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Cheeseburgers in Paradise (aka Downtown Knoxville)

Food & Drink

2020 has got us all in a weird spot, but in these divisive and divided times there’s one thing every single Knoxvillian can agree on -- Downtown is at the peak of its burger game. Whether it’s sizzling patties at the local diner, or premium gourmet to-go, in these trying times there awaits a smorgasbord of consistently delightful, never-disappointing, savory burgers. (Queue the dance number!) 

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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... and all that hype can’t overshadow the real star of their show – the tasty and simple open-faced brunch burger. Get it with a side of red flannel hash!

Photo Credit: @girlseatknox (Instagram)

Blackhorse Brewery - Volcano Burger

This burger is another glorious addition to Blackhorse’s stacked menu, featuring lush pineapple-jalapeno jam, peppercorn bacon, pepper jack cheese, a fried onion ring, with a creamy sriracha sauce on top of a sizzling burger patty on a perfect bun. We’re squealing in delight! 

Photo Credit: @blackhorsebrews (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, 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 950 whiskies.

Photo Credit: @jigandreel (Instagram)

Cafe 4 - Monday Special

Burger Monday means $5 burgers at Cafe 4 - the choice of regular beef, ground turkey, or with a housemade black bean patty - it’s a party! And it's delicious.

Photo Credit: @cafe_4 (Instagram)

Calhoun’s - Hickory Burger

A Tennessee classic with a smokey kick! Smoked cheddar cheese, bacon, and Calhoun’s famous bar-b-que sauce on a toasted bun. Subtle and perfect with a side of the Tennessee River views!

Photo Credit: @calhounstn (Instagram)

Cru Bistro and Wine Bar - Wednesday Special

Wednesdays are Bistro Burger Day at Cru! Lunch or dinner, go get your $5.99 burger and fries – a staple in every Downtown Residence’s week!

Photo Credit: @crubistrodtn (Instagram)

Downtown Deli - Mushroom Swiss

Working Downtown? Need a burger pick-me-up? The Downtown Deli is the perfect lunch spot filled with convenient carry-out and dine-in options, and this scrumptious burger option is so cheesy, the perfect amount of spice, and everything nice!

Photo Credit: @downtowndeliknoxville (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 Chicks? Smoked Gouda? The option is yours, be bold.

Photo Credit: @knoxdgb (Instagram)

JC Holdway- Holdway Double Cheeseburger

Served every day on the supremely sophisticated to-go menu at JC Holdway -- a juicy half lb double cheeseburger served with lettuce, mayonnaise, and Dijon mustard on a butter-toasted bun⁣⁣.⁣⁣ Incredible.

Photo Credit: @jcholdway (Facebook)

Knox Mason - Smash Burger

This one at Knox Mason is a cheeseburger connoisseur’s dream -- Mitchell Farm Double Patty Beef Burger on a buttery Paysan Brioche Bun with Sweetwater Cheddar, Lettuce, House Wicked Pickles, Vidalia Onions, and Tennessee Sunshine Aioli -- Served with Herbed Fries… are your drooling yet?

Photo Credit: @knox_mason (Instagram)

Lonesome Dove - 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 good option to scratch that burger itch, but during their lunch hours you’re in for a treat! For a limited time they are featuring fresh ground tenderloin / NY Strip double cheeseburger served on a fresh bun with perfectly seasoned house fries.

Photo Credit: @lonesomedoveknoxville (Instagram)

Marble City Kitchen - Marble City Classic Burger

Made with Evan's fresh ground beef patties on Masada bakery brioche buns, this burger option at Marble City Kitchen is absolutely mouth-watering. Choose one of their marvelously messy signature burgers or build your own!

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)

Olibea - HenHoc Butcher Terrine Burger

Keep your eyes peeled for this once-in-a-blue-moon special at OliBea’s featuring HenHoc pork terrine, with Mexican pickles, lettuce, heirloom tomato, red onion, happy sauce, with a sunny egg on a Big Al's bun!  *Chef’s Kiss*

Photo Credit: @olibea_oldcity (Instagram)

Pete’s - Southern Burger

What’s a quaint neighborhood diner without a stellar burger selection?! Well don’t worry Pete’s got 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)

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. Burger & Bourbon is literally their niche, and The Bernie can not be missed. Mitchell Family 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.

Stop by to dine-in or order to-go and keep their dream alive – life, liberty, and the pursuit of patty melts.