Tennessee and its food and dining options across the state, have received accolades galore and made a lot of lists. This sampling of places where you must eat in Tennessee, is filled with quirky, off the beaten path, even obscure, local joints where the food, ambiance and experience are unique. You may have to rely on your nose rather than your MapQuest to find some of these places, but no doubt, the locals always know the best place for the best eats. Take a look at this list and see if any of your hidden favs are featured. Or better yet, take a road trip for food and report back to us what you learn in the realm of “Must Eat Tennessee.”
Cootie Brown’s – Johnson City
2715 North Roan Street
Known for their quirky atmosphere and fun-loving staff, Cootie Brown’s is a local favorite that serves classic American dishes with a side of tie-dye. That’s pretty much as good as it gets, wouldn’t you think?
Family BBQ – Dickson
2199 Yellow Creek Road
A clear winner for small-town BBQ joints, Family BBQ is tucked back on the farm and has limited hours – but oh my goodness their following. Locals love the place, as do folks that are road tripping their way across the state. This is the kind of place you don’t miss, folks.
Foglight Foodhouse – Walling
275 Power House Road
Cajun food in the south? Yep. Yes, it’s here in Tennessee and lauded for the restaurants fantastic twist on classic New Orleans-based dishes, as well as the fantastic restaurant ambiance.
Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse – Columbia
4205 Highway 431
Sweet Marcy Jo’s is a favorite that’s situated about forty-five minutes outside of Nashville. It’s here that you have the chance to chat one-on-one with your fantastic waitresses and enjoy a plate of biscuits and gravy that will melt in your mouth.
Bell Buckle Cafe – Bell Buckle
16 Railroad Square East
Tiny Bell Buckle is known for their small number of residents and vibrant exemplification of southern hospitality. One example is the tiny Bell Buckle Cafe. Worth the trip, forever worth it for the experience.
Old Delina Country Store – Cornersville
4397 John Barnes Road
As one of the oldest surviving country stores in the state, Old Delina is known for their shelves of goods as well as their small restaurant. This is quite the experience for a fantastic meat-and-three option.
Corner Pit BBQ – Dellrose
107 Dellrose Road
This tiny BBQ joint has five star reviews ALL over the internet, with folks claiming their sauces and perfectly cured meats are to die for.
Nona Lisa Pizzeria – Watertown
A small-town pizzeria with a big city taste, some say. Nona Lisa Pizzeria is known for friendly staff and heavenly aromas. As an added bonus, play a board or card games while you wait.
Soda Pop Junction – Lynnville
141 Mill Street
Soda Pop Junction is the perfect neighborhood hangout for kids and adults alike. Their fabulous diner menu and fun karaoke nights have made it a hot spot across the board.
Sky Blue Cafe – Nashville
700 Fatherland Street
Little Sky Blue in East Nashville is an unassuming corner spot that serves up a hefty breakfast and wonderful cup of joe. Visit early, because seating fills up fast and quite a few tables are seated communally. The price is right and the breakfast is grand.