Tennessee is one of the preeminent states of the south, a beautiful depiction of lush southern valleys and craggy mountains, the state even sits right atop the cavernous twists and turns of subterranean caves. With all that natural beauty to experience out there, all those stunning adventures just waiting for you, there have to be a few delicious restaurants to ready to put the finishing touches on your experiences out and about. These 11 restaurants are tried and true, and they’re some of the best in the state.
11. Loveless Cafe - Nashville
How can we not start with this beautiful piece of Nashville history?! The Loveless Cafe has been serving the state of Tennessee for over sixty years, and there's no stopping in the near future! It's a homey, sweet spot that boasts a menu full of southern favorites like biscuits, country ham and hot chicken. (8400 Highway 100)
10. Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous - Memphis
This Memphis-based bbq joint hearkens back to the 1940's, when Charlie Vergos gave Memphis a whole lot to talk about. The Vergos family takes a lot of pride in their dry rub, which is absolutely delicious, and the people they serve. It's all in the family at The Rendezvous. (52 South 2nd Street)
9. City House - Nashville
City House is still a fairly new Nashville edition, but it has been lauded on a national level for its homey mix of Italian and southern comfort fare. Located in the Germantown neighborhood, this is a cozy space perfect for any occasion. (1222 4th Ave N)
8. Bea's Restaurant - Chattanooga
Bea's operates on a solid foundation of four things: Good Food. God. Family. Hard and honest work. A Chattanooga classic, you'll be served up a myriad of southern classics family-style by way of a table-side lazy Susan. Four generations have given Bea its foundation, and there's no sign of stopping soon.
(4500 Dodds Avenue)
7. Dino's - Nashville
Dino's is considered one of the oldest bars in Nashvile, and it's a solid throw back to the seedy diners of the mid-century with a whole lot of southern heart. There's a new patio out back where you can indulge in a burger and fries, and we'd recommend a pitcher of beer to wash it all down. It's a piece of Nashville history, one that you definitely need to experience. (411 Gallatin Avenue)
6. Stock & Barrel - Knoxville
If you're looking for a farm-to-table burger, then you need to head over to Stock & Barrel in Knoxville. Their decadent hamburgers come draped with incredible toppings and perfectly spiced condiments, which is making our mouth water even from miles away...also, if you're in Nashville, a location is set to open this autumn in the Gulch neighborhood of downtown. (35 Market Square)
5. Leonard's Pit Barbeque - Memphis
This no-frills eatery has a fun, retro vibe that we think spices your eating experience almost as much as the food. The bbq is creamy and their sides are salty and delicious, so make sure you come hungry and don't skimp on the menu! (5465 Fox Plaza Drive)
4. The Bistro at the Bijou - Knoxville
A cozy bistro that boasts a seasonal menu AND is located in a historic space?! Well, the Bistro at the Bijou has all three going for it, and the cozy, intimate atmosphere serves for an upscale meal without an upscale price. A true gem of Knoxville, this is a must-try! (807 S Gay Street)
3. The Arcade Restaurant - Memphis
Did you know that The Arcade Restaurant is the oldest eatery in Memphis? Once you nosh on the delicious diner fare offered up on site, you've experienced a bit of Tennessee history. Pretty incredible, wouldn't you say? (540 S Main Street).
2. Memo's Grill - Chattanooga
This family-owned, low-key restaurant is a great spot to eat if you're looking for something filling on the run. Sure, you aren't paying for an atmosphere, but you ARE shelling out for one of the best plates of bbq in Chattanooga, and it's only available at this hidden gem. (430 E ML King Blvd)
1. Marcy Jo's Mealhouse and Bakery - Facebook
It wouldn't be a complete list of Tennessee must-try's without a mention for Marcy Jo's. This darling countryside cafe serves strong coffee and dessert all day, specializing in southern classics. (4205 Highway 431)