Knoxville may appear to be a modest, unassuming city, but don’t be fooled. Locals will soon inform you who is serving the best food and drinks when it comes to eating out and drinking. Here’s places to dine and drink in Knoxville, from OliBea to Knox Mason.
- Knox Mason
Knox Mason serves up some of the best Southern cuisine around. Chef Matt Gallaher prepares such exquisite local favourites and dessert options, delivered in miniature mason jars and brimming with delectable treats. Order the Knox Mason banana pudding or the Cruze Farm buttermilk panna cotta.
- The Tomato Head
The Tomato Head, one of Market Square’s original eateries, serves brunch, lunch, and dinner. The Flour Head Bakery in downtown Knoxville has a modest yet welcoming atmosphere, and the bread is prepared fresh every day. The Tomato Head has something for everyone, whether you’re a carnivore, vegetarian, or vegan. Try the Annabelle sandwich, which comes with scrambled eggs, roasted onion, chorizo or soysage (amazing), roasted potatoes, Sweetwater Valley smoked cheddar, and spicy apple salsa if you’re going for breakfast. It’ll get your day off to a good start.
OliBea — named after the owner’s children, Oliver and Beatrice — is a new favorite that is only open for breakfast from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day. OliBea delivers Southern delicacies like the OliBea Omelet, which contains house-smoked trout, arugula, pickled onion, and crème fraiche (pictured above). The chicken biscuit and the stuffed acorn squash with quinoa, Brussels sprouts, and a fried egg are two more favorites.
- Cru Bistro
Cru Bistro, a small-plates restaurant with a wine bar — a first for Knoxville — provides a diverse menu of land and sea cuisine, as well as an amazing cocktail selection to match. The items are a must-try in Knoxville, from shrimp quesadillas and pesto grilled chicken club sliders to wild mushroom stone-fired pizza and a filet mignon sandwich. Cru Bistro got a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2014. Pinnacle at Turkey Creek and the 100 block of Gay Street are the two places.
- Stock and Barrel
In 2014, Metro Pulse named this neighborhood staple on Market Square as having the greatest french fries and burgers in Knoxville. Stock and Barrel, on the other hand, takes pleasure in not only what they serve, but also what they serve. There are over 70 bourbons to select from, all of which go great with a juicy burger like the basic bacon burger or the Black & Blue, which has buttermilk blue fondue, Benton’s bacon, crispy onions, and blackening spice on top. Order a bourbon to go with your out-of-this-world beef burger and duck confit french fries from the bar or a table if you can locate one (the restaurant fills up quickly). Yes, duck fat-coated french fries.
- Chandler’s Deli
Chandler’s Deli, sometimes known as “Pink Taco Bell,” delivers Southern cuisine that you’d expect to find exclusively at your grandmother’s house. Charles and Gwen Chandler, a husband-and-wife pair who launched Chandler’s after Charles retired, own and operate the absolutely unassuming restaurant in East Knoxville. The pair works at the restaurant almost every day, cooking and serving their customers. The Chandler’s menu is full of Southern favorites including fried chicken, ribs, fried green tomatoes and okra, collard greens, broccoli and cheese, macaroni and cheese, and more.
- Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop
Do you have a strong desire for both sweet and savory foods? Buttermilk Sky will take care of you. Classics like Granny’s apple pie and chocolate meringue pie are available, as well as daily varieties and seasonal pies. There are also homemade biscuits and ice cream on the menu. In Knoxville, Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop has two locations: Kingston Pike and Parkside Drive. What if you’re not in Knoxville? There is no need to be concerned. They’ll deliver an I-40 pie or a Nanny’s pecan pie right to your door!