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Top 5 Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in Knoxville

Top 5 Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in Knoxville

Top 5 Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in Knoxville

These top 5 hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville are part of a treasure trove of hidden culinary gems, particularly when it comes to hole-in-the-wall restaurants. These five remarkable hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville have earned their place among the top in the city.

From Chandler’s Deli, where you can savor their famous Southern Fried Chicken, to Litton’s Market and Restaurant, known for its mouthwatering Litton’s Cheeseburger, and Jackie’s Dream, where you can indulge in their unforgettable Chicken and Waffles, each of these restaurants has its own unique charm and flavors that make them stand out.

We also discovered the delightful offerings of Gus’s Good Times Deli, including their signature Reuben Sandwich, and Little Bangkok, where you can experience authentic Thai cuisine through dishes like Pad Thai and Green Curry with Chicken. These restaurants have captured the hearts and taste buds of locals and visitors alike, with their dedication to quality, flavors, and warm hospitality.

However, it’s important to note that these five hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville represent just a fraction of the vibrant hole-in-the-wall dining scene. The city is brimming with countless other hidden culinary treasures waiting to be explored and savored. Each neighborhood holds its own secret spots and local favorites, each with its own unique menu and atmosphere. This is why these are some of the great hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville that are waiting for you to discover them. This list is in no particular order.


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1) Chandler’s Deli

Chandler’s Deli is one of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville. This family-owned and operated establishment is located in the heart of the city, offering a cozy and authentic dining experience. Known for its delicious comfort food and warm hospitality, Chandler’s Deli has become a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

One of the standout dishes at Chandler’s Deli is their famous Southern Fried Chicken. Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, this perfectly seasoned and fried chicken is a true delight for the taste buds. Served with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and collard greens, it embodies the comforting flavors of the South.

Main Menu Items:

1. “Chandler’s Deluxe Burger” – This mouthwatering burger is a favorite among regulars. Made with a juicy Angus beef patty, topped with melted cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles, it’s a classic combination of flavors. Served with a side of golden fries, this burger is a satisfying meal that never disappoints.

2. “Fried Catfish Platter” – Chandler’s Deli takes pride in their perfectly fried catfish. The platter includes tender catfish fillets coated in a crispy cornmeal breading, accompanied by a generous portion of hush puppies and tangy tartar sauce. Each bite is a delightful blend of textures and flavors, capturing the essence of Southern seafood.

3. “Soulful Meatloaf” – This homestyle meatloaf is a comforting dish that will transport you back to Grandma’s kitchen. Made with a blend of seasoned ground beef and secret spices, it’s cooked to perfection and served with a side of creamy macaroni and cheese and buttery cornbread. The Soulful Meatloaf at Chandler’s Deli is a nostalgic favorite that will warm your heart.

Customer Reviews:

“Chandler’s Deli is a hidden gem in Knoxville! The Southern Fried Chicken is absolutely divine, and the portion sizes are generous. The staff is friendly and attentive, making you feel like part of the family. A must-visit for anyone craving delicious comfort food!”

“I stumbled upon Chandler’s Deli while exploring Knoxville, and it was the best food discovery ever! The Fried Catfish Platter exceeded my expectations. The fish was perfectly crispy, and the hush puppies were addictive. I can’t wait to go back and try more dishes!”

“Chandler’s Deli is the epitome of a true hole-in-the-wall restaurant. The Soulful Meatloaf is a must-try; it’s like a warm hug on a plate. The ambiance is cozy and inviting, and the prices are very reasonable. Don’t miss out on this hidden culinary gem!”

Chandler’s Deli in Knoxville is undoubtedly one of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in the city. As a family-owned and operated establishment, it exudes a welcoming and homey atmosphere that adds to the overall dining experience. The restaurant’s signature Southern Fried Chicken is a must-try, showcasing the perfect blend of crispy and juicy textures. Alongside their delicious comfort food, menu items like the Chandler’s Deluxe Burger, Fried Catfish Platter, and Soulful Meatloaf offer a wide range of flavors that will satisfy any palate. They are one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville.

With stellar customer reviews praising the food quality, portion sizes, and friendly service, Chandler’s Deli truly lives up to its reputation as one of Knoxville’s best-hidden culinary treasures. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, make sure to add this exceptional restaurant to your must-visit list for an unforgettable dining experience. They rank high among the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville for good reasons.


2) Litton’s Market and Restaurant

Litton’s Market and Restaurant is one of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville. This family-owned and operated establishment is located in the heart of the city, offering a unique dining experience. Litton’s is not only a restaurant but also a market, providing a charming and cozy ambiance that captures the essence of a true neighborhood gathering place.

