Every community has a local favorite: a one-of-a-kind place where locals gather for a special dish, a certain atmosphere, or a chance to catch up with friends and neighbors over good food.
Like the folks on that television classic "Cheers," we all like to stop at a place "where everybody knows your name." Those local favorites have become more than restaurants. They are extensions of home, where someone is always glad you stopped by. That's just how Tennessee's own Cracker Barrel got started.
The interstate system was young, in the late 1960s, when Dan Evins cogitated on how to keep the real flavor of America available to folks on the road. To Evins, mealtime was that connection between the comfort of made-from-scratch food and time to enjoy catching up--with family, with friends or just with your own thoughts. That first Cracker Barrel Old Country Store opened in 1969 on the outskirts of Lebanon. Standards were firm: cornbread came from cornmeal, not a mix; prices could not "break" people; and, fortunately, the people who worked there made sure a trip to Cracker Barrel was like a friendly visit to a neighbor's home. Soon, people were lined up for turnip greens, biscuits and gravy and the good things served at Cracker Barrel.
Local favorites keep people coming back. Ruby Tuesday was founded on the campus of the University of Tennessee by Sandy Beall, who had a vision of food and drinks handcrafted, made fresh with quality ingredients and full of flavor, served by friendly people.
Not all local favorites have grown to cover the state. Many remain what they have always been: a neighborhood eatery with a reputation for good food and friendly service.
Capture vintage classic at Memphis' Arcade Restaurant, located in the middle of the historic district. Charming Fountain City, in North Knoxville, sees Litton's Market, Restaurant & Bakery spin platters of mouth-watering burgers, chili dogs, key lime pie, red velvet cake and more, while locals gather in a back room to discuss "the truth according to Litton's." An institution in Nashville, Monell's family-style hospitality serves up the finest fried chicken, cornbread, green beans, sweet tea, catfish--and the desserts are something else.
Hoskins Drug Store
This authentic soda fountain lunch counter serves plate lunch specials (Thursday is Famous Banana Pudding Day!), full breakfast with biscuits and gravy, home cooked vegetables, and grilled sandwiches, along with fountain specialties such as milkshakes, old-fashioned malts, and banana splits. We also have a full-service pharmacy and a terrific gift shop. ...more
This 1904 hotel just off the town square was named for the original Walton Hotel, built by the town’s founder. Still in operation, the Walton was a popular stopover for travelers on the Cumberland River, and the establishment was known for its fine food and entertainment. ...more
Huck Finn's Catfish
A casual, family-oriented restaurant with the best in southern cooking. All you can eat catfish and chicken dinners, with homemade slaw, white beans and our signature hushpuppies. ...more
Award-winning chef Sean Brock has returned to his old stomping grounds in the country music mecca to set the table for a whole new city. Husk is located in Rutledge Hill, just a few blocks south of historic Broadway, in the heart of downtown Nashville. ...more
To many connoisseurs of chopped pork and beef, Interstate Barbecue offers the best-tasting barbecue in Memphis, a city regarded by many as "Barbecue Capital of the World. " To neighborhood residents and businesses, it's a perfect example of one man's successful urban renewal campaign. ...more
Jacob Myers Deli
Hot and cold gourmet sandwiches, with specialties like the Elvis (peanut butter and banana, grilled in butter), soups, salads, desserts. Homemade milkshakes and a full espresso bar. ...more