Flavors of the Smokies: East Tennessee's Must-Try Dining Destinations

Flavors of the Smokies: East Tennessee's Must-Try Dining Destinations

     The tri-state area of East Tennessee contains a wide variety of counties, well-known cities, and historic areas. Numerous counties, including Knox, Blount, Hamilton, Sevier, and Sullivan, are included in the region. Known for their own beauty and attractions, the well-liked cities in East Tennessee include Gatlinburg, Johnson City, Chattanooga, and Knoxville. Historic areas like the Great Smoky Mountains, with their beautiful vistas, the Cumberland Plateau, with its rough terrain, and the Tennessee Valley, which is home to cities like Chattanooga and Knoxville, are what define East Tennessee. The Cherokee National Forest and the Appalachian Mountains also contribute to the area's natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor activity.

     East Tennessee draws people for a variety of reasons, making it a popular tourist destination as well as a treasured region among residents. The spectacular natural splendor of the Great Smoky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains is one of the key attractions. Visitors come to see the towering peaks, explore picturesque trails, and enjoy the vibrant fall colors. With its Appalachian traditions, music, and arts, East Tennessee also has a rich cultural past. East Tennessee is home to lively communities such as Knoxville and Chattanooga, which offer a combination of urban amenities, cultural events, and world-class restaurants. East Tennessee enchants visitors with its natural beauties, rich history, and vibrant culture, whether it's outdoor excursions, cultural experiences, or simply enjoying the warm welcome of the residents.

     In this post, we're taking an appetizing journey through numerous dining locations that make East Tennessee a gastronomic paradise. From charming small cafes serving classic Southern fare to contemporary restaurants rethinking Appalachian cuisine, pull up a chair and prepare to revel in the flavors and tales of this region's lively culinary scene. Let's eat!


Top of the Rock Restaurant and Brewery

topoftherockbrewery.com 4.3 ★ Google Reviews

Top of the Rock Restaurant and Brewery in Jasper, is a popular dining spot that combines superb food, artisan beer, and magnificent views. The restaurant, perched on a picturesque hill, offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, providing a lovely backdrop for an outstanding dining experience. Menu items include exquisite steaks, fresh seafood, and flavorful vegetarian options crafted with locally sourced ingredients.



Bert's Hometown Grill and Pizzeria

www.bertshometowngrill.com 4.5 ★ Google Reviews

Bert's Hometown Grill and Pizzeria in Madisonville, Tennessee, is a popular culinary destination for both locals and visitors. Bert's is a go-to location for unforgettable meals, friendly  atmosphere and superb service. The menu stresses their specialty: hand-tossed dough pizzas topped with a variety of tasty ingredients. Bert's also serves hearty burgers, sandwiches, pasta dishes, and typical American comfort cuisine in addition to pizza. 



Calhoun's on the River

calhouns.com 4.4 ★ Google Reviews

Calhoun's on the River is a picturesque landmark in Knoxville, located along the gorgeous banks of the Tennessee River. This acclaimed restaurant offers a spectacular dining experience and boasts a prime waterfront setting. Calhoun's rustic yet elegant ambience sets the backdrop for indulging in an exquisite menu highlighting the best of Southern cuisine. Every bite at Calhoun's is a flavor-packed pleasure, from expertly smoked ribs and tender barbeque to delightful seafood dishes.



Five Oaks Farm Kitchen

fiveoaksfarmkitchen.com 4.5 ★ Google Reviews

Five Oaks Farm Kitchen, located in the lovely town of Sevierville, Tennessee, reflects the essence of Southern hospitality. This well-known restaurant on a historic farmland provides a dining experience that honors the region's rich agricultural tradition. Customers are greeted by a warm and friendly atmosphere reminiscent of a rustic farmhouse the moment they step through the doors. The menu features robust Southern classics crafted with locally sourced ingredients like farm-fresh veggies, succulent meats, and homemade sweets. Every dish at Five Oaks Farm Kitchen is made with care and attention to detail, whether you're indulging in their original fried chicken, savoring a delectable country-style breakfast, or trying one of their legendary pies.



Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant & Grill

applewoodfarmhouserestaurant.com 4.5 ★ Google Reviews

Applewood Farmhouse's menu highlights the tastes of the region, with homestyle Southern dishes cooked from scratch with locally sourced ingredients. Each dish is prepared with affection and attention to detail, from their famed apple fritters and country ham to delectable fried chicken and slow-cooked pot roast. The restaurant also has a lovely on-site apple orchard, giving diners a true farm-to-table experience. Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant & Grill is a must-visit place for anybody looking for a true flavor of Tennessee, thanks to its delectable cuisine, pleasant environment, and dedication to Southern hospitality.



Log Cabin Pancake House

logcabinpancakehouse.com 4.7 ★ Google Reviews

In the welcoming log cabin-style Log Cabin Pancake House in Gatlinburg, visitors may savor a variety of delectable pancake concoctions, from traditional buttermilk to unusual varieties like chocolate chip, banana, and blueberry. The menu includes a wide range of breakfast treats in addition to pancakes, including omelets, French toast, and filling country breakfast platters.



