The downtown Knoxville area is exciting because you meet the college kids that came down for good food. You will see a lot of nice drinks, and you must take a look at the restaurants on the tour because they all offer a bit of what makes them excellent.
The tour also gives you an idea of how this area grew. The chefs that are on this tour want to give you the bite of your life, and they hope that you will come back the next time you are in town. If you have trouble with the food you find, ask the chefs for something else. They are sensitive to allergies, and they are helpful when making something that works for you.
You learn a little bit about the city of Knoxville, and you get an idea of how these restaurants came to be. It is a good place to come for a tour, and it helps you enjoy a little bit more of East Tennessee.
The downtown tour of food in Knoxville gives you a new look at this college town. It was once home to Coach Neyland and Peyton Manning, but now it has some of the best food in the south.
Your Chef's Table Tour begins at the Knoxville Visitors Center at 301 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN, 37902 at 2:00 P.M.
On our Chef's Table Tour we will spend approximately 3-hours walking, at a light pace no more than 1.4 miles, to five different, local restaurants in the downtown Knoxville area. Each restaurant will provide you a large "sample plate" of food prepared especially for us, and the stop will also include an interactive visit from the chef(s), owners and management! There is enough food to make up at least a meal (or two!), and we highly recommend you come hungry. We are also able to accommodate dietary restrictions such as vegetarian, gluten free, no shellfish, etc ONLY with advance notice given to us. so please call us at least one day prior to your tour if that applies. Our unique food tours concepts are that we give culinary freedom to each restaurant and chef(s) as far as the food they prepare us...so it won't necessarily be the same food from one tour to the next! Stops include places like Clancy's Tavern, which prides themselves in traditional Irish fare and a large whiskey selection; Tomato Head in Market Square, whose slogan is "Food gotta cook, don't come out of a can!", and that is evident by their fresh flavors and delicious baked goods and bread, which is made in their own bakery/mill nearby; Balter Beerworks, a craft beer brewery and restaurant transformed from an old service station that offers yummy plates and cold drinks; Old City Wine Bar, a small tapas style bar (with more wine than you can pronounce!) and locally sourced, handcrafted plates; and Sugar Mama's, where their motto is " because nothing good ever comes from a box," and will soon become your favorite new place for dessert and craft beers (all of their taps are local Knoxville brews, and they are now the LARGEST local tap wall in the state of Tennessee!).
This tour you will allow you to also learn about the fun and special history of downtown Knoxville and how it has shaped everything from the architecture, culture and even the food! You can't get an experience like this on your own, so come eat, drink and socialize in Downtown Knoxville!
Pickup & Return:
East TN Tours, LLC
Visit Knoxville (Visitor's Center) 301 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902
- If coming on a tour on a Friday, when parking and checking in to the Visitors Center at 301 S. Gay Street, be sure to tell a staff member at the desk that you are there for the food tour, and BE SURE they write your parking pass until 5 (five) P.M. You ONLY need to check in and get a parking pass for weekday tours as passes are not required on weekends, and Visit Knoxville has completely free parking weekdays after 5pm and all day on weekends. Normal passes are just written for two hours, so we'd hate for you to possibly get towed at 4 P.M. after the normal 2 hour ticket runs out!! We get a special deal and our passes are written for three hours. Parking is then completely FREE in the Visit Knoxville parking lot after 5pm, so feel free to leave your car there and spend the rest of the evening in wonderful downtown!
- Parking is free in certain metered spots and garages on weekends unless posted otherwise. If you are having to park in a garage or on a metered street spot during any tour, you are responsible for paying that yourself if applicable, as parking fees will NOT be reimbursed. Be sure to CAREFULLY read the meters information, as some have two hour limits!
- Parking permits are not needed to park in the Visit Knoxville parking spaces on Saturday or Sunday tours, as parking is free there on weekends.
- You will find your tour guide in the Visitors Center wearing a white t-shirt with our logo on it, and a generally some type of "area" set up on a table, counter, etc. with our information on it (brochures displayed, name tags out, etc). If you need help knowing where to go, please ask a Visit Knoxville staff member!
Departure Times: Friday's 2:00 pm
Saturday's 2:00 pm
You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
- Beverages (water only is given at each restaurant)
- Food tasting (LARGE sample plates from each restaurant)
- All activities (tour guide entertainment, added on history tour information, etc)
- Headsets to hear the guide clearly.
Does not include:
- Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase if of age)
- Gratuities (optional, especially if you enjoyed your time and the guide did a great job!)
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Adult pricing applies to all travelers, children under the age of 2 are free.
- Minimum drinking age is 21 years
- Dress code is smart casual, and please dress weather accordingly. Tour Operates in all weather.
- Vegetarian, gluten free, no fish/seafood, etc. is possibly available ONLY with advance notice given to us by calling (if possible/applicable) at least one day before your tour.
- A minimum of 2 people per booking is required IF you are the first people booking a specific date.
- Minimum numbers of 2 apply to run tour. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative date or full refund.
- Wheelchair accessible, please advise at time of booking if wheelchair assistance is required
- Please inform the operator if anyone in your party is under 21 years old. The operator needs to know this information before selecting restaurant stops for your particular tour.