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Best Burgers in Downtown Knoxville

Food & Drink Fall

Downtown Knoxville is at the peak of its burger game. Whether it’s sizzling patties at the local diner, or premium gourmet to-go, you'll find a smorgasbord of consistently delightful, never-disappointing, savory burgers. (Queue the dance number!) 


Balter Beerworks - Brewhouse Burger

This burger at Balter is a thing of beauty -- smoked gouda, fried onions, sriracha steak sauce (yum!), black pepper mayo, house pickle, lettuce, tomato, served with the side of your choice. May we recommend those scrumptious sweet potato fries?

Photo Credit: @balterbeerworks (Instagram)

Bistro at the Bijou - Open-Faced Brunch Burger

The Bistro is one of THE best places for brunch in Downtown Knoxville... and all that hype can’t overshadow the real star of their show – the tasty open-faced brunch burger served on an English muffin and topped with a fried egg. Get it with a side of cheesy brunch potatoes!

Photo Credit: @girlseatknox (Instagram)

Boyd’s Jig & Reel - William Wallace

All blue-blooded beef lovers hurry and sink your teeth into this oh-SO-good burger at Jig & Reel! Angus beef patty with applewood smoked bacon, bleu cheese, fried onions, Guinness Gravy, field greens, and tomato all on a tasty brioche bun. That it’s so good isn’t a surprise: You can toast to that once you pick from their list of over 1,000 whiskies.

Photo Credit: @jigandreel (Instagram)

Café 4 - Eggs Benedict Burger

The Brunch Benedict Burger at Cafe 4 is why we wake up on Sunday – a couple of stacked patties, cheese, bacon, fried egg, and topped with arugula, hollandaise, paprika, and chives, served on a brioche bun. It's delicious!

Photo Credit: @hangryhumphrey (Instagram)

Calhoun’s - Hickory Burger

A Tennessee classic with a smoky kick! Pair a view of the Tennessee River with Calhoun’s Hickory Burger topped with smoked cheddar cheese, bacon, and their famous BBQ sauce on a toasted sesame or whole wheat bun. Subtle and perfect with a side of sweet potato fries!

Photo Credit: @calhounstn (Instagram)

Downtown Grill & Brewery - Build Your Own Burger

Feeling creative? Downtown Grill & Brewery is here to support your creative itch with their “build your own” sandwich option. With the selection of 100% Angus beef, they offer a myriad of tasty toppings so you can create your own masterpiece! Bleu Cheese Crumbles? Bourbon Glaze? Jalapeños? Onions Rings? Pineapple Chunks? Smoked Gouda? The option is yours, be bold.

Photo Credit: @knoxdgb (Instagram)

Five Thirty Lounge - Wagyu Sliders

They may be small, but they are mighty in flavor! Enjoy three wagyu beef sliders topped with pimento cheese, smoked onion jam, and bread & butter pickles with a side of sweeping Downtown Knoxville views from Five Thirty Lounge. Pair with a craft cocktail for the ultimate experience.

Lonesome Dove - Friday Cheeseburger Special

It’s a fact: steakhouses know how to make burgers, and yes the Elk-Foie Gras Sliders with Blueberry Jam at Lonesome Dove are a delicious way to start your dinner. But, you’re in for another treat during their Friday lunch! They serve up a fresh ground tenderloin/NY Strip double cheeseburger with all the fixings and perfectly seasoned house fries.

Photo Credit: @lonesomedoveknoxville (Instagram)

Maple Hall - Maple Hall Burger

The Maple Hall Burger is just what we crave when we're ready to bowl a few frames. The decadent black angus beef burger comes with American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles, and secret sauce on a King's Hawaiian bun. Yep, the bun and the sauce send it to the next level!

Marble City Kitchen - K-Town Classic Burger

This half-pound burger at Marble City Kitchen is absolutely mouth-watering with American cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, LTO, served on a brioche bun. Gluten-free buns and Beyond Burgers are available upon request!

Photo Credit: @marblecitykitchen (Instagram)

Not Watsons - Chili Mac 'N’ Cheese Burger

You’ve got some VERY tasty options at Not Waton's, and this misshapen, super-juicy burger is the reason napkins were invented. Grass-fed Angus Beef Patties smothered in grilled mac 'n' cheese chili, comes on a hand-made artisan bun from ACE Baking Company. Served with a side of fresh-cut fries.

Photo Credit: @cookdineeat (Instagram)

Oliver Royale - Royale Brunch Burger

The Royale Brunch Burger is of epic proportions! A juicy patty topped with bibb lettuce, heirloom tomato, sweet onion jam, beemster mustard cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, and black pepper truffle aioli. Top with an egg for a truly delectable brunch at Oliver Royale.

Pete’s - Southern Burger

What’s a quaint neighborhood diner without a stellar burger selection?! Well don’t worry, Pete’s has ten options to choose from – but we can never say no to homemade pimento cheese! These savory 100% fresh, lean ground chuck, hand-pattied miracles are served with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and French fries. Go enjoy!

Photo Credit: @petesknox (Instagram)

Ruth's Chris - Happy Hour

Ruth's Chris' Prime Cheeseburger is so good it only comes with one topping – your choice of cheese. A toasted bun, juicy patty, and melting cheese come together for one delectable bite. Only available during Happy Hour!

Photo Credit: @coachreedy

SmashCity's Truffle Smash

SmashCity serves up delicious smash burgers, mouth-watering chicken sandwiches, crispy hand-cut fries, and craveable house-made sauces in the Old City. Our favorite thing on the menu: the Truffle Smash with melted provolone cheese, grilled onions and mushrooms, and truffle mayo – the star of the show.

Southern Grit - S|G Burger

There's something magical about a juicy beef patty paired with crispy bacon and creamy pimento cheese! But what takes Southern Grit's burger to the next level is the S|G Sauce and their famous fried green tomatoes. We don't know what's in that sauce, but we are here for it, all day, everyday!

STIR's Tillamook Burger

When you go to STIR, you think: fresh seafood, steaks, chopped salads, and cocktails, but don't miss their huge Tillamook Burger with two beef patties, smoked cheddar, tomato, lettuce, onion, mayo, pickles, served with hand-cut fries. If you want a double-dose of cheeseburger, order the unique cheeseburger egg rolls as an appetizer. So good!

Stock & Barrel - The Bernie

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways”... Seriously, sonnets should be written about the burgers crafted at Stock & Barrel. Burgers & Bourbon is literally their niche, and The Bernie can not be missed. All-natural beef patty with blue cheese crumbles,  Benton’s bacon, blueberry preserve, topped with Beer Battered Jalapeños served on a specialty flour-dusted bun from Flour Head Bakery. It’s unbelievable. 

Photo Credit: @thestockandbarrel (Instagram)

Tommy Trent’s Sports Saloon - The Witten

This tasty bite at Tommy Trent's on Market Square comes with a southwestern kick – a third of a pound patty smothered in chili, then finished off with cheddar cheese, sautéed onions, jalapeño peppers, and yellow mustard! Yes, siree!

Photo Credit: Scott West (Facebook)

Quest for the Tastiest

During this quest for the tastiest burgers downtown, we were pleased to find almost all burgers mentioned are able to substitute veggie or chicken patties, and even wheat buns (something that would be out of the question in 2015.) We take this as confirmation that Knoxville restauranteurs are truly trying to make burgers for everyone.