Top 12 Breakfast Restaurants in Knoxville, Tennessee

January 31, 2022
Food & Drink
jason wolfe
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Some call it the most important meal of the day. But too many of us rush through a quick grab-and-go breakfast or skip the first meal of the day altogether.

However, if you find yourself with the time, nothing beats a delicious sit-down breakfast. And if you’re looking for the best breakfast in Knoxville, TN you'll have no shortage of options to choose from.

Whether you're looking for a place to dig in yourself or want to find a restaurant to purchase a virtual GiftYa card for a friend, keep reading to learn the top 12 breakfast restaurants in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

The majority of the restaurants on this list are supported by GiftYa, so consider grabbing some great Knoxville breakfast, and consider purchasing a GiftYa while you’re at it.

What makes these restaurants have the best breakfast in Knoxville? Options!

Maple Street Biscuit Company

Popular local chain specializing in biscuit sandwiches.

Southern-inspired biscuit sandwiches, and much more on the menu besides! Image courtesy of Instagram.

9314 Kingston Pike | Knoxville | maplestreetbiscuits.com

This popular southern breakfast chain has multiple locations throughout Tennessee, as well as some in a few other states. With small, simple dining rooms, friendly staff, and a tasty menu filled with southern-inspired breakfast dishes, this is a go-to for a family meal, quick breakfast, or fun vacation spot.

Most of the menu items are breakfast sandwiches layered onto Maple Street Biscuit Company's famous, made-from-scratch-daily biscuits. From fried chicken to eggs to gravy, there's no shortage of biscuit toppings to choose from.

"Maple Street Biscuit Company is the place to head for if you're craving an exceptional breakfast sandwich!  Their claim to fame is utilizing flaky, buttery, fresh biscuits to make each and every delicious sandwich." -Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Maple Street Biscuit Company.

OliBea

Fun, eclectic local favorite breakfast spot.

From breakfast burritos to duck eggs, OliBea’s menu is an eclectic mix of fun breakfast foods. Image courtesy of Instagram.

211 S Central St | Knoxville | olibeaoldcity.com

Duck eggs might not be a standard American breakfast food. But it's a favorite at OliBea's. Take a look at their fun, eclectic menu, and you won't be surprised that duck eggs on a pile of grits infused with jalapeno and tomatoes, tofu chorizo, and cotija cheese are standard fare (If you're planning a visit soon, know that this menu item isn't available at this time, as the restaurant is offering a limited COVID-19 menu).

Other menu options include breakfast burritos, benedicts, pancakes, and more. Wash it down with one of their fresh-made drinks, like horchata, tamarind, and orange juice.

"Wow! What a place! The atmosphere is inviting and cozy, with a nice eclectic flare.

Great beer list! Goes great with breakfast! Good sized menu that can accommodate those with gluten sensitivity, like my wife." -Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for OliBea.

Scrambled Jake’s

Trendy, modern breakfast restaurant that draws a crowd.

Pancakes, waffles, classic eggs benedict, or the popular cinnamon roll— whatever you order, you’ll be having some of the best breakfast in Knoxville, TN. Image courtesy of Instagram.

7428 S Northshore Dr | Knoxville | scrambledjakes.com

If you want to visit Scrambled Jake's on the weekend, make sure you're ready for a wait. This popular local spot draws big crowds, and for good reason; from classic breakfast dishes to specials like their homemade cinnamon rolls, everything at Scrambled Jake's is delicious.

On the menu, you'll find all of your classic breakfast favorites, like a long list of benedict options and omelets. But you'll also find Naan Breakfast Pizza, Cinnamon Toast, and more.

"What a fantastic place! The service and food were top notch. Two pancakes was too many, and the french toast is VERY good. The potato casserole is one of the better ones I have had." -Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Scrambled Jake's.

The French Market Creperie

Authentic french crepes in Knoxville, TN.

At this authentic French restaurant, the crepes look just as good as they taste! Image courtesy of Instagram.

