Date night in Knoxville
Photo Credit: Tennessee Tourism / Plan A

Knoxville Foodie Couple Bucket List

Visit Knoxville for your foodie bucket list to explore restaurants ideal for a date night. See lots of food options here.

When you’re ready for a date night out on the town, Knoxville’s romantic restaurants deliver with beautiful ambiance and memorable meals. You’ll find a wealth of different cuisines like Mediterranean, Indian, Italian and soul food to name a few in Knoxville. Continue reading for where to get some of the best food in Knoxville.


Reserve a table for date night at Kaizen, a Japanese-style pub featuring shareable plates. Japanese cuisine is featured, but other Asian cuisines including Chinese, Szechuan and Thai are celebrated here, too. Order a variety of plates to get a taste of everything. Stand outs are the various steamed buns stuffed with spicy chicken, seared cured shiitake mushrooms or duck topped with watercress and Chinese mostards. Fried rice with sweet chili or bang bang sauce are favorites as well as the Dan Dan noodles, wild boar and Chinese eggplant main entrees.

Chivo Taqueria 

Voted ‘Best Mexican Food in Knoxville,” Chivo Taqueria is the perfect date night restaurant in Knoxville. The restaurant décor is stunning and you’ll love digging into the food and extensive selection of tequilas, whiskeys and craft beers. Chivo serves some of the best food in Knoxville. Start off with the Chivo smoked and fire grilled wings, guacamole or nachos piled high with black beans, queso dip and avocado crema on house made chips. Order tacos a la carte to sample a variety of flavors stuffed with barbacoa brisket, grilled steak, roasted duck, braised pork and more.

Mirage Knoxville

When you are craving Mediterranean food, reserve a table at Mirage Knoxville where you’ll find a lounge with romantic mood lighting, live belly dance shows every Friday and Saturday night and hookah stations. Settle in for a memorable night full of shareable plates like baba ghanoush, stuffed grape leaves and souvlaki wings seasoned with house spices and served with tzatziki. Salads and sandwiches are also on the menu. End your date night with dessert like baklava or New York cheesecake. 

Emilia Italian

Simple Italian food is what Emilia Italian serves on Market Square in downtown Knoxville. You’ll love the romantic lighting and the no-fuss, seasonal menu. You’ll love the house pulled fresh mozzarella and the various pastas including the Fusilli Carbonara, Malfalde con Funghi E Pinoli and the Gnocchi Amatriciana. Pan-roasted salmon, pork ‘Milanese’ served with young arugula, Parmigiano-Reggiano and a beautiful Pomodoro sauce, and a variety of desserts including the classic tiramisu will make your date night out special.

Jackie’s Dream Cafe

Some of the best soul food in Knoxville can be found at Jackie’s Dream Cafe. Have a laid back date night (or afternoon!) with Jackie’s Famous Fried Chicken, daily specials that include smothered chicken, ribs and fried fish and shareable plates like fried green tomatoes and fried mushrooms. Savor the meatloaf and soul-warming catfish meal. Then, ask about the assorted desserts that are made from scratch and rotate each day.

Sitar Knoxville – Indian 

Sitar Knoxville is an authentic Indian restaurant serving up a wide variety of dishes that’ll have you coming back for more. Get a taste of the chef specialties that include lamb bhuna, Karahai Panir – spinach and homemade cheese with fresh ginger garlic and spices, chicken chilly fry cooked in a Indian and Chinese cuisine style, and chicken tandoori. Vegetarian options include Bengan Bhurtha (eggplant roasted in tandoor and cooked with tomatoes, green peas, onions and ginger and garlic in the traditional Punjabi style, Vegetable Korma which are mixed vegetables in a delicious cream sauce, and Malai Kofta, homemade cheese stuffed in vegetable balls and cooked in a creamy almond sauce with spices. 

With this Knoxville foodie bucket list, you’re sure to experience some of the best food in Knoxville. Check out these Knoxville restaurants and more Tennessee cuisine on our Trip Inspiration page.


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