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Aug 9, 2012 11:44 AM

Knoxville / Eastern Tennessee Recommendations

My wife and I will be visiting the Knoxville area over Halloween, and are looking for some recommendations. The trip will end with a two-night visit to Blackberry Farm (no need to sell us on that, we are super psyched). We plan on spending a few days in the region beforehand, and are looking for some recommendations. Anything within a couple hours drive – we are also considering driving to Asheville, NC:

Specifically we are looking for:

Any recommended food/restaurants destinations
Any bourbon distillers worth visiting that aren’t too commercial or touristy
Is Tennessee wine any good? In the past we’ve been both impressed (Michigan) and disappointed (Pennsylvania) when doing wine tasting in other states.
Are there other non food destinations we should see

Thanks, and we will share our experiences with Blackberry Farm after we return.

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  1. Asheville is a great city to visit. It's about 2 hours drive from BF. Have dinner at Admiral in Asheville. Visit Grove Park Inn for drinks. You will enjoy BF a lot. Have a nice trip.

    1. I would recommend a lunch or dinner at Puleo's in and around Knoxville. Puleo's started locally and their first location is still popular at the Strawberry Plains exit off of I-40 (about two exits west of the Sevierville Pigeon Forge exit. You need to try their Fried Green Tomatoes appetizer (it comes with grits and two sauces). We don't have a favorite among their entrees, all are good. Then their deserts...if they have their mocha cake, I could live off one for a week.

      In Knoxville, Litton's restaurant for real hamburgers, ground on site, cooked to your specifications. Their meat and three luches redefine the concept of meet and three (I think their menu is on line so you can see what the daily specials are. The specials do sell out as do the sides.)

      Closer to Bristol, Ridgewood BBQ should be on your list. Again, an established place that does what they do just right.

      Now none of these are wallet busters. But they are good food with (what to me is) real value for your money.

      1. Here's a neat place 30 miles E of Knoxville with good seafood for lunch. If you don't eat you can rest and get a cold drink. Get off I 40 at Exit 417 and go S on Hwy. 92 a couple of miles to Dandridge, TN. This runs into Meeting St. Go 5/6 blocks to Dandridge Seafood Restaurant.
        Dandridge Seafood Restaurant @ 310 East Meeting St., Dandridge, TN 865 - 397 - 2315.
        I would rather go to Smoky's Steak and BBQ which is one street over on E. Main and before the Dandridge Seafood Restaurant. They have good burgers, salads, etc. Smoky's is a very nice restaurant in an attractive location with outdoor dining on the front porch. Check this link for their menu.
        Smoky's Steak and BBQ @ 149 East Main St., Dandridge, TN 865 - 397 - 2272.
        Litton's is a good family restaurant in Knoxville, TN but it's not convenient to I 40. If you took the I 640 by pass around Knoxville, TN on the N side it's pretty convenient. Get off I 640 at Exit 6 and go N on N Broadway SE to Litton's for good country family food.
        Litton's Market and Restaurant @ 2803 Essary Dr., Knoxville, TN 865 - 688 - 0429.
        Get off I 75 at Exit 373 on the S side and hit the first street left on Parkside and go about a mile to Smokey Mountrain Brewery for pizza, burgers and steaks. Get back on I 75 and head N on I 75/I 40 past Knoxville.
        Smokey Mountain Brewery @ 11308 Parkside Dr., Knoxville, TN 865 - 288 - 5500.
        The folks that own Smokey Mountain own Copper Cellar just N of SM at Exit 380 S of I 75 on Parkside also convenient to plenty of shopping and just a minute off I 75. Both places are similar.
        Copper Cellar Restaurant @ 7316 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 865 - 673 - 3422.
        Get off I 40 at Exit 287 in Cookeville, TN and go N on S Jefferson to Maddux Station at E Spring Street for good road food. Go to Brass Lantern in Crossville for good road food. Dickey's has good BBQ and Halcyon is a fun dining choice.
        Maddux Station Restaurant & Wine Bar @ 319 East Spring St., Cookeville, TN 931 - 854 - 0883.

        1. Knoxville:

          Tomato Head


          Barley's Taproom and Pizzaria

          Senor Taco
          3325 N. Broadway
          Knoxville, TN 37917


          3055 Sutherland Ave.
          Knoxville, TN 37919

          Tupelo Honey Cafe

          The Bistro

          Central Flats and Taps


          Several locations, recommend the one on the Tennessee River near downtown Knoxville.

          Just Ripe

          Three Rivers Market--Knoxvill's Community Food Co-op

          Market Square Farmers Market


          Early Girl

          Laughing Seed Cafe



          Tupelo Honey

          Bourbon Distillers:


          1. bourbon is only made in Kentucky...everywhere else it is just whiskey ;)