My Walking Tour Through Downtown Knoxville

Last Saturday, I met up with several other bloggers and foodies from the Knoxville and surrounding area to experience what the downtown Knoxville area has to offer. It was a crazy, event-filled weekend, what with the Pride-fest and farmer’s market and just regular weekend traffic. But by golly, it was great food and even better company!

The tour was organized by blogger Gwendolyn Mulholland of Finding Sanity in Our Crazy Life. She booked the tour through East TN Tours. There was 12 of us total, including our tour guide, Lauren Quinn, who also owns East TN Tours. Lauren was well-prepared for our tour. She had brochures, business cards, and a name tag for each one of us, on which we wrote our names and our favorite food. With East TN Tours, Lauren provides a guided walking tour of the downtown Knoxville area with a flip-board full of old photos. She is very knowledgeable about the history of the downtown Knoxville area as well as about the buildings and eateries in which we visited.

We met at the Visit Knoxville office, located at the corner of Summit and Gay Street. From there we walked to our first destination – Clancy’s Tavern and Whiskey House. Upon arriving at this fine establishment, our table was already set.

Most of us dined on Sheppard’s Pie, which was made with tender lamb slowly braised in Murphy’s stout (yes, this is an Irish beer) with sweet peas, carrots, celery and onion. It was topped with home style potatoes and melted cheddar cheese. It was a mini version of the entree, but it was just enough to give me an idea of what I can expect to be eating when my husband and I visit Ireland in a couple of years!

From there we walked to The Tomato Head. We walked through Krutch Park and learned about the history of this beautiful one-acre park. It was a hot day so I could have just stripped down to my skivvies and laid down in the little winding river that runs through this park.

Because it was hot, I had a side salad with their basil vinaigrette dressing. I am already a HUGE fan of The Tomato Head. My friend, Marcella, and I eat at The Tomato Head on Kingston Pike every few months and I always get their warm bacon salad with chicken and the poppy seed dressing. YUM-O! They had me at “warm bacon”! Most of the other bloggers and foodies had either the Tomato Chipotle or Tomato Bisque soup, both of which looked good.

Then we headed to Balter Beerworks. Awaiting us there was a burrito bowl. First of all, I am a huge fan of Mexican food. I’m from Texas {originally} so I love authentic Tex-Mex and Mexican food {Hello to my friends at Gallo Loco in Oak Ridge! So Hux Jones, Executive Chef at Balter Beerworks, came out and told us about the burrito bowl.

I don’t remember much of what he told us about this bowl because I was already three forks into it and only looked up long enough to take a photo of him talking to us. Can I just say – DELICIOUS!!! And if you like beer {which I don’t, but that’s OK, the food is great!}, you may like the cool factor they have going on at this place because they are brewing their own beer on-site!

After a tasty burrito bowl, we walked down to Old City Wine Bar. I don’t drink wine either, but this place is super cool in that they have a wine cellar downstairs for private parties and tastings, and their “wall of wines”, as I call it, is as sophisticated and as cool as it gets!

They have specialty drinks on the menu and the atmosphere is so cool that I may just start drinking wine so I can hang out there from time to time.

Finally, we headed to Sugar Mama’s Bakery for dessert. Awaiting us there was a basket full of tasty treat, and before you even have to ask, YES, I ATE EVERYTHING IN THE BASKET! There was a cherry sweet roll, three different flavors of cookies samples, and a brownie cupcake with a small dollop of cream cheese frosting in the center.

Here are some more photos of my food tour with East TN Tours.

Foodies enjoying drinks at Old City Wine Bar.

Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, located just down from Old City Wine Bar.

Inside the East Tennessee History Museum is a gift shop that has locally made products , like these good clean fun products.

If you want to explore your hometown of Knoxville, or if you are planning a visit to the Knoxville area, then make sure to book a walking tour with Lauren at East TN Tours.

Other points of interest,  located in the downtown Knoxville area, include:
1. Tennessee Theatre
2. Painting with a Twist
3. East Tennessee History Museum
4. NV Nightclub

And shopping, like Patricia Nash Designs, Nothing Too Fancy, and Urban Outfitters.

Whatever strikes your fancy, I’m sure you’ll find it in downtown Knoxville. For more ideas, then check out my previous blog post on things to do in Knoxville.

Yours Truly,

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    1. Thanks, Erin! I hope to update it with links of all the posts from the other bloggers who went on the tour with us.

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