When looking for the top Knoxville restaurants, look for small eateries in Eastern Tennessee that showcase southern food enriched by fresh, locally produced ingredients.
After a long day of touring, your whole body will need a home-cooked lunch. Fortunately, Knoxville eateries have a variety of alternatives to suit guests’ appetites. You will be blown away by the range of cuisines and dining settings available, while yet discovering new dishes with creative twists on old tastes.
Tennessee whiskey isn’t the only thing Knoxville has to offer, but visitors will get their fill. Eastern Tennessee offers southern cuisine improved by locally produced ingredients offered in local restaurants.
There are many fine eating establishments across the city, but fashionable new cafes feature unique interpretations of native southern foods. Moreover, informal cafés provide homestyle meals, which is quite popular.
Whether you’re looking for fancy dining in a romantic setting or informal meals for a group of friends, the following restaurant directory has it all.
Visiting other places in Tennessee? Check out our other tasty guide:
- 10 Must-Try BBQ Places In Memphis
- 7 Must-Try Memphis Restaurants
Best 8 Restaurants in Knoxville
The Bijou Bistro
Knoxville, +18655440537807 S Gay St
The Bistro At The Bijou is located in a lovely turn-of-the-century brick hotel structure constructed in 1815 and transformed into an apartment in 1902. This structure has housed physicians’ and dentists’ offices, a boarding school, a bank, and even a sorority home. The restaurant launched in March 2016 with former James Beard award winner Christopher Carson at the helm of the kitchen.
On my stay, I had a terrific supper. With its stone walls and beautiful lighting, the atmosphere transported me to Paris. Although there are bistro tables and chairs, they have also been put up in a contemporary way, with elegant booths bordering the little restaurant.
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By utilizing the white tablecloths that covered all tables, you could dress up a little more than jeans and a t-shirt. This is a must-see for any foodie. The restaurant serves several French-inspired meals as well as cuisines from other nations.
The cuisine features a great combination of locally produced products, including American, French, Italian, and Southern favorites with worldwide influences. Caramelized Onion and Three Cheese Polenta Cakes, Chipotle Brisket Tacos, Greek Taverna Pasta Salad, and Chicken Scallopini Marsala are among the options.
Knoxville, +186524702956901 Kingston Pike
This Brazilian steakhouse, with sites in Knoxville, TN and Louisville, KY, will take you on a tour of the flavors of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil.
Brazeiros Churrascaria originated in Brazil and is still quite popular there. The first Brazilian steakhouse to operate in the United States became a significant craze and a notable trend, attracting more customers with each passing day.
The sights and fragrances of Brazeiros flood your senses the instant you come through the door. Fresh beef, hog, lamb, and chicken are sliced in front of your eyes by the personnel.
Apart from the exquisite meats, the staff will cut your fish right at the table!
After you’re done, just summon your server, who will bring you a dish of three distinct Brazilian cheeses. Visitors may even bring their own bottle of wine or champagne!
Downtown Chesapeake Bay
+18656733433600 Union Ave SW, Knoxville
Chesapeakes Downtown is one of Knoxville’s most popular restaurants. It was launched in 1995 and has since become well-known for its fresh seafood and fine-dining service. Chesapeakes Downtown, as seen on the Travel Channel, delivers the tastes of the Northeast to Tennessee.
The nautical design and marine antiquities were the first things I noticed about Chesapeakes. The restaurant is intended to evoke the sensation of sailing out to sea. The huge windows let in a lot of light into the dining room and terrace.
Through its glass windows, this beautiful restaurant provides views of Norris Lake Park and serves delectable seafood dishes inspired by the eastern coasts. Raw oysters, snow crab legs, Maine lobster, Alaskan King Crab Legs, and steaks are among the restaurant’s most popular meals.
The menu includes appetizers such as fried oysters and calamari alongside sandwiches, fish n chips, and BBQ shrimp salad rolls. On request, a children’s menu is also available.
West Copper Cellar
Kingston Pike, Knoxville, +186567334227316
Copper Cellar West offers upmarket dining for couples looking for culinary diversity. Since it is owned by the same people as the original Copper Cellar in Knoxville’s Market Square, the cuisine is identical, featuring fresh seafood and USDA prime steaks grilled on a charcoal barbecue. However, at Knoxville’s Chefs Table, you may enjoy exotic meals like rack of lamb, pheasant, stuffed shrimp, and crab cakes. There are tables close to the open kitchen where you can watch cooks make a seven-course dinner for up to four people, including appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts.
