Compliments to Hip Green Scene for this thorough compilation of Knoxville’s best places, to eat, drink, shop, explore, see, and be seen.
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Legend: D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop
“Just like that scrappy dog you adopted a bit hesitantly before it wormed its way into your heart for good, the Scruffy City has plans to win you over. Along with plenty of craft beer afficinados, wide patios, and artful cups of coffee, you’ll find world class, small batch craft denim at Marc Nelson, and the International Biscuit Festival bringing in celebrity chefs from all over. You’ll find vintage done well here, especially in places like Nostalgia on McCalla, an 11,000 square-foot Retro/thrift emporium. Knoxville is proud of its heritage, never more apparent than when you’re sipping on one of 300 scotches from Boyd’s Jig & Reel and listening to a pub session or nibbling on Knox Mason’s deviled eggs with Rooster sauce and Tennessee Chow Chow. The expansive Knoxville Outdoor Adventure Center urges you to capitalize on the natural beauty of the Valley and its surrounds. Go ahead and get your shoes muddy. Don’t worry, K-Town has sophistication as well. Just ask folks about the speakeasy downtown inside the gorgeous Oliver Hotel. So if Knoxville seems a little scruffy at first, give us a read, you just haven’t gotten to know her yet…
Littons’ Market and Restaurant Often featured in Southern Living, this K-Town landmark is best known for its burgers and desserts. The popular Litton Thunder Road features in-house ground beef on their signature buns topped with pimento cheese, sauteed onions and a baked jalapeno. Make room for the Coconut Cream pie (though we could be talked into ordering a big ole slice of Red Velvet). 2803 Essary Rd. (E)
Brown Bag When you want something fresh and fast, swing by Brown Bag. The menu is a little limited, but on a hurried day, their red skin mashed potatoes and sesame snap peas keep our bellies happy. 10649 Hardin Valley Rd. or downtown at 800 S. Gay St. (E)
West Bicycles Not only can they outfit you to get on the road, their weekly rides might be the nudge you need to get out there. West Bicycles leads road bike rides on Wednesdays (6:05 p.m.) and Saturdays (8:00 a.m.) and a Greenway ride on Tuesdays (6:15). Don’t miss the service clinics and Bike Fit Saturdays to keep your ride tight. 11531 Kingston Pike (S)
When you are jonzing for a good bowl of Pho, Bida Saigon Vietnamese Stop is the direction you want to go. 8078 Kingston Pike (E)
Chez Guevara Yeah, we wish it wasn’t in a strip mall, but we can work around that. Don’t look for a sign; they didn’t have one, last time we checked. What Chez Guevara does have is some righteous Mexican food, that and a lot of icons on the walls. 8025 Suite A Kingston Pike (E)
The Tomato Head Anytime we mention Knoxville, the response will invariably be, “Ohhh…Tomato Head!” No other words are required it would seem. Amazing pizzas, great vegetarian fare, sandwiches, burritos–something to please all. This place is a legit Knoxville institution. 7240 Kingston Pike,The Gallery and 12 Market Square (E)
Look for Flour Head Bakery goods at both Tomato Head locations, Just Ripe, Butler and Bailey, Three Rivers Market and most Krogers around town.
