Editors Note: While they wished there was competition for Big Ed’s in Knoxville, the jury decided that there simply isn’t. Thus, the best pizza isn’t in Knoxville, it’s in Oak Ridge, but we’ll go ahead and toss it under the metro-Knox umbrella, mmmkay?
Best Pizza – Big Ed’s
Best BBQ – Dead End BBQ. Really good beef brisket usually comes from Texas. Not in this case. Dead End BBQ not only produces some of the best beef brisket in town but the rest of their menu is to die for.
Best Mexican Restaurant – Chez Guevara Restaurant (aka La Paz)
Best Post Binge-Drinking Hangout – Waffle House. When you’re smothered and covered after a night on the town head straight for the Waffle House. There’s no such thing as an awful waffle in our book.
Best Asian Food – Taste of Thai
Best Hamburger – Vic & Bill’s. This category almost dismantled our jury but in the end the Vol Burger prevailed. For over 15 years the Vol Burger has been a local icon in Knoxville.
Best Place to Get a Chocolate Fix – Coffee & Chocolate
Best Italian Food – Louis’. They tout that their spaghetti is the best in town but that’s not the only thing good at Louis’. For over 50 years they’ve served up some of the best Grecian salads and lasagna.
Best Meeting Spot – Pete’s
Best Onion Rings – Pizza Palace. When your website introduces you as “three immigrant brothers from Greece” you better bring it. And they do. Order up the hand-breaded onion rings at the Pizza Palace and you’ll quickly see why they get a Knoxie award all to themselves.
Best Take-out – Pei Wei
Best Patio for Breakfast – Gourmet’s Market. The jury was split on best patio in Knoxville so it was broken out into morning and afternoon. If it’s eating french toast on a cool morning, head to Gourmet’s Market and enjoy their patio over coffee with a good friend.
Best Brunch Menu – Sunspot
Best Patio for Lunch or Dinner – Aubrey’s. Local dining gem, Aubrey’s, not only has great food but their outdoor patio scene is inviting to all walks of life. After a long work day we can’t think of a better patio to enjoy a New Belgium beer than Aubrey’s.
Best Place to Disappear Completely – The Lunchbox on Weisgarber
Best Soul Food – Chandler’s Deli. The best soul food in Knoxville can be found at Chandler’s Deli. They may have some weird, varying hours of operation but they won’t disappoint if you’re in the mood for fried chicken, mac and cheese, collard greens and some banana pudding.
Best Unknown Restaurant – Colonel’s Delicatessen
Best Sushi – Nama Sushi Bar. Nama was an easy selection for the jury because they are the first name in sushi in the Knoxville area. We especially love to visit on their half-price nights when we can get the pizza roll, soy joy and crunchy shrimp on the cheap.
Best Cookies – Ham & Goody’s