I am from Nashville but grew up closer to Green Hills. I moved away after college and headed to San Francisco, California to work and go to school. Then in 2015, I moved back with my husband to Donelson and we feel right at home because there are several healthy restaurant choices and a farmers market. We like it so much because it is like a little village but still close to everything in Nashville. We live within walking distance to many stores and businesses meaning we still get to walk like we did in the Bay area.
Donelson has some great places for the health conscious and more options are popping up every day. We also have a maze of greenways for walking and biking that make Donelson a great place to live if you are active and like to be outside. These are some of the healthy restaurants we enjoy and please leave a comment if there are more options we are leaving out.
Healthy Restaurants in Donelson/ Nashville, TN
Phat Bites: This was our only coffee shop in Donelson, for so long and the staff may have more important things to do than serve you (like get high in the back), but the food is good and the location is just right. They have a great pesto chicken salad and other gluten free offerings. Also, they feature Bongo Java coffee which is the best, and organic! I like the Kale chips too. They also have fermented kombucha, as well as almond and goat milk to make the coffee drinks even better, just wish they had decaf for us adrenally challenged. You can see their hours and menu here.
Bowtie Barista: This adorable new addition is so welcome to this foodie desert that is Donelson. They specialize in Macadamia Milk Lattes and cappuccino’s which I love. They bring their macadamia milk from Australia and it is great. But don’t fret they have regular milk too. They are said to be adding a juice bar and that is a welcome addition. This is a great place to bring a friend for a chat or work on your computer. It is nice to have a place that really cares about coffee and the people who drink it. read more
Caliber Coffee: This new coffee place opened spring 2018, with lunch menu and avocado toast. Sometimes they have gluten free bread. They feature a full espresso bar and almond milk. It is great to have a new coffee shop nearby. Look at the menu here.
Nectar Urban Cantina: This restaurant has a lot going on between, tacos, coffee, chia pudding, overnight oats, green juice, and lawn games in back, there is something for everyone. Check out the menu here.
Ellendale’s: They have a great lunch buffet and amazing Sunday brunch. There is a big salad bar with lots of healthy choices and usually a few choices of cooked meats without breading or thick sauces. Just ask the staff for which dishes are gluten free and they will let you know. Check out their website here.
Homegrown: Is a great place that serves local food and craft beers. They have a great gluten-free menu with from pastured meat from Porter Road Butcher shop as well as local farmers. Also, they have gluten free beers and cider. Try the cobb salad or get your favorite sandwich on gluten free bread. Check them out here.
McNamara’s Irish Pub: Has a wonderful corned beef and cabbage on their well-labeled gluten free menu. They even have Irish Kerrygold butter which is high in immune building A and D. Check them out here.
Hip Donelson Farmers Market: I love so many things at this volunteer-run farmers market that helping to raise our property values! Try to go often because some of the vendors can change and you don’t want to miss anything. I love the coconut kefir stand and the pastured chicken from Creek Bend Farms. Also the beef from Peaceful Pastures and Hippo Hollow Farms. I like to go see Tonya at the Post East booth for organic juices and gluten free breads. Hopefully they will open a second location of Post East in Donelson someday! See all the vendors here. This market goes from May through October because the best things always come to an end! You can learn more about the CSA they run in the winter here.
Darfon’s: is a great local place that has killer New Zealand lamb chops and the whole meat-tastic menu is labeled gluten free. Check them out here.
Mirko’s: Can make most dishes with gluten free pasta and I have been told they source local meat and produce. Mirko: The best part is place has the amazing option of putting any sauce over spaghetti squash! Shut the front door. I have been so many times, it is amazing. I like the “Granchio” lump crab meat white wine, diced tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes sauce or the seafood mare over the “pasta”. Check them out here.
Dear Sushi: This little hole in the wall has better sushi than it lets on from the outside so give it a chance. I bring my own soy sauce to make it gluten-free and avoid fried rolls and heavy sauces. You can get sashimi if you want to cut the carbs. You can see them on yelp here.