Bliss Home This beloved design store carries casual contemporary furnishings, accessories, and gifts. They’ve won Best of Knoxville so many times we’ve lost count. In-home design services are available. 7240 Kingston Pike, The Gallery or 29 Market Square (S)
McKay If you haven’t heard of McKay’s, let us be the first to tell you, you are missing out. Used books, CD’s, movies–even vinyl–fill this warehouse waiting for you to get in on the bargain. Not surprisingly, McKay’s won Metro Pulse’s Best of the Best this year. 230 Papermill Place Way (S)
drink. midtown lounge. Much like its sister restaurant, Bistro by the Tracks, drink appeals to your more refined nature. With its dark interior and futuristic wine dispensing stations, you might be lured into running up the tally on your wine card. They also serve craft beer, inventive cocktails, and yummy noshes to soothe your after-work beast. 215 Brookview Centre Way Suite 107 (E)
Bistro by the Tracks This elegant little bistro serves well composed, beautiful dishes of seasonal fare. We would recommend getting in on a wine dinner. September’s Bourbon and Benton’s Bacon Dinner sounds pretty dope to us. 215 Brookview Centre Way Suite109 (E)
Crush If the Pin-up, Retro, or Rockabilly look is your thing, Crush is your place. They sell Retro reproduction clothing and everything necessary to transform you, Betty Page style. They also have vintage lingerie and 50’s-style bathing suits. Proprietress Sarah “Sriracha Sauce” Frankel is extremely knowledgeable about era dressing and even offers full-service pin-up shoots complete with make-up and hair styling, wardrobe, and pose coaching. Pretty rad, even Dita Von Teese would approve. 5710 Kingston Pike (S)
Cachepot This gorgeous little shop is the perfect place to pick up an orchid, some stems from their fresh floral case, or a vessel for your favorite houseplant. They offer complete floral and garden design services. Don’t miss their courtyard for lovely statuary and flowering plants. 5508 Kingston Pike Suite 190 (S)
Lucky Staar Jewelry Go, go now. You will wear these Susan Elisabeth Thomas pieces with everything. 5508 Kingston Pike Suite 170B (S)
Pink Pomegranate Home You might snag a great deal here. This consignment boutique is owned by the folks of G&G Interiors. You can expect to find a little “run-off” from their exquisite mama shop. 5508 Kingston Pike Suite 150 (S)
Elle Boutique features wearable fashionable to keep you effortlessly chic. Hunter Hobo bags, vegan leather leggings, Splendid cardigans, Gorjana jewelry and many other stylish finds await you. 5508 Kingston Pike Suite 130 (S)
G&G (Gift and Gourmet) Interiors This high-end design shop is a thing of beauty. While we expected great looking decor, we were pleasantly surprised at the range of artwork represented. G&G showcases original pieces from local and regional artists. That is worth a trip alone, except we love so much more… 5508 Kingston Pike Suite 100 (S)
Buttermilk Sky Pie How can one resist a pretty little pie in a brown paper box with a cellophane window? We can’t. We suggest you just cave to temptation too and sample several. Don’t forget a scoop of all natural ice cream, if you’re the ala mode type. The popular homemade caramel pie is back for Fall! 5402 Kingston Pike (E)
Bennett Galleries and Company Don’t be put off by the behemoth structure on the Pike, you might find Blackberry Farm’s chow chow, a piece of artisan jewelry, or the perfect sideboard. Bennett not only carries a wide range of artwork, they provide custom framing as well as in-home design services. 5308 Kingston Pike (S)
Gourmet’s Market/Cosmo’s Caffe Want to eat brunch with your pooch? Head over to Cosmo’s and request porch seating. They have a popular omelet station and a large menu of sweet or savory dishes. We’d order Toad in the Hole just because it reminds us of that scene in Moonstruck (sans ketchup). 5107 Kingston Pike (E)
If you haven’t been to Fig & Company, you’ll want to add it to your list. Committed to representing local and regional craftsmen, Fig & Company is a pleasant respite from retail tedium. Many of the mirrors, plaques, and case goods of reclaimed wood have been produced in Fig’s workshop. You’ll also find great lamps and home accessories as well as the full line of Amy Howard paints and Voluspa candles. We loved the kid’s rustic worktable paired with Philippe Starck-esque mini ghost chairs. 5072 Kingston Pike (S)
