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8 Best Knoxville Restaurants | Must-Try Restaurants in Knoxville TN

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When choosing the best Knoxville restaurants, you will find many local eateries throughout the city in Eastern Tennessee showcasing southern cooking elevated by fresh, locally sourced ingredients. 

After a full day of sightseeing, all your senses will long for a home-cooked meal. Luckily, Knoxville restaurants offer many options to satisfy visitors’ appetites. You will be overwhelmed by the variety of cuisines and dining atmospheres available while still being able to discover new food with unique twists on classic flavors.

Tennessee whiskey isn’t the only thing that Knoxville has to offer, although guests will certainly get their fair share. In Eastern Tennessee, you can indulge in southern cuisine elevated by locally sourced ingredients served in local eateries.

Knoxville Restaurants: Knoxville

Fine dining restaurants are abundant throughout the city, but trendy new eateries serve innovative adaptations of regional southern dishes. In addition, casual cafes offer homestyle food that has earned big popularity.

Whether you search for upscale dining with a romantic atmosphere or casual fare for a group of friends, you will find all sorts of restaurants in the following guide.

Top 8 Knoxville Restaurants

Bistro At The Bijou

807 S Gay St, Knoxville // +18655440537

The Bistro At The Bijou is housed in a beautiful turn-of-the-century brick hotel building built in 1815 and converted into an apartment in 1902. This building has served as offices for doctors and dentists, a boarding school, a bank, and even a sorority house. The restaurant opened its doors in March 2016 with former James Beard award winner Christopher Carson at the kitchen head.

Knoxville Restaurants: Chicken Marsala

During my visit, I enjoyed a fantastic meal. The ambiance left me feeling like I was somewhere in Paris, with its brick walls and romantic lighting. While there are bistro tables and chairs, they also have set them up in a modern fashion, lining the small restaurant with luxurious booths. 

You could dress up a bit more than jeans and a t-shirt by using the white tablecloths that covered all tables. All food lovers should visit this place. The restaurant features many French-inspired dishes but also cuisines from various other countries.

The menu items are a perfect blend of regionally sourced ingredients, including American, French, Italian, and Southern specialties blended with international influence. These include Caramelized Onion and Three Cheese Polenta Cakes, Chipotle Brisket Tacos, Greek Taverna Pasta Salad, and Chicken Scallopini Marsala.

Brazeiros Churrascaria

6901 Kingston Pike, Knoxville // +18652470295

With locations in both Knoxville, TN, and Louisville, KY, this Brazilian steakhouse will take you on a tour of the tastes of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil.

Brazeiros Churrascaria started in Brazil and is still very popular in its homeland. The first Brazilian steakhouse to open in the United States became a major mania and a prominent trend that attracts more clientele with every day that passes.

Knoxville Restaurants: Brazilian Steak

From the moment you walk through the door, the sights and smells of Brazeiros fill your senses. The staff slice fresh beef, pork, lamb, and chicken – right in front of your eyes.

In addition to the succulent meats available, the staff will also carve your fish right at the table! 

Once you’ve finished, simply call upon your server, who will present you with a plate of three different Brazilian kinds of cheese. Guests are even welcome to bring their bottle of wine or champagne!

Chesapeake’s Downtown

600 Union Ave SW, Knoxville // +18656733433

Chesapeake’s Downtown is one of the most popular Knoxville restaurants. It opened in 1995, and since then, it has become well-known for its fresh seafood and fine-dining service. As seen on the Travel Channel, Chesapeake’s Downtown brings the flavors of the Northeast to Tennessee. 

The first thing I noticed about Chesapeake’s was the nautical decor and maritime antiques. The restaurant is designed to invoke the feeling of heading out to sea. Its large windows allowed plenty of sunlight into the dining room and patio.

Knoxville Restaurants: Lobster Dish

This charming restaurant offers Norris Lake Park views through its glass windows and serves mouth-watering seafood dishes inspired by the eastern shores. Some of the restaurant’s popular dishes include raw oysters, snow crab legs, Maine lobster, Alaskan King Crab Legs, and steaks.

The menu includes appetizers such as fried oysters and calamari alongside sandwiches, fish ‘n’ chips, and BBQ shrimp salad rolls. A children’s menu is also available upon request.

Copper Cellar West

7316 Kingston Pike, Knoxville // +18656733422

Couples seeking culinary variety can enjoy upscale dining at Copper Cellar West. Since it shares the same owners as the original Copper Cellar in Knoxville’s Market Square, this restaurant offers a similar menu with fresh seafood and USDA prime steaks prepared on a charcoal grill. Meanwhile, you can sample exotic dishes like a rack of lamb, quail, stuffed shrimp, and crab cakes at the Chef’s Table in Knoxville. There are tables adjacent to the open kitchen that allow you to watch chefs prepare a seven-course meal consisting of appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts for up to four people.

