Show Menu



Just like that scrappy dog you adopted a bit hesitantly before it wormed its way into your heart for good, the Scruffy City has plans to win you over. Along with plenty of craft beer aficionados, wide patios, and artful cups of coffee, you’ll find world class, small batch craft denim at Marc Nelson, and the International Biscuit Festival bringing in celebrity chefs from all over. You’ll find vintage done well here, especially in places like Nostalgia on McCalla, an 11,000 square-foot Retro/thrift emporium. Knoxville is proud of its heritage, never more apparent than when you’re sipping on one of 300 scotches from Boyd’s Jig & Reel and listening to a pub session or nibbling on Knox Mason’s deviled eggs with Rooster sauce and Tennessee Chow Chow. The expansive Knoxville Outdoor Adventure Center urges you to capitalize on the natural beauty of the Valley and its surrounds. Go ahead and get your shoes muddy. Don’t worry, K-Town has sophistication as well.  Just ask folks about the speakeasy downtown inside the gorgeous Oliver Hotel. So if Knoxville seems a little scruffy at first, give us a read, you just haven’t gotten to know her yet…

Farragut and Nearby

Jessica Weiss Jewelry and Studio  We adore Jessica’s signature paperclip chains in 24 K vermeil; so lovely, you may have a hard time choosing between the moonstone, lapis, pyrite, river rock or seaglass necklaces. That’s just the beginning. Don’t get us started on the earrings and mixed metal cuffs. She does custom work as well and designs a line of impeccable leather clutches, satchels, pouches and totes. 5805 Kingston Pike (S)

West Bicycles  Not only can they outfit you to get on the road, their weekly rides might be the nudge you need to get out there. West Bicycles leads road bike rides on Wednesdays (6:05 p.m.) and Saturdays (8:00 a.m.) and a Greenway ride on Tuesdays (6:15). Don’t miss the service clinics and Bike Fit Saturdays to keep your ride tight. 11531 Kingston Pike (S)

Brown Bag  When you want something fresh and fast, swing by Brown Bag. The menu is a little limited, but on a hurried day, their red skin mashed potatoes and sesame snap peas keep our bellies happy. 10649 Hardin Valley Rd. or downtown at 800 S. Gay St. (E)

Northshore Brasserie  Get your Mussels and Frites fix, and top it off with their delightful Profiteroles. 9430 S. Northshore Dr. (E)

Bearden/West Knox

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Open Chord Brewhouse and Stage  Knox loves musicians, and Open Chord is all about music…well, that and a plate of pork nachos, beer, or coffee (for good measure–ba dum bum). This hybrid music store/performance venue/coffee shop/cafe even offers lessons in guitar and drums. Whether you are looking for a Suhr guitar or a new pick, Open Chord can hook you up. Check out Open Mic nights and Knoxville Poetry Slam events, too. 8502 Kingston Pike (D)

When you are jonzing for a good bowl of Pho, Bida Saigon Vietnamese Stop is the direction you want to go.  8078 Kingston Pike (E)

Chez Guevara  Yeah, we wish it wasn’t in a strip mall, but we can work around that. Don’t look for a sign; they didn’t have one, last time we checked. What Chez Guevara does have is some righteous Mexican food, that and a lot of icons on the walls. 8025 Suite A  Kingston Pike (E)

The Tomato Head  Anytime we mention Knoxville, the response will invariably be, “Ohhh…Tomato Head!” No other words are required it would seem. Amazing pizzas, great vegetarian fare, sandwiches, burritos–something to please all. This place is a legit Knoxville institution. 7240 Kingston Pike,The Gallery and 12 Market Square (E)

Look for Flour Head Bakery goods at both Tomato Head locations, Just Ripe, Butler and Bailey, Three Rivers Market and most Krogers around town.

Bliss Home  This beloved design store carries casual contemporary furnishings, accessories, and gifts. They’ve won Best of Knoxville so many times we’ve lost count. In-home design services are available. 7240 Kingston Pike, The Gallery or 29 Market Square (S)

Abridged Beer Company 100 Lockett Rd. (E)

Harper’s Bike Shop is a mainstay in K-Town cycling. For 55 years, they’ve been spreading bike love. From the ultra groovy Electra bikes to the serious tread on the Santa Cruz line, Harper’s has something for you to get stoked about. They can help you with a custom build, tune-up, or any service necessary to keep you in the saddle. They work on vintage bikes, too. Join Julie, the Liv Cycling Ambassador, for plenty of rad workshops for the ladies this year like the Hands-on Maintenance Clinic. 118 Northshore Dr. NW (S)

Get involved! The Appalachian Mountain Bike Club meets every fourth Monday at Sweet P’s BBQ Downtown Dive at 7 p.m. Join them and help maintain Knox’s trails. The AMBC “supports the conservation of open spaces and is committed to educating mountain bicyclists to ride sensitively and responsibly in order to protect the natural environment and the experience of other trail users.”

drink. midtown lounge. Much like its sister restaurant, Bistro by the Tracks, drink appeals to your more refined nature. With its dark interior and futuristic wine dispensing stations, you might be lured into running up the tally on your wine card. They also serve craft beer, inventive cocktails, and yummy noshes to soothe your after-work beast. 215 Brookview Centre Way Suite 107 (E)

Bistro by the Tracks This elegant little bistro serves well composed, beautiful dishes of seasonal fare. We would recommend getting in on a wine dinner.  September’s Bourbon and Benton’s Bacon Dinner sounds pretty dope to us. 215 Brookview Centre Way Suite109 (E)

McKay  If you haven’t heard of McKay’s, let us be the first to tell you, you are missing out. Used books, CD’s, movies–even vinyl–fill this warehouse waiting for you to get in on the bargain. Not surprisingly, McKay’s won Metro Pulse’s Best of the Best this year. 230 Papermill Place Way (S)

Cachepot  This gorgeous little shop is the perfect place to pick up an orchid, some stems from their fresh floral case, or a vessel for your favorite houseplant. They offer complete floral and garden design services.  Don’t miss their courtyard for lovely statuary and flowering plants. 5508 Kingston Pike Suite 190 (S)

Pink Pomegranate Home  You might snag a great deal here. This consignment boutique is owned by the folks of G&G Interiors. You can expect to find a little “run-off” from their exquisite mama shop. 5508 Kingston Pike Suite 150 (S)

Elle Boutique features wearable fashionable to keep you effortlessly chic. Hunter Hobo bags, vegan leather leggings, Splendid cardigans, Gorjana jewelry and many other stylish finds await you. 5508 Kingston Pike Suite 130 (S)

G&G (Gift and Gourmet) Interiors  This high-end design shop is a thing of beauty. While we expected great looking decor, we were pleasantly surprised at the range of artwork represented. G&G showcases original pieces from local and regional artists. That is worth a trip alone, except we love so much more… 5508 Kingston Pike Suite 100 (S)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Buttermilk Sky Pie  How can one resist a pretty little pie in a brown paper box with a cellophane window? We can’t.  We suggest you just cave to temptation too and sample several. Don’t forget a scoop of all natural ice cream, if you’re the ala mode type.The popular homemade caramel pie is back for Fall!  5402 Kingston Pike (E)

