Veg Out: 16 Ways to Eat Meat-Free in Memphis

Posted by Holly Whitfield | January 3rd 2020 19410 0

Updated January 2020.

Because of it’s BBQ rep, Memphis may seem like a city that’s not very vegetarian or vegan friendly.

The reality is that these days, many – if not most – restaurants have vegetarian and vegan options. If you’re looking for places that cater to non-meat eaters, are specifically vegetarian restaurants or vegan restaurant in Memphis, here’s a guide for you.

You might like this Chubby Vegetarian guide to vegetarian dishes in Memphis, too.

1. Imagine Vegan Cafe (2158 Young Avenue)

Quesadilla from Imagine Vegan Cafe, Memphis, Tenn.

All Vegan. Imagine is Memphis’ first 100 percent vegan cafe, but their menu of comfort food (think fried chicken, mac ‘n’ cheese, cake) is big enough to suit omnivores, too. The Cooper Young restaurant is casual and family-friendly. They also have plenty of baked goods, too.

2. R. P. Tracks (3547 Walker Avenue)

Vegan and Vegetarian Options. While there are a lot of vegetarian and vegan friendly items on the R.P. Tracks menu, you can probably ignore them in favor of one thing: barbecue tofu nachos. I choose them over the meaty version every time.

Tracks is right next to the U of M, so it’s part casual restaurant, part bar. The staff is friendly, and if there’s one item standing between you and being able to eat something, they’re happy to help out.

3. Raw Girls

 

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Plentiful vegan and vegetarian options. For vegan food and juices, Raw Girls has your back! Pick up prepared cold and raw dishes, soups, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and even raw desserts at their three locations (Saddle Creek, in Eclectic Eye lot in midtown, and at 5502 Poplar in East Memphis). 

4. City Silo (5101 Sanderlin Ave)

City Silo is a sit-down cafe in East Memphis that offers creative clean eating. Not everything is vegetarian or vegan, but the restaurant goes out of its way to provide options for all diets and therefore has plenty of options.

5. Fuel Cafe Food Truck (mobile food truck)

Fuel Cafe’s brick-and-mortar location on Madison might be closed, but their food truck is still going strong. They’re famous for their vegan tacos and grilled cheese sandwiches, plus other vegan- and vegetarian friendly Memphis items. Look for them at Court Square downtown on Thursdays for lunch and other local events.

6. Pho Hoa Binh (1615 Madison Ave)

Everybody loves Pho Hoa Binh’s super cheap all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, which is loaded with vegetarian and vegan curries and stir frys. For dinner, try their lemongrass tofu – it’s a local favorite.

7. Abyssinia (2600 Poplar Avenue)

Vegetarian options. Even as an omnivore, sometimes, there’s nothing better than the vegetarian combination from Abyssinia Ethiopian. It comes with lentils, greens, seasoned mashed vegetables and plenty of spongy injera. If you’re not vegan, be sure to get a side of their homemade cottage cheese – it’s way more like super creamy feta than the kind you buy at the store.

8. Mayuri (6524 Quince Rd)

Mayuri, Memphis, Tenn.

Vegetarian options. During the week, this delicious Indian restaurants serve a full dinner menu, but I recommend going on the weekends (or at lunch) when they have their amazing buffet. It’s a little more advanced than the average Indian buffet – expect vindaloo, masala, curries and koorma.

9. Zaka Bowl 575 Erin Drive

 

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Plentiful vegan and vegetarian options. Create your own bowl with vegan options like zucchini noodles or spinach, top it with veggies and proteins like falafel, tofu, vegan meatballs, and beet poke, drizzled with sauces like avocado vinaigrette or sesame soy.

10. Edge Alley + Midpointe

 

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A few vegetarian and vegan options. The food menus at these two cafe-style eateries may be small, but they’re mighty. There’s a vegan bread option and a few veggie-friendly items at both The Edge location and Midpointe, which serves breakfast and lunch inside the Ballet Memphis building in Overton Square.

11. Two Vegan Sistas (catering/order ahead only)

All vegan. While they no longer have an open-all-the-time restaurant, Two Vegan Sistas still does meal planning, catering, and bulk ordering that you can order online. They do have an appointment-only location inside Crosstown Concourse.

