded by kale, acai bowls and dairy-free froyo, so I wondered what on earth she would eat in the south, a.k.a. the land of fried food. As a firm believer in getting to know a city through its food, I compiled a guide to Nashville, complete with all the restaurants to visit if you’re gluten and/or dairy free.
1. 404 Kitchen
This farm-to-table restaurant features modern European food made by highly acclaimed chef Matt Bolus. Come for dinner, drinks and dessert to try dishes like “scallop crudo” and “sunburst trout.”
Serving brunch on the weekends and cocktails on the weekdays, Acme is the perfect place for all occasions. They serve gluten free beer, American food and sushi. The brunch menu is filled with creative recipes such as “the hatchery” – chickpeas, cashews and coconut rice topped with a fried egg.
This Italian-American restaurant serves lunch, dinner and a Sunday buffet with outdoor seating. They’re willing accommodate any and all dietary restrictions.
4. Amot Eatery
In addition to its regular menus, Amot has an entire gluten free menu for brunch, lunch and dinner. From “Black-eyed Pea Falafel” to “Veggie Benedict,” the menu has more choices than one could ever imagine.
This Italian restaurant serves gluten free pasta, as well as seafood and meats. Finally you can enjoy “pasta pomodoro” without the sacrifice of your stomach.
Yes it’s exactly what it sounds like – this restaurant is named after avocados, and fittingly so. As a plant based restaurant, Avo serves both raw and vegan eats such as zucchini noodles and acai bowls.
Famouse for their tacos and guac, Baja Sexto features a full menu of Mexican food as well as drinks and take-out.
8. Burger Up
In the great debate of the best burger in Nashville, Burger Up wins with the gluten free fare. Try their GF bun with a chicken or beef patty.
One of the most famous restaurants in Nashville, this café has nightly live music while serving New Orleans style fare. Reservations must be made weeks in advance to get into this popular spot.
10. Cantina Laredo
This upscale modern Mexican restaurant serves brunch, lunch and dinner with an entirely gluten friendly menu.
11. Chago’s Cantina
Fresh Latin American food with locally sourced ingredients. Their extensive taco options – from “Carnita Plantain” to “Tacos Borrachos” will surely satisfy you.
12. City Fire
American fare made up of your favorite comfort foods, many of which can be prepared gluten and dairy free. On the weekends, City Fire serves brunch with bottomless mimosas.
13. Coco Greens
Offering vegan and gluten free appetizers, soups, sandwiches and wraps, this plant based place is perfect for a meal or afternoon snack. Check out their full juice bar, too!
Flavors like “Marble” and “Strawberry Cheesecake” are available in gluten free flavors; “Chocolate” and “Wedding Cake” can be made vegan friendly (but call in advance to double check their stock). Baked goods can be ordered ahead of time, picked up in store, or shipped to friends.
This upscale seafood restaurant features an open-kitchen setting and a bright atmosphere. Roasted cauliflower, scallops and grilled lamb are a few options to pair with their wine and cocktail list.
16. The Farmhouse
Located in downtown Nashville, the Farmhouse serves supper complete with “warm peach salad” and “shrimp boil.” Their locally sourced ingredients are always fresh.
Famously known as a favorite of Taylor Swift’s, Fido is frequented by Vandy students and locals alike. Serving gluten free pancakes and gluten free toast, this cafe is perfect for brunch or lunch.
This family owned bakery has an assortment of Paleo donuts that are free of grains, gluten, dairy and sugars. Flavors rotate daily.
19. Frothy Monkey
This qaint coffeehouse serves a surprisingly large menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With multiple locations in Nashville, you can’t miss it.
20. Germantown Cafe
Located near Nissan Field, this restaurant is perfect for brunch before a Titans game or dinner + drinks. They proudly serve “traditional cooking with a twist” – find your favorite American food with extra flare.
This bistro near Vanderbilt is perfect for late night eats and weekend boozy brunch. Their “egg sliders” are a fan favorite.
Not your average pizza place, Italian Pizza & Pasta uses reclaimed wood for their pizza paddles and focuses on sustainability. They have numerous types of both vegan and gluten free pizza available.
A favorite around the nation, Jeni’s serves up dairy-free sorbets made with fresh fruit and wine or spirits! They also have gluten free macarons.
