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May 23, 2011 06:36 PM

university of tenn without a car


NY chowhound heading out tomorrow to knoxville for kids destination imagination ( globals. We're staying in the univ dorms, eating dorm food (blech) but I should be able to get out for an occasional lunch or dinner. Looking for anything good within walking distance of university but if there was some great bbq or fried chicken, even better.


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  1. The strip is constantly changing and it's been a long time since I went to school there but I try to go back once a year for a football game so I kind of know what's still there. That being said the restaurant scene is pretty weak especially since OCI closed (or moved either way I'll never go back)

    BBQ in Knoxville is terrible -- don't even try it, especially on the strip.

    Check out Gus's Good Times Deli near the corner of 17th and Cumberland. The food Knoxville is known for is the steamed sandwich and this is the place to get it.

    For dinner I would probably check out Sunspot.

    This is probably the best option IMO -- nothing special but it's pretty good.

    Copper Cellar/Cumberland Grill are also manageable.

    If you can get away from the strip over to Market Square you'll be better off -- I'd hit up Bistro by The Tracks.

    Hopefully someone else will be able to give you a little more insight; unfortunately I just don't think there are great options for you although I do love Gus' after a long night of boozing.

    Do you know which dorm you'll be in? If you are in the Carrick's, Reese or Humes your best option will be Chick Fil-A and if you are in any other dorm except Gibbs (the atheletic dorm) you will be subjected to terrible food.

    Gus's Good Times Deli
    815 Melrose Pl, Knoxville, TN 37916

    1 Reply
    1. re: klebb

      Agree wirth Klebb on Knoxville BBQ. Although they are both in TN, Memphis and Knoxville might as well be in different states.

      I went to Law School in Knoxville. I didn't ever eat anything there that was particularly noteworthy, except I really enjoyed the burgers at Litton's. Its not close to walking distance from campus, but if you find yourself in a position to drive, you would enjoy.

      Hate to hear that about OCI. The closest thing to a cool bar in Knoxville.

    2. Take a walk along the river next to campus and go up stream (to the east) to Calhoun's. Dinner on the river, acceptable BBQ. And try Spinach Maria, their specialty from two decades ago that is much loved locally. (Just a bit further is Ruth's Cris SteakHouse if you want to spend huge money.)
      Along the strip I'd second Sunspot.
      There's a Mellow Mushroom Pizza, a part of a chain, but acceptable everytime we've been there.
      As reported, Old College Inn isn't anymore. It was sold, moved, lost the name, all sorts of kerfuffle and many of us hope it will reopen.
      There's Falafel on 17th, no guarantees as I have't tried it, but that location has been devoted to interesting food for more than three decades.
      This time of the year is the time for restaurant shuffles. There might be some new ones just starting.

      Old College Inn Restaurant
      2204 Cumberland Ave, Knoxville, TN 37916

      1 Reply
      1. re: shallots

        thanks, our meal plan didn't start until dinner so we took our team to mellow mushroom pizza. Different than nyc or even ny pizza but it was fresh and well-made.

        dinner at the dorms was unbelievably bad, mushy cold vegetables, congealed soup, dirty tables....not sure I can go back.