One of the standout dishes at Litton’s Market and Restaurant is their famous Litton’s Cheeseburger. This mouthwatering creation features a juicy, hand-formed beef patty topped with a generous layer of melted American cheese, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles. Served on a toasted bun with a side of golden fries, the Litton’s Cheeseburger is a classic favorite that has won the hearts of locals for decades.

Main Menu Items:

1. “Philly Cheesesteak” – Litton’s Market and Restaurant serves up an exceptional Philly Cheesesteak. Thinly sliced tender beef is sautéed with onions and bell peppers, then smothered in melted provolone cheese and served on a fresh hoagie roll. The combination of flavors and textures creates a satisfying sandwich that will transport you to the streets of Philadelphia.

2. “Fried Green Tomato BLT” – A unique twist on a classic, Litton’s offers a delicious Fried Green Tomato BLT. Crispy fried green tomatoes are layered with smoky bacon, lettuce, and mayo, all sandwiched between two slices of toasted bread. This delightful creation combines the tanginess of the tomatoes, the savory bacon, and the freshness of the lettuce, resulting in a delightful burst of flavors.

3. “Greek Salad” – For those seeking a lighter option, Litton’s Market and Restaurant offers a refreshing Greek Salad. Fresh mixed greens are topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese, all dressed in a zesty Greek vinaigrette. This salad is a perfect balance of crispness, tanginess, and creaminess, making it a popular choice for health-conscious diners.

Customer Reviews:

“Litton’s Market and Restaurant is a hidden gem in Knoxville! The Litton’s Cheeseburger is hands down the best burger I’ve ever tasted. The patty is cooked to perfection, and the toppings are always fresh. The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it the perfect spot for a casual meal.”

“I absolutely love Litton’s! Their Philly Cheesesteak is authentic and full of flavor. The meat is tender, the cheese is melty, and the bread is perfectly toasted. It’s like a taste of Philadelphia right here in Knoxville!”

“Litton’s Market and Restaurant has the most delicious Fried Green Tomato BLT. The fried green tomatoes add a unique twist to the traditional BLT, and it works wonderfully. The combination of flavors is fantastic, and the portion sizes are generous. Highly recommend!”

Litton’s Market and Restaurant is a true hidden gem in Knoxville, firmly establishing its position as one of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in the city. As a family-owned and operated establishment, it radiates a warm and inviting atmosphere that makes diners feel right at home. The signature Litton’s Cheeseburger is a must-try, showcasing the perfect combination of juicy beef and flavorful toppings. Additionally, the menu offers a diverse selection, including standout items like the Philly Cheesesteak, Fried Green Tomato BLT, and Greek Salad. They are one of the popular hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville.

These dishes are prepared with care and attention to detail, ensuring a memorable dining experience. With glowing customer reviews praising the food quality, authenticity, and friendly service, Litton’s Market and Restaurant lives up to its reputation as a popular neighborhood spot. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor, make sure to discover this culinary treasure and indulge in their delectable offerings. They stand out among the popular hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville.


3) Jackie’s Dream

Jackie’s Dream is one of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville. This family-owned and operated establishment is located in a quaint corner of the city, offering a unique and authentic dining experience. Jackie’s Dream captures the essence of homemade comfort food combined with warm hospitality, making it a popular spot among locals and visitors alike.

One of the standout dishes at Jackie’s Dream is their famous Chicken and Waffles. This delectable combination features crispy fried chicken served on top of fluffy, golden waffles. The savory and sweet flavors harmonize beautifully, creating a delightful and satisfying dish that has become a crowd favorite. Jackie’s Dream takes pride in serving their Chicken and Waffles with a side of homemade maple syrup or hot sauce, allowing guests to customize their flavor experience.

Main Menu Items:

1. “Soulful Shrimp and Grits” – Jackie’s Dream offers a tantalizing plate of Soulful Shrimp and Grits. This Southern classic features succulent shrimp cooked in a flavorful Creole sauce, served over a bed of creamy stone-ground grits. The combination of the perfectly seasoned shrimp and the velvety texture of the grits creates a harmonious blend of flavors that embodies the heart and soul of Southern cuisine.

2. “Cheesy Meatball Sub” – For lovers of comfort food, Jackie’s Dream serves up a satisfying Cheesy Meatball Sub. Homemade meatballs are nestled inside a soft sub roll and smothered in melted mozzarella cheese and tangy marinara sauce. The combination of tender meatballs, gooey cheese, and robust sauce creates a crave-worthy sandwich that will leave you wanting more.