The Back Porch Mercantile is the area’s exclusive stockist of Annie Sloan chalk paints. The Back Porch also carries Dash and Albert rugs, Pine Cone Hill bedding, and Farmhouse Fresh masks and scrubs. Owner Jenny Parkhurst has filled her little shop with charming accents to adorn you and your home. BPM even offers workshops in the back, spreading a bit of chalk-painting magic. 5052 Kingston Pike (S)
Obligato Truth be told, they started in the Hamptons. But since Obligato fell in love with K-Town and opened a shop here, we can’t deny returning their affections. They sell just the right mix of contemporary clothing, stylish shoes, and gorgeous jewelry to keep you on point. 4626 Kingston Pike (S)
Hard Knox Pizzeria Somebody please get the Annie soundtrack out of our heads! Here’s a solution, we’ll trot on down to Hard Knox and consume copious amounts of wood-fired “neo neapolitan” pizza. Red or white pies, rocket salad, Italian hummus, cannoli–turns out it is a Hard Knox life for us. 4437 Kingston Pike (E)
The slow roasted, spicy dishes of Gosh Ethiopian Restaurant will be your new addiction. Order up a few samplers, grab some Injera and scoop away. You now have full permission to eat with your hands in public. 3609 Sutherland Ave. (E)
Holy Land Market On the lookout for a tasty gyro? The deli counter at Holy Land is your place. The falafel and several varieties of hummus will also keep us coming back. 3601 Sutherland Ave. (E)
River Sports Outfitters and The Climbing Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Needless to say, they’ve generated quite a bit of expertise over the years. They sponsor climbing fundamentals classes, kayak roll clinics–even outside yoga at IJAMS. They rent mountain and hybrid bikes for your next trail ride, and naturally carry all the camping, running, or outdoor gear you might need for your next adventure. Check them out and get outside! 2918 Sutherland Avenue (S)
Nostalgia We can’t get enough of the quirky energy that is Nostalgia. The house cats and maze of booths filled with a pleasing amalgamation of vintage, used and retro goods will entertain and delight you. 5214 Homberg Dr. (S)
How can Bearden Beer Market be explained to the uninitiated? To the right is a little shack with many, many micro-brews you and your friends might enjoy and a number of drafts on tap for growler fills or by the mug. The beer garden is large and dog-friendly. Cornhole is available (which always makes us happy). Check out the BBM’s webpage for the parking map–really, you’ll need it. If you are someone who is highly sensitive to the aroma of stale beer, you might want to avoid the beer garden for obvious reasons. For everyone else, pull up a picnic bench, and make like a native. 4524 Old Kingston Pike (E)
Sunspot This popular spot is nearly always jumping. The interior is hip and inviting and nearly matches the allure of their outdoor seating. We love their brunch specials. If you can get there early enough to grab patio table, your four-legged friends are welcome to join you. Request the free chips and tomatillo salsa. Sunspot features a nice selection of vegan and gluten free fare and a great wine list. So don’t forget the drink specials during the week like Martini Monday (if you so dare) or 1/2 price Wine Wednesdays (on bottles before 10 p.m.). 2200 Cumberland Ave. (E)
Clarence Brown Theatre of the University of Tennessee is one of the few university theatres offering its students the opportunity to work towards their equity cards performing alongside professional guest artists of national acclaim. Check out their season here. UT campus off Volunteer Blvd. (D)
Sweet P’s BBQ and Soul House We don’t suggest you consume the El Gigante Comida unassisted, but you can watch Adam Richman do it on Man vs. Food. Get the ribs or the pulled pork with your choice of thick (tomato based), thin (vinegar based) or hot (made with a smoky chipotle puree). 3725 Maryville Pike
Wild Honey Records Don’t get us wrong, a little grunge is fine. But we are vibing on the bright white interior and light wood floors of Wild Honey Records. They make our musical selections even sweeter. Check their website for new arrivals of new or vintage vinyl, or swing by–the friendly folks at Wild Honey will hook you up. 1206 Kenesaw Ave. (S)
Plaid Apron Do not underestimate Plaid Apron. Chef Drew McDonald honed his skills at the renowned Blackberry Farm, while pastry chef Stephanie Russo learned her craft in several of San Diego’s top bakeries. She makes a mean macaron. Visit for brunch. Though the vibe is casual, the food is well worth the drive. We love the addition of leeks and butternut squash to brunch hero, Eggs Benedict. As a side note, Plaid Apron uses Benton’s Bacon which in itself was enough to convince us of how awesome they are. 1210 Kenesaw Ave. (E)
