15 Best Restaurants in Oakridge, TN

Best Restaurants in Oakridge, TN
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Mountainous and rich in history, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is a popular tourist destination.

The American Museum of Science & Energy is dedicated to educating visitors about energy and nuclear power while preserving the heritage of Oak Ridge's military past.

Oakridge is also home to some of the finest eateries!

You'll work up an appetite after spending the day visiting Oak Ridge's many museums and learning all about the city's fascinating past.

Whether you're looking for a quick snack, drink, or sit-down supper with family and friends, Oak Ridge offers something for everyone.

We've compiled a list of the best 15 restaurants in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to help narrow your search.

Big Ed’s Pizza

Since "Big Ed" Neusel and his wife Ginger opened Big Ed's Pizza in its current location in February 1970, it has been operating nonstop.

However, the now-famous Oak Ridge location on Broadway Avenue began as Big Ed's Pizzeria in nearby Huntsville, Alabama, back in 1961.

Big Ed's Pizza in Oak Ridge celebrated its 50th anniversary in business in February 2020, and they continue making the most incredible pizza in town.

Since Big Ed, like any Marine, insisted on only using the finest ingredients for his pizzas, he kept the menu at Big Ed's Pizza to a bare minimum: pizza and drinks!

The original booths from the Service Drug Store add nostalgia to the restaurant's otherwise modern decor.

Pizzas are prepared in front of customers in an open kitchen (the former pharmacy lunch counter) using traditional methods: the dough is rolled out, the pizza is pushed into gas ovens set on the stone floors, and the finished product is baked and sliced.

All the artwork was donated by appreciative pizza eaters or represents the many accolades and recognitions the shop has garnered over the years.

Dean’s Restaurant & Bakery

Dean’s Restaurant & Bakery in Jackson Square is the ideal place to visit if you're craving authentic Southern cuisine.

The food at this diner is both straightforward and delicious.

The restaurant's seasonal menu is famous for its Appalachian heritage.

The menu includes salmon patties, turkey and dressing, fried catfish, and pot roast.

Don't leave without sampling a baked good made fresh in the bakery daily!

All desserts at Dean’s Restaurant & Bakery are handcrafted from scratch.

Pick up a delicious pie on the way out.

Calhoun’s Restaurant

Calhoun's Restaurant in Melton Lake Peninsula is the place to go for a delicious meal and a breathtaking panoramic sea view.

The first Calhoun's Restaurant was opened on Kingston Pike past Pellissippi Parkway in the fall of 1983.

They loaded up a refrigerated truck with ribs and gallons of their special sauce shortly after opening and towed their smokers behind it on a trailer.

Calhoun's has become so successful that they went to Cleveland, Ohio, to participate in the "National Rib Cook-Off."

As a result of a weekend of nonstop smoking, grilling, and basting, Calhoun's took home the 1st place and the official, undisputed title of "Best Ribs in America."

The restaurant has a fire pit and outdoor dining area with a sweeping view of Melton Hill Lake.

You can indulge in crowd-pleasing dishes that Calhoun's is famous for, like the Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Q Pork Plate, the Calhoun's Trio, and the succulent Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Q Ribs.

The silo-topped, two-story barn has become a landmark where locals and visitors come to eat and toast life's many blessings over some of the finest barbecue, ribs, sirloin, and sandwiches in the Volunteer State.

Outback Steakhouse

The Outback Steakhouse, founded in March 1988, is a popular hangout spot for locals and travelers seeking an authentic Australian dining experience.

The banter and the steakhouse classics are free-flowing.

Add a dash of Aussie friendliness, and you've got the makings of a memorable trip that your friends will want to experience too.

Outback Steakhouse is famous for its prime steaks grilled to perfection and come in various significant cuts with bold flavors.

It's also known for its tender meat, comprehensive drinks menu, and warm Australian hospitality.

Their Oak Ridge branch is conveniently located on South Illinois Avenue across from Hobby Lobby.

Papa John’s Pizza Restaurant

Pizza at Papa John’s Pizza Restaurant
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John "Papa" Schnatter opened the first Papa John's Pizza Restaurant in a broom closet behind his family's Jeffersonville, Indiana bar, Mick's Lounge, in 1984.

As demand for his pizzas continued to rise, he expanded into adjacent space a year later.

That same year Papa John's Pizza introduced its signature pizza crust dipping sauce, and it quickly became a hit.

In 1993, the firm began trading on public markets.

Brownies at Papa John’s Pizza Restaurant
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In 1997, it had 1,500 locations, and by the following year, it had established 500 more.

Since the beginning, Papa John’s has been a dining spot where families and friends gather in a warm, lively atmosphere and enjoy some of the best pizzas in the world!

Visit Papa John's on South Illinois Avenue.

Firehouse Subs®

Outside the Firehouse Subs
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Chris and Robin Sorensen come from law enforcement and entrepreneurial families, so it's no surprise they founded Firehouse Subs®.

Everything they went through to establish the first Firehouse Subs was preparation for that moment.

More than 1200 Firehouse Subs Restaurants have opened their doors since its inception more than 27 years ago.

The restaurant always uses the freshest and finest ingredients.

Interior of Firehouse Subs
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They are famous for their Hook & Ladder® Sub with Virginia honey ham, melted Monterey Jack, and smoked turkey breast.

They steam their cheeses and meats, releasing a surge of flavors, and then cram a dish far over onto one of their toasted secret-recipe sub buns, making it stand out from the competition and luring customers back for more.

It's the perfect blend for the value-conscious and those with a ravenous appetite.

You can find Firehouse Subs at Oak Ridge Turnpike.

