Every community has a local favorite: a one-of-a-kind place where locals gather for a special dish, a certain atmosphere, or a chance to catch up with friends and neighbors over good food.
Like the folks on that television classic "Cheers," we all like to stop at a place "where everybody knows your name." Those local favorites have become more than restaurants. They are extensions of home, where someone is always glad you stopped by. That's just how Tennessee's own Cracker Barrel got started.
The interstate system was young, in the late 1960s, when Dan Evins cogitated on how to keep the real flavor of America available to folks on the road. To Evins, mealtime was that connection between the comfort of made-from-scratch food and time to enjoy catching up--with family, with friends or just with your own thoughts. That first Cracker Barrel Old Country Store opened in 1969 on the outskirts of Lebanon. Standards were firm: cornbread came from cornmeal, not a mix; prices could not "break" people; and, fortunately, the people who worked there made sure a trip to Cracker Barrel was like a friendly visit to a neighbor's home. Soon, people were lined up for turnip greens, biscuits and gravy and the good things served at Cracker Barrel.
Local favorites keep people coming back. Ruby Tuesday was founded on the campus of the University of Tennessee by Sandy Beall, who had a vision of food and drinks handcrafted, made fresh with quality ingredients and full of flavor, served by friendly people.
Not all local favorites have grown to cover the state. Many remain what they have always been: a neighborhood eatery with a reputation for good food and friendly service.
Capture vintage classic at Memphis' Arcade Restaurant, located in the middle of the historic district. Charming Fountain City, in North Knoxville, sees Litton's Market, Restaurant & Bakery spin platters of mouth-watering burgers, chili dogs, key lime pie, red velvet cake and more, while locals gather in a back room to discuss "the truth according to Litton's." An institution in Nashville, Monell's family-style hospitality serves up the finest fried chicken, cornbread, green beans, sweet tea, catfish--and the desserts are something else.
Miss Audrey's Tea Room
Enjoy traditional Southern favorites in this historic 1880 structure, just a short distance from downtown. The menu features daily specials and always has fresh fruit tea served hot or iced. ...more
Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House & Restaurant
Off the village square in Lynchburg rests Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House. Since 1908, this historic home has served traditional foods with hospitality. ...more
Misty Mountain Acres Tea Room
Enjoy high tea in an English Country Victorian Tea Room located in a log home (By reservation). Your hosts dressed in Victorian attire serve baked goods, tea sandwiches, fruits, desserts and teas. ...more
An old-school, full-service deli in the heart of Inglewood, Mitchell uses all natural meats and gourmet cheeses for the handmade sandwiches and fresh soups, with locally grown organic produce in season. The hot bar has a rotating selection of entrees for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including chicken and dumplings, as well as a salad bar. ...more
Steeped in tradition, Monell's is a favorite source of comfort food in the Nashville and Franklin area. At Monell's, you dine family style, passing bowls around the table--just as they did in the days of southern boarding houses. ...more
A member of Nashville's comfort-food royalty, Monell's at Fitzgerald Manor occupies an 1860s home located on 2 and 1/2 acres. Featuring the best skillet-fried chicken in Nashville, Monell's offers communal, southern-style dining. ...more
Located in a beautiful Victorian 1880s home in historic Germantown, Monell's offers an all-you-can-eat spread. Long wooden tables seat up to a dozen people, making for a family-style dining experience. ...more
Moonshine Ridge Country Store & Café
End your trail in mountain style at this fun shop full of gifts, antiques and souvenirs. Visit the fudge and candy shop and an old moonshine still on display. ...more
Muddy Pond Sorghum Mill
Visit the Gunther family in the beautiful hills of Tennessee during September and October starting the Saturday before Labor Day to see sweet sorghum being made. Open Tues. ...more
Nashville Farmers Market
Home to a daily Farmers Market with local farmers and farm-fresh produce and plant sellers; an interior Market House with unique restaurants and specialty shops; and a weekend Flea Market with independent entrepreneurs selling new and used items. The Market's special events feature fun and food. ...more
Nashville Food Truck Association
The Nashville Food Truck Association (NFTA) is a collaborative group of food truck owner-operators located primarily in the Nashville, Tennessee, metropolitan area. As culinary entrepreneurs, each truck in the association is focused on innovation in hospitality, high quality gourmet food, exciting cuisines and community development. ...more