The Most Delicious Tennessee Road Trip Takes You To 5 Hole-In-The-Wall BBQ Restaurants

Here in Tennessee, there’s really nothing like a fantastic meal to end a long day at work, especially if that meal is full of meat and veggies and perhaps even a thick slab of cornbread, what do you say? We put together a fantastic road trip that will take you to the best bbq restaurants in East Tennessee, each of them better than the last. If you’re looking to enjoy a meal off-the-beaten path, then we can’t recommend this trek through pretty Tennessee more. Feeling hungry? Let’s go!

You can follow our trip to the best BBQ in Tennessee for yourself on our interactive map. Enjoy, friends!

How many of these hole-in-the-wall BBQ eateries have you been to? What are your personal picks for the best BBQ in Tennessee? Let us know in the comments! Here’s another gem with some of the best Tennessee BBQ.


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The Culinary Diversity of Tennessee

February 07, 2023

What are the most unique restaurants in Tennessee?

The most unique restaurants in Tennessee include:

  • Elliston Place Soda Shop. This diner is an old-fashioned 1950s soda fountain and burger place that still makes hand-made shakes.
  • The Catbird Seat. You’ll need reservations far in advance, and you won’t know what you’ll get as the menu is decided by the chef for a special evening.
  • Hugh-Baby’s. This place quickly became popular for its yummy burgers and makes a version of the Depression-era slugburger.
  • Monell’s. This restaurant has family-style seating all around a big table with homestyle cooking where diners pass the dishes along to each other.

Discover a few more of the most unique restaurants in Tennessee.

What are the most iconic foods in Tennessee?

These are the most iconic foods in Tennessee:

  • Sweet Potato Pancakes. These delicious treats can be found at the Pancake Pantry in Nashville. 
  • Hot Chicken. Nashville Hot Chicken is a Tennessee icon and some of the best of it is found at Hattie B’s in Nashville
  • Fried Pickles. The South loves its fried foods, and fried pickles are a local favorite, especially at Gus’s in Memphis.
  • GooGoo Cluster. This sweet treat made of chocolate-covered peanuts, caramel, and marshmallow nougat is loved locally and is found in Nashville.

Learn more about these and a few more of the most iconic foods in Tennessee

What are the best lakeside restaurants in Tennessee?

Some of the best lakeside restaurants in Tennessee are:

  • The Rudder. Located on Anchor High Marina in Hendersonville, this whimsical tiki-style restaurant and bar has great food and a wide selection of fun cocktails.
  • Steve’s Landing Waterfront Grill. This restaurant in Soddy Daisy is a local haunt for fresh catfish and you can get there by car or boat.
  • Tanasi Bar and Grill. Overlooking Tellico Lake in Loudon, this restaurant serves top-notch food at affordable prices with a remarkable view.
  • Papa Turney’s BBQ. This casual BBQ joint serves hickory-smoked goodness on the shores of the J Percy Priest Reservoir.

There’s more to find out about the best lakeside restaurants in Tennessee.