Top Brunch Spots in Knoxville TN

People outside the Tupelo Honey Cafe in Market Square, Knoxville, TN
People outside the Tupelo Honey Cafe in Market Square, Knoxville, TN | © Images-USA / Alamy Stock Photo
Megan O'Hara

With a number of its restaurants offering exclusively brunch-only menus, and its scrumptious Southern comfort food being revered as almost sacred, there has never been a better time to eat brunch in Knoxville, Tennessee. Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, and boasting a rich culture and natural beauty, this is a great place to relax and stop for a bite to eat. Here’s a list of the 10 best places to eat brunch in the area.

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The Plaid Apron Café

Fuelled by their passion for Southern home cooking, owners Drew and Bonni opened The Plaid Apron in 2011 with a view to creating tradtional delicious dishes in Knoxville. Their Saturday brunch menu certainly lives up to this dream. Try their all-American buttermilk chicken biscuit, or the melt-in-the-mouth sourdough French toast, for a true taste of traditional Tennessee fare. The cool, contemporary layout gives the place a relaxed and casual vibe, so you can eat until your heart’s content whilst kicking back on those lazy mornings. If you aren’t around on a Saturday then their extensive menu serves a great list of brunch options all day every day.

Pete’s Coffee Shop

Nothing says brunch like a restaurant that serves breakfast all day, and Pete’s Coffee Shop delivers this service in a comfortable and homely setting. Having won Metro Pulse’s “Best Breakfast” seven years in a row, the establishment is always full, so arrive early on the weekends to find a table. Mounds of delicious pancakes, french toast, bacon and eggs are available here, and the diner-style interior gives the place an All-American feel, providing an authentic and exciting experience whilst travelling in the South.

Downtown Brewery

Downtown Brewery is a large and friendly venue on Gay Street famous for its home-brewed craft beers and rich history. The black and white pictures on the walls here tell a compelling story of Knoxville gone by, and the service is always exceptional. The menu is an extensive fusion of Mexican and American cuisine, and for those of you out for a boozy brunch, their Bloody Mary menu will not disappoint. Stop by on a Sunday for their famous jazz brunch, where from 12.30pm-3.30pm you can enjoy a special menu whilst listening to a live saxophone player.

Old City Java Café

With rustic exposed brick walls and a ceiling painted in the style of Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, this café has an eclectic, artsy vibe and attracts a young, student crowd. Serving excellent coffees and home-baked croissants, as well as a variety of sandwiches and other quick bites, Old City Java is the place to enjoy a light brunch in central Knoxville before heading out to seize the rest of the day.

Four Market Square

By day a cozy café serving great Southern comfort food, by night a lively venue for a variety of concerts and gigs, Four Market Square is one of Knoxville’s most popular brunch spots. This is a relaxed and charming venue in which to eat, drink, and maybe come back to party later. Try the fried green tomatoes for a real taste of the South, or indulge in the lobster BLT flatbread in their stylishly decorated mezzanine, a very popular choice.

Tupelo Honey Café

People outside the Tupelo Honey Cafe in Market Square, Knoxville, TN

Located in the historic Kern’s Bakery building in downtown Knoxville, Tupelo Honey Café is a fun, contemporary venue in the centre of town. Come here to try some Southern soul food with a twist. Their brunch-specific menu features interesting takes on the classics, and uses fresh ingredients to create an authentic taste; if you’re looking for a change and the chance to eat something a little different, this should be your brunch time stop. With three different kinds of Bloody Mary and free coffee refills, there is nothing not to love.

Copper Cellar

With three restaurants in Knoxville, you are never too far from a Copper Cellar, and thus have no excuse not to stop by at brunch time. With its elevated wooden bar area and tall bar stools, the original Copper Cellar venue on Cumberland Avenue has a real vintage feel. It serves an array of succulent burgers and expertly cooked steaks, as well as a Sunday brunch menu with Belgian waffles so big you’ll be full for the rest of the day. A favorite gathering place for local workers and college students, The Copper Cellar gives guests a great taste of Knoxville daily life.

Bistro at the Bijou

Situated in one of the oldest dwellings in Knoxville, in the same building as the Bijou theatre, brunch at Bistro at the Bijou is a great way to start your day out in the city. With a number of vegetarian and gluten free options as well as an ample menu of traditional American comfort food, there is something for everyone at this cozy urban restaurant. The assorted memorabilia from years gone by combines with classical art work to create a quaint, inviting atmosphere. The friendly staff ensure you are certain to enjoy your brunch in comfort.

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