If you’re looking for a small-town Tennessee restaurant, perfect for a culinary indulgence, then it may be hard to choose just ONE here in the south. Southern culture operates on a foundation of hospitality, good cooking and community, which means it’s not too difficult to find a true southern trifecta here in Tennessee. Here’s a quick list of some of our favorite small town restaurants, but we want to hear from you! Make sure to leave your family’s favorite eatery in the comments below. After all, there’s no one who knows Tennessee better than the folks that call it home.
1. Marcy Jo's Mealhouse - Pottsville
This local favorite is located just south of Nashville, known for its massive and delicious cinnamon rolls and family-friendly experience. Located in an old grocery, Marcy Jo's comes highly recommended for those lazy Saturdays when the only thing that'll fit the bill is a big plate of biscuits and gravy. Make sure to come early, though! It can get pretty busy!
Address: 4209 US-431, Columbia, TN 38401
2. Tellico Beach Drive In - Tellico Plains
Great prices, great good and incredible scenery keep Tellico Beach Drive-In on our list year after year. It's where you'll find classic American fare at its finest, with everything from juicy burgers to shakes and hot dogs on the menu. Address: 1801 Cherohala Skyway, Tellico Plains, TN, 37385
3. Thomas Drugs - Cross Plains
This historic eatery takes you straight back in time, to an age of poodle skirts and milkshakes with cheeseburgers on the side. The hospitality is great, and there's nothing like enjoying a meal in a rustic country drug store.
Address: 7802 TN-25, Cross Plains, TN 37049
4. Jack of Hearts BBQ - Spring Hill
If you're looking for great country bbq, Jack of Hearts in Spring Hill is the place to go. Enjoy your meal on a deck or indulge in a bbq sandwich with an ice cold beer. It's a hidden treasure, consistently serving up great meat-centric dishes. Address: 5343 Main Street, Spring Hill, TN 37174
5. Goodness Gracious at the Mill - Readyville
Enjoy breakfast at Goodness Gracious, a country cafe located on the site of an old working grist mill that dates back to 1812. We'd recommend the french toast, and make sure you don't forget to order a mug of steaming hot coffee! Address: 5418 Murfreesboro Road, Readyville, TN 37149
6. The Coffee House at Second and Bridge - Franklin
Franklin can't really be considered a "small town" anymore since it's recently become known as one of the best towns in the United States, but you can still find a bit of small-town charm at the Coffee House. located in an old home off of Main Street, come and enjoy everything from a morning crepe to a cup of cocoa. Address: 144 2nd Avenue N, Franklin, TN 37064
7. Craig's Pizza - Camden
Everyone loves pizza, and Craig's in Camden has become one of the best known in the area. The salad and breadsticks alone can make for a great meal, but it's the PIZZA that really drives the homey feel of this local eatery home. One bite takes you back in time, to the pizza parties of old and all the fond memories of birthday celebrations gone by.
Address: 117 W Lake Street, Camden, TN 38320
8. Bell Buckle Cafe - Bell Buckle
Tiny Bell Buckle may be known for its small town charm in general, but a meal at the cafe is sure to brand this Tennessee gem on your memory. Here, you're treated like family and you leave with a belly full of delectable southern fare. Come for bbq, pizza and burgers and leave happy!
Address: 16 Railroad Square E, Bell Buckle, TN 37020
9. Nona Lisa Pizzeria - Watertown
Located in Watertown, Nona Lisa serves up a pizza pie to die for. The vibe is warm and friendly, and there are even outdoor tables and chairs for a summertime indulgence on the square. Of course, if you're not in the mood for pizza, the calzones, cannoli and lasagna also come highly recommended!
Address: 208 E Main Street, Watertown, TN 37184
10. Greenback Drugstore - Greenback
Located in a historic space, this old school eatery has managed to revive an old drugstore to classic small town status. Come for classic eats, stay for the people. Greenback Diner is a true local gem that continues to regale the locals with consistent, great meals and tourists with a bit of southern charm.
Address: 6729 Morganton Road, Greenback, TN 37742