Bennett Galleries and Company  Don’t be put off by the behemoth structure on the Pike, you might find Blackberry Farm’s chow chow, a piece of artisan jewelry, or the perfect sideboard. Bennett not only carries a wide range of artwork, they provide custom framing as well as in-home design services. 5308 Kingston Pike (S)

Gourmet’s Market/Cosmo’s Caffe  Want to eat brunch with your pooch? Head over to Cosmo’s and request porch seating. They have a popular omelet station and a large menu of sweet or savory dishes. We’d order Toad in the Hole just because it reminds us of that scene in Moonstruck (sans ketchup). 5107 Kingston Pike (E)

If you haven’t been to Fig & Company, you’ll want to add it to your list. Committed to representing local and regional craftsmen, Fig & Company is a pleasant respite from retail tedium. Many of the mirrors, plaques, and case goods of reclaimed wood have been produced in Fig’s workshop. You’ll also find great lamps and home accessories as well as the full line of Amy Howard paints and Voluspa candles. We loved the kid’s rustic worktable paired with Philippe Starck-esque mini ghost chairs. 5072 Kingston Pike (S)

The Back Porch Mercantile is the area’s exclusive stockist of Annie Sloan chalk paints. The Back Porch also carries Dash and Albert rugs, Pine Cone Hill bedding, and Farmhouse Fresh masks and scrubs. Owner Jenny Parkhurst has filled her little shop with charming accents to adorn you and your home. BPM even offers workshops in the back, spreading a bit of chalk-painting magic. 5052 Kingston Pike (S)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

NostalgiWe can’t get enough of the quirky energy that is Nostalgia. The house cats and maze of booths filled with a pleasing amalgamation of vintage, used and retro goods will entertain and delight you. 5214 Homberg Dr. (S)

Willy’s Butcher Shop  Master Butcher William Carithers frequently collaborates with Sawworks Brewing Co., bringing his culinary finesse to a giant batch of French Peasant Cassoulet you are not going to want to miss.   Stop in the shop for Willy’s smoked hams, incredible bacon and house-made sausages, hormone-free Black Heritage turkey, and all the fresh cuts of prime meat you can fit in your fridge. Thinking of whipping up a charcuterie plate? Willy’s your man. 5115 Homberg Dr. (S)

Obligato Truth be told, they started in the Hamptons. But since Obligato fell in love with K-Town and opened a shop here, we can’t deny returning their affections. They sell just the right mix of contemporary clothing, stylish shoes, and gorgeous jewelry to keep you on point. 4626 Kingston Pike (S)

How can Bearden Beer Market be explained to the uninitiated? To the right is a little shack with many, many micro-brews you and your friends might enjoy and a number of drafts on tap for growler fills or by the mug. The beer garden is large and dog-friendly. Cornhole is available (which always makes us happy). Check out the BBM’s webpage for the parking map–really, you’ll need it. If you are someone who is highly sensitive to the aroma of stale beer, you might want to avoid the beer garden for obvious reasons. For everyone else, pull up a picnic bench and make like a native. 4524 Old Kingston Pike (E)

Hard Knox Pizzeria  Somebody please get the Annie soundtrack out of our heads! Here’s a solution, we’ll trot on down to Hard Knox and consume copious amounts of wood-fired “neo neapolitan” pizza. Red or white pies, rocket salad, Italian hummus, cannoli–turns out it is a Hard Knox life for us. 4437 Kingston Pike (E)

The slow roasted, spicy dishes of Gosh Ethiopian Restaurant will be your new addiction. Order up a few samplers, grab some Injera and scoop away. You now have full permission to eat with your hands in public. 3609 Sutherland Ave. (E)

Holy Land Market  On the lookout for a tasty gyro? The deli counter at Holy Land is your place. The falafel and several varieties of hummus will also keep us coming back. 3601 Sutherland Ave. (E)

Pop Culture  “Gourmet Ice Pops in the Heart of Knoxvegas”  These tasty treats are made with local ingredients and nothing artificial. We can’t wait to get our hands on the Peach Bellini and Cucumber Mint, or the creamy Nutella paletas. 3341 Sutherland Ave. and local farmers markets (E)

Sequoyah Hills

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Wild Honey Records  Don’t get us wrong, a little grunge is fine.  But we are vibing on the bright white interior and light wood floors of Wild Honey Records. They make our musical selections even sweeter. Check their website for new arrivals of new or vintage vinyl, or swing by–the friendly folks at Wild Honey will hook you up. 1206 Kenesaw Ave. (S)

Plaid Apron  Do not underestimate Plaid Apron. Chef Drew McDonald honed his skills at the renowned Blackberry Farm, while pastry chef Stephanie Russo learned her craft in several of San Diego’s top bakeries. She makes a mean macaron. Visit for brunch. Though the vibe is casual, the food is well worth the drive. We love the addition of leeks and butternut squash to brunch hero, Eggs Benedict. As a side note, Plaid Apron uses Benton’s Bacon which in itself was enough to convince us of how awesome they are. 1210 Kenesaw Ave. (E)

University of Tennessee and nearby

Blue Mason Coffee serves “exceptional locally roasted coffee, gourmet espresso drinks with local Cruze Farm whole milk, all homemade syrup flavors, and in shop baked goods made fresh every day.” We’ll take the whiskey syrup in our coffee. Don’t be a hater. 2920 Sutherland Ave. (E)

River Sports Outfitters and The Climbing Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Needless to say, they’ve generated quite a bit of expertise over the years. They sponsor climbing fundamentals classes, kayak roll clinics–even outside yoga at IJAMS. They rent mountain and hybrid bikes for your next trail ride, and naturally carry all the camping, running, or outdoor gear you might need for your next adventure. Check them out and get outside!  2918 Sutherland Avenue (S)

Sunspot  This popular spot is nearly always jumping. The interior is hip and inviting and nearly matches the allure of their outdoor seating. We love their brunch specials. If you can get there early enough to grab patio table, your four-legged friends are welcome to join you. Request the free chips and tomatillo salsa. Sunspot features a nice selection of vegan and gluten free fare and a great wine list. So don’t forget the drink specials during the week like Martini Monday (if you so dare) or 1/2 price Wine Wednesdays (on bottles before 10 p.m.).  2200 Cumberland Ave. (E)

Clarence Brown Theatre of the University of Tennessee is one of the few university theaters offering its students the opportunity to work towards their equity cards performing alongside professional guest artists of national acclaim. Check out their season here. UT campus off Volunteer Blvd. (D)

Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture  Located on the first floor of the Art and Architecture Building at UT, Ewing Gallery brings bold and varied exhibitions to K-Town. Take advantage of UT’s ability to draw in national talent and the invigorating presence of resident artists.Their juried shows of provocative works by MFA students and the annual student art competition are your opportunities to spot future trendsetters.1715 Volunteer Blvd. (D)

World’s Fair Park

Sunsphere in World's Fair ParkKnoxville Museum of Art Join KMA for Alive after Five on Fridays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Unwind from the week with some live music, noshes and a beverage from the cash bar. Check out other upcoming events on the museum website. 1050 World’s Fair Park (D)

Capture a bird’s eye view of the city from the observation deck of the Sunsphere. While there, learn little tidbits about K-town from the informational plaques to impress friends and strangers with Knoxville trivia. Get a drink in the mod Icon Ultra Lounge, if you so dare. 810 West Clinch Ave. (D)

The International and the Concourse  You’ll dig the vibe in these popular music venues. (The Concourse is located right next door to the larger International venue.) Dramatically lit wooden floors, brick walls, expansive bars, great acoustics, and spacious dance floors make The International and The Concourse primo spots to spend your evening. Check out the event schedule here. 940 Blackstock Ave. (D)

The Public Cinema wants to you to explore cinema as an art form. Their mission is “to share vital works of contemporary international and American cinema” with the Knoxville audience. Right on. Screenings venues include Scruffy City Hall, The Pilot Light and Knoxville Museum of Art. Find out more about their upcoming film screenings here.

