The Best Eats in East Tennessee

The Best Eats in East Tennessee
Jackie’s Dream

About a 10-minute drive east will take you to Jackie’s Dream, a hole-in-the-wall soul food joint that will blow you away. The owner comes from a family of cooks and worked in the food industry for years. When she opened her own place, she stayed true to her roots of making food from scratch. Jackie’s Knoxville’s Hot Chicken with classic sides is a meal you won’t forget. 

Status Dough, about 15 minutes west of downtown, is a great stop for morning treats or an afternoon pick-me-up. The doughnuts, freshly baked with high-quality ingredients, come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors, and the simple, yummy Buttermilk Old Fashioneds are a delight.

Travel a little farther west and you’ll find Lakeside Tavern where you can enjoy the expansive menu along with a beautiful waterfront view.

The Best Eats in East Tennessee
The Plaid Apron

A 20-minute drive east of downtown will take you to Cruze Farm at Asbury, where soft-serve ice cream cones, floats, and shakes made with Cruze Farm dairy are aplenty. Cruze Farm is a family dairy farm that milks Jersey cows and bottles its own whole pasteurized milk, real churned buttermilk, and more, and local chefs utilize these treasures in dishes served throughout town. 

In the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood 15 minutes from downtown, owner and chef Drew McDonald is achieving his goal of serving scratch-made, high-quality fare to his community at The Plaid Apron. Enjoy farm-fresh food midday, for dinner, or for one of the best brunches you’ll ever have. Order biscuits and grits that rival any Southern kitchen’s or The Special, featuring house-made ground sausage cooked in a griddle cake and topped with two eggs over easy and maple syrup. This meal and the rest of the delicious cuisine that this down-to-earth city has to offer are what makes Knoxville so worth the drive.

Photo of Sunsphere courtesy of Visit Knoxville.

This content was originally published in the May/June 2018 issue of Cooking with Paula Deen magazine. © 2018 Hoffman Media.

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