By Molly Myers, Rachel Leary, Kendall Clarkson, Claire Howadel, Marin Shutty, Anna-Claire Campbell
Ole Miss travels to Knoxville this weekend to take on the University of Tennessee in an important SEC matchup. And for those who don’t know much about the city, take it from some Knoxville natives: Their hometown won’t fail to impress its visitors with an entertaining atmosphere.
One of the best parts of visiting a new city is exploring restaurants, and Knoxville has plenty to choose from.
For a pre-game brunch, OliBea stands out as a popular choice. It can often be crowded with students and families enjoying pancakes, potatoes and peach bellinis.
Soul-food restaurant Jackie’s Dream is overflowing with comfort food that will leave customers stuffed. Emma Cousins, born and raised in Knoxville, described how this restaurant is a must visit.
“Growing up as a kid, my parents took me to Jackie’s to experience homemade food in a restaurant,” Cousins said. “It reminds me of my grandmother’s cooking. I especially recommend the Knox Hot chicken.”
Nick and J’s Family Diner is a town favorite. With a plethora of options to satisfy any craving, owner Najwan Natour says, “The fan favorites seem to unanimously be the strawberry pancakes and the country cafe breakfast.”
In addition to visiting local restaurants, many students enjoy going to bars after a football game. Cool Beans Bar and Grill and Litterboard are among Tennessee students’ favorites. Ella Terry, a junior at UT, has found many bars with different atmospheres. This makes it easy to find one that fits any vibe, and they are all within a block or so of each other.
“Litterboard is a great bar to find game day deals on drinks and food,” Terry said.
The shopping scene is one to take advantage of when visiting Knoxville. Obligato South, a trendy boutique and an extension of the Southhampton, New York, store, is full of feminine clothing, accessories and shoes. If grabbing a piece of the Hamptons, or indulging in a designer handbag takes priority, then Obligato South is worth a stop.
On the other hand, Market Square offers an assortment of stores that the whole family can appreciate. Rala has everything from hand-painted puzzles to sustainable skincare. The local Vol Shop also has a collection of gear to show your support to your team.
To experience each corner of Knoxville, fans will need a place to stay. While there are many options when it comes to accommodations, a Hilton Inn Hotel is only 5 miles away from campus.
“Finding a hotel on the Knoxville Strip or Downtown is also great,” Terry said, “because they offer shuttle services to the games.”