State of the (Coffee) Scene

Amelia Bartlett

A comprehensive guide to Knoxville’s blooming cafe culture

Ask your friends and neighbors about Knoxville’s coffee scene circa 2010, and you probably won’t have much to talk about. Within the past five years, however, the Knoxville craft-coffee culture has been – pardon the pun – blooming. And in addition to the shop owners, baristas and enthusiasts grinding on the daily, we’ve seen at least three coffee shops open or reopen with new owners just in the past year

It’s not hard to pick a favorite in town; each cafe blends a mix of good music, comfy seats, delicious treats and great beverages infused with independent style. However, it’d be a shame to tread the same path each day, imbibing the same beans and neglecting the colorful diversity in Knoxville’s coffee community.

I invite you to check out each of these 10 shops and enjoy their naturally cultivated shop atmosphere. While each space offers a different vibe and a different menu, serving consistently stellar craft coffee is something they all have in common.

 

Honeybee Coffee

700 Sevier Ave.

7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday

8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

10716 Kingston Pike

7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday

7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday

8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday

8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday

Atmosphere: Quiet but lively, bright and airy while still fostering a focus-friendly mood all day long. Honeybee roasts its coffee right here in Knoxville, so feel confident that you’re not only supporting a local business, but a local manufacturer, as well.

Must-try: Chemex for two, preferably shared with another person. (But no judgments if you don’t.)

Serving: Full coffee bar, tea, small sandwiches, pastries and local and regional beer.

Third Creek Coffee

2920 Sutherland Ave.

7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday

Atmosphere: A cozy neighborhood spot; the kind of place to where you’d walk if you lived nearby. If you’re familiar with the area, you’ll know that Third Creek Coffee shares its site with local outdoor retailer River Sports and indoor climbing gym the Climbing Center, making for a perfect half-day outing without leaving the parking lot.

Must-try: Iced chai latte. Spicy, a little sweet and not syrupy at all.

Serving: Full coffee bar, tea, grab-and-go snacks, house-made chocolate cookies and, on occasion, some of the most amazing biscuits you’ll ever try baked by the owner.

Old City Java

109 S. Central St.

7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday

8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 

Atmosphere: Relaxed, comfortable, rustic urban environs featuring lots of wood and exposed brick in its interior. The adjoining alleyway littered with tables and chairs is a slightly hidden Old City gem.

Must-try: Iced coffee, which is not cold brew. They are different, and the iced coffee is downright refreshing.

Serving: Full coffee bar, tea, grab-and-go beverages, treats and Wild Love Bakehouse baked goods, options rotating daily.

 

Pearl on Union

513 Union Ave. SW

7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday

8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Atmosphere: Oriented toward grab-and-go with zero compromise on interior vibe. Take an outdoor seat at one of the signature orange cafe tables lining the windowed walls of the Daylight Building and spreading over to the bookstore next door.

Must-try: Cascara iced tea, made from the otherwise discarded coffee cherry that surrounds the bean. The tea is rich and smooth with a bit of tart, floral sunshine in the aftertaste.

Serving: Full coffee bar, tea, cascara iced tea, Wild Love Bakehouse pastries and grab-and-go lunches

 

Wild Love Bakehouse

1625 N. Central St.

7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday

8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Atmosphere: Wild Love is a communal place with large shared tables, wall-to-wall bench seating and window-facing bar seating that provides many lovely distractions to your massive workload. 

Must-try: Whatever’s on drip. Seriously. And in a ceramic mug if you have time to sit for a bit. Pair it with a croissant for the perfect start to your morning.

Serving: Full coffee bar, tea, house-made pastries, lunch offerings, daily soup and grab-and-go small bites.

 

Remedy Coffee

800 Tyson St.

7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday

7 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday

8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Atmosphere: Spacious and quiet, where small groups gather to discuss their passions and beliefs and where the studious escape from the bustle of the city.

Must-try: Kids See Ghosts from their Yeezy Season menu. Cold brew with house-made blueberry syrup. 

Serving: Full coffee bar, tea and baked goods

 

Status Dough

6535 Kingston Pike

6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday

8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday

8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday

Atmosphere: Neighborly, friendly for all ages. The baristas have a knack for making everyone feel like family, whether it’s remembering their favorite coffee/donut combo or their practice of greeting everyone as soon as they walk in.

Must-try: House mocha, which is made with the same chocolate that tops their most decadent donuts.

Serving: Full coffee bar, tea and an array of donuts made in house.

 

K Brew

1138 N. Broadway

7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday

8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday

Atmosphere: Entrepreneurial and conversational, with multiple different spaces scattered throughout the cafe. My favorite is the outdoor hammock-filled porch over smooth artificial turf that’s perfect for low-stress hanging out.

Must-try: Honey lavender latte, a special recipe created by one of K Brew’s baristas. Each specialty beverage on the menu is crafted by an employee who enjoys a percentage of the profits earned through the sale of their respective beverage.

Serving: Coffee, tea, small pastries and takeaways.

 

Vienna Coffee at the Regas

318 N. Gay St.

8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday

8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday

Atmosphere: Housed inside the professional-forward Regas building, Vienna’s sprawling interior hosts professionals and students alike, with plenty of table space for meetings and collaboration. 

Must-try: Muddy Pond latte, a house specialty rich with chocolate and local ties.

Serving: Coffee, tea, beer on tap, bottled kombucha, small takeaways and small plates and a lunch menu served all day.

 

City Garden Coffee

Pop-up, serving every Saturday at Phoenix Fountain and Pharmacy

Flexible hours 

Atmosphere: Connection-focused, establishing an oasis wherever it is set up. Exclusively handcrafted coffee offerings aim to re-establish coffee time for customers, creating space for a moment of reflection and enjoyment.

Must-try: Japanese-style cold brew coffee, which is flash brewed directly over ice. Get the purest taste experience in an iced coffee with this method.

Serving: Single-origin pour-over coffee by the cup and flash-brewed iced coffee.

About The Author

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *