Local Favorites

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.

Local favorites have become more than restaurants. They are extensions of home, where someone is always glad you stopped by.

Some favorites grow to cover the state, or even the nation. The interstate system was young, in the late 1960s, when Dan Evins cogitated on how to keep the real flavor of made-from-scratch food available to folks on the road. With that in mind, he opened his first Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 1969 on the outskirts of Lebanon. Witht he same idea of handcrafted food, Sandy Beall opened the first Ruby Tuesday on the campus of the University of Tennessee, where food was made fresh with quality ingredients and served by friendly people.

Not all local favorites have grown to cover the state. Many remain what they have always been, neighborhood eateries with the reputation for good food and friendly service.

Capture vintage classic at Arcade Restaurant, located in the middle of Memphis’ historic district. Knoxville’s charming Fountain City area brings people from all over the country to indulge at Litton’s Market, Restaurant & Bakery. The staff spins platters of mouthwatering 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.

Knoxvillians gather for the music and family movies as well as the food at Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria in the Old City. The Bell Buckle Café & Music Parlor, Puckett’s Grocery in Leiper’s Fork (and its other locations in the area) and Helen’s Bar-B-Q in Brownsville are other well known and much loved places where music often adds flavor to the food.

Not all local favorites have grown to cover the state. Many remain what they have always been, neighborhood eateries with the reputation for good food and friendly service.

Capture vintage classic at Memphis’ Arcade Restaurant, located in the middle of the historic district. North Knoxville’s charming Fountain City watches Litton’s Market, Restaurant & Bakery spin platters of mouthwatering 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.

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