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“Huge disappointment!” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tupelo Honey Cafe

Tupelo Honey Cafe
Ranked #12 of 1,159 Restaurants in Knoxville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: American, Bar, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Kids, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Drinks, Dinner, Brunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Our Southern dishes & libations are served with a creative twist & a smile. When we play with our food (& we think it's okay), the result is scrumptious. We're rooted in the Mountain South, & our menu is inspired by time-honored traditions: pickling & frying, canning & preserving, & utilizing seasonal produce and ingredients to prepare delicious, scratch-made creations.
Sevierville, Tennessee, United States
Level Contributor
28 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Huge disappointment!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2013 via mobile

Went on a Friday night for girls night out. We all ordered drinks. 30mins later our Porch Swings and Cosmos arrived. They were horrible! No trace of flavor. Tasted like the sat at bar 30mins and all the ice melted away the alcohol! Sent them away. Ordered chicken and dumpling soup. Lacked creaminess and salt. Very let down by the whole experience. The only stars of the meal were the biscuits!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Stephany H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,174 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
61 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Trendy, but just Decent”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2013

Tupelo Honey Cafe came to Knoxville's market square in fall of 2012. My first visit was on a weekend evening for dinner within a few weeks of the restaurant's opening. The place was absolutely packed, with over a 2 hour wait, which is unheard of in Knoxville! Just before turning away to go somewhere else, my husband and I were able to snag a couple seats at the bar. Though cramped (and dark at night), the restaurant had a good atmosphere vibe. My second visit on a Sunday afternoon in July revealed the full view. It is a rustic/urban trendy style with "old" stained glass windows and weathered furniture mingling with exposed pipes/beams and an industrial revolution-looking fan system which was really cool. It was a unique look, but you can tell it is probably a Cracker Barrel situation where they make/buy stuff that looks old to furnish all their restaurants. I had heard a LOT of hype about this place...more than a normal restaurant opening...maybe this is because so many hipsters visited the original cafe in their motherland of Asheville, NC and spread the word--I'm not sure.

Based on the whole dining experience, I've decided this place is average. Both visits were during busy times, but regardless of this, the tables are really close together and hard to navigate in some areas. For me, the food didn't live up to the hype. The tagline is something about southern cooking in a new way, but I found several of their sides to be in the exact same way as I've had in other restaurants. Overall, I didn't find the menu to be outrageously priced, but for a comparable plate and portion, other Knox area favorites like Calhoun's or Downtown Grill & Brewery are a better value, and if you have a husband with an appetite like mine has, that's important to consider! However, this July I ordered the seasonal "Shoo Mercy Sheer Bliss Burger" with fired okra ($14) and was only able to eat half. Strangely, the more expensive "Bee's Knees" section of the menu, comprised of "The best entrees around" seemed to have much smaller portions. The "Nutty Fried Chicken" was tasty but not enough for my husband. Two small tenders were served with one side and topped with two asparagus spears for $16.

The drink menu is small but original with drinks like "The Porch Swing" and combinations using jalapenos, sweet tea vokda, moonshine, bacon, peach puree, rosemary, lemonade, etc. A little on the pricy side for me at $7-10 per drink, but worth it once or twice to taste the concoctions. Several of the drinks contain a sweet tea vodka component, and unfortunately they were out of the "skinny" version (less sugar) of this liquor on our last visit, which ruled out about 3 drinks I was thinking about ordering. Beers range from $2.50 up, with local drafts for $4.25. I don't think they offer specials or Happy Hour, but I'm not sure. Our bill for 2 entrees, an extra side, 2 beers and a cocktail was about $55 plus tip.

Overall, the experience was fun and unique, but still average. I'll probably go back, but for us, this will be a "once in a while" or "stop in for drinks" place. I think we will be sticking to our other standbys for a more predictable, comfortable casual weekend dinner that won't set us back almost $70 each visit.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank myWindingRoad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
142 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Best biscuit ever”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2013

Finally visited the Cafe after hearing how great it was. Well, the word of mouth reviews did not disapoint. After having a drink at the bar while waiting on friends we sat down to try the Smoky Mountain eggrolls, fried green tomatoes, and the Tupelo wings. They were all delicious. In between the appitizers they brought out these huge buscuits with blakberry spread and honey. They are probably the best buscuits I have had in a very long time. For the entree I ordered the chicken saltinbocca and our guests had the crabcakes which had a ton of crab in them. The shrimp and grits were a hit as well as the scallops. The roast beef sandwich was just OK but the Hearts of Rib Eye made up for the sandwich. One of the best parts of the meal was the exclusive Saw Works Seasonal on tap at the bar. The service was very good and the attmoshpere was fun and lively although a litte tight on space makes the restaurant feel small. Overall we had a great time and the food did not disappoint.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank TNtraveler1998
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knox
Level Contributor
52 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Food with a Twist”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2013

Great southern food with an amazing twist...Great ambience and right in Market square.

The service is excellent and menu was extensive. Try their dessert

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank asknox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
237 reviews
149 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Good food”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2013

This restaurant is always full so we decided to try it. We had lunch which I thought was a little pricey ($40 + for lunch for 2). The portions are very large. I did enjoy the biscuits they serve as you wait for your meal. Our server, Jennifer did an excellent job.
The food is good - not really outstanding in my opinion.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank knoxtntraveler_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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