Downtown/Gay St. Bistro at the Bijou Theatre Whether you are enjoying a drink after work, a leisurely lunch, or an intimate dinner, Bistro’s warm welcome will make you feel right at home. You might even consider staying a while and catching some live jazz. We suggest you throw caution to the wind and order the Pimento Cheese Fritters with tomato jam or the Baked Goat Cheese and a cocktail to start off–it’s just that kind of place. 807 S. Gay St. (E)
Bijou Theatre Don’t miss an opportunity to see a show in this gorgeous 100+ year old restored landmark. The Bijou books regional and national acts in every musical genre, and the acoustics are spot on. 803 S. Gay St. (D)
Tennessee Theatre You’ll have plenty of opportunities to soak in the majesty of the Tennessee Theatre; the Knoxville Opera, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and UT book events there. In addition, the historic theatre presents touring Broadway shows and national acts along with special events like the Halloween weekend screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Check the calendar and get there. The Tennessee Theatre is a spectacular venue and national treasure that needs your support. 604 S. Gay St. (D)
The French Market When you’re in the mood for a delectable French crepe (and when aren’t we?), you need to head to The French Market on Gay. Word of warning, try for an “off” hour. This popular little eatery fill up fast. 526 S. Gay St. (E)
Coolato Gelato is no K-town secret. You’ll find plenty of locals enjoying the paninis and soups around the noon hour. Coolato has added cute and much needed seating in the alleyway. The gelato, naturally, is amazeballs. 524 S. Gay St. (E)
Nama Sushi Bar Not only does Nama offer half price rolls on Mondays and Thursdays (dine in only), the selections differ on those days! Therefore, you can enjoy a delightful Soy Joy roll on Monday for a bargain and come back for a half-priced feast of Philly and Crazy Tuna rolls on Thursday. Sweet. 506 S. Gay St. and 5130 Kingston Pike (E)
Pioneer House This “printmaking studio, unique honky tonk clothing & accessory store and eclectic art gallery” is one of our favorite haunts downtown. Whether you are hunting for a one-of-a-kind Thunder Road Moonshine shirt (must see) or a fabulously creepy Doll Eye Pendant necklace, Pioneer House brings it. Definitely check out their in-house letter-pressed cards and posters. 413 S. Gay St. (S)
Suttree’s High Gravity Tavern The term “high gravity” stands for higher alcohol content in beer speak. Good to know. Suttree’s has you covered there. Check out this neighborhood fave for their rotating taps and huge selection of quality brews. They also have a nicely curated spirits menu including Bulleit Rye and, for the adventurous, Popcorn Sutton’s Moonshine. 409 S. Gay St. (E)
Cru Bistro and Wine Bar has earned Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence this year for its outstanding wine program. Drop in and try a wine flight, or create your own from their featured wines. The tapas are the way to go here. We’re partial to the Grilled Buttermilk Cornbread with smoky pimento cheese and the Scallop BLT with Benton’s Bacon Tomato Cream and arugula 141 S. Gay St. (E)
Knox Mason Proudly Southern and “hyper-local”, Knox Mason serves up some familiar dishes in unexpected ways. Order up the Local Peach Salad with Sorghum-Whiskey Vinaigrette while you can and be sure to try Knox’s housemade Limoncello after your meal. Live by Knox rules, if it can be put in a mason jar, it will be. 131 S. Gay St. (E)
Bootleg Betty The whole concept just makes us smile. We feel that B Betty would be disappointed if you wore anything other than her consigned cowboy boots with your like new wedding ensemble or party frock, and we’re fine with that. 122 S. Gay St. (S)
UT Downtown Gallery How many universities have an adjunct gallery right smack downtown? This contemporary gallery is funded by the University of Tennessee and exhibits professional work in a variety of mediums. Go in and have a zen moment. 106 S. Gay St. (D)
The Emporium Center is the hub of the arts community in Knox. Make sure to pass through on First Fridays to hear live jazz on the black box stage. The Emporium houses artists studios, art gallery and event spaces, and offices of numerous cultural organizations including Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Tennessee Stage Company. 100 S. Gay St (D)
Find out about art openings on Knoxville First Fridays website–then get out and see some art!
Market Square/Union St.
