Vegetarian-ish grub for road trip through Knoxville
I'm moving from New Orleans to New York and will be passing through Knoxville on 40. I'm looking for some recommendations for a good local restaurant that's within 10 or so minutes of the highway. My friend and I are "flex"atarians - we can usually find something we like on your typical restaurant menu, but a BBQ place probably wouldn't have a lot of options for us. I'd like to pay $10-12 for my meal. We'll be driving through on a Sunday or Monday. Any suggestions?
Another thought--right off Interstate 75 before you hit the Interstate 81 split heading north out of Knoxville is El Chico's. It is a Mexican chain, but for chain food it is really good if you like Mexican food. They have spinach casadias and veggie fajitas. Plus, you can get enchiladas stuffed with cheese and/or spinach. They also load you up with free chips and the service is pretty quick.
116 Cedar Lane
Knoxville, TN 37912
The Tomato Head
12 Market Square
Knoxville, TN 37902
Great veggie sandwiches, burritos, pizza and more. Plus, they try to use local ingredients when possible and are generous and community minded.
1909 Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37916
Lots of veggie options from a burger to pasta and more.
Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria
200 East Jackson Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37915
Pizza, calzones, salads and more with lots of veggie toppings to choose from. I think you might even be able to get soy cheese on your pizza.
Savelli's Italian Restaurant
3055 Sutherland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37919
Huge yummy calzones and delicious spinach lazagna.
King Tut Grill
4132 Martin Mill Pike
Knoxville, TN 37920
A very unique dinning experience; lots of veggie options including grape leaves, beans and rice, falafal, hummus and more. Also, voted more than once as the best Middle Eastern restaurant in Knoxville.
puleo's has several locations. One is just off the Interstate at Cedar Bluff and one is at the West Hills exit. Have them make their fried tomatoes and grits but leave off the Tasso Ham gravy. Also they have pasta dishes that would not have meat. It is local and they have about 5 locations. Interesting mix of southern and italian
Puleo's is a fabulous choice...but I sure wouldn't send an out of towner to either of those locations. They are a pain in the neck to get in and out of. ....BUT...I sure would recommend the Puleo's at Strawberry Plains, (I-40, Exit 398). Much easier to navigate, especially if you are moving with a van or trailer! Enjoy your safe trip!
As a default source, The Cracker Barrels that line the interstates are: Clean, quick, have veggie options, AND have drive through parking that's easily accessed.
We moved ourselves from NOLA back up here in four separae loads. Knowing that there are pull through parking and dependable even if unimaginative places (with rocking chairs on the front porch).
Good luck. (The interstate in Alabama north of Gadsden feels as if it were intentionally carved with grooved going against traffic.)
Sunspot is a good place, like mentioned.
Also, on Gay Street (the main downtown street) is the Bistro at the Bijou, which has a great vegetarian menu. Tomato Head on Market Square (there's a parking garage there for easy access) is also a great vegetarian choice. And if you're feeling like pizza, Barley in the Old City is your stop.
If you're through during Sunday Brunch time (10AM-3PM) my vote is for the Bistro at the Bijou.
12 Market Sq, Knoxville, TN 37902
On Cumberland Ave, parking up the hill in back, the Sunspot fits your price point and it's close to I-40.
On Southerland Avenue, Holy Land has a huge selection of Lebanese foods all made on site. Also a good place to load up for trip munchies. Holy Land is a food store and restaurant. I'm just not sure of opening times.