Last updated on October 6th, 2023 at 03:42 am
5 Top Knoxville Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants
These five top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants are part of the quest for hidden culinary treasures leads us to a delightful exploration of the 5 top hole-in-the-wall restaurants that define the city’s diverse flavors. From the savory offerings of Tennessee Steve’s BBQ to the authentic tastes of Asia Kitchen, each of these top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants offers a unique experience that transports diners on a journey through culinary traditions.
Mama Mia Cuisine showcases the heart and soul of Italian cuisine with its signature Lasagna Bolognese, while El Charro Mexican Restaurant invites patrons to savor the true essence of Mexico through dishes like Enchiladas Suizas. And who could forget the unforgettable experience at Savelli’s Italian Restaurant, where Gnocchi with Pesto embodies the spirit of Italy in every bite.
However, these are just a taste of what the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants has to offer. The city is brimming with a great deal of other hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Amid the neighborhoods and corners, more top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants await, each with its own story, flavors, and atmosphere to share. These lesser-known culinary havens provide an opportunity to step away from the mainstream and immerse oneself in the authentic, the traditional, and the extraordinary. This is why these are some of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are waiting for you to discover them. This list is in no particular order.
A lot of great options are in these posts!
5 Best Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in Knoxville
1) Tennessee Steve’s BBQ
Tennessee Steve’s BBQ is undeniably one of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants, offering a genuine taste of Southern comfort and hospitality. This family-owned and operated gem has captured the hearts and palates of locals and visitors alike with its delectable barbecue offerings and cozy atmosphere. Nestled on a quiet street, Tennessee Steve’s BBQ exudes a welcoming charm that transports you to a world of savory aromas and mouthwatering delights.
The true star of Tennessee Steve’s BBQ is their mouthwatering smoked brisket. Slow-cooked to perfection over hickory wood, this signature dish embodies the essence of Southern barbecue. The meat is tender and juicy, with a smoky flavor that dances on your taste buds with each bite. Served with a side of their secret-recipe barbecue sauce, the smoked brisket at Tennessee Steve’s BBQ is a must-try for any barbecue enthusiast.
Main Menu Items:
1. Pulled Pork Sandwich: Indulge in a classic Southern favorite with Tennessee Steve’s tender pulled pork sandwich. The succulent pulled pork is piled high on a fresh bun and topped with their house-made coleslaw, adding a delightful crunch and creaminess to every bite. The combination of flavors and textures makes this sandwich an irresistible choice.
2. St. Louis Ribs Platter: For those craving a hearty barbecue feast, the St. Louis Ribs Platter is a prime option. These perfectly smoked ribs are coated in a mouthwatering dry rub, resulting in a harmonious balance of savory and slightly sweet flavors. Served with a side of baked beans and cornbread, this platter is a true Southern culinary experience.
3. Smoked Turkey Plate: If you’re seeking a lighter yet equally satisfying option, the Smoked Turkey Plate is a delightful choice. Tender slices of smoked turkey are served alongside creamy macaroni and cheese and collard greens cooked to perfection. The smoky undertones of the turkey complement the rich and comforting sides, creating a well-rounded meal.
“Absolutely loved the cozy atmosphere and the delicious barbecue at Tennessee Steve’s BBQ. The pulled pork sandwich was so flavorful, and the friendly staff made the experience even better.”
“A hidden gem in Knoxville! The St. Louis Ribs Platter blew me away – the tender ribs with that amazing dry rub were a taste sensation. I’ll definitely be returning.”
“Tennessee Steve’s BBQ truly lives up to its reputation as one of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants. The Smoked Turkey Plate was a delightful surprise – the turkey was juicy and the sides were a perfect match.”
Tennessee Steve’s BBQ is unquestionably one of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants, offering an authentic Southern barbecue experience in a family-owned and operated setting. Their signature smoked brisket, along with a menu featuring delights like the Pulled Pork Sandwich, St. Louis Ribs Platter, and Smoked Turkey Plate, showcases the culinary mastery of this establishment. They are one of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
With rave customer reviews praising both the food and the welcoming ambiance, Tennessee Steve’s BBQ has firmly established itself as a must-visit destination for barbecue aficionados and anyone seeking true Southern comfort on a plate. They rank high among the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants for good reasons.
