Date Night


Pick out a great outfit and brush up on your wine knowledge—we’re heading out for date night in East Tennessee

For first dates, third dates, or sometimes only dates, East Tennessee has a variety of eateries that will help set the mood for date night. Whether you want a quiet night out with your mate of 30 years or an intimate first date to block out the world around you, we have discovered the best places to celebrate togetherness for just the two of you.

Osteria Stella

Which date night? First date, but not a blind date. Cozy, intimate and dark describe the interior feel of Osteria Stella and that lends itself to really getting to know that person you’ve had your eye on for a while at work. You’ve known each other for a little while, flirted once or twice, and as a result they likely won’t mind if your first kiss has a hint of garlic in it or find it too forward sliding into the adjoining Brother Wolf for a nightcap. Added bonus here: while not four dollar signs ($$$$), this space is on the pricey side, so your date will be extra impressed by you picking up the tab.

Downtown  |  108 W. Jackson Ave  |

Oliver Royale

Which date night? The date night that might turn into a breakfast date! I mean, we are in the restaurant of one of Knoxville’s most historic hotels which is also home to a speakeasy. It’s all set up. An entire evening of fun sampling one of the best restaurants on Market Square, having a crafted cocktail in the Peter Kern Library (if you know, you know), and maybe turning the night into an episode of The Bachelor(ette) with a fantasy suite only an elevator ride away. The Oliver Royale supports natural, local and sustainable food supplied by Tennessee’s own Seven Springs Farm and Mountain Meadows to name a few. Enjoy the night—and next morning at The Oliver.

Downtown  |  5 Market Sq  |


Which date night? The online meetup where they have traveled to Knoxville for the date and you want to impress them so they move here. Jim and Lori Klonaris do this every time they open a new restaurant: they make it the most beautiful restaurant in town. High-backed velvet booths, exquisite wall hangings and light fixtures, and a ceiling that will crane your neck make Vida a place that will make your date wish they lived here. The food is beyond compare with a menu that concentrates on small plates and lots of reaching to food in front of the people you’re dining with.
Don’t tell your date about The Vault which, of course, we all know about, but will have your potential mate looking for a real estate agent to get the relocating underway.

Downtown  |  531 S. Gay Street  |


Which date night? The date that turns into a double date. If you are seated against the wall, as I have been on many occasions, the tables are set so close to each other that you are often drawn into conversation with the couple on their date night sitting right next to you. I’ve even shared an appetizer with an adjacent couple when they inquired about how something tasted. Granted, Emilia is not a family-style restaurant, yet you will be so smitten with the cuisine that you’ll want to share with others around you so you can take credit when they love something you’ve suggested.

Downtown  |  16 Market Sq  |

Seasons Innovative Bar and Grille

Which date night? The place you take the person you love the most and are on date number 4,532. Few restaurants in town inspire as much confidence as Seasons. There is a reason why Executive Chef and Owner Deron Little is a consistent winner of this magazine’s Top Chef award and that’s because you just know and trust that everything coming out of that kitchen is going to be the best thing you have eaten all month. Changing seasons mean changing menus at Seasons, and it’s always exciting to catch the quarterly reveals on their social media pages highlighting the most exciting new foods in Knoxville.

Farragut  |  11605 Parkside Dr  |

Walnut Kitchen

From the owners of Seoul Brothers comes a southern style soda shop featuring locally made ice cream, waffle cones, Italian sodas, sundaes, floats, milkshakes, malts, and locally sourced baked goods! With a menu reminiscent of growing up in East Tennessee, the owners Josh and Vic present the memories of their childhood through sweet treats and smiles. Located conveniently in Marble City Market, Bubbles and Cream is hoping that new Regas Square management will allow this precious dessert spot to thrive in this ready made European style food court that should have people lined up around the block. 

Maryville  |  606 High St  |

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