Every Vegan Option at The Tomato Head
12 Market Square
Knoxville, TN 37902
7240 Kingston Pike #172
Knoxville, TN 37919
The staff is knowledgeable about vegan options and the kitchen is great about making substitutions. The sandwich rolls and pizza dough are housemade and vegan, and there are daily vegan cupcakes and cookies. If you're a regular, they even offer a loyalty program!
The array of vegan appetizers is mostly hummus-centric - but how often do you have vegan appetizer options at all? Choose from the Hummus Plate,Hummus & Blue Corn Chips, Black Bean Hummus, Bread & Dressing, and Blue Corn Chips & Roasted Tomato Chipotle Salsa (housemade). The Bread & Pesto appetizer isn't vegan as it appears on the menu, but you can get it with the vegan Spinach and Sundried Tomato Pesto.
There are some restaurants where vegans simply have to get a salad - but here you might actually want to get one. I'm always torn between the Veggie Chef, the Baked Tofu Salad, and the Southwestern Salad (vegan if you sub something for the cheddar and choose the Baked Tofu and Southwestern Vinaigrette dressing options). FYI, your vegan dressing selection includes Basil Vinaigrette, Mushroom Sesame, Tahini, and Southwestern Vinaigrette (as well as Poppyseed and Honey Carrot if you're cool with local honey from Moore's Acres).
The Vegan is fresh, flavorful, and certainly vegan (albeit better with the baked tofu in my opinion) - but that's not your only option. The Hummus Pita and housemade Veggie Burger are also vegan already, and with a simple soy cheese substitution, the Roger Roger (my favorite), Lucy, and even the Cheddar Head can be too. Sub soy cheese and vegan pesto, and the Vegetarian is vegan-friendly, too. Best of all, The Tomato Head's signature sandwich, the Kepner, is so frequently veganized that they even have a button for it in the computer. Just ask for the Vegan Kepner.
Pizza, Quesadillas, & Burritos
Since they offer soy cheese, you can pretty much wing it with the pizza! With toppings like capers, herbed tomato, fresh oregano, roasted garlic, and baked tofu, you're guaranteed to find something flavorful and satisfying.
If you sub soy cheese, you have a few quesadilla options - namely the Baked Tofu Quesadilla and Veggie Quesadilla, which is stuffed with fresh spinach, roasted portobello, roasted onion, carrot, herbed tomato, and pineapple. Most of the burritos come with cheese and crema, but with a few substitutions, you can enjoy the Portobello & Walnut, Jose Jose (my favorite), and Baked Tofu burritos. In place of the crema, try asking your server for a dressing suggestion - though in my opinion, the Tahini dressing is a good option for most.
In my opinion, the best thing about brunch at Tomato Head is the housemade soy sausage, or "soysage." I substitute it in any dish that doesn't already have it. Brunch is a little bit less vegan-friendly, but you can always substitute black beans, roasted potatoes, or portobello for eggs in breakfast burritos, egg sandwiches like the Eula, or huevos rancheros like the Zipolite (that's ZEE-po-LEE-tay if you're curious) or Eva. Be advised that the brunch-only Spicy Apple Salsa does contain local honey.
Flour Head Bakery
The Tomato Head's bakery makes fresh vegan bagels, rosemary white and poppyseed wheat rolls, and more every morning. You can buy their baked goods at both Tomato Head locations as well as Three Rivers Market, Earth Fare, the Bearden Kroger, and Butler and Bailey.