Restaurants in Tennessee

Between the Mountains of the east and the cotton fields of the west, in its cities and small towns, Tennessee’s incredible variety is reflected in a state menu that has something for everyone. Barbecue? Memphis just might have the nation’s finest, both wet and dry. Fried chicken?

Glorious Nashville Restaurants

It’s glorious in Nashville Restaurants, hot chicken especially. Country ham is served throughout the state, as are superb southern vegetables as part of a meat-and-three lunch in which meat is frequently abjured in favor of a fourth vegetable. The Smoky Mountains at the East are a separate world, where restaurants serve such hearty country vittles as fried apples, smoked pork chops, and, of course, barbecue. And in Knoxville, rustic mixes with cosmopolitan in bakeries, cafes, and barbecues.

Tennessee’s Most Famous Dishes

Burger on a tender bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo ... car hop service

Grilled Hamburger

Tall, gnarled-top light gold biscuit


Fried Chicken

Two rib bones are laden with a great mass of spice-crusted, smoke-cooked beef

BBQ Ribs

Tennessee’s Best Restaurants

Woman’s Exchange - 4 Vegetable Plate
Woman’s Exchange


Blue Plate Café - Banana Pancakes
Blue Plate Café


Germantown Commissary - Pulled Pork
Germantown Commissary


Charlie Vergos Rendezvous - Dry Ribs
Charlie Vergos Rendezvous


Barksdale Restaurant - Biscuits
Barksdale Restaurant


Payne’s - Barbecue Bologna


Cozy Corner - BBQ Cornish Hen
Cozy Corner


Interstate Bar-B-Q - Pork Sandwich
Interstate Bar-B-Q




Silver Sands


Fried chicken breast glows red with peppery spice.


Gabby’s Burgers & Fries


Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Chicken


Beacon Light Tea Room




Split open cherry turnover is gilded with white sugar frosting
Merridee’s Breadbasket


3 folded-over, paper-thin pancakes accompanied by a globe of pink lingonberry butter
Pancake Pantry


Hot Stuff Spicy Chicken and Fish


Chandler’s Deli


Sweet P’s Downtown Dive


Little Tea Shop


Tennessee Articles & Guides

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A few years back, country singer Ray Stevens invited a New York friend to join him at one of his favorite Nashville lunchrooms, a place called Hap Townes. The...

Skillet Set

Nashville’s crunkest hot-fish sandwich is also its biggest. The Giant King, signature dish at Eastside Fish, is a pair of whiting fillets, each at least a half pound, dredged in...

Monster Hash

We’ve never met a cooked potato we didn’t like. Baked with butter, salt-boiled, fire-roasted, puréed with cream, au gratin, dauphinois, frittered, and french fried—all are surefire transformations of the homely...

Fast Food Future

Thirty years ago, when we started writing about the colorful, cheap, and unpretentious restaurants that anchored communities across the country, we suspected we were documenting the end of an...

Lean Greens

Memphis is our favorite place to eat pork—ribs (dry rubbed or wet sauced), chopped shoulder on a bun, country ham stuffed into biscuits, and bacon banana sandwiches—but in this...

Exterior view of Zarzour's ... best square meals and burgers

Zarzour's: Chattanooga Chew Chew

*This restaurant is permanently closed You’ll find the best plate lunch in Chattanooga in a gray brick hut across from a junkyard in a stark neighborhood where most buildings were...

Dinosaur Bar-b-que - Motorcycle Parking

Best Local Restaurants on the Hot Rod Power Tour Route

The Annual HOT ROD Power Tour This is a seven-day, seven-city journey expected to bring together more than 6,000 vehicles and 100,000-plus spectators making it the largest traveling car-show in...

Custard, sliced bananas, crumbled Nilla wafers, and meringue are crowded in a diner bowl

Eat Nashville in a Day

After many happy weeks eating our way around Nashville. we've created a one-day eating plan that presents you with the best of the best: five fantastic meals in memorable...

Interstate Bar-B-Q - Sign

Mississippi Blues Highway Feast

The magic of Highway 61 from Graceland down deep into the Mississippi Delta, through cotton fields and past speck-on-the-map small towns, is all about the blues. You might be...