South Knox/Sevier Ave.

On the way to IJams? Swing in Three Bears Coffee micro-roastery and retail digs in South Knox. You’ll find the best selection of beans and can learn more about what makes Three Bears Coffee so exceptional, including how the coffee cherries of their flagship coffee Terruno Nayarita are “sun-dried on patios before the fruit is removed from the bean.” Drink coffee that’s good for the planet. 1120 Sevier Ave. (S)

Alliance Brewing Co. has twelve taps in their spanking new taproom. Venture into “active beer culture”–you won’t be sorry. We are stoked to try their new collaboration with AMBC, the Black Ipambc. Plenty of food trucks on rotation to keep the hangry away, plus fun Smores’ nights with Sugar Mama’s Bakery. Be there.1130 Sevier Ave. (D)

Honeybee Coffee 700 Sevier Ave. (E)

Downtown/Gay St.

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Flow-A Brew Parlor  Check out this lovely zen space downtown for your caffeine fix. Flow serves Counter Culture coffee, pastries (because who can say no to a homemade Pop Tart?) and craft beer (because sometimes you need something stronger than coffee when pouring through your email). They’ve got wraps and soup, too. 603 W. Main St. (E)

Yassin’s Falafel House  Falafel lovers rejoice! Authentic, delicious falafel wraps are now awaiting you downtown. Baba Ghanoush, too!  706 Walnut St. (E)

Bistro at the Bijou Theatre  Whether you are enjoying a drink after work, a leisurely lunch, or an intimate dinner, Bistro’s warm welcome will make you feel right at home. You might even consider staying a while and catching some live jazz. We suggest you throw caution to the wind and order the Pimento Cheese Fritters with tomato jam or the Baked Goat Cheese and a cocktail to start off–it’s just that kind of place. 807 S. Gay St. (E)

Bijou Theatre  Don’t miss an opportunity to see a show in this gorgeous 100+ year old restored landmark. The Bijou books regional and national acts in every musical genre, and the acoustics are spot on. 803 S. Gay St. (D)

Tennessee Theatre  You’ll have plenty of opportunities to soak in the majesty of the Tennessee Theatre; the Knoxville Opera,  Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and UT book events there. In addition, the historic theatre presents touring Broadway shows and national acts along with special events like the Halloween weekend screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Check the calendar and get there. The Tennessee Theatre is a spectacular venue and national treasure that needs your support. 604 S. Gay St. (D)

The French Market   When you’re in the mood for a delectable French crepe (and when aren’t we?), you need to head to The French Market on Gay. Word of warning, try for an “off” hour. This popular little eatery fills up fast. 526 S. Gay St. (E)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Coolato Gelato is no K-town secret. You’ll find plenty of locals enjoying the paninis and soups around the noon hour. Coolato has added cute and much needed seating in the alleyway. The gelato, naturally, is amazeballs. 524 S. Gay St. (E)

Nama Sushi Bar  Not only does Nama offer half price rolls on Mondays and Thursdays (dine in only), the selections differ on those days! Therefore, you can enjoy a delightful Soy Joy roll on Monday for a bargain and come back for a half-priced feast of Philly and Crazy Tuna rolls on Thursday. Sweet. 506 S. Gay St. and 5130 Kingston Pike (E)

Bliss and Tori Mason Shoes 445 S. Gay St. (S)

The Art Market Gallery  Swing through this downtown gallery featuring the work of more than sixty East Tennessee artists. The Art Market carries photography, ceramics, jewelry, wood, painting, sculpture, and mixed media in a range of styles. 422 S. Gay St. (S)

Maple Hall Bowling  Our game improves exponentially with the addition of tasty cocktails and warm pretzels with Guinness beer cheese. This summer make plans to knock pins on Friday afternoons with half-price bowling starting from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and yummy “alley fare” for six bucks! The Parlor at Maple Hall features live music and events like Vinyl Nights with Nathan from Lost and Found Records spinning 60’s and 70’s funk and rare cuts. 414 S. Gay St. (D)

Pioneer House   This “printmaking studio, unique honky tonk clothing & accessory store and eclectic art gallery” is one of our favorite haunts downtown.  Whether you are hunting for a one-of-a-kind Thunder Road Moonshine shirt (must see) or a fabulously creepy Doll Eye Pendant necklace, Pioneer House brings it. Definitely check out their in-house letter-pressed cards and posters. 413 S. Gay St. (S)

Suttree’s High Gravity Tavern  The term “high gravity” stands for higher alcohol content in beer speak. Good to know.  Suttree’s has you covered there. Check out this neighborhood fave for their rotating taps and huge selection of quality brews. They also have a nicely curated spirits menu including Bulleit Rye and, for the adventurous, Popcorn Sutton’s Moonshine. 409 S. Gay St. (E)

Harrogate’s Lounge Step through the sliding glass door at Suttree’s to become a pinball wizard. Harrogate’s Lounge features old-school arcade games and all the adult beverages needed to convince you that high score fame is just one game away. 409 S. Gay St. (E)

Chivo Taqueria 314 S. Gay St. (E)

WDVX’s Blue Plate Special  If you’re a fan of American roots music, get down to the Knoxville Visitor Center at high noon for WDVX’s Blue Plate Special, a live studio performance featuring emerging local artists, regional and national acts. Good times. Free. 301 S. Gay St. (D)

Cru Bistro and Wine Bar has earned Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for its outstanding wine program. Drop in and try a wine flight, or create your own from their featured wines. The tapas are the way to go here. We’re partial to the Grilled Buttermilk Cornbread with smoky pimento cheese and the Scallop BLT with Benton’s Bacon Tomato Cream and arugula. 141 S. Gay St. (E)

Sugar Mama’s 135 S. Gay St. (E)

Knox Mason  Proudly Southern and “hyper-local,” Knox Mason serves up some familiar dishes in unexpected ways. Order up the Local Peach Salad with Sorghum-Whiskey Vinaigrette while you can and be sure to try Knox’s housemade Limoncello after your meal. Live by Knox rules–if it can be put in a mason jar, it will be. 131 S. Gay St. (E)

Bula Boutique wants to give you your boheme moment. Whether you are feelin’ long and flowy, or tight and edgy, Bula has the fashion for you to rock the day. 115 S. Gay St. (S)

Patricia Nash  Stop in her flagship store and get your hands on the fine Italian leather bags and boots, crafted with old world artistry. Quality goods made to last, we are particularly drawn to her Nash for Men collection. Go ahead and buy that messenger or leather briefcase–you can’t deny the appeal of a man bag. 109 S. Gay St. (S)