Rala Find regional and local artists goods in this funky little shop on Union. Paddywax soy candles, folkart prints, clever handmade cards, gifts, art, and more will convince you to put Rala on your regular circuit. We love the Dolly Parton tees. 323 Union Ave. (S)
Rococo Boutique shares its space with the creative team of Knoxville Graphic House. You’ll find one of a kind items, whimsical gifts, and bold jewelry. Be sure to take a peek at their adorable onesies and hip baby caps. 2 Market Square (S)
September 12th through October 17th enjoy Movies on the Square Fridays from 6-10 p.m. sponsored by Knox County Public Libraries. Check out the lineup.
Cafe 4 After dealing with the crowds on Market Square, you’re going to need some comfort food. Sidle over to Cafe 4 and order some soul soothing carbs. We like to leave our options open for brunch, so Cafe 4 suits us just fine–Baja Fish Tacos, Chicken and Biscuits with Sawmill gravy, a Spicy Black Bean Burger…decisions, decisions. If you’re there for lunch, someone at your table needs to order one of the mac & cheese dishes. We’re just sayin’. 4 Market Square (E)
Tennessee Stage Co. offers Shakespeare on the Square mid-July to mid-August. Don’t miss the Bard’s work performed under the stars. (They also offer indoor matinees in the Square Room at 4 Market Square.) But that’s not all…the annual New Play Festival happens every February with table and staged readings of new scripts at Knox County Public Libraries around town. Check their website for more details.
Bliss With legions of Knox fans, Bliss will beguile you with it’s kicky little dresses and leather messenger bags. This spirited apparel, jewelry and gift store even carries some unusual novelties. We anticipate their flask scarves will sell out quickly. One needs to be fashionable while sneaking liquor into the game, after all! It’s a win, win. One word of warning, it is hard to leave Bliss without succumbing to their fabulous jewelry selection. Go ahead and get a little bling–you deserve it. 24 Market Square (S)
Preservation Pub is so infamous in Knox, we’re sure everyone has a Preservation Pub story to tell. Go make your own. With multiple stages, and six bars within, you’ve got plenty of options for finding your niche. However, for us it’s the rooftop. The magic beer tree is only part of the appeal of the Moonshine Rooftop Garden. While Harry Potter will likely not be present, it’s the best people watching spot in K-town. We suggest you head up before the weather changes and chillax. 28 Market Square (E)
Keep a lookout for Scruffy City Hall’s Brewery to open later this year. In the meantime, Scruffy City Hall is open and serving food, drinks, and rockin’ shows. But what we really want to draw your attention to is the architecture. Even if it is just a wing through, make sure you check out the views from the second floor. 32 Market Square (D)
Stock and Barrel serves craft burgers on Flour Head Bakery rolls. They source the meat from nearby Mitchell Family Farms. S&B pretty much swept the categories in this year’s Metro Pulse poll–Best New Restaurant, Best Burger, Best Fries. Do not hesitate, order the Duck Confit Fries and whichever burger is calling your name. We wish we were there right now doing the same. With an insanely comprehensive bourbon list, Stock and Barrel offers flights of bourbon pours! We might even have to make room for the Smores Milkshake. Well played, S&B, well played. 35 Market Square (E)
Union Ave. Books offers book signings and author readings, can suggest a title, and employs witty and wonderful folk. They host a book exchange for your gently used gems. We think these are solid reasons to support your local booksellers. 517 Union Ave. (S)
FOOD TRUCK WATCH: CRUZE DAIRY FARM MILK BAR, GOOD GOLLY TAMALES, HOOF, SAVORY AND SWEET TRUCK, TOOTSIE TRUCK, DALE’S FRIED PIES, FARM TO GRIDDLE CREPE TRUCK, FORKS ON THE ROAD, AND BULL’S BBQ.