2) Savelli’s Italian Restaurant
Savelli’s Italian Restaurant stands as one of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants, offering an authentic taste of Italy with its warm and inviting ambiance. This family-owned and operated establishment has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike, delivering a delightful blend of traditional Italian flavors and heartfelt hospitality. Tucked away on a quiet street, Savelli’s Italian Restaurant provides a cozy and intimate setting for guests to indulge in a truly memorable dining experience.
The heart and soul of Savelli’s Italian Restaurant lies in their heavenly homemade pasta dishes. One cannot miss the opportunity to savor their signature dish, the Fettuccine Alfredo. This velvety and rich pasta creation features al dente fettuccine noodles bathed in a creamy, dreamy Alfredo sauce that’s been perfected over generations. The dish is often garnished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, offering a symphony of textures and flavors that transport diners to the heart of Italy.
Main Menu Items:
1. Chicken Parmesan: Indulge in the classic comfort of Chicken Parmesan at Savelli’s. Tender breaded chicken cutlets are lovingly topped with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. Served with a side of spaghetti marinara, this dish pays homage to the Italian tradition of hearty and satisfying meals.
2. Gnocchi with Pesto: Delight in the soft and pillowy texture of homemade gnocchi, a dish that showcases the culinary artistry of Savelli’s. The Gnocchi with Pesto features these tender potato dumplings tossed in a vibrant basil pesto sauce, adorned with sun-dried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts. Each bite is a burst of freshness and authentic Italian goodness.
3. Seafood Risotto: For seafood aficionados, the Seafood Risotto is a must-try masterpiece. A symphony of flavors and textures, this dish combines creamy Arborio rice with a medley of succulent shrimp, tender calamari, and plump mussels, all infused with a savory seafood broth. This culinary creation captures the essence of coastal Italy.
“Savelli’s Italian Restaurant is a hidden gem! The Fettuccine Alfredo was an absolute delight, and the ambiance made us feel like we were in a quaint Italian trattoria. A true culinary journey.”
“The Chicken Parmesan was divine! The crispy chicken and rich marinara sauce were a match made in heaven. I couldn’t resist taking another bite.”
“A true taste of Italy in the heart of Knoxville! The Gnocchi with Pesto was exquisite – the homemade gnocchi melted in my mouth, and the pesto was bursting with fresh basil flavor.”
Savelli’s Italian Restaurant has earned its rightful place as one of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants, captivating diners with its authentic Italian cuisine and family-driven atmosphere. From the iconic Fettuccine Alfredo to the masterfully crafted Chicken Parmesan and Gnocchi with Pesto, the restaurant’s menu reflects a dedication to preserving Italian culinary traditions. They are one of the best Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
With customer reviews praising the delightful flavors and charming ambiance, Savelli’s Italian Restaurant offers an enchanting dining experience that transports patrons to the heart of Italy, making it an unforgettable destination for those seeking genuine Italian fare in Knoxville. They stand out among the best Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
3) Asia Kitchen
Asia Kitchen stands out as one of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants, offering an authentic journey through Asian flavors in a cozy and unassuming setting. This family-owned and operated gem has become a popular destination for locals and visitors seeking a diverse range of Asian cuisine under one roof. Nestled in a charming corner, Asia Kitchen provides an intimate dining experience that transports diners to the bustling streets of Asia.
The heart and soul of Asia Kitchen’s menu lies in their delectable sushi creations. Among their signature dishes, the Dragon Roll takes center stage. This artfully crafted sushi roll features a blend of fresh ingredients, including succulent shrimp tempura, creamy avocado, and crisp cucumber. The roll is then crowned with slices of eel that are delicately drizzled with a rich eel sauce, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that delights the palate.
Main Menu Items:
1. Pad Thai Noodles: Dive into the vibrant flavors of Thailand with Asia Kitchen’s Pad Thai Noodles. This classic dish features stir-fried rice noodles combined with tender pieces of chicken, shrimp, or tofu, along with crunchy bean sprouts, aromatic scallions, and crushed peanuts. The harmonious mix of sweet, savory, and slightly tangy flavors make this dish a favorite among patrons.
