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Knoxville Brunch Guide: Where to Go This Weekend

Check out our top spots for breakfast and brunch food around the city.

I find Knoxville, TN, to be a very charming city filled with historic buildings and beautiful outdoor scenery. I love breathing in the fresh air and exploring the multiple walking trails.

pancake at knoxville tennessee brunch spot

It’s also a great spot to explore water sports on the Tennessee River. When I am in the area, I love to hop in my car and take a scenic drive to view the Great Smoky Mountains a short distance away.

After these gorgeous nature walks, shopping in cute stores, and paddling on the Tennessee River, one is bound to get hungry. Luckily, Knoxville is the perfect place to stuff my face.

There is no better time to chow down than at brunch. Crab cakes, crepes, pancakes, french toast—I want it all!

Best Brunch in Knoxville

  1. Balter Beerworks
  2. Chesapeake’s Seafood Restaurant & Raw Bar
  3. Copper Cellar West
  4. Pete’s Coffee Shop
  5. The French Market Creperie Downtown
  6. Lakeside Tavern
  7. OliBea
  8. Bistro at the Bijou
  9. The Tomato Head
  10. Cafe 4
  11. Sami’s Cafe
  12. Not Watson’s Kitchen + Bar
  13. Oliver Royale
  14. Parkside Grill
  15. Season’s Innovative Bar & Grille

Knoxville, TN, has some of the best restaurants for brunch. So I put together this list of places to go for brunch in Knoxville below.


Balter Beerworks

100 Broadway SW, Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone: 865-999-5015
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This restaurant started with humble beginnings—the owners began creating homebrews in a garage. After visiting the Knoxville Museum of Art, I stumbled upon this place on the way back to the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Other high-level hotels such as Hyatt Place Knoxville and Hilton Knoxville are within walking distance. Walk off your brunch with a stroll by the Tennessee River, eight blocks away.

I love food made from scratch, and this place does not disappoint. Balter crafts its food and beer from scratch daily and seasonally.

I highly recommend the chicken & waffles, which come with the perfect amount of honey drizzle. Choose from several variations on eggs benedict—my favorite one is the fried green tomato benedict.


Chesapeake’s Seafood Restaurant & Raw Bar

9630 Parkside Dr, Knoxville, TN 37922
Phone: 865-851-9088
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If you want your brunch fresh from the sea, you have two Knoxville locations to choose from—downtown or West Knox.

The restaurant combines coziness with subtle and welcoming elegance and caters to seafood lovers such as myself.

They even have fresh seafood displayed near the bar area. Speaking of bars, there is a designated bloody mary bar at brunch.

I love a boozy brunch with my friends. I threw back three bloody marys with my Maryland crab cakes my first time there. Luckily, my second time, I only had one bloody mary.

So I had more room for filling food such as the spinach, mushroom, crab omelet, and Belgian waffle. I am a sucker for the bourbon maple syrup that comes on the waffle—I practically lick the plate.


Copper Cellar West

7316 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919
Phone: 865-673-3422
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When I found out that Cooper Cellar West Hedding voted Knoxville’s best Sunday brunch buffet several times, I just had to try it for myself.

The location is very enticing and is next to several shopping areas such as The Gallery and the West Town Mall. Since it is such a popular spot, you may want to play it safe and make a reservation.

Burger lovers should come here on Wednesdays for specials that start at $7. I am a wine lover, so I usually partake in the Wednesday half-price bottles of wine specials.

But let’s focus on their amazing brunch, which is only $24 for adults and $12 for children.

However, little ones under the age of six get to eat for free. Even though it’s a buffet, customers get to have omelets made to order.


Pete’s Coffee Shop

540 Union Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone: 865-523-2860
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Downtown Knoxville is an exciting location for several eateries, including Peet’s Coffee Shop. In addition to being near the Knoxville Convention Center and several four-star hotels, it is also a few blocks away from the Tennessee River.

This down-home family-owned restaurant has been voted best breakfast in Knoxville several times.

I enjoyed that I didn’t have to rush there by 2 or 3 pm because they serve breakfast all day on Saturdays. As a fan of Greek salads, I loved that they serve a Greek omelet.

