Vegetarian Review: Gloria Jean’s Coffee

1000 Rivergate Pkwy, Suite 1500
Goodlettsville, TN 37072

All this month, Another Food Critic is going vegetarian to try local restaurants’ healthier cuisine. To learn more, click here

Upscale coffee shops are pretty easy to spot in malls; you usually know you’ve got one when it’s covered with bright spotlights and richly varnished wood. You already know you’re in for a hardcore coffee experience before you walk in. Gloria Jean’s has certainly sought to make its intentions clear with its mantra and subtitle; “Purveyors of fine coffee.” I always like to try coffee when it’s freshly roasted in-house and available to buy by the whole bean. As I understand it, they’re a pretty big deal in the south, with quite a few locations.

It immediately impresses me with the variety of beans in the shop. Some are from Ethiopia, others from Costa Rica, and still more from Hawaii. Among the flavors are cookie dough and blueberry. There is a flavor of the day option to sample these, in addition to the standard selection of coffeehouse favorites on the drink menu. It really wows me how good the flavors are. I tried a cup of the day’s flavor, Caramel Nut, and what realty wowed me was how strong that taste was. It’s just how it’s described on the menu. You almost don’t even need sugar or cream to complement the drink. The strong taste and depth of flavor of the beans shows an extreme finesse. It’s not overcooked and charred tasting. It’s not too strong and shocking to the tongue.  It’s just good, quality coffee.

The variety of other drinks are nothing to sneeze at either, there are teas and cocoas, varied and complex. It’s an exceptional variety. While the place certainly branded and has the feel of a chain, it’s just hard to ignore how good the coffee is. The business has put its resources to use well, and the end result is a great experience.

The little shop has no room for seating, but there is plenty of table space nearby if you want to sit while you drink. The interior concept of the vendor is nonetheless very pleasant. It really does look and feel upscale. The prices in the shop are a little above those you’ll find at other local coffee places, but with the selection you see along the line of beans, you really do taste the difference.

I continue to be impressed with the selection of coffee places around Nashville. I feel like I could have a different cup a day and still go months without repeating them. Nevertheless, Gloria Jean’s is the kind of coffee that sticks out to me.


  • Of course, the largest part of business here is the bags of roasted beans sold for home brewing. That’s really what’s going to be bringing you back.
  • Definitely take advantage of the “flavor of the day” in the store, you really get a chance to taste the best coffees before you buy them.
  • Keep in mind there aren’t any food options or seating in the shop. It’s more of a take-and-go business.

Gloria Jean's Coffee on Urbanspoon


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