UT Downtown Gallery  How many universities have an adjunct gallery right smack downtown? This contemporary gallery is funded by the University of Tennessee and exhibits professional work in a variety of mediums. Go in and have a zen moment. 106 S. Gay St. (D)

The Emporium Center is the hub of the arts community in Knox.  Make sure to pass through on First Fridays to hear live jazz on the black box stage.  The Emporium houses artists studios, art gallery and event spaces, and offices of numerous cultural organizations including Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Tennessee Stage Company. 100 S. Gay St (D)

Gallery 1010 is a “student-run exhibition space for the University of Tennessee students, faculty, staff and alumni.” Yes, it is all the wacky brilliance you are imagining, and then some. 113 S. Gay St. (D)

The Happy Envelope  Sure, this gorgeous, sun-filled letterpress studio produces unique party, and custom  invitations, but they also have fun city posters for sale and groovy in-studio events like their Happy Mic Series, “cozy concerts” in their downtown space. Sign up for their uber-popular Calligraphy or Embroidery Workshops too. 310 W. Jackson Ave. Suite 101 (S)

Status Serigraph  We can’t resist peering into the window of Justin Helton’s graphic design and limited-edition poster studio anytime we pass by. Sought after by musicians like the Avett Brothers, Van Morrison, and Jason Isbell, Justin’s concert posters are downright hypnotically beautiful. Want. All. 310 W. Jackson Ave. Suite 102 (S)

Sweet P’s BBQ & Downtown Dive  We don’t suggest you consume the El Gigante Comida unassisted, but you can watch Adam Richman do it on Man vs. Food. Get the ribs or the pulled pork with your choice of thick (tomato based), thin (vinegar based) or hot (made with a smoky chipotle puree). 410 W. Jackson Ave. or 3725 Maryville Pike (E)

Knox Whiskey Works  Did you know that K-Town had its own small batch craft distillery? Knox Whiskey Works is “harnessing the collective skill, passion and expertise of East Tennessee to create authentic, distinct and delicious hand-crafted spirits.” Using local products and even a local miller to grind the corn and grains, Knox Whiskey Works is keeping it real. Drop in to take the $5 tour and tasting or sit a spell with one of their tasty house libations. Just be sure to try the Cold City Old Brew Coffee Liqueur made in collaboration with Old City Java–game changer. 516 W. Jackson Ave. SW (D)

Find out about art openings on Knoxville First Fridays website–then get out and see some art!

Market Square/Union St.

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Coffee & Chocolate  The magnetic pull of a sea salt caramel can not be overstated. 327 Union Ave. (E)

Rala  Find regional and local artists goods in this funky little shop on Union. Paddywax soy candles, folkart prints, clever handmade cards, gifts, art, and more will convince you to put Rala on your regular circuit. We heart the Dolly Parton tees. 323 Union Ave. (S)

Cafe 4  After dealing with the crowds on Market Square, you’re going to need some comfort food. Sidle over to Cafe 4 and order some soul soothing carbs. We like to leave our options open for brunch, so Cafe 4 suits us just fine–Baja Fish Tacos, Chicken and Biscuits with Sawmill gravy, a Spicy Black Bean Burger…decisions, decisions.  If you’re there for lunch, someone at your table needs to order one of the mac & cheese dishes. We’re just sayin’.  4 Market Square (E)

Oliver Royale  5 Market Square (E)

Tennessee Stage Co. offers Shakespeare on the Square mid-July to mid-August.  Don’t miss the Bard’s work performed under the stars.  (They also offer indoor matinees in the Square Room at 4 Market Square.)  But that’s not all…the annual New Play Festival happens every February with table and staged readings of new scripts at Knox County Public Libraries around town.  Check their website for more details.

Not Watson’s Kitchen + Bar  This casual eatery’s extensive menu has something to please everyone. As for us, deviled eggs topped with smoked trout roe is spot on. We’re thinking about bathing in the bourbon maple syrup after we polish off Not Yo’ Mamma’s Chicken and Waffles. 15 Market Square (E)

Emilia 16 Market Square (E)

Bliss  With legions of Knox fans, Bliss will beguile you with it’s kicky little dresses and leather messenger bags.  This spirited apparel, jewelry and gift store even carries some unusual novelties. We anticipate their flask scarves will sell out quickly. One needs to be fashionable while sneaking liquor into the game, after all! It’s a win, win. One word of warning, it is hard to leave Bliss without succumbing to their fabulous jewelry selection. Go ahead and get a little bling–you deserve it. 24 Market Square (S)

Preservation Pub is so infamous in Knox, we’re sure everyone has a Preservation Pub story to tell. Go make your own. With multiple stages and six bars within, you’ve got plenty of options for finding your niche. However, for us it’s the rooftop. The magic beer tree is only part of the appeal of the Moonshine Rooftop Garden. While Harry Potter will likely not be present, it’s the best people watching spot in K-town. We suggest you head up as soon as the weather warms and chillax. 28 Market Square (E)

Knoxville Chocolate Company 29 Market Square (S)

Keep a lookout for Scruffy City Hall’s Brewery to open later this year. In the meantime, Scruffy City Hall is open and serving food, drinks, and rockin’ shows. But what we really want to draw your attention to is the architecture. Even if it is just a wing through, make sure you check out the views from the second floor. 32 Market Square (D)

Stock and Barrel serves craft burgers on Flour Head Bakery rolls. They source the meat from nearby Mitchell Family Farms. S&B pretty much swept the categories in this year’s Metro Pulse poll–Best New Restaurant, Best Burger, Best Fries.  Do not hesitate, order the Duck Confit Fries and whichever burger is calling your name. We wish we were there right now doing the same. With an insanely comprehensive bourbon list, Stock and Barrel offers flights of bourbon pours!  We might even have to make room for the Smores Milkshake. Well played, S&B, well played. 35 Market Square (E)

Food Truck Watch:  Cruze dairy Farm Milk Bar, Good Golly Tamales, Hoof, Savory and Sweet Truck, Tootsie Truck, Dale’s Fried Pies, farm to griddle crepe truck, forks on the road, Pop Culture, and Bull’s BBQ.