Kume Sushi & Habichi Restaurant

Kume Sushi & Hibachi on Wilson Street is an excellent restaurant that serves dine-in and takeout meals.

Oak Ridge locals know and love Kume for its excellent sushi, top-notch service, and hospitality.

The sushi bar is famous for its innovative takes on traditional meals and its commitment to using only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients.

Kume's service is phenomenal, and so is the Filet Mignonette!

When it comes to receiving value for money, no one can beat Kume's Sushi.

Aubrey’s Restaurant

In November 2012, Aubrey's Restaurant debuted in Oak Ridge on South Illinois Avenue and has become a special part of the community.

When you visit Aubrey's, you'll immediately understand why it's so special.

Try one of their mouthwatering dishes, such as the buttermilk fried chicken, blackened rattlesnake pasta, grilled salmon tacos, and their famously fresh strawberry salad.

Select your beverage from their extensive list of draft beers and fine wines, and then round out your meal with one of their delectable desserts.

Aubrey's offers some of the best cuisines in Eastern Tennessee, from home-style favorites to farm-fresh veggies.

Their goal is to provide warmth and comfort that will make you feel at home.

El Cantarito Mexican Restaurant

Cold drink at El Cantarito Mexican Restaurant
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El Cantarito Mexican Restaurant is a locally owned and operated Mexican restaurant serving the community since 1999.

They offer their guests the opportunity to try authentic, traditional Mexican cuisine.

Everything on the menu is prepared fresh to order daily.

El Cantarito’s food and service are consistently excellent!

Their food portions are incredibly generous, and if you like extra heat, don't hesitate to ask for their tomatillo salsa.

You can find El Cantarito Mexican Restaurant on South Tulane Avenue.

The Soup Kitchen

Oakridge is home to an interesting and heart-healthy restaurant called The Soup Kitchen.

For over 40 years, they have happily served Tennesseans and perfected their recipes.

The atmosphere at this establishment is homey and welcoming like you've stepped into your own home.

You can tell they're proud of the time and care they put into their dishes and selecting premium ingredients.

Each day, their hardworking staff makes everything from scratch, including soups, salads, deli sandwiches, bread, and desserts.

Eight soups are available daily, four or six handmade bread, and a few different salads, sandwiches, and desserts.

Visit The Soup Kitchen at East Tennessee Avenue.

Red Lobster Seafood Restaurant

Pizza at Red Lobster
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Even before he founded Red Lobster Seafood Restaurant, Bill Darden had a deep desire.

He wanted to ensure that everyone, no matter where they lived or their socioeconomic status, could enjoy fresh, high-quality seafood at a price they could afford.

He founded Red Lobster in Lakeland, Florida, in 1968.

This quaint family business started with a single eatery and has expanded to over 700 sites worldwide.

Red Lobster boasts a wide variety of seafood meals and is most known for its tasty bright red crustacean (which gives the restaurant its name) and delicious sides.

They have everything from Jumbo Coconut Shrimp from Parrot Island and Caesar Salad with Grilled Salmon to irresistible garlic and white wine Mussels.

Stop by their Oakbridge branch on South Illinois Avenue.

Papa Murphy’s Take & Bake Pizza

Interior of Papa Murphy’s
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Papa Murphy's Pizza Restaurant, the parent company of the industry's most popular takeout pizza brand, is committed to providing its customers with unrivaled service, innovation, and quality.

In addition, they are firm believers that pineapple belongs on pizza!

They believe you should be able to put anything you want on your pizza.

Their strict self-regulation ensures that they always produce high-quality goods.

Papa Murphy's Take 'n' Bake Pizza has been ranked number one in Newsweek's America's "Best Customer Service 2022" list for Pizza Chains for the second year running.

It has redirected its efforts to improve the overall customer experience, whether they are ordering in-store or online.

Stores have a brighter, friendlier vibe in recent redesigns and updates, making them feel more like an extension of your own kitchen.

Enjoy their best pizzas at Oak Ridge Turnpike!

Gallo Loco Mexican Restaurant

Oak Ridge, for some reason, is home to a large number of Mexican eateries.

However, Gallo Loco Mexican Restaurant on East Tennessee Avenue is the place if you're looking for the best in town.

There's a wide variety of delicious options on the menu.

They offer everything, from fajitas and chimichangas to burritos and tacos, so delicious that it's difficult to pick a favorite.

The restaurants provide a fantastic Children's Menu to choose from if you have a picky eater among your young children.

Meanwhile, if you're craving Margaritas, Gallo Loco serves the best in town!

Bring your family and friends, or take that special someone to dinner at Gallo Loco.

Both the service and the cuisine are excellent.

The costs are reasonable too, and the warm and welcoming atmosphere makes you feel at home.

Razzleberry’s Lab

Razzleberry's is an authentic German/Hungarian restaurant and ice cream parlor in the historic Jackson Square.

The atmosphere is homey and inviting, and the staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome.

People appreciate visiting Razzleberry's for its delectable ice cream confections.

Their homemade ice cream is available in various flavors, including tiramisu, pistachio, and maple walnut.

Numerous customers have praised the lavender-flavored ice cream, so don't pass it up!

Their extensive menu features delicious dishes such as their salmon Caesar salad and grilled cheese on a rack (succulent pulled pork atop grilled cheese, German potato salad, and juicy, crunchy weinersnitchel).

What makes Razzleberry’s so special is that everything they prepare is 100% homemade, including their sliced meats, beer garden, and cheeses.

Final Thoughts

With Oak Ridge's many fantastic restaurants, you will surely find the one you've been looking for!

The next time you're in the city, spoil your family and friends by taking them to one of these eateries.

These best restaurants in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, guarantee a memorable evening with your friends and family!

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