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.
Ruby Tuesday is driven by uncompromising freshness and quality, gracious hospitality and a growing list of Five-Star restaurants destined to be the envy of the casual dining business. We have locations throughout Tennessee. ...more
The first salsa nightclub located in downtown Memphis, The Rumba Room is introducing Latin culture to the midsouth through food, music and dance. The Rumba Room specializes in Latin food, tropical mixed drinks and live entertainment. ...more
Rush Street Neighborhood Grill
From burgers and pizza to sesame crusted salmon and slow roasted barbecue chicken, Rush Street has been serving great food for 25 years. Originally a Chicago-style pizza and beer establishment, Rush Street has expanded its menu to include all the taste treats diners expect at a full-service restaurant. ...more
Built in 1936 as a stylish, ultramodern art deco cafeteria, the S&W was downtown's most popular eatery for more than 40 years. Patrons enjoyed four levels of dining and unique features such as a live organist, grand spiral staircase and opulent mezzanine, and a movie room. ...more
City: Knoxville, TN
This legendary spot has been serving locally raised, whole-hog BBQ since 1960. Its most recent honor was being voted in the top 10 "Country's Best BBQ Joints" by Vanity Fair magazine. ...more
Set in upscale, relaxed pace sophistication, Seasons offers innovative, American bistro-style cuisine. The menu is influenced by classical cooking techniques and seasonal offerings with an emphasis on freshness. ...more
Shelby Forest General Store
Stop by this charming market for fresh-made biscuits and world-famous cheeseburgers, live music on weekends and an authentic general store experience. This is the kind of place where locals gather for coffee on the front porch, and it’s also a favorite hangout of Millington’s famous son, musician/actor Justin Timberlake. ...more