2. General Tso’s Chicken: Savor the irresistible crunch of General Tso’s Chicken, a popular Chinese-American dish. Crispy pieces of battered chicken are tossed in a slightly spicy and tangy sauce, creating a delightful contrast of textures and tastes. Served with a side of steamed rice, this dish exemplifies the perfect marriage of flavors.
3. Beef Bulgogi: Embark on a journey to Korea with Asia Kitchen’s Beef Bulgogi. Thin slices of marinated beef are expertly grilled to perfection and served with a medley of sautéed vegetables. The marinade imparts a savory-sweet flavor to the tender beef, making each bite a delightful exploration of Korean culinary traditions.
“Asia Kitchen is a hidden gem that never disappoints! The Dragon Roll was an absolute work of art – the combination of flavors was outstanding. Can’t wait to come back for more!”
“The Pad Thai Noodles were a flavor explosion! The balance of textures and the perfect blend of ingredients made this dish an instant favorite.”
“A true taste of Asia in Knoxville! The General Tso’s Chicken was incredibly flavorful, and the portions were generous. This restaurant has quickly become our go-to spot for Asian cuisine.”
Asia Kitchen has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants, offering an array of Asian delights that cater to diverse palates. From the delectable Dragon Roll to the comforting Pad Thai Noodles and the savory Beef Bulgogi, the restaurant’s menu is a testament to its commitment to providing authentic and delightful Asian cuisine. They are another of the popular Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
With glowing customer reviews that commend the flavorful dishes and inviting ambiance, Asia Kitchen has established itself as a must-visit destination for those seeking a culinary voyage through the flavors of Asia, all within the heart of Knoxville. They deserve to be ranked high among the popular Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
4) Mama Mia Cuisine
Mama Mia Cuisine is a hidden gem that proudly stands as one of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants. This family-owned and operated establishment has become a popular culinary destination for locals and visitors alike. With a welcoming and intimate atmosphere, Mama Mia Cuisine offers an authentic dining experience that transports guests to the heart of Italy.
Mama Mia Cuisine’s signature dish, the Lasagna Bolognese, is a testament to their commitment to traditional Italian flavors. This sumptuous creation features layers of perfectly cooked lasagna noodles, generously filled with a rich and savory Bolognese sauce, a velvety béchamel, and a blend of melted cheeses. Baked to perfection, the Lasagna Bolognese captures the essence of homemade comfort food that warms the soul.
Main Menu Items:
1. Eggplant Parmesan: Dive into the flavors of Southern Italy with Mama Mia Cuisine’s Eggplant Parmesan. Slices of tender eggplant are breaded, fried to a golden perfection, and then layered with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. Served with a side of spaghetti marinara, this dish showcases the rustic and hearty flavors of Italian cuisine.
2. Chicken Marsala: The Chicken Marsala at Mama Mia Cuisine is a culinary delight that takes diners on a journey to Northern Italy. Tender chicken breasts are sautéed to golden-brown perfection and then bathed in a luscious Marsala wine sauce, complemented by sautéed mushrooms. Served with a choice of pasta, this dish is a harmonious blend of rich flavors.
3. Seafood Risotto: Mama Mia Cuisine’s Seafood Risotto offers a taste of the Mediterranean coast. Creamy Arborio rice is infused with the flavors of the sea, featuring succulent shrimp, tender calamari, and plump mussels. The dish is elegantly seasoned and showcases the marriage of seafood and Italian culinary expertise.
“Mama Mia Cuisine truly lives up to its reputation as one of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants. The Lasagna Bolognese was absolutely divine, reminding me of my grandmother’s cooking.”
“The Eggplant Parmesan was a revelation! The eggplant was perfectly cooked, and the layers of cheese and marinara were a match made in heaven.”
“A hidden gem in Knoxville! The Chicken Marsala was a taste of Italy in every bite. The atmosphere was cozy, and the food was exceptional.”