Cozy Corner - BBQ Cornish Hen

Memphis Barbecue Loop

Memphis is a bonanza of world-class barbecue, smoked and served in humble storefront shops as well as booming dinner halls. Anything and everything can be had barbecued in this...

The One Must-Eat Food in Each State, and Where To Get It

Unique Regional Dishes After 40 years and 5 million miles spent on the road looking for America's best regional food, we've assembled a list of the quintessential, must-eat food in...

Carminuccio’s - Stern Special

The Best Pizza In America | Roadfood Bests

Is there another dish as diverse as pizza? It can be an utterly simple tomato pie – nothing but sauce on crust – or it can be a multi-meat...

At the counter of Bakin' Bishop ... Smoky Mountain sweets

The Best Eats in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee | Roadfood Bests

Anybody visiting Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park will have no trouble finding a place to eat – there are hundreds. The trick is to find...

The Best Restaurants in Knoxville, Tennessee | Roadfood Bests

Where to Eat in Knoxville? Exploring cities can be fun but finding where to eat in one is difficult. A delicious day in Knoxville must begin in the Old City...

Meat & Three, A Dixie Delight | Roadfood Bests

What Is Meat & Three? A term used through much of the South, “meat and three” quite simply refers to a menu template that lists two to five entrees and...

Meaty red-hued fried chicken breast atop two slices of white bread

5 Nashville Favorite Destinations | Roadfood Bests

Authentic Eats in Music City Avoid the tourist traps and overly-trendy spots, and opt for fantastic meals in these quintessential eateries in and around the city that will be the...

Cozy Corner - BBQ Cornish Hen

Five Essential Restaurants to Visit in Memphis

The Challenge You have one day to eat around downtown Memphis. Assuming you don't want to have barbecue for all your meals -- there's no place better for that strategy...

Hot! Nashville

Fried chicken used to be considered comfort food, but in recent years, a handful of Nashville restaurants have made it the most delicious discomfort food imaginable. All the restaurants...

Banana Pudding at its Best

It would be crazy to travel through the South and eat only banana pudding, but every place that serves it at its best precedes it with an excellent well-rounded...

The sign at Little Miss BBQ in Phoenix. AZ

Barbecue's Delicious Dozen

Of the hundred five-star barbecue parlors around the U.S.A. this dozen is the crème de la crème. .

America's Great Pancakes | Roadfood Bests

Pancakes are especially appreciated by travelers in search of significant breakfast. While fair to middling ones are on the menu virtually everywhere, restaurants that serve four-star flapjacks are rare....

Cozy Corner - Baloney

Bologna Sandwich

Bologna sandwiches are common. Great bologna sandwiches are rare. The very best of them, in particular the one served at the legendary G&R Tavern of Waldo, Ohio, are worthy...

Fried Chicken: The Delicious Double Dozen

Fried chicken is popular all across America and so different everywhere that it is not possible to say what city, state, or region does it best. While the process...

Southern Boarding House Meals

While the old-time boarding house is history, boarding house meals remain a highlight of eating one's way through the south. Seating usually is communal: friends, family, and strangers gathered...

Lima Beans Glory | Pork Makes The Difference

Lima beans are known everywhere, loved mostly in the South, and a signature dish of Charleston, South Carolina. Soul food cooks simmer the khaki-colored pods with plenty of pork,...

Mid-South Chess Pie

There are few desserts simpler than basic chess pie and, when it's made right, nothing better. A congress of eggs, butter and sugar with a dash of cornmeal and...

Nashville Four-Alarm Fare

There is plenty of yummy comfort food in Nashville, from buttermilk biscuits in the morning to banana pudding for dessert; but one of the Music City's lesser known culinary...

Great Tennessee Recipes

Tomato Basil Soup

Low Country BBQ Sauce: Recipe from the Loveless Cafe

Split Pea Soup with Country Ham

Chicken and Dumplings

Oyster Stew

Potato Leek Soup

Chicken Stock

Black-Eyed Pea and Country Ham Chowder


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