Oliver HotelThe Peter Kern Library in the uber cool Oliver boutique hotel is a genuine speakeasy after 5p.m.  Enter through the door in the alley with the red light bulb overhead, or from inside the hotel lobby’s white sliding door.  We could tilt a few Windmills (Don Quixote like) or happily down an Atticus Finch while reclining on the leather sofas. The Peter Kern Library  now serves incredible coffee and locally roasted espresso until 4 p.m.  Pick up a Lavender Mocha or Coconut Chai Latte made with fresh coconut puree. 407 Union Ave. (E)

The Casual Pint Craft Beer Market  Drop in to sample a few new drafts or create your ideal mixed 6-pack from their extensive selection of bottled micro-brews.  Have your growler filled from one of their 22 taps before you go. Pick up some Sugar Mama’s goodies too. 421 Union Ave. (E)

Nothing Too Fancy is one of our favorite stops. They sell those ultra-soft tees which will remind you why you liked vintage in the first place. The dark walls, industrial lighting, and old gas station motif will make everyone feel comfortable.  Yes, we’re talking to you, guy.  Pick up a few neoprene koozies while you’re there or a local screenprint for your place. 435 Union Ave. (S)

J. C. Holdway  501 Union Ave. (E)

Union Ave. Books offers book signings and author readings, can suggest a title, and employs witty and wonderful folk. They host a book exchange for your gently used gems. We think these are solid reasons to support your local booksellers. 517 Union Ave. (S)

Wild Lavender Spa and Wellness 525 Union Ave. (S)

Named Best Breakfast by Metro Pulse readers too many times to count, Pete’s Coffee Shop and Restaurant starts slinging eggs at 6:30 in the morning for you early birds (7 a.m. on the weekends). This friendly little diner can pack a crowd, so don’t expect to be eating alone. 540 Union Ave. (E)

Kaizen 416 Clinch Ave. (E)

Make us proud local goodness: Three Bears Coffee; Wild Hare Jackalope Brand spa products; Fanatic Brewing Co.; Mossy Creek Mushrooms; Sugar Mama’s Bakery treats; Lucky Staar Jewelry; Native Maps

Market Square Farmer’s Market–East Tennessee’s finest food producers and craftsmen converge on the Square Wednesdays 11-2 and Saturdays 9-2 May through November.

Old City

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

A Dopo Sourdough Pizza 516 Williams St. (E)

Knox Public House  We love everything about Public House–the carefully constructed cocktails and patio drinks, the elevated comfort food, the pop-up events like their Sunday Suppers with rising chefs in the region–it all makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside. If they still have the BBQ and Chimichurri Dog, do it. 212 W. Magnolia Ave. (E)

Join Tennessee Valley Bicycles for Monday Night Road Rides or a Beginner Mountain Bike Ride down at Mead’s Quarry.  These guys just want to see you happy in the saddle. Their tagline is “bicycles for all,” and they mean it. They’ve got everything from gravel to touring bikes, and the expertise to make you comfortable with your investment. Keep your ride in tip-top shape with their clinics (Tire, Tube and Wheel; Shifty Bits; and Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Brake Maintenance class). Bonus: you can rent a Kona Dew Hybrid to tour around town, or Demo Mountain Bikes by the day or the week. 214 W. Magnolia Ave. (S)

DreamBikes 309 N. Central St. (S)

Urban Bar and Corner Cafe 109 N. Central (E)

The Mill + Mine 227 W. Depot Ave. (D)

Post Modern Spirits Distillery 205 W. Jackson Ave. (E)

Old City Wine Bar 108 W. Jackson Ave. (E)

Rebel Kitchen pop-up dinners

Trustfall Knox

The Basement  is a community art studio beneath Lox Salon. Go create using their materials for $10 bucks, all ages and levels welcome. 105 W. Jackson Ave. (D)

We love the whole vibe at Lox. It is a full service salon with an edgy attitude. While upping your street cred, you can shop their collection of locally-crafted accessories and jewelry. 103 W. Jackson Ave. (S)

Pilot Light  Voted Best Dive Bar in Mercury Knox’s annual Top Knox poll, Pilot Light’s flame still flickers. In addition to the finding obscure local bands, indie rock and various other underground acts, you can expand your entertainment horizon with QED Comedy Laboratory on Mondays, film, storytelling, and puppet shows.”106 E. Jackson Ave. (D)

Hot Horse is a small thrift store on Jackson stocking plenty of vinyl, retro housewares, vintage clothing, and rare or used guitars and amps.108 E. Jackson Ave. (S)

Wandering through Willow Creek Gallery is a new experience every time. Salvaged architectural pieces, European antiques restored in-house, doors and window frames waiting to be re-purposed, chandeliers, military chests, French daybeds and more wait to be discovered. WCG also offers reupholstering services and produces their own line of industrial furniture.115 E. Jackson Ave. (S)

Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria won Best Beer Selection in Knoxville (Metro Pulse). This favorite K-town hang features live music most nights on the corner stage. Check out the patio or head upstairs for the trifecta–pizza, pool, and beer. 200 E. Jackson Ave. (E)

Good Golly Tamale whatcha’ waiting for? Get in there for some delish hot tamales (made with non-GMO masa). Order up the collards too, they’re made with Braggs Liquid Aminos. Good for ya’. Chicken Tinga, Vegan Soul Food, Queso Poblano…sing to us, you siren of tamales.112 S. Central St. (E)

The Pretentious Beer Glass Co. makes a righteous array of hand blown beer glasses to make your brew taste better. Besides, does your ale glass have a mustache? We thought not. Matthew Cummings and his merry band of glassblowers can fix that. They also are brewing some mighty fine “test batches” for their upcoming brewery. Stay tuned. 133 S. Central St. (S)

The Crown & Goose is a popular gastropub in the heart of the Old City. Try the Ploughman or European cheeseboard, voted best in the Marble City. Make sure to spend some time in the fetching beer garden out back. 123 S. Central St. (E)

OliBea was awarded the Snail of Approval by Slow Food Tennessee Valley (“good, clean, and fair”). Enjoy a TN Benedict, or an Archer’s Barbecue Breakfast Brisket Biscuit (don’t attempt to say that before coffee) and a big ole glass of fresh-squeezed OJ in a sunny window spot where you can watch the Old City world go by. 119 S. Central St. (E)

Voted best coffeeshop, Old City Java brews Counterculture direct trade coffee. They also sell Counterculture and Stumptown beans for your drag yourself out of bed cup. Old City Java has some mighty fine pastries for when you get peckish. We realize it might be pre-caffeine, but pay special attention to their gorgeous carved wooden doors as you enter. 109 S. Central St. (E)

Whether you have a penchant for men in kilts, an itching to try out your new fiddle, or a yen for some authentic fish and chips, Boyd’s Jig and Reel has plenty to stimulate your senses. Heralded as Knoxville’s first session pub, Jig and Reel hosts regular Irish, Scottish, Hillbilly, and Old Time Slow Jam sessions (join in with your own instrument or borrow from J&R). Or perhaps you’re just there to partake in some scotch drinking (J&R carries over 300 labels). We can dig it. Just promise us you’ll have a little soda bread with it. 101 S. Central St. (E)

Curious Dog Hotdogs and Sandwiches  The See Why Bomb Dawg topped with cheese curds, house-made kimchi, and sriracha is barking up our alley. Curious has tons of variations, all equally difficult to stuff in your drooling mouth quickly enough. They serve a sandwich between two thick slices of jalapeno cornbread. Mic drop. The great selection of craft beers and wall full of arcade games will entice you to stay longer than you planned. 200 W. Jackson Ave. (E)

Balter Beerworks  A former gas station has been transformed into a baller craft brewery and restaurant. If the throngs are keeping you from the Potato Chip Nachos, we suggest you visit for Happy Hour ($3 beers and 1.50 street tacos or sliders). Besides, you probably should delete your calendar until you’ve tried the Cask Conditioned Cardamom Bear Blend, coffee oatmeal porter enhanced with fragrant toasted cardamom. Balter wins extra points for using local Knox Whiskey Works vodka and gin in some of their tasty signature cocktails. Start Sunday Funday right with brunch, booze, and brews at Balter. 100 S. Broadway St. (E)

