A Guide to Healthy Eats in Knoxville, TN
While we love washing down a plate of low-and-slow pulled pork and sweetly-slathered ribs with a tumbler of whiskey as much as the next Tennessean, our great state’s culinary specialties don’t exactly fall into the health food category. And even though our great state celebrates the smokey and the fried, Knoxville boasts a plethora of health-conscious eateries to balance out those down-home comfort foods.
To inspire your next healthy meal on the town, we taste-tested local favorites. Categorized by breakfast & brunch, lunch & dinner, plus a few sips and specialty shops, here’s your guide to healthy eats in Knoxville, Tennessee.
BREAKFAST & BRUNCH
Smoothie Bowls | 1324 N. Broadway St & 9420 S. Northshore Dr | @blossombowls | Brightly-colored smoothie blends piled high with fresh toppings and finished with delicious drizzles are what you can expect from Blossom Bowls. And while they might taste like dessert, these nutrient-dense, gluten-free, plant-based bowls are absolutely packed with superfood power. Try one of their perfected signature bowls like the Beach Bum or Cococcino, or come up with your own healthy concoction by mixing and matching their nine bases and adding your choice of fresh fruit toppings, nut butters, drizzles, and more.
THE DRINK SMOOTH
Açaí Bowls, Smoothies, “Milkshakes” | @thedrinksmooth | Tap The Drink Smooth for a dairy-free, daily dose of healthy treats. Loaded with plant-based goodness, The Drink Smooth serves up açaí bowls, smoothies, and milkshakes by pop-up (including events + partnerships) and delivery request (restrictions apply).
Açaí Bowls | 4481 Kingston Pike, Knoxville & 10909 Parkside Dr, Knoxville | @everbowlknoxville | Flavor-packed bases, fresh fruit, and superfoods are layered to create customizable goodness as bright and beautiful as it is delicious. Fuel your active lifestyle from their menu of local favorite bowls or customize your own to fill-up on nutrients that are clean, simple, and sourced from nature.
Açaí Bowls | Pop-Up Locations | @kindberryknox | KINDBERRY, formally known as Island Girl Açaí, serves up the best açaí bowls using natural, fresh & organic ingredients. Alongside signature açaí bowls, you’ll find smoothies and bullet coffee packed with superfoods — all gluten free & vegan/beegan friendly.
Locally-Focused Café | 1210 Kenesaw Ave, Knoxville | @theplaidapron | The Plaid Apron prides itself on their farm-to-table, from scratch fare. Everything (excluding the ketchup and hot sauce) is house made using local, farmer-focused ingredients. Open Wednesday through Sunday, you’ll find lighter, healthy brunch dishes that will curb your hunger cravings like protein-packed omelets, simple favorites like sourdough avocado tartines and crisp salads, plus farmers plates of seasonal vegetables and the lean protein of your choice. While we’ve categorized under breakfast, evenings at The Plaid Apron include a delicious dinner service.
Southern-Style Café | 5107 Kingston Pike, Knoxville | @hollysgourmetmarket | Southern-style food doesn’t have to mean deep-fried and smothered in gravy. And Holly’s Gourmet Market executes Southern-inspired all-day breakfast fare with a medley of selections that aren’t just good, but good for you. Expect breakfast staples like housemade granola and oatmeal, veggie-loaded omelettes and scrambles, as well as lunch-appropriate menu items that can be ordered at any time like colorful salads, and a rotating selection of soups.
LUNCH & DINNER
Kosher Deli | 318 N. Gay St, Knoxville | @potchkedeli | A nod to the Yiddish term for fussing over something, Potchke does just that – fuss over making really good food. Housed inside the historic downtown Regas building, Potchke is a day-time only eatery that serves an evolving menu of elevated Jewish deli, kosher, and Eastern European eats that are vibrant, fresh, seasonal, and nutritious. From wholesome and hearty borscht and leafy green salads loaded with locally-grown veg, to light tartines and classic lox and whitefish, the healthy offerings are plentiful. And don’t forget to order a side of digestion-aiding pickles! Gluten-free, vegan/vegetarian options available.
Locally-Focused Café | 1210 Kenesaw Ave, Knoxville | @theplaidapron | The Plaid Apron prides itself on their farm-to-table, from scratch fare. Everything (excluding the ketchup and hot sauce) is house made using local, farmer-focused ingredients. Open Wednesday through Sunday, you’ll find lighter, healthy dishes like farmers plates of seasonal vegetables and the lean protein of your choice.
