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Knoxville Restaurants: Hidden Gems

Try these Knoxville Restaurants that are sometimes overlooked!

Are you looking for a place to eat that is a “Hidden Gem” that may be difficult to find if you are new to Knoxville? This is the perfect Knoxville restaurant guide for you! Knoxville has plenty of amazing places to eat, but these are a few of our personal favorites. This list includes a wide variety of Knoxville restaurants that includes Korean BBQ, Tacos, Soul Food, Italian, and Fun Food and Cocktails. Dive into this article and discover some of Knoxville’s hidden food gems.

Q Korean Steakhouse

Looking for a unique dining experience? Q Korean Steakhouse, located in Cedar Bluff, is a Korean BBQ dining experience that allows you to grill your food yourself! Their menu consists of marinated or un-marinated meats, fresh seafood, and complimentary classic Korean side dishes. They offer a $30 Unlimited Special that allows you to order an unlimited amount of meat for a flat fee; so, plan on coming with an empty stomach! Even the ambiance of this restaurant screams modern night-life in Eastern Asia with multiple TV screens playing the top K-Pop hits! This is a great spot for large groups, or even a date night! This hidden food gem offers a unique dining experience, while giving you a taste of Korea. Visit their website here

CJ’s Tacos

Looking to dress up for a night downtown? Or, maybe you are wanting to just keep it casual? Well, CJ’s Tacos serves the Knoxville area in two ways: at their sit-down restaurant and via their food trucks. The restaurant is located in the mezzanine of the Downtown Embassy Suites. This provides a great opportunity to enjoy a classy atmosphere and eat some of the best tacos. Or, their food trucks offer a way to get these tacos without having to dress up and head downtown. The schedule for their two trucks can be found on their website. No matter which vibe you select, you are guaranteed to eat a fantastic taco. Their signature pan-fried corn tortillas are unlike any fried taco shell you will ever have. Additionally, something that makes them stand out is their selection of sauces. Their Tex-Mex Aioli, Creamy Cilantro, and Chipotle Cream sauces definitely top off the crunchy taco with a burst of flavor. Don’t miss out and check out CJ’s Tacos now! Visit their website here


Looking for a taste of Brooklyn right here in Knoxville, Tennessee? Try Elidio’s Pizza on Central Avenue Pike in North Knoxville. At Elidio’s you can get a wide range of Italian foods including pizza, calzones, strombolis, and pasta. Their most popular dish, though, is definitely their Brooklyn-style pizza. Get it as a pie or by the slice, but their pizza is definitely the closest to an authentic New York City slice that you can find in Knoxville. As a family run restaurant, there’s also not a pizza place in Knoxville with a more personal touch. Next time you’re craving some real Italian food, try Elidio’s! Visit their website here

Jackie’s Dream

Are you new to the Knoxville Area and looking for a place that serves amazing Soul Food? Jackie’s Dream is the spot for you. Jackie’s Dream was opened by the amazing chef, Jackie Griffin. It is located at Woodland Avenue, where it has been since it relocated in 2018. A fan favorite is The Knox Hot Chicken paired with its fried okra and amazing macaroni and cheese. The reason why Jackie’s Dream has such a following is not only because of their amazing Fried Green Tomatoes but the top notch customer service. Go checkout Jackie’s Dream and enjoy Knoxville’s favorite Soul Food spot! Visit their website here

Token Game Tavern

Have you ever wanted to eat amazing food and drink crazy cocktails while playing arcade games? Token Game Tavern has all of this right here in Knoxville! From cocktails with a popsicle as a stirrer, nerds on the rim, or cotton candy on the top, they have fun, delicious drinks you’ve never seen before. Their food is for every adult’s inner child having a range of macaroni, pizza, corn dogs, a snack bar and so much more. You can enjoy classic and new arcade games while having kids cereal inspired shots. They also have their fan favorite alchemist drinks that aren’t only delicious but have a smoky fog over the top. This is a great spot to enjoy yourself or with a group! Visit their website here

These 5 hidden Knoxville restaurants are all very different from each other, but they all have the same characteristics of great service and better food. Whether you are familiar with Knoxville or are just visiting Knoxville, these are restaurants that are embedded in Knoxville’s tradition! Make sure to check out our Knoxville Skyline Tote Bag so you can explore these Knoxville foods, in style!

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