Tennessee is definitely not known for vegan food; there is very little way around that. But we also know that vegan and veggiephiles are growing in numbers, all across the country, so I made it my mission to find the vegan locals in Memphis, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Best Eats in Vegan Memphis
There are a number of Farmers Markets across Memphis, most of them happening on Saturday mornings until the early afternoon. The Downtown Farmers Market isn’t huge but comes with a nice mix of fresh produce as well as ready-made foods, baked goods, and drinks. I loved Guilt-Free, an amazing vegan, partly raw, pastry stand. The matcha green tea truffles and the avocado brownies were delightful. Also, it’s a great place to pick up some local kombucha.
Juice Bar is located in central Memphis in an artsy shopping mall. Juice Bar is a great place to pick up a smoothie or an açai bowl. I love the fact that they do BYOB – Build Your Own Bowl – they all come with fresh fruit as well as homemade granola. Just make sure to skip the honey.
If you are a coffee aficionado, check out French Truck, a local coffee shop and roaster that offers a variety of different roasts, mainly from South America and the Caribbean. It’s also a great place to get an espresso and an avocado toast if you are looking for a quick bite or breakfast.
This (clearly ethically motivated – because lots of vegan pamphlets!) vegan restaurant is hearty and serves Southern comfort foods. Perfect for brunch on a weekend or just a delicious lunch, you can find waffles, pancakes as well as vegan sandwiches, grits, hush puppies and BBQ wings on their menu. The desserts are all homemade and the smoothies are a great addition if you are looking for a little healthy touch.
City Silo is a little plant-based party. While a lot of their options aren’t all vegan, pretty much everything can be veganized by just leaving the cheese off. Between açai bowls, Buddha bowls, tempeh breakfast scramble, as well as various fresh salads and made-to-order vegan burgers, this place is definitely a must. I was also intrigued by their coffee alternatives, such as ‘Don Quixote’s Dream’ made with young thai coconut, spices, almond milk and maples syrup. Yum!
Okay, I usually don’t write about Whole Foods, but I was very impressed with the German Town Whole foods and the Japanese Korean Food Bar in it. They are serving lots of vegan options, such as avocado tofu hand rolls and freshly made Ramen that can easily be all plant-based. It’s also a great place to pick up local and regional Kombucha, such as the NC-based Tribucha.
Have you been to Memphis? What are your favorite vegan restaurants in the south?
Related: 8 Tips to Being Vegan in the South
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Photo: Isabelle Steichen