Warehouse District/ Five Points and Park City

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Mighty Mud  Time to get dirty…in a good way. Sign up for Mike’s Throwing class, Raku firing, or hand-build a place setting with Amy’s recurring Cup, Bowl and Plate class. Mighty Mud also rents studio space to ceramic artists and is available for parties or private events. 1300 McCalla Ave. (D)

Nostalgia on McCalla  It is hard to decide which Nostalgia location we like the best. So you should probably visit both.  With 11,000 square feet of awesomeness, NOM is easily one of our favorite destinations in K-town. They host outdoor markets on the second Sunday of every month–vintage goods, local artisans, food trucks and more from 11-4 p.m. 1401 McCalla Ave. (S)

Marc Nelson Denim  Invigorating the Warehouse District, Marc Nelson Denim produces small batch denim in the town where Marcus Nelson grew up. Check out his collaboration with Smooth Ambler–Limited Edition Whiskey Washed Denim. Nelson’s impeccably tailored pieces are bringing sexy back. 700 E. Depot Ave. (S)

Saw Works Brewing Company is a solid microbrewery in Knox’s Warehouse District. You’ll find their excellent beers around town, but you can only get Rough Cuts at The Mill, Saw Works Brewing Company Tasting Room. These small batch, limited edition brews will keep you on the cutting edge (we couldn’t resist). This month’s Rough Cuts include Gourd Damnit, M*A*S*H* Unit Number 2, and The Peach Remnant Ale. 708 E. Depot Ave. (E)

Happy Holler/ Old North Knoxville/Fourth and Gill

Birdhouse Knoxville  This art gallery, community garden, and meeting space has a whole lot of goodness going on. Join them for their monthly Sunday Dinners to break bread with your Fourth and Gill neighbors and learn about pressing issues. Break a sweat in the garden growing your own food or check out the People’s Library. Birdhouse offers free Improv Comedy Classes on Saturday mornings (10:30-12) and Walk-in Theater  screenings on Monday nights. There’s even a live radio broadcast happening upstairs. 800 N. 4th Ave. (D)

Sassy Ann’s  There are few quintessential K-Town experiences as rowdy and brimming with joie de vivre  as an evening spent at Sassy Ann’s. Bust out your dance moves in this funky old Victorian. 820 N. 4th Ave. (D)

Ironwood Studios houses McGilvray Woodworks, Aespyre Metal, and Walking Foot Gear & Leather. Doors are open for First Friday events. We love how committed these artists are to the community–you’ll find frequent events in their cool space like the popular Ironwood Art Fair and festive Holiday Market. 119 Jennings Ave. (D)

Last Days of Autumn Brewing 808 E. Magnolia Ave. (E)

Crafty Bastard Brewery  Vinyl night, food trucks, adult coloring, and intriguing beers are just a few of the reasons Crafty Bastard has a devoted following. Their highly rated German Dunkelweizen and Peat Smoked Porter should not be overlooked. Hop fans are smitten with the tangerine notes of the Hop Candy IPA. Join their weekly fun run Tuesdays at 6 p.m. for the Crafty Running Crew’s “jaunt through historic downtown.” Almost makes you want to lace up, doesn’t it? For further incentive, all crew members earn one dollar off their brews post run.  6 Emory Place (E)

A1 LabArts is the oldest operating artist collective in K-Town. A non-profit 501, A1 is “dedicated to multi-disciplinary and experimental exploration of contemporary art issues in all media.” Check out their cutting edge exhibitions and screenings, attend a workshop, or create a piece for their Abandoned Art project. Find out more here23 Emory Place (D)

Knox Heritage Salvage Shop is salvage gold, my friends! The Salvage Shop carries woodwork, architectural bits, historical building materials, local artwork, and sweet vintage furniture. Old windows, mantels, brass and glass doorknobs–you name it. Lend your pad some conversation starters while helping to preserve the character of Knox’s wonderful neighborhoods and the vitality of the downtown area. Learn more about the Knox Heritage mission here. 619 N. Broadway St. (S)


D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Remedy Coffee serves organic Intelligentsia direct trade coffee–pour overs, french press, traditional or cold brewed. Their gorgeous mod new space will inspire great things. When you tire from technology, there’s always conversation brewing. 800 Tyson St. (E)

Makers Donuts  Dulce de Leche Crunch, Matcha Green Tea with Black Sea Salt, Lemon Drop–who can resist these cakey, angel-glazed circles of delight? Pro tip: they sell out fast. We mean fast! Plan ahead for that afternoon carb fix–chances are the case will be empty before they close up at 1 p.m. 804 Tyson St. (E)

Elkmont Exchange Brewery & Eating House 745 N. Broadway (E)

Architectural Antics is the kind of place you relish mulling around in on an odd afternoon. Vintage concert posters line a hallway; vintage chests, mid-century sofas, and antique African art compete for your attention. Garden urns, ornamental ironwork, and industrial parts spill over the courtyard awaiting your discerning eye. Salvaged mantels and claw foot tubs want to come home with you. Don’t let them down. 820 N. Broadway (S)

Broadway Studios and Gallery  Make sure to include Broadway Studios in your monthly First Fridays rotation. Better still, sign up for the Life Drawing Sessions held Thursdays starting at 6 p.m. While this studio/gallery space might still be considered a hatchling, it’s already birthed some fun group shows. Check their facebook page for open calls. 1127 N. Broadway (D)

The Carpetbag Theatre is committed to voicing the stories of those silenced by oppression.  “The company works in partnership with other community artists, activists, cultural workers, storytellers, leaders and people who are simply concerned, creating original works through collaboration in a style based in storytelling and song.” They tour CBT works and run a number of programs including TRY–Theater Renaissance for Youth, servicing at-risk children in the community. 1323 N. Broadway (D)

K Brew is a bunch of really good folks who care about the community, bake crazy good biscotti, and know infinitely more about coffee than we have room for in our brains. Order up a cup of liquid love (by this we mean coffee) and perhaps a New York style bagel from nearby Hot Bagel Company accompanied with anything from local hot pepper jelly to Benton’s bacon and chive cream cheese. They use Cruze Dairy Farm milk, cream and butter. 1328 N. Broadway and 800 Market St. (E)

Vacuum Shop Studios was named top artist workshop/studio in town by Knoxville Mercury readers. Swing by the collaborative work space on First Fridays for open studio tours. 1326 N. Broadway (D)

The Juice Box 1324 N. Broadway (E)

The BreadShed Cafe  Pastry cream and dark chocolate filled Brioche balls. Mic drop. If you haven’t tried this Old North neighborhood gem, you need to put it on heavy rotation. Serving made from scratch “soul soups” and sandwiches (on their incredible bread), sweet and savory Sunday brunch items, and European-style pastries and bagels. The BreadShed  also has gluten-free Italian Loaf and Cinnamon breads. 1322 N. Broadway (E)

Fans of Holly Hambright’s food (there are many) were stoked about the opening of Holly’s Corner in the Holler. Now you won’t have to drive all the way out to Holly’s Eventful Dining in Bearden to taste some of her fresh, flavor-packed fare. Holly’s Corner serves lunch and dinner with nice options for the vegetarians in the crowd. Although we must admit, we’re slightly obsessed with Chris’ Smoked Brisket Sammitch with slaw, comeback sauce, and batter fried onions. They’ve got live music on occasion too. 842 N. Central Ave. (E)