Salads, Sandwiches, + Pizzas | 12 Market Square, Knoxville & 7240 Kingston Pike, Knoxville | @thetomatohead | Look past the garlic knots, calzones, and pizzas at The Tomato Head and you’ll find that a large chunk of their menu is quite health-forward. Order the hummus and crudité plate or choose from eight different flavorful salad options, each laden with a variety of vegetables and a smattering of other tasty tidbits. Top your salad with chicken or opt for tofu and avocado for a plant-based protein enhancement. If you’re wanting to bypass the dining in experience, place an order online for pick-up or delivery.
Plant-Based Meals | 111 E. Jackson Ave, Knoxville | @vidloldcity | V’idl is a fast-casual concept from take-home meal kit creator, Chef Jenna Baker of Cook To Be Well, where she employs the same approach to delicious plant-based dishes. Sit and stay for breakfast or lunch to dine on sourdough toasts, daily soups, porridges, seasonal bowls and salads. If you’re short on time, grab-and-go with a sheet pan supper and pick up a few nutritious sides that can be enjoyed during lunch or saved for an easy way to get dinner on the table any night of the week.
Juices & Smoothies | 11681 Parkside Drive & 1401 Kingston Pike | @ilovejuicebar | Alongside their freshly pressed juices, Juice Bar serves wellness shots, smoothies, and bowls crafted from all-natural fruits, vegetables, and superfoods. You’ll never find any ice, fillers, or artificial ingredients here. Our tip for those looking for total restoration is to go for their Reset packages for a blast of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients to support your body’s natural detox process.
Kombucha Bar | 2920 Sutherland Ave, Knoxville | @frogjuicekombucha | Whether you’re sober, sober curious, or need a break from booze, Frog Juice Boocherie welcomes you with a premium bar experience sans alcohol. The eclectic, cozy hangout has a rotation of gut-healthy Frog Juice Kombucha on-tap plus zero-proof, electrolyte-packed elixirs so you can raise your glass to a night out without the hangover.
Artisanal Wine + Spirits | 407 S. Gay St, Knoxville | Downtown Wine + Spirits is the spot for those seeking better-for-you ways to indulge. Since 2007, Downtown Wine + Spirits has sourced small batch wines, artisan spirits and seasonal beers made with honest, natural ingredients. Our recommendation, particularly for wine lovers or those looking for a healthier way to enjoy their nightly ritual of indulging in a glass (or two) of wine, is to opt for their selection of benefit-boasting organic and natural wines.
SPECIALTY SHOPS & CONCEPTS
Plant-Based Prepared Meals | 111 E Jackson Ave, Knoxville | @cooktobewell | From Chef Jenna Baker of V’idl, Cook To Be Well helps health-conscious home cooks and time-starved families experience the joy and physical benefits of cooking and eating plant-based foods. Their signature product, the Be Well Box, is a fully prepared assortment of plant-based components to easily whip up mix and match meals from your own kitchen. Use the preparations to create your own plant based meals, as a supplement to an omnivore diet (because we all need more vegetables), or just eat it cold out of the container… we don’t judge. Pick up at V’idl.
CBD Products | 1807 N. Cherry Street, Knoxville | @hamarkicbd | Hámarki’s CBD products are 100% natural, formulated using the purest broad spectrum hemp grown right here in Tennessee. From oils, capsules, to topicals, CBD is clinically proven to naturally relieve pain, lower stress, reduce anxiety, and restore sleep. Not local? Hámarki’s CBD ships to all fifty states!
Chili Pepper Blends | @olde_virdens | Olde Virden’s specializes in flavorful, all-natural chili pepper blends that are free of sodium, sugar, additives and preservatives. From farm to bottle, each batch is hand blended, guaranteeing it as one of the freshest chili pepper flakes on the market. Add a couple of shakes of Olde Virden’s for a guilt-free, clean way to spice up (pun intended) your healthy home cooking.
Natural Foods Grocery | 1100 N Central St, Knoxville | @threeriversmarket | Three Rivers Market is a full-service grocery and community food co-op that specializes in local items like organic produce, pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed meats, and hormone-free dairy products. Swing by their in-store cold and hot food bars to enjoy delicious offerings prepared fresh with seasonal, local, and organic ingredients.
Herbal Teas + Aromatherapy | 1328 Buchanan Ave, Knoxville | @tonyareas | Tonya Rea’s Teas & Remedies is your one-stop-shop for natural ways to to feel and live better. Whether it’s poor digestion, anxiety, or a sore throat, you can find relief for a host of maladies among their lineup of effective, hand-crafted herbal tea blends. Explore additional wellness offerings including herbal remedies, aromatherapy, and skincare. Local-tip: Order a mug of tea at their Tea Shop to try before you buy.
Enjoy and happy healthy eating!