Crispy Comfort

Photography by Keith Norris

Nothing will warm you up quite like a platter of golden, crispy fried chicken and its best friend, beer. No wonder restaurants specialize in fried chicken across America! Fried chicken is traditionally a lunch option, but this is one versatile tradition; it can add flavor to breakfast, brunch, or dinner. Five Knoxville restaurants dress up this timeless meal with brand-new sides, sauces, and seasonings. 

Balter Beerworks

Spicy or sweet? At this service-station-turned-trendy-microbrewery, there are fried chicken options for every palate. Brighten up brunch with time-honored chicken and waffles, or stay warm at lunch with Hot Chicken Sliders. Pair these anytime dishes with the microbrewery’s own Firebelly IPA for perfectly-balanced flavors.

100 S. Broadway, Knoxville, TN 37902 

(865) 999-5015

Monday  – Thursday 11 am-11 pm

Friday 11 am-12 am

Saturday 10 am-12 am

Sunday 10 am-10 pm

Tupelo Honey

Here’s a decadent brunch that’s worth the indulgence. At Tupelo Honey, juicy, lightly-breaded chicken pairs deliciously with fluffy buttermilk biscuits. This all-day Southern restaurant, one of Market Square’s quintessential restaurants, has a honey-battered take on fried chicken that takes comfort food to the next level.

1 Market Square, Knoxville, TN 37902

(865) 522-0004

Monday  – Friday 11 am-10 pm

Saturday 8 am-10 pm

Sunday 8 am-9 pm

Myrtle’s Chicken + Beer

Hot damn! The Frank and Maple’s Hot Damn Fried Chicken Sandwich packs one sweet punch. It’s just one option on a menu with a serious single focus: southern-style chicken with just as southern sides, such as tomato pie and black-eyed pea salad. With “wet heat” and “dry heat” rubs available to heighten the experience to your individual palate, Myrtle’s truly does have a fried chicken offering for just about anyone.

13 Market Square, Knoxville, TN 37902

(865) 507-2667

Monday – Thursday 11 am-10 pm

Friday 11 am-11 pm

Saturday 8 am-11 pm

Sunday 8 am-9 pm

Not Watson’s

Years ago, this new kitchen + bar was Watson’s Department Store. Now that it’s Not, it offers all kinds of southern-style goodness. Their entrees elevate classics to a new level with unique flavor combinations. Check out their Not Yo’ Mama’s Chicken & Waffles, which pairs fried chicken with chilled spiced watermelon, a savory cheddar-cheese waffle, and bourbon maple syrup. Or freshen things up with the Asian Chicken Salad, featuring fried teriyaki chicken, cabbage and spinach, various fresh veggies, and a sesame-peanut vinaigrette.

15 Market Square, Knoxville, TN 37902

(865) 766-4848

Monday  – Thursday 11 am-10 pm

Friday and Saturday 11 am-11 pm

Sunday 11 am-9 pm

Jackie’s Dream Cafe

Yes, Jackie is a real person. She pursued her dream of a soul food restaurant for years, perfecting her recipes and working long hours in the food industry. Once it opened in 2015, the restaurant was an immediate hit. After a move to North Knoxville in November 2018 – and a successful GoFundMe for new furniture and equipment – Jackie’s Dream Cafe came back stronger than ever. The restaurant’s Traditional Hot Chicken, a filling Nashville-style entrée, delivers comfort and authenticity.

1008 E. Woodland Avenue, Knoxville, 37917

(865) 219-5789

Monday Closed

Tuesday  – Saturday 11 am-8 pm

Sunday 12 pm-6 pm

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