412 Clinch Ave | Knoxville | thefrenchmarketknoxville.com 

The French Market Creperie is the first and only authentic French crepe restaurant in Knoxville! You can find both sweet and savory crepes here for breakfast or brunch all seven days a week. There’s a location downtown and one in West Knoxville.

There’s far more than crepes on the menu, though! The French Market Creperie serves baguette and croissant sandwiches, as well as soups and salads. You can also choose an espresso, cappuccino, or latte to go along with your meal.

“We ordered all gluten free and 3 main items to share. The monte cristo, the roast beef and mushroom and then a sweet Bavarian cream crepe with strawberries and bananas. All were amazing!” -Yelp Review

Best Bagels in Town & Deli

Small deli serving up delicious homemade bagels and tasty toppings.

From plain topped with cream cheese to hot bagel sandwiches, the name says it all. Image courtesy of Instagram.

120 S Peters Rd | Knoxville | facebook.com

You won't find a large menu of breakfast foods here. But what you will find is exactly what their name suggests; the Best Bagels in Town. Fresh, homemade bagels baked daily are topped with your choice of hot or cold toppings. Keep it classic with some cream cheese, or add an egg, sausage, or bacon, and maybe some veggies to finish it off.

In addition to bagels, they also offer omelets and lunch sandwiches like tuna and chicken salad, Philly cheesesteak, and more. Plus, you'll get to choose from a variety of bagel flavors, like garlic, spinach, blueberry, and egg.

"Simply the BEST BAGEL in all of Knoxville!  You can take it from this Genuine New Yorker born and raised in the deli business since age 14, who's now 70." -Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Best Bagels in Town & Deli.

Ruby Sunshine

Some of the best breakfast in Knoxville’s Market Square.

There’s a lot of dishes to choose from at Ruby Sunshine, and you’ll want to save room to try all of them! Image courtesy of Instagram.

37 Market Square | Knoxville | rubysunshine.com

Ruby Sunshine offers both takeout and delivery in addition to sit-down dining for breakfast, though they don’t accept reservations and instead have a waitlist you can join.

On the menu, you’ll find starters, eggs and omelet dishes, benedicts, sandwiches, sides, french toast, pancakes, specials, and even a kid’s menu. You can also choose to order a cocktail, beer, or coffee to drink.

“Head here if you are looking for a classic southern charm breakfast restaurant catering to (your) savory and sweet cravings. The peacemaker is a great option if you want to try a couple of their amazing Benedict combos.” - Yelp Review

Pete’s Coffee Shop

Classic diner-style American breakfast.

The portion sizes at Pete’s Coffee Shop don’t disappoint. Image courtesy of Instagram.

540 Union Ave | Knoxville | petescoffeeshop.com

If you're in the mood for good old-fashioned American food, head to Pete's Coffee Shop. This diner-style restaurant serves up classic dishes and blue plate specials to hungry patrons, all at affordable prices.

Each dish is prepared by the owner himself, who prides himself in quick service and quality ingredients. This is the kind of spot where locals gather on weekday mornings, but usually doesn't have a wait, making it the perfect spot for a quick weekend breakfast.

"Good prices. There was a wait but it wasn't super long. Good service and it was quick. I had the omelet and my husband had the hash brown casserole special. Lots of food and we ate every bite." -Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Pete's Coffee Shop.

Matt Robbs Biscuits and Brew

Cozy restaurant with homemade dishes in Knoxville.

The biscuits are the star of the show at Matt Robb’s. Image courtesy of Instagram.

800 Market St | Knoxville | mattrobbs.com

If you’re looking for homemade biscuits, served both sweet and savory, Matt Robb’s Biscuits and Brew is the place to go. Just as the name suggests, they also have hot and iced coffee.

There’s dine-in both indoors and outdoors, as well as curbside pick-up if you want to try this delicious breakfast food in Knoxville.