Most times, I do opt for the southern breakfast. It is a yummy open-faced biscuit with chicken and gravy. I will tell anybody to try any of their dishes that contain biscuits. It’s worth it.


The French Market Creperie Downtown

412 Clinch Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone: 865-540-4372
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The French Market Creperie is another downtown delight. When I think of crepes, I don’t often think of Tennessee. I must be honest with you, not only am I turned on by the food, I’m actually in love with the story behind this little bistro in Knoxville.

The owners, Allen and Susan, used to live in Paris and we’re inspired by their neighborhood bistro.

So they sought to recreate the experience and the flavors of their Parisian restaurant experience back in Knoxville. As someone who has also been to Paris a couple of times, I must say they’ve succeeded.

You can eat sweet or savory crepes. I think the Bavarian cream crepe may have changed my life. When I want to go simple, I am just as satisfied with the lemon sugar crepe.


Lakeside Tavern

10911 Concord Park Dr, Knoxville, TN 37922
Phone: 865-671-2980
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You couldn’t ask for a better location when eating at Lakeside Tavern. As the name says, you are dining by the lake.

You can get all your standard Tavern foods such as burgers, pizza, and various appetizers. Luckily their pizza is brick oven pizza, which I feel is the only way to make pizza.

There are a few drinks and cocktails on the menu. However, this is the only restaurant I have seen that sells slushies.

And in case you were wondering, yes those slushies are alcoholic ones. I strongly recommend the mule slushie, simply a slushie version of the famous drink.


OliBea

211 S Central St, Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone: 865-200-5450
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The spot is in the area known as The Old City, which is a historic few blocks near the railroad. At one point in history, it had the highest amount of saloons in the region.

Now those saloons have become upscale bars and restaurants, as well as the site for a great live music scene. I must say the menu surprised me the first time I viewed it.

Items range from an open-faced tofu sloppy joe to a smoked pork belly. So I can go vegan or pig out, depending on my cravings.

Of all the vegetarian options, my favorite is the geechee boy farm burrito that comes with cashew queso, braised collard greens, and white sweet potatoes. It never takes me long to finish one of these burritos.


Bistro at the Bijou

807 S Gay St, Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone: 865-544-0537
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This bistro is another wonderful option in the downtown area. One thing I love about coming here is the beautiful historic building the bistro sits in.

While I love to eat a decadent meal at brunch, this bistro is my choice for vegetarian options. But of course, you can stuff your face with a good juicy burger as well.

I’m impressed with all the best “Bistro Awards” and “Best Brunch” accolades the place has received. I never worry about eating frozen vegetables or anything out of a can when I come here.

Everything tastes so fresh and seasonal, it is truly a delight. I’m a huge fan of the grilled salmon benedict and I must recommend their shrimp and cheese grits.

Even if you don’t come here for brunch, take advantage of their many daily specials and course live music.


The Tomato Head

Multiple locations
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In addition to serving tasty food, The Tomato Head believes in supporting the Knoxville community. Come here for local music, poetry, and to see the art of local talent on display.

I love how I don’t have to wonder where my food is coming from when I eat here. A simple view of their website displays all of their local food partners such as farms, markets, and brewing companies.

I recently tried a dish known as khahapouri—a flatbread from the country of Georgia. Look out for other tasty limited-time specials for food and cocktails.

The breakfast pizza is a very tasty option. However, my favorite brunch item is the buddy egg sandwich. Hot Italian sausage, scrambled eggs, and smoked cheddar round out this very filling sandwich.


Cafe 4

4 Market Square, Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone: 865-544-8564
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If you are looking for a bite to eat in Market Square Downtown, Cafe 4 is worth stopping in for a cup of coffee and brunch.

I have even attended a couple of private events on their mezzanine level—a great spot to book a private gathering. I usually start my brunch with their batch brewed coffee or a perfectly made cafe au lait.

When I need something stronger with brunch, they have $6 mimosas, hot toddies, and a unique spin on one of my favorite drinks, the mojito.

