5107 Kingston Pike, 865-584-8739
This longtime Bearden favorite (located in Gourmet’s Market) is one of the only places in town where you can order Toad in the Hole for breakfast, and it’s the only place to offer the lovely Frog in the Ditch: two fried eggs nestled into grilled Italian bread and topped with sausage and Cotswold cheese. They offer a full menu of interesting eats, from chocolate-chip pancakes to an All-Vol omelet that’s finished with a dollop of sausage gravy. And there’s nowhere else close where you can opt to break the fast with a side of Irish bacon, avocado, smoked salmon, or bread pudding.
Mon.-Fri.: 7 a.m.–3 p.m., Sat.: 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
Pete’s Coffee Shop
540 Union Ave., 865-523-2860
There’s no surprise here—Knoxville’s favorite diner is always crowded because the food is always good. Pete Natour and family offer a traditional diner breakfast with some special touches, including a fantastic fresh spinach-and-mushroom omelet. They serve a marble rye that’s dense and delicious enough to top with syrup. It’s also the friendliest place in town—and you’ll almost always find a Natour hovering over the grill.
Breakfast Hours: Mon.-Fri.: 6:30 a.m.–11 a.m., Sat: 7 a.m.–2 p.m.
The Plaid Apron
1210 Kenesaw Ave., 865-247-4640
Chef Drew puts out an all-around winner of a morning meal, but his “build your own” breakfast sandwiches always hit the right spot and are a great deal, too. Still, it’s hard to resist the options that show the chef’s touch, like a sausage omelet with goat cheese and caramelized onions or one with bacon, chard, and garlic cheddar.
Breakfast Hours: Mon.-Fri.: 7 a.m.–10:30 a.m., Brunch: Sat: 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
See Also: Dennis Perkins’ review of OliBea
Dennis Perkins' Home Palate is a tasty exploration of local options for eating out and eating well by way of restaurant reviews, features on fun or unusual foodstuffs, and interviews with local food purveyors and tastemakers. It’s a candid and personal look at what’s right (and sometimes what’s wrong) with eating in Knoxville and its environs. He is also the artistic director of the Knoxville Children’s Theatre, has directed and performed at the Actor’s Co-op and Black Box Theatre, and is a foodie par excellence.
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