The Peter Kern Library in the uber cool Oliver boutique hotel is a genuine speakeasy after 5p.m. Enter through the door in the alley with the red light bulb overhead, or from inside the hotel lobby’s white sliding door. We could tilt a few Windmills (Don Quixote like) or happily down an Atticus Finch while reclining on the leather sofas. The Peter Kern Library now serves incredible coffee and locally roasted espresso until 4 p.m. Pick up a Lavender Mocha or Coconut Chai Latte made with fresh coconut puree. 407 Union Ave. (E)
The Casual Pint Craft Beer Market Drop in to sample a few new drafts or create your ideal mixed 6-pack from their extensive selection of bottled micro-brews. Have your growler filled from one of their 22 taps before you go. 421 Union Ave. (E)
Nothing Too Fancy is one of our favorite stops. They sell those ultra-soft tees which will remind you why you liked vintage in the first place. The dark walls, industrial lighting, and old gas station motif will make everyone feel comfortable. Yes, we’re talking to you, guy. Pick up a few neoprene koozies while you’re there or a local screenprint for your place. 435 Union Ave. (S)
Just Ripe this cute little gourmet market is right around the corner from Market Square. Just Ripe sells all the artisan specialty foods you really need in your pantry like Bittermilk cocktail mixers, and Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon’s Oven Roasted Tomato Jam. While you’re there grab a tasty biscuit or have them whip you up a smoothie for sustenance while shopping. 513 Union Ave. (E)
Newly relocated to the Daylight Building on Union, Reruns can add a little punch to your wardrobe. This upscale consignment boutique features an ever-rotating stock of fashionable duds and accessories. We’ve even seen Fyre boots make an appearance. 521 Union Ave. (S)
Named Best Breakfast by Metro Pulse readers too many times to count, Pete’s Coffee Shop and Restaurant starts slinging eggs at 6:30 in the morning for you early birds (7 a.m. on the weekends). This friendly little diner can pack a crowd, so don’t expect to be eating alone. 540 Union Ave. (E)
Market Square Farmer’s Market–East Tennessee’s finest food producers and craftsmen converge on the Square Wednesdays 11-2 and Saturdays 9-2 May through November.
World’s Fair Park
Knoxville Museum of Art Join KMA for Alive after Five on Fridays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Unwind from the week with some live music, noshes and a beverage from the cash bar. Check out other upcoming events on the museum website. 1050 World’s Fair Park (D)
Capture a bird’s eye view of the city from the observation deck of the Sunsphere. While there, learn little tidbits about K-town from the informational plaques to impress friends and strangers with Knoxville trivia. Get a drink in the mod Icon Ultra Lounge, if you so dare. 810 West Clinch Ave. (D)
Yassin’s Falafel House Falafel lovers rejoice! Authentic, delicious falafel wraps are now awaiting you downtown. (Babaganoush soon to follow.) 706 Walnut St. (E)
Remedy Coffee serves organic Intelligentsia direct trade coffee–pour overs, french press, traditional or cold brewed. The high ceilings, comfortable chairs and light flooding in the front windows will inspire great things. When you tire from technology, they’ve got a book swap to expand your literary horizons. 125 W. Jackson Ave. (E)
We love the whole vibe at Lox. It is a full service salon with an edgy attitude. While upping your street cred, you can shop their collection of local crafted accessories and jewelry. 103 W. Jackson Ave. (S)
Hot Horse is a small thrift store on Jackson stocking plenty of vinyl, retro housewares, vintage clothing, and rare or used guitars and amps.108 E. Jackson Ave. (S)
Wandering through Willow Creek Gallery is a new experience every time. Salvaged architectural pieces, European antiques restored in-house, doors and window frames waiting to be re-purposed, chandeliers, military chests, French daybeds and more wait to be discovered. WCG also offers reupholstering services and produces their own line of industrial furniture.115 E. Jackson Ave. (S)
Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria won Best Beer Selection in Knoxville (Metro Pulse). This favorite K-town hang features live music most nights on the corner stage. Check out the patio or head upstairs for the trifecta–pizza, pool, and beer. 200 E. Jackson Ave. (E)
The Crown & Goose is a popular gastropub in the heart of the Old City. Try the Ploughman or European cheeseboard, voted best in the Marble City. Make sure to spend some time in the fetching beer garden out back. 123 S. Central St. (E)