Riverfront Seafood Co

riverfrontseafood.com 4.6 ★ Google Reviews

The Riverfront Seafood Co. in Kingsport, offers a varied menu of coastal specialties that are carefully cooked and presented, with a focus on fresh and high-quality ingredients. Every meal highlights the coastal cuisine of East Tennessee, from scrumptious grilled fish and lobster tails to shrimp and savory crab cakes. 



Pal's Sudden Service

palsweb.com 4.5 ★ Google Reviews

Locals and visitors to the area agree that Pal's Sudden Service has a special place in their hearts. Pal's is a well-known short stop for satisfying appetites with quick, tasty meals because of its distinctive rapid drive-thru service. Pal's emits a timeless appeal that enhances the overall experience with its colourful, retro-inspired architecture. There are many wonderful selections on the menu, including their famous Pal's Big Tea, tasty hot dogs, juicy burgers, and crispy fries. Fun fact: Bhex' first job was working at Pal's in Rogersville, Tennessee. This is a regional fast food restaurant.



Amis Mill Eatery

amismill.com 4.5 ★ Google Reviews

Amis Mill Eatery is tucked away in the historic Tennessee town of Rogersville. They masterfully combine nature, history, and top-notch dining. The restaurant, which is housed in an 18th-century gristmill that has been rebuilt, emanates a pleasant and rustic environment that takes customers back in time. Amis Mill Eatery's menu features awesome fusions of Appalachian and Southern flavors, with meals made using ingredients that are acquired locally. Each bite is a thrilling voyage of taste and texture, from their juicy steaks and exquisite seafood to their handmade breads and decadent sweets. Customers can savor their meal while taking in the beautiful surroundings of the neighboring Holston River, making for a tranquil and unforgettable dining experience. 



Frostee Freeze Drive-In

https://www.facebook.com/frosteefreezedrivein/ 4.6 ★ Google Reviews

In Tazewell, the Frostee Freeze Drive-In is a treasure with a charming retro atmosphere. Since it opened, this well-known drive-in has been a source of joy. With its retro-inspired decor and traditional carhop service, Frostee Freeze instantly transports customers back in time. The menu has a wide selection of outstanding items, such as juicy burgers, crunchy fries, creamy milkshakes, and yummy ice cream delights. Frostee Freeze Drive-In provides a lovely experience that blends fantastic cuisine, friendly service, and a splash of old-fashioned fun, whether you're enjoying a cool soft-serve cone on a sunny day or indulging in a tender burger with friends and family.




River Place on Clinch

https://www.facebook.com/RiverPlaceOnTheClinch/ 4.4 ★ Google Reviews

For those who appreciate the outdoors and the tranquility of nature, River Place in Kyles Ford offers a peaceful refuge. This lovely retreat is located along the banks of the stunning Clinch River, offering the ideal environment for rest and renewal. Visitors can immerse themselves in the grandeur of the nearby mountains and river at River Place on Clinch, offering delightful cottages and campsites. There is something for everyone to enjoy on the property, which also offers a variety of outdoor activities like tube rentals, fishing, kayaking, hiking, live music, and birdwatching.




eatbrats.com 4.7 ★ Google Reviews

Johnson City's Freiberg's is a restaurant that introduces German cuisine to the Appalachian region. As soon as visitors enter this appealing restaurant, they are met by the enticing aroma of genuine German beer and cuisine and feel the spirit of Bavarian culture. Freiberg's provides a tempting menu that honors the rich culinary legacy of Germany, featuring everything from classic sausages and schnitzels to substantial pretzels and sauerkraut.



Gourmet & Co.

gourmetandcompany.com 4.6 ★ Google Reviews

In the booming city of Johnson City, Gourmet & Co. provides a high-end eating experience. This classy restaurant offers a menu that fuses international flavors with regional ingredients to create a harmonic diversity of tastes. Each meal at Gourmet & Co. is a culinary marvel that tantalizes the taste buds, from painstakingly made appetizers to beautifully presented main artisinal entrees. They also provide private dining services for companies and special events, enabling guests to congregate and have coursed meals together for any occassion. A few doors away from the restaurant, Gourmet & Co. also has an upscale gift shop with a carefully curated assortment of gourmet goods and one-of-a-kind culinary gifts. Fun Fact: Bhex was a server at this restaurant while studying psychology at East Tennessee State University.



Sahib Indian Cuisine

sahibindianrestaurant.com 4.6 ★ Google Reviews

Diners are taken on a flavorful trip through the colorful and aromatic world of Indian cuisine at Sahib in Johnson City. Sahib offers a menu that highlights the best of Indian culinary traditions, from fragrant spices to rich and complex flavors. The restaurant's extensive menu includes mouthwatering curries, tantalizing biryanis, and mouthwatering vegetarian alternatives. Sip a cool glass of mango lassi after your meal.




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