Cheap Eats


8 restaurants all $20 and under

Don’t want to cook at home, but also don’t want to break the bank dining out? We’ve got you covered. Even though eating in is usually considered the price-efficient option, eating out can be just as affordable as long as you know where to look. Luckily, we have eight places in East Tennessee where you can dine out even if you are balling on a budget.

Bida Saigon

Located near West Town Mall, Bida Saigon is a Vietnamese restaurant known for its quick, friendly service and fair prices. Listed as one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in all of Tennessee by “Best Things Tennessee” in 2022, the restaurant boasts a menu of dishes at $10 or less! The restaurant is perhaps best known for its pho, a Vietnamese soup dish, but with a variety of other appetizers and drinks, there’s something on the menu for everyone—Thai iced tea is a fan-favorite! 

West Knoxville  |  8078 Kingston Pike  |

Yassin’s Falafel House

Ranked in the Top 3 best delivery restaurants in Cityview’s 2023 Best of Best reader poll and winner of multiple categories in 2022, Yassin’s Falafel House is a Knoxville staple. The menu features classics like homemade falafel, hummus, gyros, and more, all priced just right and paired with a “feels like home” atmosphere. Owner Yassin Terou is all about creating a welcoming environment for all, and he achieves this with flying colors!

Downtown, West Knoxville, and Alcoa |

Paysan Bread & Bagels

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and Paysan Bread & Bagels is a great place to start the morning. Though their menu is fairly small, don’t be fooled; the tastes are on point. Grab a classic bagel and smear, or branch out and try the Flower Power, made with your choice of bagel with roasted cauliflower, green tahini, hummus, greens, and pickled onions. Since Paysan is a walk-up restaurant, service is extremely quick, so it’s perfect if you’re on-the-go. Bagels tend to sell out quickly though, so make sure that you get there early!

North Knoxville  |  804 Tyson Street  |

Soccer Taco

Ranked as the Best Mexican Restaurant in Cityview’s 2023 “Best of the Best” reader poll, Soccer Taco is praised for its authentic cuisine and enjoyable atmosphere. Doubling as a sports bar, it’s the perfect spot to watch the game while snacking on the best chips, queso, and guac in town. Three locations offer a variety of settings to enjoy the game and food, from downtown setting to a courtyard with a view. Pro Tip: Try the Skinny Margarita. It’s a must-have.

Bearden, Market Square, and Northshore  |

Gus’s Good Times Deli

Gus’s Good Times Deli is a University of Tennessee staple that has been around for 43 years. Located right on the Strip, Gus’s is a go-to spot for Volunteers, especially on game days. The menu features American classics like grilled cheeses and BLTs all for $15 or less. With cheap prices and late hours, staying open until 3 a.m., Gus’s is the perfect spot for anyone out and about in downtown Knoxville. According to their X account, they are even a favorite of UTK alum Peyton Manning!

Downtown  |  815 Melrose Place |

Bella Roma Pizza

Pizza night is a weekly occurrence in many families, and Bella Roma makes that night much more affordable. Bella Roma offers all kinds of pizzas, from the classic cheese to a bacon cheeseburger pizza, for $20 or less. If you have plenty of mouths to feed—whether it’s your family or your kid’s sports team—you might find the Family Special a perfect fit. Even if you don’t like pizza though, the calzones and subs are worth the trip. 

North Knoxville |  7817 Oak Ridge Hwy |

Sami’s Cafe

Sami’s Cafe is a classic, family-friendly breakfast and lunch spot that has been serving West Knoxville for more than 10 years. Growing up in the restaurant industry, owner Bassam Natour knows exactly how to run a successful brunch spot. Sami’s has been praised by Knoxville natives for its quick service and down home ambiance. The cafe features a large menu with meal prices all under $15 and daily specials every weekday.

Franklin Square | 9700 Kingston Pike  |

D & B Hot Dogs

In 2014, two stay-at-home dads who were on the hunt for a truly good hot dog in Knoxville, eventually deciding to take matters into their own hands. D&B Hot Dogs came to life! All of their hot dogs—and burgers—are 100 percent all beef and they’ve incorporated some family recipes into their menu, like their chili and slaw. It’s had a fan base since day one, and it’s not hard to understand why: dressed up hot dogs for $10 or less.

Knoxville |  8909 Oak Ridge Hwy  |

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