Voted best coffeeshop, Old City Java brews Counterculture direct trade coffee. They also sell Counterculture and Stumptown beans for your drag yourself out of bed cup. Old City Java has some mighty fine pastries for when you get peckish. We realize it might be pre-caffeine, but pay special attention to their gorgeous carved wooden doors as you enter. 109 S. Central St. (E)
Whether you have a penchant for men in kilts, an itching to try out your new fiddle, or a yen for some authentic fish and chips, Boyd’s Jig and Reel has plenty to stimulate your senses. Heralded as Knoxville’s first session pub, Jig and Reel hosts regular Irish, Scottish, Hillbilly, and Old Time Slow Jam sessions (join in with your own instrument or borrow from J&R). Or perhaps you’re just there to partake in some scotch drinking (J&R carries over 300 labels). We can dig it. Just promise us you’ll have a little soda bread with it. 101 S. Central St. (E)
Happy Holler/ Old North Knoxville
Knox Public House We love everything about Public House–the carefully constructed cocktails and patio drinks, the elevated comfort food, the pop-up events like their Sunday Suppers with rising chefs in the region–it all makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside. They’re changing the menu on Oct. 1. But if they still have the BBQ and Chimichurri Dog, do it. 212 W. Magnolia Ave. (E)
Join Tennessee Valley Bikes for Monday Night Road Rides or a Beginner Mountain Bike Ride down at Mead’s Quarry. These guys just want to see you happy in the saddle. Their tagline is “bicycles for all”, and they mean it. They’ve got everything from gravel to touring bikes, and the expertise to make you comfortable with your investment. 214 W. Magnolia Ave. (S)
Architectural Antics is the kind of place you relish mulling around in on an odd afternoon. Vintage concert posters line a hallway; vintage chests, mid-century sofas, and antique African art compete for your attention. Garden urns, ornamental ironwork, and industrial parts spill over the courtyard awaiting your discerning eye. Salvaged mantels and claw foot tubs want to come home with you. Don’t let them down. 820 N. Broadway (S)
Carpet Bag Theater is committed to voicing the stories of those silenced by oppression. “The company works in partnership with other community artists, activists, cultural workers, storytellers, leaders and people who are simply concerned, creating original works through collaboration in a style based in storytelling and song.” They tour CBT works and run a number of programs including TRY–Theater Renaissance for Youth, servicing at-risk children in the community. 1323 N. Broadway (D)
K Brew is a bunch of really good folks who care about the community, bake crazy good biscotti, and know infinitely more about coffee than we have room for in our brains. Order up a cup of liquid love (by this we mean coffee) and perhaps a New York style bagel from nearby Hot Bagel Company accompanied with anything from local hot pepper jelly to Benton’s bacon and chive cream cheese. They use Cruze Dairy Farm milk, cream and butter. 1328 N. Broadway (E)
Fans of Holly Hambright’s food (there are many) were stoked about the opening of Holly’s Corner in the Holler. Now you won’t have to drive all the way out to Holly’s Eventful Dining in Bearden to taste some of her fresh, flavor-packed fare. Holly’s Corner serves lunch and dinner with nice options for the vegetarians in the crowd. Although we must admit, we’re slightly obsessed with Chris’ Smoked Brisket Sammitch with slaw, comeback sauce, and batter fried onions. They’ve got live music on occasion too. 842 N. Central Ave. (E)
Pick up a few mini cupcakes for your peeps from Magpie’s Bakery and spread some good karma. K-town’s (Metro Pulse certified) favorite bakery dishes up delectable sugar highs with “all butter, all the time.” Though we’re partial to their banana pudding, we wouldn’t turn down the Chocolate Mocha Mamba cake, or Strawberry Rhubarb pie, or… well, you get the picture. 846 N. Central Ave. (E)
Hops and Hollers has 32 craft beers on tap, half from Tennessee breweries (which comes in handy for the Monday night football special–$3 regional pints). You can also choose from over 100 bottle/cans. Linger for awhile; food trucks are on a regular schedule here. Be sure to fill a 32 or 64 oz. growler for your fridge and come back soon–the drafts rotate to highlight seasonal offerings. 937 N. Central Ave. (E)
