BreakfastCocktailsCoffeeDessertsDrinkLunchPlaces to seeTravel

Downtown Knoxville, Tennessee

Pigeon Forge and Knoxville, TN are both great places to visit for a family vacation! This area is also a great place to stop if you are driving through this region. I recommend taking a pit stop and stay for a night or two.

We just went on a trip out to Nashville from North Carolina. My husband and I decided to stop on our way out there and on our way back in Pigeon Forge and Knoxville, we were glad we did!

We joined some friends and had dinner in Knoxville at one of our favorite places to eat downtown called Cafe 4. Dinner was excellent as usual, and this time, one of our friends suggested to order a dessert with six forks. Glad that we did because it was huge! It was the cinnamon pecan bread pudding with caramel sauce served with vanilla ice cream! Boy, it was delicious and plentiful!

Cinnamon Pecan Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream

We stayed at one of the Wyndham resorts in Pigeon Forge that we wrote about in our earlier post called Great Smoky Mountain Resort. It is always very lovely to stay at even if it’s just overnight. The next morning we stopped in for breakfast at Flapjacks before we headed into Knoxville for a quick visit to explore downtown a little more.

At Flapjacks, they serve large portions, and to us, it was very filling. I had the waitress let me take a small piece of the pancake and had her take the rest away before I wanted to eat them all. This is something I learned from Weight Watchers, take what you need to eat and pack up the rest or just have them take it away so you don’t overeat.

After breakfast, we were off to downtown Knoxville, TN. This historical city is the home of the University of Tennessee filled with cute shops and restaurants. We were able to go to one of our favorite general stores, it’s called the Mast General Store.

Look for this Sign on Gay Street Downtown Knoxville
University of Tennessee Gear at Mast General Store
Men’s Department at the Mast General Store

They have many locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. We have been fortunate enough to visit four of them. Although much of their inventory is the same; there are other products unique to the region or city they are located. The first time we went to Mast General Store was in Asheville, NC. They have clothing, shoes, sporting goods, hats, food in a jar, cold Coke in bottle and so much more! Let’s not forget candy in huge barrels, most of the candy is from the past so it’s so much fun to start searching for one of your favorites from childhood. Most of their stores have rocking chairs inside and out so if you just want to sit and chill you can do so and have a bag of freshly popped popcorn while you sit.

Lots of Spices Coffees Chow Chow and BBQ Sauces and So Much More!

I wanted to go to the Knoxville location because I was looking to buy a hat, yes I forgot to pack a hat out of my collection, so I needed to buy another one, well that’s what I told my husband anyway. They have over seven locations to see if there is a store near you go to their website. Mast General Store

These are Working Refrigerators where you can pick up a Coke
Candy Barrels Filled with Candy Mostly from the Past
This is in the Basement with Mens Clothing, Shoes and Sporting Goods

When we were downtown, first we stumbled upon a cute doughnut shop called Status Dough. They had huge doughnuts, seriously I don’t think I’ve seen such a giant doughnut before, but the price is not large at all. Doughnuts run between $2.00 and $3.00 which believe it or not it’s not a bad price at all for a gourmet donut shop.

Juliet Was Very Helpful
These Doughnuts Were So Big!

We had one of their buttermilk doughnuts, and yes it was luscious!

These Doughnuts are Huge

Status Dough is right next to the Phoenix Pharmacy and Fountain they have a working Pharmacy, but it also has an ice cream parlor bar still in service too!

The Fountain Counter
Old Time Medicine Bottles Displayed
Bottled Sodas and their Old Time Ice Box

I love these types of places with the history and beautiful decor from the past. Some of the items on their menu are their Hand-Spun Milk Shakes like their Black and White: the Cadillac of the soda fountain. A creamy vanilla milkshake poured into a hot fudge-coated classic soda fountain glass. Or their Frozen Mocha that starts with their cold brew coffee blended into a vanilla bean milkshake then poured into a traditional soda fountain glass coated with hot fudge. To finish it off, they finish it with fresh whipped cream and french broad chocolate shavings.

