Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Restaurants in Tennessee!
Get ready to embark on a culinary journey across the Volunteer State! Tennessee is famous for its rich history, vibrant music scene, and mouthwatering southern cuisine. From the bustling city of Nashville to the picturesque Great Smoky Mountains, you’ll find a wide range of dining experiences that cater to all tastes and budgets. In this travel guide, we’ll take you through some of the best restaurants in Tennessee, so buckle up and get ready to savor every bite!
1. Nashville – Music City’s Diverse Dining Scene
a) Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
When in Nashville, you can’t miss the iconic hot chicken. Hattie B’s is among the best spots to try this spicy, crispy delight. Choose your heat level and enjoy your hot chicken with southern sides like pimento mac ‘n cheese and collard greens.
b) The Loveless Cafe
For a true taste of Southern hospitality, head to The Loveless Cafe. Known for its legendary biscuits and country ham, this iconic spot has been serving up home-cooked meals since 1951. Don’t forget to try their famous homemade preserves!
c) Rolf and Daughters
Craving something contemporary? Rolf and Daughters offers a unique blend of Mediterranean and Southern cuisine. Their seasonal menu features inventive dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients, perfect for sharing with friends and family.
2. Memphis – BBQ, Soul Food, and Beyond
a) Central BBQ
Memphis is synonymous with barbecue, and Central BBQ is a must-visit for any BBQ lover. Sample their mouthwatering ribs, pulled pork, or brisket, all smoked to perfection and accompanied by classic sides like coleslaw and baked beans.
b) The Beauty Shop
Located in a renovated 1960s beauty salon, The Beauty Shop offers a unique dining experience with an eclectic menu. Enjoy delicious dishes like their watermelon and wings or the Moroccan lamb shank, all while surrounded by vintage hairdryer chairs and salon decor.
c) Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
For a taste of Memphis’ famous fried chicken, head to Gus’s. Known for their crispy, spicy, and juicy chicken, this iconic eatery has been serving up finger-licking goodness since the 1950s. The perfect spot for a casual, satisfying meal!
3. Knoxville – A Taste of Appalachia
a) The Tomato Head
For a fresh, farm-to-table experience, visit The Tomato Head. Known for their scrumptious pizzas and sandwiches made with locally-sourced ingredients, this eatery is perfect for vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike.
b) J.C. Holdway
Named after Chef Joseph Lenn’s great uncle, J.C. Holdway celebrates the culinary traditions of the Southeast. This upscale restaurant offers dishes that pay homage to the region’s heritage, like smoked trout dip and wood-fired chicken with cornbread dressing.
For a delicious and satisfying breakfast or brunch, check out OliBea. This cozy spot offers Southern favorites with a twist, such as their sweet potato pancake or the “OliBea” benedict with pulled pork and pimento cheese hollandaise.
4. Chattanooga – Scenic City’s Culinary Delights
Experience authentic Italian cuisine at Alleia, located in a beautifully restored historic building. Indulge in their handmade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, and delicious antipasti while enjoying the rustic atmosphere and excellent wine list.
b) St. John’s Restaurant
For a fine dining experience, visit St. John’s Restaurant. Their seasonal menu features expertly crafted dishes using the finest local ingredients, such as their pan-roasted duck breast or the wild mushroom risotto. Don’t forget to save room for their exquisite desserts!
c) Taqueria Jalisco
If you’re in the mood for Mexican fare, Taqueria Jalisco is the place to go. This family-owned restaurant offers a variety of authentic dishes, from tacos and enchiladas to tortas and tamales. Enjoy the lively atmosphere and friendly service while savoring the flavors of Mexico.
5. Gatlinburg – Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains
a) The Peddler Steakhouse
For a memorable dining experience in Gatlinburg, visit The Peddler Steakhouse. Situated on the banks of the Little Pigeon River, this cozy restaurant is known for its delicious steaks, seafood, and stunning views. Perfect for a romantic evening or a special celebration!
b) Crockett’s Breakfast Camp
Start your day right with a hearty breakfast at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp. This popular spot pays tribute to the area’s pioneer history while serving up generous portions of pancakes, omelets, and biscuits and gravy. A must-visit for any mountain adventurer!
c) Smoky Mountain Brewery
After a day of exploring the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains, unwind at Smoky Mountain Brewery. Enjoy their selection of handcrafted beers, tasty pub fare, and live entertainment in a laid-back, mountain lodge atmosphere.
6. Franklin – Historic Charm Meets Modern Cuisine
a) Gray’s on Main
Located in a charming 19th-century building, Gray’s on Main offers a unique blend of Southern comfort food and global flavors. Savor dishes like their shrimp and grits or the bourbon-glazed pork chop, all while enjoying live music and a taste of local history.
b) 55 South
55 South brings the flavors of New Orleans to Franklin with their delicious Cajun and Creole dishes. Indulge in classics like gumbo, jambalaya, and beignets, and don’t miss their amazing raw bar featuring fresh oysters and seafood.
c) Red Pony
For an upscale dining experience in Franklin, visit Red Pony. This contemporary restaurant offers a diverse menu featuring dishes like seared scallops with sweet corn succotash and maple leaf duck breast with sweet potato hash. A perfect spot for a special night out!
We hope you enjoyed this culinary tour of Tennessee! Remember, this is just a taste of what the Volunteer State has to offer. There are countless restaurants, cafes, and eateries waiting to be discovered.