Sukho Thai: This is across from Opryland Hotel and a family run establishment. They have authentic homemade dishes. I was impressed with the seafood version of the green curry and seafood broth lemongrass soup. My husband had the Pad Thai. This restaurant won best Thai food in Nashville Scene in 2008 when I am sure there were less choices around but this one has maintained high quality. See more here.
Sindore Indian Restaurant:
This is a new place that opened on Donelson Pike and I have heard rave reviews about it but have not been able to try it. When going for Indian food choose grilled meats and spinach paneer as a side. Also get a side salad with the yogurt sauce. Get the menu here.
Chain Establishments :
Pie Five: Is a chain where you can customize your personalized size pizza with gluten free crust. Add as many different meats or veggies as you want. It may not be celiac safe, make sure to ask in advance. Check them out here.
Kroger: Kroger grocery has a great organic selection and made to order sushi. They have Kombucha and Braggs drink and organic chicken. Sometimes they have Simple truth no antibiotic rotisserie chicken if you can get there before you run out. Kroger carries grass fed beef and organic chicken in the meat section. I live for the Brad’s Kale chips and Theo chocolate bars. If you are busy just do the click list and they will bring it out to your car.
Publix: is a big grocery store that has a great selection of organic and gluten-free goodies. They have an awesome selection of produce and meats. It is a little more pricey than Kroger but with great customer service.
Panera Bread: Has some gluten conscious cookies and almond milk lattes, what more do you need? They have started having healthier options without preservatives. I ordered some of the egg dishes without the bread and they accommodated by serving in a nice dish. I like the flavored tea and I bring my own stevia. Panera has some good salads including the Green Goddess Chicken Cobb (pictured below).
Jimmy John’s: has bread-free sandwiches served in lettuce wraps. You can place your order online here.
Whitt’s: has really good gluten free barbecue and vinegar slaw. They feature baked wings, turkey and pork barbecue that are all very tasty and affordable on the go. They have five locations in town but you can see their main page here.
Opry Mills Mall: Has a plethora of dining options such as Mission Barbeque which was great last time we went. Also, there is a Chuy’s which has a gluten free menu. The Greenleaf’s is a make your own salad bar which can be very healthy if you ask for olive oil and vinegar as dressing. I have had some nice meals at Aquarium where they will grill your seafood without adding gluten. Macaroni Grill used to have a gluten free menu but they phased it out but if you ask the waiter they will help you out. Johnny Rocket will make a burger in a lettuce wrap and they have an allergen menu. I like to get snacks at Starbucks or a quest bar at the GNC. And you can’t go wrong with a Moes Burrito bowl featuring grass fed beef! Check out their website here.
Honorable Mentions in Hermitage (4 miles east):
Sips: This is technically in hermitage but so yum I just had to add it. They will make your smoothies or coffee to order and the prices are cheap. Plus they give you a punch card for a free drink after several visits. You can see their yelp page here.
Taziki’s: This cute little chain has an awesome lamb salad with tzatziki sauce if you can handle a little yogurt. A great place if you are like me and eat mostly vegetables and meat. Check out their menu here.
Bosna: This an authentic Bosnian family restaurant that has a lot of traditional, healthy meat and vegetable dishes. Just tell then you are gluten free and they will make an extra effort. Check out their menu here.
First Watch: Is a newer chain that has many protein options for breakfast and lunch including veggie omelets, wild salmon frittata, and quinoa power bowls.
Doneslon Greenways: for active outdoor living
YMCA Trailhead: park at the parking lot directly to the left of the YMCA and walk for miles on a path without cars.
Trailhead at Kohl’s: Park at the kohl’s then walk to your right or left for a long time. I prefer walkign to the left because sometime the right path is flooded.
Trailhead at Wave Country: you can ride your bike all the way to Shelby Park and East Nashville.
As much as I love the restaurant selection here in Donelson I am always excited to try more! I hope more options move in with some healthy choices and let me know when they arrive.
Are you in Nashville?? Here are a few more Nashville articles that I think you will find helpful!