Outside Seating at The Phoenix
The Fountain at the Phoenix Pharmacy

The Classic Banana Split: a whole banana, split down the middle, filled with scoops of vanilla bean, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream, covered with caramel, hot fudge, and pineapple compote and topped with fresh whipped cream, walnuts, and maraschino cherries. I didn’t get to try their wonderful delights, but there was a line, and those folks sitting at the tables were enjoying their treats.

Street Sign at Cruze Farm Dairy Ice Cream
Our Server at Cruze Farms Dairy Ice Cream Downtown

We then walked across the street, and I fell into temptation!
It’s funny since I decided not to have ice cream in my freezer at home, (trying to quit for a little while because it’s my weakness) so if I am on vacation, and I see a place with irresistible ice cream, well I feel obligated to my readers to stop in. Of course, I don’t want to let my readers down; so I need to have some ice cream to give my opinion and recommendation, right???

Lovely Decor from the 1950s

Cruze Dairy Farms Ice Cream has soft serve, and it’s a sweet and remarkably delicious ice cream shop. Dairy Farms Ice Cream have flavors such as Honey Lavender, Pineapple Sorbet, Cherry Chip, and Espresso. You can even make a twist like Peanut Butter and Chocolate, Sweet Cream and Strawberry, they have gluten free and dairy free products too!

Some of their Flavors
Great Comfortable Booths like in the 1950s
Cruze Farms has a wall of Merchandise so you can crave their ice cream after you leave!

The ice cream servers are all girls dressed in the cutest outfits with Red and White Checkered Dresses and aprons, and they are super friendly! The decor is set like the 1950s with red and white booths, chairs, and tables. They have large canvas photos of the farm, their family and staff on the walls. I felt like I was at Disney World because everyone was happy and they keep it very clean. They have ice cream, sherbet, and milk to go so if you are local or staying close by pick up a pint or two.

Milk and Ice Cream to Go!
Hot Fudge Sundae Chocolate Ice Cream and Sweet Cream, I had the Espresso Chip Sundae

One of the main streets downtown called Gay Street is where some of these shops are and behind it is Market Square that was established back in 1854. Market Square was a place where farmers would come to sell their crops. Over the years it has turned into an area of restaurants such as Cafe 4, Tupelo Honeys, Breweries, and other boutique shops. During the week and on the weekend, they have entertainment featuring bands, and in the winter they have an ice skating rink. To read more click on a link Visit Knoxville has some great information to Knoxville, TN

This is Gay Street Filled with Lots of Restaurants and Shops

There were many other places to visit yet we headed back to Pigeon Forge for a few days, which I will tell you about next week. Here is an earlier post about places to stay in Pigeon Forge. So be sure to subscribe and you will get a reminder of my next post.

8 Comments

  • Nice post! I had the opportunity to visit Knoxville a few years ago for a conference at the University of Tennessee. I found the downtown area to be absolutely delightful.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences. Also, love the photos.

    Roger
    Mind and Love

  • A bottle of red and a bottle of white- try the Red Fox Red and the Antebellum white. Truly outstanding! Nice large shade trees for cover, even on a hot day it can be enjoyed.

    • Yes, great choices of wines from Arrington Vineyards. I agree with you on plenty of shade under their trees or under their covered porches.

  • I haven’t been to Tenessee before but it looks pretty cool to check out Knoxville. The food looks delicious! It is interesting to see how the store is laid out – definitely different than how it is in California. Glad you had a great time!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  • I have family in Knoxville and didn’t know of half these places. They all look amazing, especially the donut place. Next time I’m in town I’m definitely checking it out.

    • Yes, we too have been to Knoxville before and always went to eat one street over and this time discovered this street with so many other places!

  • What a beautiful post about so close to home! You’ve added some places we haven’t tried. Will definitely add them to the list

Leave a Reply