3. “Dreamy Banana Pudding” – Jackie’s Dream finishes off their menu with a dreamy dessert—Banana Pudding. This classic Southern treat is made with layers of creamy vanilla pudding, sliced ripe bananas, and a generous topping of fluffy whipped cream. Each spoonful offers a perfect balance of sweetness and nostalgia, making it the perfect ending to a satisfying meal.

Customer Reviews:

“Jackie’s Dream is a hidden gem in Knoxville! Their Chicken and Waffles are absolutely divine. The chicken is perfectly crispy, and the waffles are fluffy and delicious. The combination of flavors is heavenly. The friendly staff and cozy atmosphere make this place truly special.”

“I stumbled upon Jackie’s Dream while exploring Knoxville, and it exceeded my expectations. The Soulful Shrimp and Grits are simply amazing. The shrimp are cooked to perfection, and the grits are incredibly creamy. It’s like a taste of the South in every bite!”

“Jackie’s Dream is hands down one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville. Their Cheesy Meatball Sub is a cheesy, saucy delight. The meatballs are juicy, and the sub roll is soft and fresh. Don’t miss out on their Dreamy Banana Pudding—it’s the perfect ending to a fantastic meal.”

Jackie’s Dream, one of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville, offers a truly exceptional dining experience. As a family-owned and operated establishment, it radiates a warm and inviting atmosphere that makes diners feel like part of the family. The signature dish, Chicken and Waffles, showcases the perfect balance of flavors and textures. Jackie’s Dream also delights with menu items like Soulful Shrimp and Grits, Cheesy Meatball Sub, and Dreamy Banana Pudding, which all capture the essence of homemade comfort food. They are another of the great hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville.

With glowing customer reviews praising the quality of the food, friendly service, and cozy ambiance, Jackie’s Dream lives up to its reputation as a hidden gem in Knoxville’s culinary scene. Whether you’re a local seeking soulful Southern dishes or a visitor in search of authentic comfort food, Jackie’s Dream is a must-visit destination that promises to fulfill your culinary dreams. They deserve to be ranked high among the great hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville.


4) Gus’s Good Times Deli

Gus’s Good Times Deli is one of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville. This family-owned and operated establishment is nestled in a vibrant area of the city, offering a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. Gus’s Good Times Deli is a popular neighborhood spot where locals and visitors can enjoy delicious food and create lasting memories.

One of the standout dishes at Gus’s Good Times Deli is their famous Reuben Sandwich. This mouthwatering creation features thinly sliced corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing, all grilled between slices of rye bread. The Reuben Sandwich at Gus’s Good Times Deli is a delightful blend of savory flavors and textures, making it a go-to choice for sandwich lovers.

Main Menu Items:

1. “Classic Club Sandwich” – Gus’s Good Times Deli offers a delicious Classic Club Sandwich. Layers of thinly sliced turkey, ham, crispy bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, and tomato are stacked high between three slices of toasted bread. This hearty sandwich is a satisfying combination of flavors, perfect for those looking for a classic deli experience.

2. “Mouthwatering Meatball Sub” – For those craving comfort food, Gus’s Good Times Deli serves a mouthwatering Meatball Sub. Homemade meatballs smothered in marinara sauce and melted provolone cheese are nestled inside a soft sub roll. This indulgent sandwich is packed with flavor and offers a comforting combination of tender meatballs and rich sauce.

3. “Gourmet Veggie Wrap” – Gus’s Good Times Deli caters to vegetarians with their Gourmet Veggie Wrap. This refreshing wrap is filled with a medley of fresh vegetables, including lettuce, tomato, cucumber, bell peppers, red onion, and avocado. Topped with a zesty vinaigrette dressing, this wrap is a satisfying and healthy option for those seeking lighter fare.

Customer Reviews:

“Gus’s Good Times Deli is a hidden gem in Knoxville! The Reuben Sandwich is absolutely fantastic. The corned beef is tender, and the sauerkraut adds a tangy kick. The friendly staff and cozy ambiance make it the perfect spot for a delicious meal.”

“I stumbled upon Gus’s Good Times Deli and was blown away by their Classic Club Sandwich. The combination of turkey, ham, and bacon is delightful, and the bread is perfectly toasted. It’s a classic deli sandwich done right!”

“Gus’s Good Times Deli is hands down one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville. Their Meatball Sub is a meat lover’s dream. The meatballs are juicy, and the marinara sauce is flavorful. Don’t miss out on their Gourmet Veggie Wrap—it’s fresh, delicious, and packed with veggies!”

