Editor’s Note: Latitude 35 is currently closed and rebranding according to their website.
It’s a universal struggle all college students face. Whether you hear the question from your friends, significant other, your family- it doesn’t matter. We’ve all heard it, but no one ever seems to have the right answer. The question: “So… where do you wanna eat?”
No one wants to recommend something bad or inappropriate, and no one wants to upset anyone. So everyone answers, “Oh, I don’t care. Wherever is fine.” And in the end you all end up at Cookout.
Now I’m not saying there’s ever anything wrong with a good milkshake, but Knoxville has a lot more to offer, and sometimes our favorite go-to eatery isn’t quite the right atmosphere for who you’re with. I’m here to help you solve this problem. Here’s a list of the best places to eat out at in Knoxville with the important people in your life .
1. Friends: Hard Knox Pizza
Hard Knox Pizza is the new up-and-coming eatery in Knoxville. It’s only a 10 minute drive down Kingston Pike from campus, which makes it super convenient for you and your friends to visit. The atmosphere is very relaxed, with friendly, down-to-earth staff (the pizza makers were even singing Bohemian Rhapsody among each other last time I paid a visit).
What’s even more interesting is being able to watch the entire pizza-creating process, from the hand-tossing of the dough, to it being pulled out of the oven. If that doesn’t spark enough conversation between you and your friends, the peculiar but funny names of their pizzas will. Aren’t you wondering what’s on a Rocky Balboa, Pulled Punch, or Bonecrusher pizza? Visit Hard Knox with your best buds and find out.
Location: 4437 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37914
Hours of Operation: Closed Monday, Tuesday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday 4pm-9pm
2. Family: Copper Cellar
Did someone say free food? Because that’s what I think when I hear “my family is coming in town.” Let’s be honest, when you have your loving parents ready to buy you a meal, you want something that your normal college budget wouldn’t allow for. That’s why the classy Copper Cellar is a great place for you and your family. Not only is it out of your normal price range, it’s a restaurant with an atmosphere parents enjoy.
Copper Cellar is known for their great burgers being half-off on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, but there’s so much more. With a menu full of large variety, there’s something your parents are bound to love (for example, their salmon plate screams parent’s choice). The location makes this a great choice for your family, too. Your parents will still feel as if they’re experiencing the college dining experience, since Copper Cellar is practically on campus.
Bonus: if you have little ones in your family, there are options for them, too (chicken fingers have no age limit, by the way). Copper Cellar has something for everyone, which is why it should be your go-to family restaurant.
Location: 1807 Cumberland, Knoxville, TN 37916
Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday 11am-11pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-12am, Sunday 10:30am-9:30pm
3. Date Night: The French Market
The French Market is probably the cutest eating establishment ever, located on Gay Street in downtown Knoxville. Any girl would swoon if you asked them here, partly because of the adorable French cafe atmosphere, but mainly because who doesn’t get excited over crêpes?
Though their main menu item is crêpes, they definitely know how to get creative, serving both sweet and savory options. The French Market would specifically make a wonderful brunch date, since it is open for breakfast and lunch every day of the week. Voted best French restaurant in Knoxville by Metro Pulse, you can’t go wrong bringing a lovely lady (or a macho man) here.
Location: 526 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902
Hours of Operation: 9am-3pm Monday, 9am-9pm Tuesday-Thursday, 9am-10pm Friday-Saturday, 9am-3pm Sunday
4. Guy’s Night: Latitude 35
Latitude 35 is the epitome of a manly-man’s (or any sports fanatic’s) place to dine. This burger joint is right in the heart of Market Square, which makes for a lively experience. The place is filled with TVs for your sports viewing pleasure, and they proudly support the Vols with orange memorabilia displayed on the walls.
They even promote our very own athletic program with their special event “Football Friday,” in which certain menu items’ proceeds go towards providing scholarships for walk on football players at UTK. Their late night hours mean the night stays young.
Latitude 35 is known for their great burgers, but be sure to check out the rest of the menu, too. With typical sports bar food ranging from burgers, wings and pizza to fish, chicken and vegetables, I doubt any of the guys would oppose to eating dinner here.
Location: 16 Market Square, Knoxville, TN 37902
Hours of Operation: 3pm-3am Monday-Thursday, 11am-3am Friday, 9am-3am Saturday, 1oam-3am Sunday
5. Girl’s Night: Nama
What basic girl doesn’t love a good piece of raw fish? But in all seriousness, Nama is one of the most popular sushi restaurants in Knoxville, and they didn’t earn that reputation without reason. Not only does the food’s appearance make your mouth water, but it’s some of the best tasting sushi I think you’ll ever have.
Their most popular location is on Gay Street in downtown Knoxville, making it the perfect place for you and the girls to get your ethnic food-fill while also having a night out on the town. Nama is also a pretty modern and classy place, so go ahead, break out the maxi skirt and wedges. Next time you and your girlfriends are planning ladies’ night, be sure to recommend Nama.
Finding the right place for eating out in Knoxville doesn’t have to be such a struggle anymore. Hopefully “So… where do you wanna eat?” now has an answer that’ll never lead you astray.
Location: 506 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902
Hours of Operation: 11am-1am Monday-Saturday, 12pm-1am Sunday