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Weekday Lunch Options in Downtown Knoxville

Food & Drink Work

Whether you have 15-minutes to snag a grab-n-go sandwich, or you have a longer break to enjoy a meal, you're in walking distance to almost 100 lunch spots! Here are some of our favorite local spots to help you narrow it down. 

Babalu

Babalu is a prime spot for weekday lunch on Gay Street for Latin-inspired fare at a great lunch price. Enjoy one of their many flavorful tacos with a side of chips and guacamole, or maybe a Cuban sandwich or black bean burger. But our personal favorite is the Black Bean Bowl with roasted corn, romaine lettuce, queso fresco, red pepper purée, and lime vinaigrette. It's craveable!

Balter Beerworks

For a fast and fabulous lunch, try Balter Beerworks! They are big on flavor, have a cool atmosphere, and serve up plenty of delicious healthier options to try. We love the Sweet & Tangy Salmon glazed with brown sugar and mustard, topped with pineapple salsa, and served with coleslaw and fresh green beans.

Bistro at the Bijou

Fresh farm-to-table food meets daily lunch specials that will blow you away. Some local favorites include turkey and dressing, green chile cheeseburger, and fried catfish, veggie plates ... plus soup and sandwich combos that are hearty and healthy. Chef/Owner Martha Boggs knows what she's doing at Bistro at the Bijou!

Brown Bag

Simple, healthy meals that are so delicious and satisfying! Brown Bag is located on Gay Street in the First Horizon Plaza and boasts a large outdoor patio to enjoy lunch while soaking up Vitamin D. They serve up daily specials along with their famous staples, like grilled chicken and spinach salad.

CJ's Tacos

Run, don't walk to CJ's Tacos for a quick and tasty meal located in Embassy Suites. Just like it sounds, you can order tacos, but not just any tacos, we're talking pan-fried tacos filled with flavors like Korean BBQ, Buffalo Chicken, and Holy Potato. You'll be wishing you tried it sooner! Plus, you can build your own salads, taco bowls, and nachos.

Curious Dog

If you need to stretch your legs, walk down to the Old City to Curious Dog for one of the best hot dogs and best sandwiches you'll ever try! Big statement, right? This "beer market" is constantly pushing flavor boundaries, coming up with new tasty combos. They make much of their toppings in-house, like kimchi, special sauce, potato salad, and even mayo.

Dazzo's Pizzeria

Dazzo's boasts a slice of New York-style pizza, plus garlic knots or salad for less than $8 at lunch. They also have a meatball sub, classic Italian sandwich, and lunch-portion pastas at great prices. Their full menu is also available if you want to share a large pie with your co-workers.

Downtown Grill & Brewery

Downtown Grill is one of Knoxville's favorite gathering spots for brunch, lunch, dinner, and beer. But we're talking lunch here, so let us tell you about a little secret: they have the same lunch specials each week, so you can go back on your favorite day of the week. Meatball pasta, meatloaf, and quiche to name a few. Plus, a lunchtime salad bar that's killer!

Photo Credit: @knoxfoodanddrink

The French Market

The French Market is known for their crêpes and for good reason. They use flour imported directly from France, so they are authentic and delicious. They also serve up croissants, sandwiches, soups, and omelettes to round out a lunch menu you need to experience.

Good Golly Tamale

The Old City has one of the most interesting lunch places on our list: Good Golly Tamale. They debuted at the Market Square Farmers’ Market several years ago, and now, they serve their hand-rolled tamales from their Central Ave storefront. It's traditional comfort food that's fast, delicious, and nutritious! Vegetarian/vegan options are available.

Photo Credit: @reelgenius007

K Brew Coffee & Bagels

K Brew is known for their coffee, but they also carry homemade bagel sandwiches that are an easy lunch right on Gay Street! Try the hot Italian loaded with fresh mozzarella, capicola, tomato, red onion, green olives, and fresh basil. Or, the Margherita pizza on a roasted garlic and parmesan bagel. 

Kaizen

Kaizen is a Japanese-style pub featuring tapas and daily specials of Japanese, Szechuan, and Thai cuisines. They may not always be traditional, but they are always darn delicious, especially their lunch specials and steamed buns. They have a wonderful patio that can accommodate a large group when the whole office wants to join in.

Lunchbox

We love the Lunchbox for so many reasons! Quality food at great prices, plus a salad bar that can't be beat. They have grab-n-go when you're in a hurry, all made from scratch each morning. They also have comforting chili and soups to keep you warm throughout the winter. And don't get us started on their cookies!

Myrtle’s

A great spot for lunch on Market Square, Myrtle’s famous fried chicken and soulful sides will have you coming back for more. They have lunch specials, like chicken sandwich and fries, chicken sliders, and soup and salad combos for under $10.

Pete’s Coffee Shop & Restaurant

The legendary Pete’s has been serving up lunch specials to downtown employees since 1986. Every weekday, they have different meat-and-three options for $10. some favorites are country fried steak, meatloaf, and chicken and dumplings, plus fried okra, creamed corn, and collard greens. They also serve hearty burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and salads. 

Petro's Chili & Chips

Petro's has the perfect patio for a weekday lunch before a stroll through Krutch Park! Dive into an original Petro® piled high with chili and toppings and wash it down with a Hint-of-Orange sweet tea. They also have wedge salads, loaded potatoes, and BBQ chicken nachos right on Market Square.

Southern Grit

Craving a hearty meal? Let Southern Grit be your answer with double cheeseburgers, decadent meatloaf, fried chicken sandwiches, chicken pot pie, and more tasty fare. If you're thinking, whoa, slow down, their Brussel Sprout Salad is just as good!

Sweet P's Downtown Dive

You might need a nap after lunch at Sweet P's, but dang, it's worth it! Their daily lunch specials are BBQ Burritos, Nachos, or Quesadillas (Tuesday), Red Beans and Rice (Wednesday), Smoked Meatloaf (Thursday), and Smoked Andouille Sausage (Friday). Plus, delicious salads and sides for vegetarian options and lighter fare!

Tomato Head

A crowd favorite! Everyone will find something to love at The Tomato Head. Hot pizzas from the oven, loaded salads, tasty vegan sandwiches, juicy chicken sandwiches, hearty soups, homemade breads, dips, and sauces. All super fresh and tasty!

Tommy Trent's

Tommy Trent's is a prime gathering spot for Friday lunches with the gang. Treat yourselves to their burgers, loaded fries, and hot dogs, all named after sporting legends and parts of the game. Go for the "Peyton" burger with apple butter BBQ sauce and fried onions, or the dogs.

Yassin's Falafel House

We might have saved the best for last! Yassin's is located on Walnut Street, making it a convenient walk to fresh-made falafel, homemade hummus, and scratch-made baklava. You may have heard it was voted the "Nicest Place In America," but we'll add "Delicious Lunch in Downtown Knoxville" too!

Photo Credit: @whogivesahootrd