what are some good places to eat Knoxville Tennessee

If you are coming to Knoxville Tennessee for a vacation or just passing through, you’ll need some recommendations for where to grab a bite to eat or have a fabulous meal. We have you covered for both! We usually suggest making reservations as popular places fill up. Some are listed on Open Table for ease of booking. You have some really good dining options for places to eat Knoxville, but we’re giving you a focus on Southern dishes, so we hope you enjoy!

what are recommendations for places to eat Knoxville

View of Knoxville.


  • Cafe 4 – This is a trendy restaurant located in Market Square and known for its southern comfort food with a twist. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has an outdoor patio for dining. The menu seems to have something for everyone and if you like Macaroni & Cheese, this is supposed to be THE place. They also have a “living room” setting with free wi-fi to hang out and rest up before or after the race.
  • The French Market Creperie – Yearning for a little Paris in Knoxville? Then head to The French Market.  Their crepes, pastries, and croissants are reportedly worth the visit.  Metro Pulse has awarded them runner-up for Best Breakfast/Brunch Restaurant for the last 5 years.  It also has a gift shop if you need to pick up some french made items.  It’s open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week and dinner on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
places to eat Knoxville Tennessee recommendations

The French Market Creperie

  • Connors Steak & Seafood – This restaurant has locations in the south and as the name implies, is big on steak and seafood.  That’s not to say that you can’t also get gourmet salads and PASTA, all you carb loaders.  It’s located at the Turkey Creek Shopping Center.
  • Tomato Head – If you are looking for vegetarian options, this is your place.  Located in Market Square, it’s great for soup, salads, and PIZZA!
  • ArchersBBQ – You are going to be in the south, so we have to include a BBQ restaurant.  If you like hickory smoked pulled pork and chicken served with traditional Southern side dishes – collard greens anyone – you have found nirvana.

    what are some recommendations for places to eat knoxville tennessee

    Photo credit Archer’s BBQ.

  • Stock & Barrel – Burgers and bourbon – need we say more?!  Okay, just a few more words – located in Market Square, farm-to-table concept at work, and fried green tomatoes.
  • Pete’s – People, including locals, love Pete’s for breakfast, but it is open for lunch, too.  Favorites include their eggs and pancakes, but I think what seems to be the draw more is the friendly staff and the fun atmosphere.  It’s located downtown and opens early.
  • Shuck Raw Bar & Ale – We just love the name of this place.  It’s located in downtown Knoxville on Gay Street.  It’s been described as edgy, small, cozy, and fun.  The place for raw oysters and fish tacos.
  • Bistro by the Tracks – If you’re looking for a nicer dining experience outside of Market Square, try Bistro by the Tracks.  It has a wide variety of fresh, seasonal selections of seafood and meat in a more sophisticated setting.  They do have catfish and crayfish on the menu and a nice wine list.  It’s located by the Marriott Courtyard.   Sister restaurants include Aubrey’s, Sunspot, Stefano’s, and Barley’s – all for fun, casual dining.

    what are good places to eat Knoxville Tennessee

    Bistro Burger at Bistro by the Tracks.

  • Puleo’s Grille – We’re intrigued by any restaurant that is known as a Southern Italian Steakhouse!  But, it wins lots of awards, including Best Chef, so there must be something to it.  There are several locations throughout the area.
  • Holy Land Market 7 Deli – Half market and half restaurant, Holy Land serves Middle Eastern/Mediterranean fare.  If you’re looking for kabab’s, fresh falafel, and lentil soup, this is the place. It must be the #1 rated place to eat on Trip Advisor for a reason.
  • Calhoun’s on the River – We, of course, have to mention Calhoun’s, as it’s right at the race site.  It’s open for lunch and dinner and by the name, I hope you deduce it sits on the Tennessee River.

So, this should truly give you plenty of options, but you can always check out Visit Knoxville and Metro Pulse for more choices. Enjoy Knoxville!