Gus’s Good Times Deli is a true hidden gem in Knoxville, proudly standing as one of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in the city. As a family-owned and operated establishment, it emanates a warm and inviting atmosphere that makes diners feel right at home. The signature Reuben Sandwich is a must-try, showcasing the perfect combination of flavors and textures. Gus’s Good Times Deli also impresses with menu items like the Classic Club Sandwich, Meatball Sub, and Gourmet Veggie Wrap, catering to a variety of taste preferences. They are one of the leading hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville.

With glowing customer reviews praising the quality of the food, friendly service, and cozy ambiance, Gus’s Good Times Deli lives up to its reputation as a popular neighborhood spot. Whether you’re a local seeking a delicious sandwich or a visitor in search of satisfying comfort food, Gus’s Good Times Deli is a must-visit destination that guarantees good times and memorable dining experiences. They have earned the rank of being one of the leading hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville.


5) Little Bangkok

Little Bangkok is one of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville. This family-owned and operated establishment is situated in a bustling area of the city, offering an authentic taste of Thai cuisine. Little Bangkok’s unassuming exterior belies the vibrant flavors and warm atmosphere that await inside.

One of the standout dishes at Little Bangkok is their famous Pad Thai. This iconic Thai dish features stir-fried rice noodles tossed with shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts, and scrambled eggs, all flavored with a harmonious blend of tamarind sauce, fish sauce, and lime juice. The Pad Thai at Little Bangkok is a symphony of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors, topped with crushed peanuts and fresh cilantro for added texture and aroma.

Main Menu Items:

1. “Green Curry with Chicken” – Little Bangkok offers a flavorful Green Curry with Chicken. This aromatic dish features tender chicken cooked in a rich and creamy green curry sauce, infused with Thai herbs and spices. Served with fragrant jasmine rice, the Green Curry with Chicken is a delightful balance of heat and creaminess, showcasing the depth of flavors in Thai cuisine.

2. “Crispy Duck with Basil” – For a unique and indulgent option, Little Bangkok serves a Crispy Duck with Basil dish. The succulent duck is deep-fried to perfection, then stir-fried with fresh basil leaves, bell peppers, onions, and garlic in a savory sauce. The crispy skin of the duck combined with the aromatic blend of flavors creates a memorable culinary experience.

3. “Mango Sticky Rice” – Little Bangkok’s menu also includes a delightful dessert called Mango Sticky Rice. This traditional Thai dessert features sweet, sticky rice topped with ripe mango slices and drizzled with a luscious coconut sauce. The combination of the fragrant rice, juicy mango, and creamy coconut sauce provides a satisfyingly sweet conclusion to the meal.

Customer Reviews:

“Little Bangkok is a hidden gem in Knoxville! Their Pad Thai is out of this world. The flavors are authentic and perfectly balanced. The staff is friendly, and the cozy atmosphere makes dining here a delightful experience.”

“I stumbled upon Little Bangkok and was blown away by their Green Curry with Chicken. The curry is packed with flavor, and the chicken is tender. The spice level was just right. I can’t wait to come back and try more dishes!”

“Little Bangkok is hands down one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville. Their Crispy Duck with Basil is phenomenal. The duck is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and the flavors of the dish are outstanding. Don’t miss their Mango Sticky Rice for dessert—it’s a true taste of Thailand.”

Little Bangkok stands proudly as one of the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville, offering an authentic Thai dining experience. As a family-owned and operated establishment, it embodies the essence of warm hospitality and flavorful cuisine. Little Bangkok’s signature Pad Thai is a must-try, showcasing the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors. The menu also features standout dishes such as the Green Curry with Chicken, Crispy Duck with Basil, and Mango Sticky Rice. They are one of the favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville.

With glowing customer reviews praising the authenticity of the food, friendly service, and cozy ambiance, Little Bangkok lives up to its reputation as a popular culinary gem. Whether you’re a Thai food enthusiast or someone seeking new and exciting flavors, Little Bangkok promises to take you on a delicious journey through the vibrant world of Thai cuisine. They can definitely be counted among the favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville.


Now you know why these are some of the great hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville just waiting for you to discover them. However, it’s important to let you know that this is not an exhaustive list of the great hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville and that this list is in no particular order.

So, for those seeking to embark on a gastronomic adventure, we encourage you to venture off the beaten path and discover the many more hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Knoxville. From charming delis to ethnic eateries, the possibilities are endless. So grab your appetite, follow your curiosity, and let Knoxville’s hidden culinary gems surprise and delight you on your next dining excursion.


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