If you’re looking for some wonderful southern comfort cuisine, this is the place to go.
Sweet potato casserole, spinach salad, baked goat cheese, bananas foster bread pudding, and other dishes are available at the restaurant. They also provide a gluten-free menu for those who have dietary requirements.
Knoxville, +18653129050501 Union Ave SW
J.C. Holdway is an American institution and a culinary destination for anybody looking to sample the greatest cuisine in Knoxville.
I’ve eaten there with numerous friends and family members and have always had wonderful meals. The meal is prepared using fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers. The wine selection has been carefully curated to complement many of the meals on the menu.
Walnut-smoked fish, smoked bone marrow, roasted grouper, and grilled pig belly are all on the menu. Large Haddock ceviche and Chesapeake Bay scallops with sweet corn pudding are two local fish specialties.
J.C. Holdway provides a great selection of local cuisine for the ultimate Tennessee gourmet experience for those searching for a fulfilling supper in Knoxville.
Knoxville, +1865288411110901 Parkside Dr #105
In Knoxville, Tennessee, Kabuki Japanese Steakhouse offers specialized sushi and hibachi dishes. The decor is wooden and contemporary, with communal booths and tables. They also offer an outside terrace where I sat for lunch and watched the action on Market Square.
Sushi rolls are available for lunch and supper, as well as all-you-can-eat sushi selections at a fair price for couples on a date night or families seeking for a relaxed environment.
Hibachi meals include filet mignon, scallop, lobster, shrimp, filet mignon medallions, shrimp, flank steak, and chicken.
Kabuki is best described as luxurious. Their hibachi cuisine is very delectable, and the atmosphere is both contemporary and traditional.
This Japanese restaurant stands out from the crowd in Knoxville because of its ambience and service, and the pricing are fairly cheap for the big servings that will be served.
Downtown French Market Creperie
Knoxville, +18655404372412 Clinch Ave
There are many excellent Knoxville eateries, but The French Market Creperie stands out. For over two decades, this extraordinary building has hosted one of Tennessee’s most successful French restaurants.
From the fresh ingredients to the French crepes, baguettes, and croissant sandwiches, everything at The French Market is real and authentic.
They had savory and sweet crepe selections, which made me question my decision to order just one. I just had to try them both. Roast beef and Swiss cheese with fresh tomato, red onions, and handmade horseradish sauce was the savory option I chose. Excellent, if not the greatest savory crepe I’ve ever had.
I decided to return a few days later for their sweet selections, still buzzed from my prior taste. The French Crepe Suzette with Grand Marnier cognac, butter, sugar, and whipped cream was fantastic.
On that topic, if you want to avoid the conventional French butter, they do offer buckwheat butter and a certified gluten-free butter to pick from if you’re celiac. If you go in the morning, be patient since it is really crowded.
Water Enters the Wine Bistro and Lounge
N Campbell Station Road, Knoxville, +186539215866
Water Into Wine Restaurant & Bar, situated in North Knoxville, prepares and serves organic wines made with locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant’s menu is periodically updated to include a pork belly slider and fresh oysters.
This lovely restaurant serves fresh and excellent bistro fare for every occasion. Work lunches, informal meals, and special celebrations are ideal occasions to spend time with family and friends.
Yet, this cafe offers more than simply cuisine. It gives the sense of a welcoming and accepting environment. They also boast Knoxville’s biggest wine selection, featuring classics from both the Old and New Worlds.
Visit their website to keep up with all of their future activities. Weekends tend to be busier, so you may want to make a reservation.
The menu focuses on quality artisanal foods such as charcuterie and cheese boards, sharable appetizers, and substantial dinners like short rib or baked salmon. Award-winning chef and owner Vincent Dallemand creates distinctive dishes by fusing French traditions with Southern flare.
The Best 8 Knoxville Restaurants in Summary
Whether you’re here for business or pleasure, Knoxville is a lovely city with several excellent eateries on Main Street and across the city.
Knoxville’s restaurant scene includes everything from classic American fare to vegetarian and vegan alternatives, real French fare, and Asian sushi. Even the most discriminating visitors will find entertainment and excellent eating alternatives.
Knoxville’s distinct culinary industry places a heavy focus on locally produced ingredients, which are supported by excellent chefs. The gastronomic atmosphere of the city rivals that of its Tennessee neighbors. Whatever your preferences are or what you’re looking for, Knoxville offers a terrific assortment that will be both pleasing and unexpected.