It can take time and effort to discover the best local restaurants in a new city, and it's even harder to do when traveling as a vegetarian. Finding an amazing restaurant that offers a meatless yet tasty option and doesn't fall in the mac & cheese category can be quite a difficult task. As a vegetarian myself, I definitely understand this struggle. This past week, as I prepared for my spring break trip to Nashville, it got me thinking about how important it is to find great food that fits your lifestyle choice no matter where you are.

When I'm on vacation I want to experience the best food the destination has to offer, without too much trial and error. These are the 5 tricks I use to find great vegetarian food, anywhere I go.

1. Check out online forums

Dani Biskner

Typically the best resource is from the locals. When traveling as a vegetarian, I like to use Reddit and search terms such as "vegetarian restaurants in Nashville." I have been wanting to try pho for a long time, and a raving post about Vui's Kitchen encouraged me to check out their vegan take on the dish. Their pho was a delicious blend of hearty broth, noodles and fresh vegetables.

2. Consult an expert

Danielle Biskner

My trip to Nashville included meeting up with a friend who is also a vegetarian. She took me to fido, which was the perfect brunch spot. One thing that makes for a great vegetarian friendly menu for me is the inclusion of veggie sausage. It's a small but appreciated addition. Along with that and a great cup of coffee, I went for the Med-Veg: A whole wheat bagel with house-made hummus and fresh veggies. Aka my ideal brunch.

3. D.I.Y

Dani Biskner

For spring break, I stayed with my brother near Nashville. Thankfully, he's adventurous and likes to cook. He offered to try new vegetarian recipes at home while I stayed with him. His attempt at General Tso's Tofu turned out amazing as you can see in the photo above. If you're visiting friends or family, ask if they're open to doing a meal your way; you might be surprised by how up for the experience they are. Plus, cooking a new meal with friends and family is a great memory.

4. Use Spoon University articles

Dani Biskner

Most cities have a Spoon University chapter nearby that knows the food scene best, which makes for a great resource. During my trip, I was eager to try out a restaurant that offered vegetarian spins on classic dishes like burgers and barbecue. An article written by a Vanderbilt student pointed me in the direction of The Wild Cow. I had their Wild Reuben with chips and hummus that was completely vegan and very tasty.

5. Nothing is wrong with a Google search

Dani Biskner

While it may take a bit more time to find the best information, Google search is a classic for a reason. As I was looking through other articles and forum posts, I kept coming across Sunflower Vegetarian Cafe. I spent some time on Google to decide if it was a wise choice for my last stop of the vacation. It did not disappoint. I got the Aloha Burger with potato salad, which was out of this world and the perfect end to this Nashville vegetarian adventure. 

It was a delicious, meat-free week in Nashville. I'm thankful for how veggie-friendly the city is and for how simple it was to find the best of the best while I was there.