That fateful day when you fumble your way into a gown that’s too big and try to keep on a hat that’s too small is fast approaching. I’m talking about Graduation Day.

You’ve been working somewhere between 3 and 4 (maybe 5 or 6) years to earn a degree and a handshake. Now it’s time to cap off all that hard work (and partying) by sharing a delicious meal with the ones you love.

Here is my list of the best restaurants for your Graduation Day meal. (Some of the choices are on the pricey side, but you’ve worked hard and you deserve it!)

Ruth’s Chris 

Ruth’s Chris is one of the most well-known steakhouses in the country. The quality of their steak combined with their location right on the river puts them right at the top for your quality dining experience. As if that weren’t enough, graduates eat for free!

The Crown & Goose 

The Crown & Goose is a British Style Pub & Raw Oyster Bar that has a super unique dining atmosphere. Their menu has some incredible selections and, if you’re not in the mood for a huge dinner, they have great small plates. 


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Savelli’s is one of the premier Italian restaurants in Knoxville. It’s a bit of a hidden gem in terms of advertising, but the food is absolutely top-notch.

Tupelo Honey Cafe


Photo courtesy of Tupelo Honey Cafe.

Tupelo Honey Cafe serves up some of the best and freshest comfort foods. Their fried chicken is amazing and the homemade biscuits and preserves are killer.

Downtown Grill & Brewery 

Downtown Grill & Brewery is very appropriately titled. They have a large menu with an eclectic array of dishes like pork chops, burritos and pastas, but what brings home the bacon here is the huge selection of beers.

The Orangery

 The Orangery serves up what they call, Fine Continental Cuisine. This is one of the fanciest establishments in the area, but it’s well worth the money on your big day. 

Ye Olde Steak House

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Ye Olde Steak House was voted by the late Metropulse as the best Restaurant in Knoxville for the past 21 years. If that isn’t good enough for you, then I don’t know what is.

Brazeiro’s Churrascaria

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Brazeiro’s is a Brazilian style steakhouse. For those who don’t know, that means, servers with skewers of freshly cooked meats will constantly be walking around the restaurant and cutting beef for you right at the table. This is an incredible dining experience for the carnivore’s out there.

The Icon Ultra Lounge

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I put the Icon Ultra Lounge on this list because it is possibly one of the most iconic dining experiences you can have in Knoxville. Located inside the Sunsphere, the Icon serves Upscale Lounge Food and also transforms into a bit of a nightclub later in the evening.

Chesapeake’s Seafood House

Chesapeake’s is for the seafarers of the bunch. They have some of the freshest seafood in Knoxville and serve it in great quantity. 

Bistro at the Bijou

Bistro at the Bijou is located next to the Bijou theater on Gay street. They serve delicious southern classics, but they are on the list for their brunch selections. Great drink deals and a bomb Bloody Mary, along with great grits and eggs, make this a perfect destination for the morning graduates.


Sushi. Plain and simple. This is some of the best sushi in town, served in an intimate setting for you and your family. Wednesday and Thursday they have half-price sushi from 4-closing.

 Check out these articles for even more delicious eateries in Knoxville