Pick up a few mini cupcakes for your peeps from Magpie’s Bakery and spread some good karma. K-town’s (Metro Pulse certified) favorite bakery dishes up delectable sugar highs with “all butter, all the time.”  Though we’re partial to their banana pudding, we wouldn’t turn down the Chocolate Mocha Mamba cake, or Strawberry Rhubarb pie, or… well, you get the picture.  846 N. Central Ave. (E)

Striped Light  Things to dig about Striped Light1. They use the word “ephemera” to describe their Letterpress and Risograph printed cards and posters. 2. Harsh Cards. ‘Cause we’re all thinking it. 3. Letterpress classes including the upcoming “MicroFiction: Six Word Stories AKA The Hemingway Challenge” Letterpress basics  4. They’ve got their own record label. Truth. 5. Last, but not least, they do boss custom work. 107 Bearden Place (D)

Hops and Hollers has 32 craft beers on tap, half from Tennessee breweries. You can also choose from over 100 bottle/cans.  Linger for awhile; food trucks are on a regular schedule here.  Be sure to fill a 32 or 64 oz. growler for your fridge and come back soon–the drafts rotate to highlight seasonal offerings. Check out their sweet outdoor patio too. 937 N. Central Ave. (E)

The Central Collective hosts pop-up dinners, workshops, performances, and all manner of cultural, creative events. Some of their newest spring offerings include film screenings by NoKno Cinematheque and March Yoga Madness. They’ve got our interest piqued with the upcoming Good Sport Night series; sign up for the mystery event and come game for anything. See their full event calendar here. 923 N. Central Ave. (D)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Three Rivers Market is a community food co-op. While we heartily recommend you shop here, what we really want to emphasize is the superiority of the hot bar. When you need something quick and wholesome, don’t forget Three Rivers Market. We only wish we knew how to replicate their Popcorn Tofu. 1100 N. Central Ave. (E)

Retrospect Vintage  Browsing through Retrospect you might run across an antique steamer trunk, an actual typewriter or a pair of kid’s chaps–there’s no telling. We compulsively stop at the Mom and Me booth up front to see what new object has been painted with the likeness of a pop icon. 1121 N. Central Ave. (S)

Raven Records & Rarities  Sure they have great vinyl, but did you know they have a mac daddy collection of movie memorabilia, toys, comics and collectibles? Pick up a little pop culture kitsch with your 45’s. 1200 N. Central St. (S)

1204 Central Flats and Taps is a favorite neighborhood hangout. Order the Chupacabra. Of course Black Bean Hummus and Sundried Tomato Dip are also a lovely compliments to your favorite brews. Sit out on the patio and herald Spring’s approach. 1204 N. Central St. (E)

Mid Mod Collective  Is your pad a full out atomic ranch or an eclectic paradise? You’ll want to check in often at MMC for their sweeping collection of Mid-modern and Danish furniture as well as hip lighting, vintage clothing, accessories, books and vinyl. Mid Mod Collective is a fun place to peruse while still flying on your caffeine buzz from Wild Love next door. 1617 N. Central St. (S)

Wild Love Bakehouse  Aptly named, Wild Love Bakehouse might engender some strong emotion. Our favorite happy place is sitting at the work station bar with a view to the patisserie magic in the kitchen. Serving Counter Culture coffee and an incredible array of baked treats to brighten your day like Rosemary and Pear Hand Tarts or Lemon Olive Oil cake, you’re likely to run into a passel of other Wild Love devotees. Save room on the patio for us. 1625 N. Central St. (E)

Smoky Mountain Vintage Lumber is the place to go for reclaimed wood. Whether you’re looking to add a sweet sliding barn door or build a farm table, these guys know “wood with a story” is the best. We’re kind of partial to old wood frames too. 1700 N. Central St. (S)

La Esperanza  Make the trek to La Esperanza for some dope Mexican food in the back of an eclectic grocery. 2412 Washington Pike, North Hills (E)

Lost and Found Records is the place to go for LP’s or 45’s. This independent record store has been rocking it for over twenty years. 3710 N. Broadway (S)

Hexagon Brewing 1002 Dutch Valley Dr. (E)

Littons’ Market and Restaurant  Often featured in Southern Living, this K-Town landmark is best known for its burgers and desserts.  The popular Litton Thunder Road  features in-house ground beef on their signature buns topped with pimento cheese, sauteed onions and a baked jalapeno. Make room for the Coconut Cream pie (though we could be talked into ordering a big ole slice of Red Velvet).  2803 Essary Rd. (E)

Sabor Catracho Knoxville  If you’re looking for authentic Latin American fare, you might need to sacrifice ambiance. We’re down with that. Our friends at Knox Mercury highly recommend the Pollo Con Tajadas–a hearty mound of fried chicken on a bed of toasty plantains topped with crispy Honduran slaw and pickled onions. We’re on our way. 4705 Central Avenue Pike (E)

Full Service BBQ  In a former gas station, you’ll find the legendary brisket piled high on fluffy white bread. Go now. The smoker never sleeps. Pro tip: If you’re a burnt ends fan (who isn’t?), swing by early on Fridays. 104 Cedar Lane, or check out the original location in Maryville, 113 S. Washington St. (E)

Onsight Rock Gym was created by climbers for climbers. Go be a part of the thriving climbing community in Knox. This boss facility has challenging terrain, wrap around bouldering and walls over 50 feet high to sharpen your skills for Obed. Onsight features youth summer camps and instruction for every level. 5335 Western Ave. (D)

Out of Doors Adventures

The South Loop Trails:  This 40 mile trail system includes IJAMs Nature Center, Ross & Mead’s Quarry, William Hastie Natural Area, Anderson School Trails, and Forks of the River

IJAMS Nature Center is an amazing local resource. Its close proximity to downtown means you can easily get out for a run before the park closes at dusk. With the Meadowlark Music Festival, Symphony in the Park, Haunted Lantern Tours, and  the new Ropes Challenge Course, there’s always something going on at IJAMS 2915 Island Home Ave.

Knoxville Hardcourt Bike Polo  Yes! There’s bike polo in Knox! Meet up at Sam Duff Memorial Park Sundays at 1 p.m. More info here. 4060 Chapman Hwy.

Clock some time on your mountain bike at Cades Cove Loop in Great Smoky Mountain National Park–info here

Climbers know Knoxville has some of the best sandstone anywhere. Grab your chalk bag and get bouldering. The Obed Wild and Scenic River is a must. Learn more here.

Need to get on the water? The Cove at Concord Park–info here

Knoxville Outdoor Adventure Center rents tandem canoes, cruiser bikes, and SUP’s inside Billy Lush Board Shop. They have everything you need to know about outdoor sports in the Tennessee Valley centralized in one place including plans to expand Knoxville Urban Wilderness. Wow. Go play.  900 Volunteer Landing Lane or check out their website

Peak Mountain Sports sponsors a competitive trail racing and mountain running team and hosts area trail racing events. Details here.