Come for the sports, stay for the food. This sports bar is known for its selection of beers and friendly service.
Known for good vibes and great dishes, Josephine’s on 12th South has contemporary American food that doesn’t disappoint. Try their appetizer “Nashville hot scrapple” with pickled vinaigrette and frisée.
26. Kitchen Notes
Located in the Omni hotel, Kitchen Notes serves up southern food made from family recipes. Check out their breakfast biscuit bar that includes a selection of gluten free goods.
27. Pfunky Griddle
Everyone loves a good DIY, especially when pancakes are involved. Grill up your own gluten free flapjacks, as well as hash browns, eggs, bacon and more.
28. Phat Bites
Guy Fieri featured Pretty Healthy and Tasty (PHAT) on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. This bohemian bistro is perfect for brunch with vast menu of vegetarian salads and gluten free eats.
29. Pinewood Social
Exactly what it sounds like, Pinewood Social is the perfect place to take friends. Complete with a dining room, coffeehouse, and bowling alley, this trendy hangout features American cuisine and cocktails.
30. PM Nashville
An Asian-inspired spot, PM’s varied menu includes pad thai, burgers, sushi and cocktails. Don’t miss their famed sushi burritos.
Check out this gastropub’s menu of tacos, seafood, salads and small plates served in an intimate setting. With crazy cheap happy hour ($1 off draft beer and wine), you’ll want to drop by.
Gone are the days that you couldn’t indulge in this Parisian delight. With incredible coffee and gluten free crêpes, Red Bicycle is best when you want something sweet.
Well known for the best Mexican food and margs in town, don’t miss their tacos and tamales. With over 80 varieties of tequila, Rosepepper is the perfect stop on a night out.
Watch nightly live music while dining on elegant American food and fab drinks. If you go on your birthday, the band can sing to you per request!
Redefining southern suppertime, Silo features a community table, dining room a bar and two patios. Southern food never tasted so good – try their brussels sprouts and blueberry seared pork tenderloin.
Grab a sandwich with gluten free bread at Sloco, the shop known for its meatballs. There are numerous vegan and veggie options as well as locally sourced meat.
This Thai food treasure is especially proud of their pad thai dish. There are lots of gluten free options in this snug setting.
39. Sole Mio
An Italian Mediterranean bistro, Sole Mio specializes in homemade pasta, sauces & seafood. They have gluten free pasta options perfect for the gluten free folk.
Each entrée aims to tell a story at this Souther farm-to-table restaurant. Join them for their drinks & oysters happy hour from 3 to 6 PM.
41. Steadfast Coffee
Perfect for an afternoon coffee break or breakfast stop, Steadfast has killer poached eggs and a much larger menu than you’re average joe (pun intended). Their menu rotates seasonally and features plenty of GF & dairy free options.
42. Sunflower Cafe
Known for “vegetarian and vegan food done right,” the Sunflower Cafe uses local ingredients to make everything from their wraps to salad dressings in house. All their food is vegan with the exception of their gluten-free bread.
Widely known as one of the best brunch spots in Nash, the Tavern is perfect for all times of day. Make sure to check out their late night eats, especially their table-top s’mores bar.
Nope, not a food truck: more like a full service food market. Think Whole Foods, but locally owned. You’ll want to check out their hot bar with fresh ready-to eat options.
45. Urban Grub
If you love seafood, Urban Grub is the place to go: their raw bar specials feature 12 for $20 oysters. With a touch of southern flair, their menu has BBQ platters and chops, as well as tacos and enchiladas.
46. Union Common
This steakhouse serves seafood and cocktails, with a menu marked for GF and Vegetarian options. They have numerous of vegetable side plates available: try their fried cauliflower and foraged mushrooms.
47. Vegan Vee Bakery
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a trip to this gluten-free bakery. They have vegan muffins, donuts, brownies, cookies, cupcakes and more.
Virago serves sushi and superb Asian-fusion dishes. With their “stoned steak filet” dish, you cook your own meat atop a sizzling hot salt rock.
49. The Wild Cow
Wildly famous as the up-and-coming fresh food restaurant, the Wild Cow serves vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free fare. Try their nachos and “chipotle seitan burrito.”
50. The Yellow Porch
This colorful cafe serves American food in a cozy setting with a patio. All menu items can be made gluten free.