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The 5 Foods Everyone Must Try When Visiting Tennessee

By September 5, 2019September 1st, 2022Bus Travel, Tenessee
Best Food in Tennessee

Mouth-Watering For The Best Food in Tennessee?

Tennessee is home to banjo music, rolling hills, and iconic landmarks like the Grand Ole Opry and Elvis Presley’s home: Graceland. It’s also home to timeless Southern dishes like cornbread, fried pickles, country ham, and grits. When you visit Tennessee, you’ll want to make a point of trying every authentic dish the state has to offer. To get you started, we’ve compiled the best food in Tennessee into a list of the top five foods you must try while you are visiting!

BBQ Spareribs

When you find yourself in Tennessee and in the mood for some word-class barbeque spareribs, you’re in luck—especially if you are in Memphis. Head to the famous Rendezvous, right in the heart of downtown Memphis, which first opened in 1947 and has been wowing patrons with mouth-watering racks of ribs seasoned with dry rub, sauces, and other delicious flavors. Grab your bib and start your evening off with an order of pork or chicken barbecue nachos. Afterward, enjoy an entree of beef brisket, pork ribs, or chicken breast, all served with beans and slaw. Wash it down with a Tennessee whiskey or a premium local beer and go to bed full and happy. BBQ Spareribs top our list of the best food in Tennessee for a reason. Even if you can’t make it to Rendezvous during your visit to Tennessee, you can browse their online store and have gift sets and other sauces and seasonings shipped right to you!

The Bushwacker

Best described as part milkshake, part cocktail, the best bushwackers are found in Nashville which gets them added to our best food in Tennessee list. Although this adult beverage first originated in the Caribbean, Tennesseans have perfected it. The Bushwacker is traditionally made with ice cream, milk, rum, and a sprinkling of other sweet ingredients, but if you’re in the whiskey town of Nashville, you’ll likely find most bushwackers made with a shot of whiskey. If you’d prefer a non-alcoholic version of the drink, order it with a shot of espresso. For the best Bushwacker in town, head to Edley’s Bar-B-Que where you can order your drink with a variety of flavors including coconut, salted caramel, mint, black cherry, strawberry, or peanut butter. And the best part? They’re only $5 a pop all day on Wednesdays (until 10 p.m.). What a steal!


Another classic dish you’ll want to try while in Nashville, or anywhere else throughout the state, is grits. Grits can be found all over the south but they make our best food in Tennessee list because of a famous restaurant, The Loveless Cafe. The Loveless Cafe in Nashville, a local staple that’s been in existence for over 50 years, boasts an expansive menu that features every type of classic country food you could dream of, but you don’t want to leave without first sampling the stone-ground grits with cheese. They make for an excellent addition to your fried chicken tender sandwich or your country ham platter. Finish off your meal by taking a peek at the dessert menu and ordering the real banana puddin’, coconut pie, or cobbler à la mode. If you want to make a meal out of your grits dish, head to Husk, another famous local joint in Nashville, and order the shrimp and grits.

Fried Catfish

Uncle Bud’s Catfish can be found in multiple locations throughout Tennessee including Knoxville, Nashville, Franklin, and Murfreesboro. So wherever you find yourself in Tennessee, you’re sure to find an Uncle Bud’s Catfish nearby. Use this to your advantage and plan a night out to feast on a gargantuan plate of piping hot, fried, and breaded catfish served with a side of slaw and steak fries. Although you’ll likely be too full for anything else, on the off chance you do still have a hankering for Southern food, order a plate of hush puppies or frog legs to share with the table. Uncle Bud’s Catfish is known for some of the best seafood in Tennessee, so fill up on as much as you can—or take an order to-go!

Barbeque Nachos

For those times during the day when you’re in between meals and need something that will hit the spot, go for the Barbeque Nachos at Central BBQ in Memphis. The pork nachos, which start at $6.25 for a half order and go up to $10.75 for a full order, are topped with slow-smoked pulled pork, jalapenos, shredded cheese, cheese sauce, and BBQ sauce. Other meat alternatives to the pulled pork include turkey, pulled chicken, and sliced beef brisket. If you don’t end up in Memphis, you’ll have no trouble finding a country-style barbeque joint in any other part of Tennessee that serves up a mean plate of barbeque nachos.

Ready to eat your way through Tennessee? Bookmark this list of the best food in Tennessee and start planning your trip by purchasing your ticket on today!


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