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Knoxville is a melting pot when it comes to food — from finger-licking-good ribs to farm-to-table cuisine. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the five best places to eat in Knoxville:
1. The Barn at Blackberry Farm. About 30 minutes outside Knoxville, Blackberry Farm and its Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant is worth the drive. Incorporating fresh ingredients — many sourced from the farm itself — The Barn at Blackberry Farm churns out Smoky Mountain “foothills cuisine.” You can enjoy the regular tasting menu, a garden tasting menu or order à la carte.
2. Crown & Goose. Touted as Knoxville’s first English gastropub, this restaurant has a relaxed, lively feel and is located in Old City. While the vibe is chill, the food is superb — expect upscale pub favorites such as crispy lamb belly terrine, tomato and squash risotto, and a great selection of raw oysters.
3. Calhoun’s on the River. This is the place to go for ribs in Knoxville — best appreciated with a massive onion ring loaf. Calhoun’s has several locations in and around Knoxville (including a few with microbreweries), but this one is the king of them all, located on the river downtown.
4. Copper Cellar. This popular restaurant is known for its slow-roasted prime rib, fine steaks and fresh fish and seafood. It’s also the place for Sunday brunch, with a massive buffet unequaled anywhere in town.
5. RouXbarb. This cozy, eclectic restaurant offers nouveau Southern cuisine, artfully prepared by chef Bruce Bogartz. His smoked brisket accompanied with house-smoked potato chips is a local legend, as is the shrimp and grits with Benton’s Bacon (a Tennessee treasure). The Prince Edward Island mussels is another flavorful choice. The menu here changes seasonally but always features fresh, local ingredients.