Get a punch bowl of any cocktail while with a group. My go-to item here has become the lobster BLT flatbread. The low country shrimp and grits are some of the best I’ve ever had.


Sami’s Cafe

9700 Kingston Pike Ste 5, Knoxville, TN 37922
Phone: 865-531-7900
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If you are shopping in the Franklin Square shopping district in West Knoxville, don’t forget to stop into the cafe for a simple and delicious bite to eat.

You can have breakfast every day until 11 or noon on Saturdays for the average price of $10 or less. There are several simple combinations such as one biscuit and gravy or one egg, one pancake with one sausage.

I like that I can order a small amount of food that hits the spot or order a bigger plate such as a three-egg omelet.

My favorite omelet is the tex-mex, which comes with jalapeno onions, pepper, ham, and cheddar cheese. Sometimes I’ll just get a yummy chicken with a biscuit.


Not Watson’s Kitchen + Bar

15 Market Square, Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone: 865-766-4848
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This casual restaurant is in Market Square near several hotels. It is the place to come for fresh organic food made from farm to table items.

Many dishes are sourced and made with fresh produce from the area’s Market Square Farmers Market.

I go crazy for the french toast. It comes with smoked bacon and bourbon maple syrup. I also highly recommend the pimento cheese and bacon omelet.

Recently, I tried their veggie bennie, a vegetable version of eggs benedict. Kale salad and feta cheese make this dish stand out.


Oliver Royale

5 Market Square, Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone: 865-622-6434
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The fun continues in Market Square in this historic building. Executive chef Darin Hoagland joined the restaurant in 2017 and has been creating organic, sustainable items ever since. Make a reservation to sample pastries and several versions of eggs benedict.

I absolutely love grits, so I was excited to try their stone-ground gouda grits. These grits are amazing and pair well with some applewood smoked bacon.

You really can’t go wrong with any of the eggs benedicts here, but I highly recommend the chorizo benedict or the crab cake benedict. These grits are incredible and pair well with some applewood smoked bacon.


Parkside Grill

338 N Peters Rd, Knoxville, TN 37922
Phone: 865-862-5358
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Parkside Grill is conveniently near Home Depot and Burlington Coat Factory in the West Knoxville shopping area.

If you come here for brunch on the weekends, you will have to choose from the dinner menu since there is no designated brunch menu.

The contemporary restaurant has a cheap daily happy hour after 2 pm. So you can have a boozy weekend brunch at the bar.

When I am hungry, I enjoy coming here for their meatloaf stack as well as their chicken pot pie. Parkside Grill also makes a tasty turkey burger. For appetizers, I usually stick with the spinach artichoke dip and fried pickles.


Season’s Innovative Bar & Grille

11605 Parkside Dr, Knoxville, TN 37934
Phone: 865-392-1121
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Chef Deron Little is a certified executive chef who opened Seasons in 2013. The restaurant is fun, sophisticated, and popular, so you should make reservations.

I love the range of seasonal options. I recently tried the duck white bean chili that blew my mind. If you love Bailey’s as I do, try the menu’s Bailey’s french toast.

It’s hard choosing between the blue crab benedict and black angus benedict. I love both dishes, but I am a sucker for seafood, so blue crab usually wins.

The brunch drink menu is not extensive, but it is very cheap. Mimosas only cost $3, and $5 gets you a bloody mary.


Final Thoughts

I am so glad I’ve had the chance to eat at so many delicious spots in Knoxville, TN. It has become one of my favorite spots for brunch, live music, and happy hours.

Whether you go downtown or to West Knoxville, stop into some of these spots mentioned above.

You have tons of vegetarian, organic, and meaty items to choose from. Get cheesy grits, chicken biscuits, fluffy omelets, and sweet pastries.

Since so many of these spots are downtown, you can enjoy a stroll along the Tennessee River and other hotspots nearby. I hope you enjoy a boozy brunch in Knoxville soon.

If you’re planning on dining out tonight, we also have a list of the best restaurants in Knoxville.

Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!

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Written by Ryan F.

Ryan is a local foodie who enjoys checking out the area's restaurant scene every chance he can. Ryan also enjoys traveling and checking out local eateries in every city he visits.