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Your Must-Have Guide To Vegan Knoxville

by | June 12, 2020

Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Knoxville is a lively and growing Southern City that enchants locals and tourists alike.

The city’s downtown core is constantly evolving, while retaining its rich history and traditions. While you might think you’d find pork in all of the collard greens here, Knoxville is actually bursting with vegan options! In fact, most Knoxville restaurants have at least a couple of plant-based options on the menu.

What follows is a list of some of the city’s plant-based best!

The Best Of Vegan Knoxville

The Vegan Soul Tamale from Good Golly Tamale
The Vegan Soul Tamale from Good Golly Tamale (Good Golly Tamale)

Good Golly Tamale

If you find yourself needing a light meal in Knoxville’s historic Old City, look no farther than Good Golly Tamale. This spot’s Vegan Soul Tamale is one of only six item on its regular menu — and man is it good. Made with blue corn, sweet potato, black eyed peas, and collard greens, this tamale is unlike any you’ve ever tasted.

Eat in or take it to go and sit with friends at one of the city’s lovely parks. Look for the Good Golly Tamale cart at the Knoxville farmer’s market, too.

Find it: In the Old City at 112 S Central St.

breakfast plate at OliBea vegan knoxville pick
Vegan Breakfast Plate at OliBea (Zoë Hester)

OliBea 

OliBea has the best vegan breakfast options in Knoxville, boasting seitan bacon, tofu chorizo, the perfect potatoes, and more. Also on offer are a number of fantastic specials, including unique hot sauces and jams — definitely things to watch out for on your next visit!

Enjoy your vegan breakfast or brunch at OliBea while looking out at Knoxville’s historic Old City for a morning you won’t soon forget.  

Find it: In the Old City at 211 S Central St.

Yassin's hummus and falafel sandwiches
Hummus and Falafel Sandwiches from Yassin’s (Zoë Hester)

Yassin’s Falafel House

I had bad frozen falafel as a teenager and swore off falafel for the rest of my life — until I tried Yassin’s. Now, I can’t go more than a week or two without having some. Yassin’s has amazing falafel sandwiches and hummus. It was also named the Nicest Place in America by Good Morning America in 2018!

A spot with a heart as big as your apetite, Yassin’s does great work in the community and serves spectacular food while doing it.

Find it: Near Market Square at 706 Walnut St. or in West Knoxville at 159 N Peters Rd.

The Vegan Sandwich at The Tomato Head
The Vegan Sandwich at The Tomato Head (The Tomato Head)

The Tomato Head

The Tomato Head is a vegan and vegetarian classic in Knoxville, and has been serving up tofu since the days before veganism became mainstream. This spot’s menu is huge, and includes a selection of great vegan pizza, sandwiches, and salads.

Watch out for tasty vegan cupcakes on the bakery shelves! 

Find it: In Market Square at 12 Market Square or in West Knoxville at 7240 Kingston Pike.

Hummus at KoPita
Hummus at KoPita (KoPita)

KoPita Falafel & Hummus Bar

KoPita is truly the vegan dream. It boasts a 100-percent-vegan menu and sources many of its ingredients locally. Oh — and everything on the menu is to die for! I always have a tough time choosing what to order here, and usually order too much and end up taking leftovers home.

KoPita describes its Mediterranean menu as gourmet street food, and boy, does it deliver.

Find it: On Gay Street at 524 S Gay St.

The Vegan Vermicelli Bowl at Viet Bread and Tea
The Vegan Vermicelli Bowl at Viet Bread and Tea (Viet Bread and Tea)

Viet Bread and Tea

Viet Bread and Tea is new to Knoxville, and has delighted local vegans with its separate vegan menu, plant-based food and dairy-free teas!

Boasting a number of colorful and vibrant dishes, this is a spot offering perfect options whether you want to dine-in or take out. 

Find it: On Gay Street at 522 S Gay St.

The vegan glazed and vegan snickerdoodle donuts at Status Dough
Vegan Glazed and Vegan Snickerdoodle Donuts at Status Dough (Status Dough)

Status Dough

What’s the best place to grab a sweet vegan treat in Knoxville? Status Dough — hands down!

The downtown location, which always has at least two vegan donuts on the menu, is adorable and makes a perfect people-watching spot on Gay Street.

Find it: On Gay Street at 418 S Gay St 101 or in West Knoxville at 6535 Kingston Pike.

The Vegan Taco Platter at SoKno
The Vegan Taco Platter at SoKno (Zoë Hester)

SoKno Taco Cantina

SoKno has the perfect patio to sit on after you take a hike in Ijam’s Nature Center or ride your bike through Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness.

Here, you can find the best fried tofu in Knoxville, which pairs perfectly with the pico de gallo that comes with the taco platter. Order anything on the menu without cheese and choose vegan tofu as your protein and you’re good to go! You’ll leave SoKno feeling happy and full — if wanting just one more jalapeño margarita. 

Find it: In South Knoxville at 3701 Sevierville Pike.

The patio at South Coast Pizza
The patio at South Coast Pizza (South Coast Pizza)

South Coast Pizza

Sevier Avenue is one of Knoxville’s up-and-coming areas, and you’ll find South Coast Pizza right in the middle of it.

More of less your typical pizza place, this spot gets a leg up by offering vegan cheese! Build a custom pizza with all of your favorite vegan toppings then sit outside on the patio to watch the people go by.

After having your vegan pizza at South Coast, you can grab a macadamia milk latté at Honeybee Coffee, drink a beer at Alliance Brewery, or visit Everything Mushrooms to prep for some vegan cooking at home.

Find it: In South Knoxville at 1103 Sevier Ave.

What’s your top of these vegan Knoxville hotspots? Let us know in the comments below.

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