Restaurants in Tennessee
From barbecue to James Beard-nominated fine dining, restaurants in Tennessee fit every cuisine profile and can appease even the pickiest taste buds. These are some famous Tennessee restaurants and cuisines to try:
Tennessee barbecue is all about the pig. Throughout the state, you’ll be able to find juicy, smoky pulled pork, served on a plate or between two buns. If you head over to Memphis, you’ll also get your hands on Memphis-style ribs. These are served “wet” – basted in sauce before, during, and after the slow cooking – or “dry” – seasoned with a flavorful rub.
The state also has more than its fair share of down-home joints. This ranges from classic “meat and three” spots throughout the state that’ll ladle up famous Southern and soul specialties, like fried okra and cobblers, to simple fried chicken shacks. An amazing specialty in the state is Nashville’s hot chicken: the fried poultry here comes extra spicy and, therefore, extra delicious.
There’s also plenty of fine dining throughout the state. Memphis, Nashville, and Chattanooga all play host to James Beard-nominated chefs, creative cocktails, and playful takes on classic French, Italian, and American cuisines.
Asian-inspired restaurant and sushi bar
A local chain that’s been around since 1952, Tops makes for a nice introduction to Memphis eats. No matter where you are in the city, you’re near one. The hickory-flavored chopped sandwich combo with mustardy slaw and beans will fortify you while you plan the rest of your ’cue odyssey.
Smoke rings are evident in these perfect pulled-pork sandwiches, which are topped with carrot-flecked slaw and suffused with a medium-hot sauce.
Chef Bart Vaughan does comfort food with a Southern flair: hikers fill up on braised short ribs served over cheese grits.
Romantic mazelike café
House-made soups and salads that use vegetables from the garden out front.
The dark wood paneling and oversize booths make it seem like a roadhouse tavern, until the aroma sets you straight: Neely’s means business. Don’t miss the succulent pulled-pork platter, served with amazingly rich beans—dark, sweet, and thick with threads of caramelized meat.
Located in the thick of honky-tonk bars on Music City’s tourist strip, Jack’s Bar-B-Que nevertheless draws local rockabilly kids and alt- country scenesters for remarkable beef brisket, pork ribs, and smoked chicken.
Elegant space with skyline views