Three Rivers Market is a community food co-op. While we heartily recommend you shop here, what we really want to emphasize is the superiority of the hot bar. When you need sometime quick and wholesome, don’t forget Three Rivers Market. We only wish we knew how to replicate their Popcorn Tofu. 1100 N. Central Ave. (E)
Retrospect Vintage Browsing through Retrospect you might run across an antique steamer trunk, an actual typewriter or a pair of kid’s chaps–there’s no telling. We compulsively stop at the Mom and Me booth up front to see what new object has been painted with the likeness of a pop icon. 1121 N. Central Ave. (S)
Raven Records & Rarities Sure they have great vinyl, but did you know they have a mac daddy collection of movie memorabilia, toys, comics and collectibles? Pick up a little pop culture kitsch with your 45’s. 1200 N. Central St. (S)
1204 Central Flats and Taps is a favorite neighborhood hangout. Order the Chupacabra. Of course Black Bean Hummus and Sundried Tomato Dip are also a lovely compliments to your favorite brews. Sit out on the patio and watch the leaves fall. 1204 N. Central St. (E)
Lost and Found Records is the place to go for LP’s or 45’s. This independent record store has been rocking it for over twenty years. 3710 N. Broadway (S)
Nostalgia on McCalla It is hard to decide which Nostalgia location we like the best. So you should probably visit both. With 11,000 square feet of awesomeness, NOM is easily one of our favorite destinations in K-town. They host outdoor markets on the second Sunday of every month–vintage goods, local artisans, food trucks and more from 11-4 p.m. 1401 McCalla Ave. (S)
Marc Nelson Denim Invigorating the Warehouse District, Marc Nelson Denim produces small batch denim in the town where Marcus Nelson grew up. Check out his collaboration with Smooth Ambler–Limited Edition Whiskey Washed Denim. Nelson’s impeccably tailored pieces are bringing sexy back. 700 E. Depot Ave. (S)
Saw Works Brewing Company is a solid microbrewery in Knox’s Warehouse District. You’ll find their excellent beers around town, but you can only get Rough Cuts at The Mill, Saw Works Brewing Company Tasting Room. These small batch, limited edition brews will keep you on the cutting edge (we couldn’t resist). This month’s Rough Cuts include Gourd Damnit, M*A*S*H* Unit Number 2, and The Peach Remnant Ale. 708 E. Depot Ave. (E)
Out of Doors Adventures
THE SOUTH LOOP TRAILS: THIS 40 MILE TRAIL SYSTEM INCLUDES IJAMS NATURE CENTER, ROSS & MEAD’S QUARRY, WILLIAM HASTIE NATURAL AREA, ANDERSON SCHOOL TRAILS, AND FORKS OF THE RIVER
IJAMS Nature Center is an amazing local resource. Its close proximity to downtown means you can easily get out for a run before the park closes at dusk. With the Meadowlark Music Festival, Symphony in the Park, Haunted Lantern Tours, and the new Ropes Challenge Course, there’s always something going on at IJAMS. 2915 Island Home Ave.
Clock some time on your mountain bike at Cades Cove Loop in Great Smoky Mountain National Park–info here
Need to get on the water? The Cove at Concord Park–info here
Knoxville Outdoor Adventure Center rents tandem canoes, cruiser bikes, and SUP’s inside Billy Lush Board Shop. They have everything you need to know about outdoor sports in the Tennessee Valley centralized in one place including plans to expand Knoxville Urban Wilderness. Wow. Go play. 900 Volunteer Landing Lane or check out their website
Peak Mountain Sports sponsors a competitive trail racing and mountain running team and hosts area trail racing events. Details here.
Head down to the French Broad River and the gorgeous Seven Islands State Birding Park. A boat launch for kayaks or canoes is available. Map is available online.
Voted one of America’s Best Bike Shops, Cycology Bicycles in Maryville is the real deal. They even have a craft beer tavern called The Switchback inside the store. Cycology sponsors a racing team, regular clinics, and advocates for more women in cycling. Their outdoor shop, Little River Trading Company is right next door. Join them for stand-up paddling classes every Tuesday at 6 p.m. 2408 E. Lamar Alexander Pwky. Maryville.”
Here’s just a COUPLE of things they missed;
Fountain City: The Creamery Park Grille – owned by the local Patin family, excellent food or just have an ice cream.
Bearden: Union Jacks – over 80 beers to select from and the best Trivia night this side of the Mississippi. If you go, order the Imperial…don’t ask questions, just order it. This is not a smoke free facility.
What are your favorite places in Knoxville?
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