“Just stumbled into a wonderful biscuit place where the owner Matt is probably the nicest purveyor I've come across.  Had a plain biscuit with egg, sausage, and pepper jack cheese.  He warms everything up into a delightful package.” - Yelp Review

Colonel’s Cafe

Hometown diner with simple food and great prices.

Simple yet delicious diner food served up at affordable prices. Image courtesy of Instagram.

4809 Newcom Ave | Knoxville | colonelscafe.wordpress.com

Don't let the nondescript exterior fool you; this is one of Knoxville's hidden gems. Colonel's Cafe hasn't changed much in the last couple of decades, and locals continue to flock to the restaurant for their favorite diner foods. Service is quick, and the prices make this the perfect family staple. 

The restaurant was hit hard by closures due to the coronavirus, but loyal patrons have continued to frequent the shop in an effort to ensure that future generations can continue to start their days off on the right foot at Colonel's.

"This Knoxville favorite is somewhat of a hidden gem. From the exterior, if it weren't for the very full parking lot, you probably wouldn't take much notice. That would be a mistake because the food here is definitely worth trying." -Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Colonel's Cafe.

Rami’s Cafe

Southern-style breakfast and lunch with a comfy atmosphere.

Whether it’s for breakfast or lunch, Rami’s Cafe doesn’t disappoint. Image courtesy of Instagram.

3553 N Broadway | Knoxville | ramiscafe.com

Rami’s Cafe, named after the owner’s son, prioritizes great service right along with their great food for great prices. You’re sure to have a great dining experience if you choose to eat breakfast here.

The breakfast menu has omelets, sandwiches, combo dishes, specialty pancakes and french toast, as well as special platters. Rami’s Cafe also serves lunch if you want to stop by a bit later in the day!

“Service was excellent. It's refreshing coming from the DMV and experiencing Southern hospitality. Rami's is a seat yourself, take your check to the cashier to pay your bill. Service in between is so homey, relaxed.” -Yelp Review

The Plaid Apron

Trendy farm-to-table brunch spot.

French ingredients and imaginative dishes make this a very popular local brunch hotspot. Image courtesy of Instagram.

1210 Kenesaw Ave | Knoxville | theplaidapron.co

Brunch is having a big moment today. If you're onboard with the brunch trend, The Plaid Apron is a must-visit any time you're in Knoxville. Their partnerships with local farmers allow them to offer many farm-to-table ingredients. 

Their creative menu features some real standouts, like Tartine, a dish of grilled sourdough topped with butternut squash, grilled onions, arugula, avocado, radish, poached egg, and onion in. Start your meal with their popular bread plate, which features citrus cornmeal, monkey bread, and roasted apple olive oil cake.

"We love to eat local when we travel. The Plaid Apron hit the spot for breakfast in Knoxville. Great bartender, Ben, who took time to make personalized recommendations.  The special with a sausage loaded pancake was the bomb!!" -Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for The Plaid Apron.

Rankin Restaurant

A neighborhood favorite serving classic American cuisine.

Even if you’re coming for breakfast, you won’t want to miss out on dessert. Image courtesy of Instagram.

2200 N Central St | Knoxville | 865-524-9621

Rankin Restaurant serves homestyle American dishes for both breakfast and lunch. It’s a hidden gem in Knoxville, but the delicious food established its status as a neighborhood favorite nonetheless.

For breakfast, this restaurant has omelets, biscuits and gravy, breakfast sandwiches, sides, and of course the big country breakfast— 2 eggs with your choice of meat.

“I was looking for a local diner and stumbled across this one. What a gem! Cheap food, large and tasty portions, all served up with that great Southern hospitality! This place will be a regular spot for me!” - Yelp Review

Whether you're looking for a classic all-American diner or a trendy brunch spot, you'll find it all in Knoxville, Tennessee. Try a restaurant or two off this list for yourself, or purchase a gift card and treat a friend or family member to a delicious breakfast out.

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