You won’t find Ray’s Place on campus dining maps, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check it out. I also mapped it for you, so now you have no excuses. Located on top of The Hill, the casual cafe is super convenient for engineering and science majors (or anyone with a random English class in Ayres.) However, the trek up the hill is worth it to get some of Ray’s homestyle food.
Ray is a sweet man, who is quick to make you feel at home. He might even tap a quarter against his glass eye to show you it’s fake. The other staff are friendly as well, creating a welcoming atmosphere that reminds me of a country diner. The exposed brick walls and wooden bench seating complete the vintage feel.
When my breakfast doesn’t quite cut it and I am afraid my stomach is going to start making whale sounds during class, I swing by Ray’s Place for some cookies ($0.55) and chocolate milk. My favorites are the white chocolate macadamia nut ones.
For lunch, you can get a number of sandwiches or meat and three style entrées. Although the seating is limited, the noise level is much lower than the UC, so you can actually focus and finish the homework you forgot the night before. When the weather is nice, you can take your meal to the picnic tables outside and soak up some vitamin D.
Ray’s place is refreshingly locally owned amidst a sea of Aramark fast food establishments. This means you can’t use your meal plan here, so be sure to bring a card or cash. However, the prices actually work on a college student budget as you can get a meal for $5.
Address: 1413 Circle Drive, Knoxville, TN 37916
Hours: Monday-Friday 6:30-3:30, closed Saturday and Sunday
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