House Mountain boasts almost six miles of trails leading to the top of House Mountain. The highest point in the county, House Mountain, is a moderate hike complete with switchbacks up to the crest and some of the best views around. 9601 Hogskin Rd. Corryton, TN

Head down to the French Broad River and the gorgeous Seven Islands State Birding Park.  A boat launch for kayaks or canoes is available. Map is available online. Kodak, TN

Voted one of America’s Best Bike Shops, Cycology Bicycles in Maryville  is the real deal. They even have a craft beer tavern called The Switchback inside the store. Cycology sponsors a racing team, regular clinics, and advocates for more women in cycling. Cycology sponsors group rides every Thursday morning. Their outdoor shop, Little River Trading Company is right next door. Join them for stand-up paddling classes every Tuesday at 6 p.m. 2408 E. Lamar Alexander Pwky. Maryville

Events Not to Miss

Big Ears Music Festival is “a weekend of world-class musical performances in beautiful historic theaters, clubs, galleries, and museums, combined with talks and discussions, interactive workshops, installations, exhibitions, film screenings, surprise collaborations and unexpected connections.” This year, Big Ears is collaborating with The Public Cinema who will be curating a lineup of screenings for the festival weekend. See for yourself why Rolling Stone called it “the classiest, most diverse festival in the country.” More info. here. March 21-24, 2018

Rhythm N’ Blooms  This year’s event is May 17th – 19th, and you can’t get much more “Knox” than a music festival held in Old City. There’s just something we dig about seeing a great act in the old freight terminal off Jackson, or in a big parking lot beneath an overpass. Classic. Old City venues include: Barley’s Taproom; Boyd’s Jig & Reel; Cripple Creek; Lox Salon; Pilot Light; The Jackson Terminal. More festival deets here.

Knoxville Opera’s Rossini Festival International Street Fair was voted “Top Knox” best festival by Knoxville Mercury readers. Incredible food, world class opera, and unbeatable people watching in the heart of the city–get your culture on the Knoxville way. Learn more here. Gay Street and Market Square, April 13th

Brewhibition Knoxville  This is the craft beer festival you want on your calendar. Specialty beers created just for Brewhibition, infusing stations, and righteous beer cocktails made in collaboration with local distilleries are just the start. Get in the spirit with their 1920’s costume contest, roaming performances by the Beer City Hoopers and hot jazz by Frog and Toad and Kukuly and the Gypsy Fuego. Old City Courtyard, 106 S. Central Ave. April 28th

Dogwood Arts Festival  is a month-long cultural celebration that has become synonymous with spring and Knox’s favorite thing about April. Dogwood Arts encompasses many great events like the Chalk Walk and the open studio tours of Art Detour and culminates at month’s end with the popular Dogwood Arts Festival on Market Square. Find out more here.

International Biscuit Festival  Because…Biscuits! For tickets and more information about  Biscuit Boulevard, the Biscuit Bash, or The Blackberry Farm Biscuit Brunch, click here. Downtown Knoxville, May 18th and 19th, 2019

Retropolitan Craft Fair  This indie craft market is carefully curated to bring to Knoxville the Southeast’s best makers in one big celebration of “retropolitan swagger.” Expect a vintage, funky, artsy vibe. May 5th, 9-5 p.m. The Southern Railway Station 306 W. Depot Ave.
© 2021




21 Responses to Knoxville

  1. Kim

    Really love the write up, I feel like it covered a lot of spots that have gone unmentioned in other recent overviews of our fair city. I am disappointed that Glowing Body Yoga Studio (or any yoga studio) wasn’t mentioned, especially since our neighbors Magpies and Holly’s Corner were mentioned. Of course I am biased because I teach there, and I recognize not everything can be listed, since Knoxville is such a happening place. 🙂 Thanks for the overview, I’ll be using it to motivate friends and family to visit!

  2. Debbie

    What a wonderful way to ‘play up’ Knoxville. I love all the pictures and clips about each place. I love Knoxville and love to visit my son there – we have been to many of these places. Great job!

  3. Aaron

    Also missing Downtown Grill and Brewery on Gay Street and Calhoun’s on the River.

    DGB is downtown Knoxville’s highest grossing/volume restaurant.

  4. Kristy

    Great article on the city I have called home for 40 years. My only quibble is that Farragut/Sequoyah Hills were listed together. It could be confusing for anyone not familiar with the area. While the attitude is definitely the same, they are about 15 miles apart, with Bearden/West Knox in between the two. Otherwise, the article was spot-on. Thank you for featuring our wonderful city.

    • Stuart

      Yes, the conflation of Sequoyah Hills with Farragut – other than on socio-economic terms – is downright laughable. Otherwise this is a fantastic field guide to Knoxville, and as a resident makes me realize how much there is to what can sometimes seem an all-too-Scruffy City.

      • hiptraveler

        Stuart–sorry, sometimes we get our wires crossed. We will fix the blunder. Glad you enjoy the guide!

  5. Kimber

    Love the wide variety of awesome spots in Knoxville! Love playing tourist in my own back yard. Might I suggest someone stop by Petro’s Chili & Chips in the 5-6 locations in Knoxville {most newly in Powell} for a Knoxville-born Petro. Invented right here in the Scruffy LIttle City for the 1982 World’s Fair, The Petro boasts a layered experience of Frito’s corn chips, special recipe chili, shredded cheeses, fresh tomatoes, green onions and sour cream. Still going strong 32 years later… stop by sometime and give it a try. You won’t be sorry.

  6. Windie

    Thanks for an excellent overview of fun spots in Knoxville! A good addition would be Theatre Knoxville Downtown at 319 N. Gay Street. It’s Knoxville’s oldest continuously operating community theater (since 1976) and offers eight quality productions each year.

  7. Tom

    What an excellent body of information to work through.
    As one who used to live here (left in ’81) and who just moved back recently, I’m eager to take my wife exploring… particularly the downtown spots (that would include Old City, Market Square,
    What would be really helpful would be some sort of guide that included where to park to go to X, Y, and Z… and where to park to visit A, B, and C.
    Any recommendations?
    Keep up the superb work!


  8. Mike Garrity

    A nice piece on a great town—I don’t know Knoxville all that well, but I am learning each time I pay a visit–this makes me want to spend some more time there checking things out—-one thing they did not mention–it is not a place per se–even though their studios are located downtown on Gay Street in the Knoxville Visitor Center—and that other great asset of this area is radio station “East Tennessee’s Own: WDVX-FM” which broadcasts on several frequencies in the Knoxville area and they stream online on the internet–they are a totally independent, commercial free radio station supported like public radio stations by contributions from regular listeners and area businesses as well as some help from some organizations that support public radio.

    The station plays music that reflects the Appalachian region such as alt country, old school country, blue grass and other related forms of music–now all sort of falling under the catch all banner of “Americana.”

    Perhaps I missed it, but I don’t think they said anything about Mast General Store and its locations located in the region. It is fun to go into one of their stores. It kind of takes you back to an earlier time.

  9. Sara

    I would have loved to see A1LabArts listed at the Center for Creative Minds at 23.Emory place. One of the oldest artist collectives in Knoxville who host art exhibits and workshops at their space .

  10. Helen Harb

    Thank you for the great list. You forgot Coffee & Chocolate (downtown) and Harby’s Pizza & Deli (North Knoxville).


Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.