Local eateries boast both food and fun all in the same location. Date night anyone?
Lots of places are just dinner. You eat, you go home. But if you want more than just a meal, East Tennessee has eateries offering all sorts of fun, games, and adventure. The night doesn’t have to stop at the gratuity. Let’s explore restaurants offering dinner and…
Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro | Dinner and… s’mores!
Rustic, regional, and romantic. Trip Advisor ranked Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro as one of the most romantic restaurants in America in 2019. Secluded, savory, and sensational are also perfect alliterative words to describe this fantastic restaurant tucked quietly into the peaceful side of the Smokies in Townsend. A farm-to-table experience like none other with a concentration on regional dishes with fresh produce grown on-site. The summer’s Live on the Lawn series could have earned the title “Dinner and… A Show”, but with a full s’mores bar alongside roaring fires waiting for diners outside, the title had already been taken.
Townsend: 7140 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway • (865) 448-6000 • dancingbearlodge.com/dining
T-Prime Steak & Seafood | Dinner and… Golf!
Most golf courses offer a “19th Hole” bar and grill, sometimes nicknamed “the watering hole.” You come in dirty and dusty after a round of golf, stay for a quick beer and story about your bad golf game, and head to your car to offload your clubs. T-Prime Steak & Seafood at Avalon Golf and Country Club might be just a little different. Alone, it’s one of Knoxville’s best restaurants. Combine it with an amazing golf course tucked in the Avalon subdivision between US 70 and Interstate 75 and you have a dynamic duo. All the classics are on the menu from Surf-and-Turf to Cilantro Glazed Lime Chicken. Even if you don’t play like Tiger Woods, here you can eat like you’re on the pro tour.
Lenoir City: 700 Turnberry Circle • (865) 816-6635 • avalongolf.com/t-prime
Token Game Tavern | Dinner and… Video Games!
I’m old enough to remember when you had to go somewhere to play video games. A pocketful of quarters and Mom dropping you off at the arcade was the best day ever. Galaga, Joust, and Space Invaders were just a few of my favorite games. If you’re ready to step into a virtual time machine, then transport yourself to Token Game Tavern, where classic video games and pinball are king. The tavern serves all sorts of pub fare from nachos to Chicago dogs and even a cocktail made with Nerds. For game nerds who also want to eat their fill, this is the place to be.
Knoxville: 213 N. Seven Oaks Drive • (865) 770-3870 • tokengametavern.com
Maple Hall | Dinner and… Bowling!
Yes, we may have grown up hanging out at a bowling alley, but it wasn’t somewhere you really wanted to hang out if you weren’t bowling. Conversely, Maple Hall is a place you want to hang out even if you won’t be channeling your inner Pete Weber. Boutique bowling alleys are growing in popularity, but few can rival the character of Maple Hall which is tucked inconspicuously into a historic Gay Street building. You’ll hang out here for the relaxing lounge area; locally sourced, made-from-scratch menu items like Springer Mountain Farms Hot Chicken; game night classics; oh, and some bowling. Pro Tip: Walk between lanes like you work there to find the upstairs cocktail lounge which is perfect for private gatherings.
Downtown: 414 South Gay Street • (865) 249-8454 • maplehallknox.com
Bucket Head Tavern | Dinner and… Pub Games!
This is the closest thing to a pub you’re going to find in Knoxville. Golden Tee, Power Putt, Big Buck HD, PGA Tour Golf, cornhole, skee-ball, darts and many other games spread across the restaurant. Pool tables, lush couches, and a centrally located brick fireplace round out the tavern experience. Generous outdoor space provides a comfortable and never-too-crowded feel with regular live music performances on the newly refurbished stage. Pro Tip: Come for the fun, stay for the Psycho ‘Shrooms. Settle down, they’re legal and zesty. Oh, and Jon Hamm might be there… in the form of a ham sandwich.
Knoxville: 8039 Ray Mears Boulevard • (865) 394-9936 • bucketheadtavern.com
Corner 16 | Dinner and… Lawn Games!
If you’re from Knoxville, you know about the “C” restaurants owned by Mike Chase—Calhoun’s, Copper Cellar, Cappuccino’s, Chesapeake’s, and others, now including Corner 16. I’m not sure the last time I was on Astroturf, but there are many square feet of it adorning the outdoor area here. Cornhole, soccer, and other fun keep the kids occupied as you dine on food you have come to depend on from a “C” restaurant. Comfort food and comforting fire pits keep you cozy when temps cool. Lunch, brunch, dinner, and a good time are waiting for you at Corner 16.
Middlebrook: 1640 Bob Kirby Road • Northshore: 9637 Kroger Park Drive • corner16.com
Topgolf | Dinner and… a Driving range!
Microchipped golf balls that turn the driving range into a video game? What’s not to love. Long awaited in the Marble City, Topgolf made its debut mid-August, and while you might be coming for the golf, the in-house restaurant is not something to miss. You’ll find traditional bar apps on the menu, but you’ll also find nontraditional items like Farmhouse Flatbread made with cauliflower crust and Meatalian Flatbread featuring prosciutto. Burgers, chicken sandwiches, and salads make up the dinner menu, and while the company hails from out of state, you’ll find local beer on tap. Pro Tip: Don’t leave without trying the injectable donut holes, as seen on TikTok.
Farragut: 11400 Outlet Drive
(865) 672-0311 • topgolf.com/us/knoxville