Knoxville Restaurants: Prime Rib

If you’re in the mood for some delicious southern comfort food, this is the place. 

The restaurant also has sweet potato casserole, spinach salad, baked goat cheese, bananas foster bread pudding, and more! They also offer an entire gluten-free menu for diners with dietary restrictions.

J.C. Holdway

501 Union Ave SW, Knoxville // +18653129050

J.C. Holdway is an American tradition and a culinary destination for anyone wanting to taste Knoxville’s best food.

I have dined there with many friends and family members and have had nothing but delicious meals. The food is made using fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farms. The wine list is hand-picked to pair well with many of the dishes on the menu.

Knoxville Restaurants: Pork Belly

The menu includes walnut-smoked trout, smoked bone marrow, roasted grouper, and grilled pork belly. Local fish dishes include Big Haddock ceviche and Chesapeake Bay scallops with sweet corn pudding.

For those of you looking for a satisfying dinner in Knoxville, J.C. Holdway has an excellent choice of local foods for the best Tennessee foodie experience. 

Kabuki Restaurant

10901 Parkside Dr #105, Knoxville // +18652884111

Kabuki Japanese Steakhouse serves up specialty sushi and hibachi items in Knoxville, Tennessee. The interior is wooden and modern, with booths and tables for communal dining. They also have an outdoor patio where I sat during my lunch and enjoyed the entertainment on Market Square.

There are sushi rolls on the menu for lunch and dinner, as well as all-you-can-eat sushi options at a reasonable price for couples on a date night or families looking for a casual atmosphere.

Knoxville Restaurants: Hibachi

Guests can also indulge in hibachi dishes like filet mignon, scallop, lobster, shrimp, filet mignon medallions, shrimp, flank steak, and chicken.

The best word to describe Kabuki is luxury. Their hibachi food is absolutely divine, and the interior is both modern and traditional. 

The ambiance and service make this Japanese restaurant stand out from the rest in Knoxville, and the prices are very reasonable for the generous portions that will arrive.

The French Market Creperie Downtown

412 Clinch Ave, Knoxville // +18655404372

There are many great Knoxville restaurants, but The French Market Creperie is a cut above the rest. This remarkable establishment has housed one of the most successful French restaurants in Tennessee for nearly two decades. 

Everything in The French Market is genuine and authentic, from the fresh ingredients to their French crepes, baguettes, and croissant sandwiches.

Knoxville Restaurants: Crepe With Goat Cheese

They offer savory and sweet options for the crepes, which made me reconsider my decision to go for only one. I simply had to try both. The savory choice I went for was roast beef and Swiss cheese, married with fresh tomato, red onions, and homemade horseradish sauce. Great, if not the best savory crepe I ever tasted in my life.

Still feeling the euphoria of my last bite, I decided to return a few days later for their sweet options. The French “Crepe Suzette” with Grand Marnier cognac, butter, sugar, and whipped cream was simply marvelous.

On this note, they do have buckwheat butter if you want to skip the classic French one and a certified gluten-free butter to choose in case you’re celiac. Prepare to be patient if you visit in the morning since it’s quite busy.

Water Into Wine Bistro and Lounge

607 N Campbell Station Rd, Knoxville // +18653921586

Water Into Wine Bistro and Lounge is located in North Knoxville and focuses on preparing and serving organic wines with locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant’s menu is updated regularly to provide a pork belly slider and fresh oysters. 

This charming eatery offers fresh and delicious bistro choices for any occasion. Business lunches, casual dinners, and special occasions are perfect opportunities to spend time with loved ones.

Knoxville Restaurants: Fresh Oytsers

This bistro is more than just food, though. It leaves an impression of a space where people can feel invited and accepted. They also have Knoxville’s largest wine list, with all the “usual suspects” from the Old and New World.

Pop on their website to follow all their upcoming events. It tends to get busier on the weekends, so you might consider a reservation.

The kitchen specializes in fine artisanal foods like charcuterie and cheese boards, sharable dishes, and large entrees of short rib or baked fish. Award-winning chef and owner Vincent Dallemand fuses French traditions with Southern flair to create bold menus.

Summary Of The Top 8 Knoxville Restaurants

Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, Knoxville is a beautiful city with many great restaurants on the main street and spread across the city. 

Knoxville’s restaurant scene ranges from traditional American foods, vegetarian and vegan options, authentic French to Asian sushi. Entertainment options and great dining spots are available for even the pickiest of guests.

Knoxville’s unique culinary scene has a strong emphasis on locally sourced foods, backed up by talented chefs. The city’s diverse culinary climate rivals the best of its Tennessee neighbors. Whatever your taste may be – or whatever you’re trying to discover – Knoxville has a great selection that will be both satisfying and surprising.

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