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.
It is our goal to give every customer, whether a first-timer or a regular, the best dining experience they have ever had each time they come to Taco Mamacita. If we don’t meet this mission, let Mama know about it. ...more
Polished yet relaxed, Tayst is the first and only Nashville restaurant certified by Green Restaurant Assoc. It's 100% styrofoam-free, using biodegradable to-go containers, recycled products; local foods; energy efficient. ...more
The Bluebird Cafe
An unassuming, 100-seat venue that became one of the premier songwriter clubs in the country, the Bluebird Cafe is a legend in the music business. Many of today's most popular songs and songwriters started here, including Garth Brooks. ...more
The Chattanoogan Hotel
The Chattanoogan hotel, Chattanooga’s only AAA Four Diamond-rated full-service hotel, is the ideal setting for memorable vacations, special occasions and superior meetings. Located in the heart of downtown Chattanooga with spectacular views of beautiful Lookout Mountain, the upscale downtown Chattanooga hotel offers 199 newly renovated guestrooms and suites, three outstanding dining establishments, a full-service spa and 25,000 square feet of technologically advanced meeting space. ...more
The Cranberry Thistle
Right in the heart of the Jonesborough historic district is the Cranberry Thistle, a favorite with locals and visitors alike. Enjoy southern favorites like beans and cornbread, daily specials of homemade soups and blue plate lunches, pastries, pies and cakes, coffee drinks and smoothies. ...more
The Cuckoo's Nest
The Cuckoo's Nest, located in an award-winning renovated cottage just off West Main Street, has a loyal following. Maybe it's the homemade bread served with orange honey butter or the flavorful herb wraps. ...more
The Cupcake Company
When it's time to indulge your sweet tooth, stop in for made-from-scratch baked goods of all kinds. If you're looking for something savory, grab a boxed lunch, homemade soup or gourmet coffee. ...more
The Daily Dish
Food as good as Grandma's, cooked by chef Sean Begin and served up at a reasonable price. A traditional Southern "Meat and Three" with a daily selection of home cooked vegetable dishes to compliment the pot roast, pork loin, meatloaf, coconut chicken, fried catfish and more. ...more