Their cuisine caters to both lifestyle vegans and curious foodies. Owned by two real-life sisters with a goal to make healthy eating affordable and convenient, they feature plenty of raw meals, and I was super impressed with their cashew-based protein substitutes (I still think about that spaghetti).

12. Cafe Eclectic

 

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Several vegan and vegetarian options. Cafe Eclectic’s cozy breakfast, lunch, and baked goods menu offers some items made vegan, including wraps, omelet, granola, pancakes, and pie. Locations in midtown and Harbor Town.

13. Blue Nile

 

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Plentiful vegetarian options. This midtown restaurant offers Ethiopian cuisine, which traditionally has plenty of vegetarian options. Go for the platter above, some wat (stew) with injera (the soft, spongey bread you use to pick up the food), and plenty of lots of fresh vegetables and tofu dishes.

14. Cheffie’s

Plentiful vegetarian options, a few vegan items. A make-your-own chopped salad or sandwich place is, naturally, going to have plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Cheffie’s marks their vegetarian and vegan items on their menu. They have locations in East Memphis, Cordova, and Shelby Farms.

15. Inspire Community Cafe

Plentiful vegetarian options, a few vegan items. Go for fresh, simple breakfast items like omelets, parfaits, pancakes, toast, vegetarian chili (available with vegan cheese) and more.

16. Midtown Crossing Grill

 

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Several vegan and vegetarian options. This homey restaurant near the Crosstown Concourse offers a surprising number of vegan menu items, including vegan brunch entrees. Try the vegan nachos, Bianca’s Bahn Mi, spring rolls, and more, and they have vegan cheese on hand, too.

This isn’t a complete list – there are plenty of other Memphis restaurants that are vegetarian and vegan friendly. For Memphis restaurant reviews from a real live vegan, you can’t go wrong with Vegan Crunk.


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Comments

  1. Yum! I love to eat local AND veggie and I’d never heard of some of these places! Looking forward to trying them.

  2. Jay says:

    Beleive it or not, Huey’s has a great selection of non-meat items. The veggie burger and black bean burger (all variations)are great. You can get the big salads without flesh products if you simply ask. My vegetarian wife and daughters love to eat at Huey’s.

  3. Ariel A says:

    I am not a vegan fan but some of this stuff sounds great. I have been debating on stopping at Fuel for a while now and after this I might just have to this week.
    Thanks so much for this

  4. laura says:

    *love* the cosmic coconut, have tried about five different drinks and they’ve all been amazing.

    love fuel as well, and i’d like to put in a plug for their vegetarian ‘meat loaf’ – it’s not vegan – has walnuts and cheese – but it is delicious and i crave it often. (served with homemade mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, and green veg of the day). really good when one wants a healthier version of ‘comfort food’.

    a final plug – the pizza at lou’s pizza pie (formerly pie in the sky) in cooper-young is awesome. the crust has some whole wheat and is delicious, and they have loads of veggie toppings. my recent favorite combo: pesto, goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and olives. they also deliver!

  5. Thanks Kerri for this great list!! And the link! <3 Imagine totally rules my world. I wish that Las Savell guy would make a "Imagine Vegan Cafe Makes Memphis a Better Place" billboard….

  6. […] Many thanks to Morgan of Nashvillest for noting that I Love Memphis blog just posted “11 Ways To Eat Meat-Free in Memphis” yesterday. I missed that and it is a fantastic list. It’s got a list of vegan and […]

  7. Ann says:

    We took your list with us for our visit to Memphis. OMG, what a joy that was! Thank you soo much for this. We ate twice at the Imagine Café – of course – Déjà Vu, what an experience, so nice people!, Jasmine and Pho Hoa Binh. Fuel was closed unfortunately. We also had a falafal at the Pita Café on Bianca – Vegan Crunk – list. I told the man who served us Bianca did not lie when she wrote it is the best falafel in the world. He had a copy of her review:)

  8. The Pescretarian Society says:

    Thanks for sharing this information. If you wanna be a pescetarian we are here to help you with our membership plan. Our community will provide you advanced cooking via members own area

  9. Kim says:

    Wild Beet should be on here. Since you choose every one of your ingredients, it’s easy to get vegan or vegetarian. They also offer vegan cheese, tofu, and quinoa.

  10. […] you can see, being a vegetarian might not be a total walk in the park, but it’s totally do-able. Check out this Memphis-centric site that’ll tell you 16 ways to eat meat-free in […]

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