The year is far from over, but 2023 has brought fresh eateries for us all to indulge in
To say I’m impressed with the 2023 additions would be an understatement. From a renovated church to a multi-level brew pub, East Tennessee restaurateurs have pulled out all the stops to bring us a host of new experiences. Appalachian cuisine, barbeque, modern takes on rustic menus, even fresh and light smoothies bowls, make up some of this year’s additions, with more anticipated later this year.
Honoring the spirit of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the rail line that ran between Elkmont and Knoxville, Elkmont Station is a beautiful room with a rustic menu teeming with comfort and tradition. The Pimento Cheese Fritters with red pepper jam were gone from the plate so fast, the server thought we’d been robbed. Here’s something about me: if there is shrimp and grits on a menu then there is shrimp and grits on my table. And after one bite, I knew this was a dish to savor. So I did for 47 seconds. With an ever evolving roster of handcrafted food and drinks, get your reservation quickly for one of Knoxville’s most noteworthy new restaurants.
Farragut | 103 S. Campbell Station Road | elkmontstationknox.com
If 71 South weren’t directly in the heart of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness with people everywhere, it might be a little bit of a creepier place. Nestled inside one part of a church in South Knoxville abandoned since the 90’s, the restaurant exudes warmth and light and food, while the church’s old sanctuary, large enough to trigger my megalophobia, sits lurking just out of the windows. Our server said he heard that it’s haunted and maybe that’s why he’s moving to Alaska! Nonetheless, this delightful menu travels from tofu banh mi to smash burgers with crispy Brussels in between and never disappoints. I always look at the faces of other diners when I’m on a Dining Guide tour and the pleased reactions throughout the restaurant say it all. So on any day of the week, even Sunday, head to church and praise the wonderful food and atmosphere at 71 South.
South Knoxville | 3726 Sevier Heights Road | 71southknox.com
Fire + SmokeFrom the creator of Archer’s BBQ comes Fire + Smoke, neatly tucked into a nook on Northshore in Knoxville. Where there’s smoke there’s fire and in Fire + Smoke’s case, I’ll say FIYAH as the flame kissed, dry-aged bone in rib-eye was from a cow that spent its life grazing in a pasture in heaven. With swordfish and bison and Wagyu and a kitchen staff that looks like they’re out of a movie about kitchen staffs, the experience at Fire + Smoke is first rate and one of Knoxville’s pricier dining options. Pro tip: The charcuterie board is immense and Instagrammable and perfect for the center of any table.
Northshore | 9405 S. Northshore Drive | fire-smoke.com
So maybe Deron Little knows a little something about opening restaurants. His successful run at Seasons Innovative Bar and Grille in Turkey Creek and multiple victories in this magazine’s Top Chefs competition makes his trek into Sevierville highly anticipated and incredibly well received by locals and tourists. His award-winning menu includes an almond encrusted barramundi with melted brie, and the honeysuckle hot sauce on the Cactus Jack burger is unique to any burger I’ve ever tasted. Located in the historic Central Hotel, let it be written that Seasons 101 is the next chapter in Deron Little’s storied history.
Sevierville | 101 E. Main Street | seasons101.com
Indoors or out, hot day or cool evening, Yee-Haw Brewing on Broadway in Knoxville is an epic brew pub with multiple levels of fun. With space to roam and play or sit and drink tasty Yee-Haw beverages or gobble a smash burger as soft and pillowy as a cumulus cloud, this place has fun and food aplenty. With activities like soccer watch parties and Mug Night Monday, Yee-Haw has built a unique and special gathering spot with very elevated pub fair and famous adult beverages that will have you dropping this pin on your map.
Old City | 745 N. Broadway | yeehawbrewing.com
Bubbles and Cream
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.
Old City | 333 W. Depot Avenue | marblecitymarket.com
New and Noteworthy
A host of new locations are expected to open up the rest of this year, and a few have opened there doors in the week leading up to our press day.
STIR Knoxville opened its doors in the Old City at the tale end of July, offering fresh oysters, a seafood cold bar, and some craft cocktails, too. And for all you brunch lovers out there, yes, they have weekend brunch.
Old City | 217 Willow Avenue | stirknoxville.com
In mid-August, Smash City opened its second location in Knoxville on Central—the other location is in Omaha, Nebraska—after testing their concept out in Marble City Market. Smash burgers have a cult following now, but this place also offers chicken sandwiches. The sauces they offer are off the charts on the taste meter.
Old City | 211 S. Central Street | smashcityburger.com
The summer also brought the entrance of the seventies-inspired bar and restaurant, Fly by Night. Owned by the same folks who brought us The Tern Club downtown, walking in here is like walking into the past and the apps and drinks are era-specific with a modern twist.
South Knox | 211 S. Central Street | flybynightknox.com
Ella and Moe Fawaz’s smoothie restaurant, Blossom Bowls, opened its fourth location in Bearden this summer with menu items that delight the taste buds. The newest spot joins their already existing and highly trafficked locations in North Knoxville, Northshore, and Maryville.
Bearden | 4622 Kingston Pike | blossombowls.com