Mama Mia Cuisine has solidified its position as one of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants, offering a culinary journey through Italy’s diverse regions. With its signature Lasagna Bolognese, alongside enticing dishes like Eggplant Parmesan and Chicken Marsala, the restaurant captures the essence of authentic Italian cuisine. They are one of the favorite Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
The glowing customer reviews reflect the exceptional quality of the food and the charming ambiance, making Mama Mia Cuisine a must-visit destination for those seeking a true taste of Italy within the heart of Knoxville. They have earned the rank of being one of the favorite Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
5) El Charro Mexican Restaurant
El Charro Mexican Restaurant is a hidden gem and proudly ranks as one of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants. This family-owned and operated establishment has become a popular culinary haven for both locals and visitors seeking an authentic taste of Mexico. With its unpretentious ambiance and warm hospitality, El Charro Mexican Restaurant offers an inviting space where patrons can enjoy genuine Mexican flavors.
El Charro Mexican Restaurant’s signature dish, the Enchiladas Suizas, embodies the essence of traditional Mexican cuisine. These enchiladas are crafted with tender corn tortillas filled with succulent shredded chicken and topped with a rich and creamy tomatillo sauce. The dish is then baked to perfection, melting the flavors together and creating a satisfying blend of textures and tastes that transport diners to the heart of Mexico.
Main Menu Items:
1. Carne Asada Tacos: Indulge in the robust flavors of Mexico with El Charro Mexican Restaurant’s Carne Asada Tacos. Grilled marinated steak is expertly folded into soft corn tortillas and garnished with fresh cilantro, diced onions, and a squeeze of zesty lime. The tender and flavorful meat combined with the vibrant toppings makes these tacos a true delight.
2. Chiles Rellenos: Experience the culinary artistry of El Charro with their Chiles Rellenos. Roasted poblano peppers are stuffed with a savory mixture of cheese or meat, then battered and fried to a golden perfection. The dish is served with a side of rice, beans, and a rich tomato-based sauce, offering a harmonious balance of flavors.
3. Shrimp Ceviche: For those seeking a refreshing and light option, the Shrimp Ceviche is a perfect choice. Fresh shrimp is marinated in a zesty blend of lime juice, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and spices, resulting in a vibrant and tangy seafood dish. Served with crispy tortilla chips, this appetizer captures the essence of coastal Mexican cuisine.
“El Charro Mexican Restaurant is a hidden gem that captures the flavors of Mexico. The Enchiladas Suizas were outstanding – the tomatillo sauce was a perfect complement to the tender chicken.”
“The Carne Asada Tacos were a taste of Mexico in every bite. The grilled steak was flavorful and perfectly seasoned. Can’t wait to return!”
“A true culinary treasure in Knoxville! The Chiles Rellenos were a delightful surprise – the crispy exterior and the cheesy filling were a match made in heaven.”
El Charro Mexican Restaurant has rightfully earned its status as one of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants, offering an authentic and flavorful journey through the diverse cuisine of Mexico. From the signature Enchiladas Suizas to the delectable Carne Asada Tacos and Chiles Rellenos, the menu exemplifies the restaurant’s commitment to providing genuine Mexican flavors. They are one of the leading Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
With glowing customer reviews praising the food and welcoming atmosphere, El Charro Mexican Restaurant stands as a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an unparalleled taste of Mexico within the heart of Knoxville. They deserve to be ranked among the leading Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
Now you know why these are some of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants just waiting for you to discover them. However, it’s important to let you know that this is not an exhaustive list of the top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants and that this list is in no particular order.
So, whether you’re a local looking to expand your culinary horizons or a visitor eager to explore Knoxville’s gastronomic secrets, the 5 top Knoxville hole-in-the-wall restaurants are only the beginning of a gastronomic adventure. These dining destinations demonstrate the diversity of flavors and cuisines that this city has to offer.
As you embark on your culinary journey, keep an eye out for the unassuming facades, the hidden corners, and the enticing aromas that beckon you to experience the genuine and unforgettable dining experiences that await you in Knoxville. One thing is certain – this city is a haven for food enthusiasts seeking a taste of the extraordinary in the heart of Tennessee.
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