Tips For Making Dinner Plans In Tennessee

Tips For Making Dinner Plans In Tennessee

Tennessee, a state known for its vibrant culture, rich history, and, most importantly, its diverse and flavorful cuisine, offers a unique dining experience for both locals and visitors alike. With its culinary landscape shaped by generations of tradition and innovation, Tennessee stands as a testament to the South’s love affair with food. From the spicy kick of Nashville’s hot dogs to the smoky depth of Memphis barbecue, the state serves up an array of dishes that are as varied as they are delicious. This exploration into making dinner plans in Tennessee aims to guide you through the multitude of dining options available, ensuring your culinary adventures in the Volunteer State are both enjoyable and memorable.

1. Research Regional Specialties

Tennessee’s culinary identity is as diverse as its geography, with each region offering its unique flavors and dishes. Before settling on a place to dine, take the time to research the regional specialties that define the area you’re visiting. Knowing what each region is famous for can lead you to a more authentic and satisfying dining experience.


2. Discovering BBQ in Hixson

Barbecue plays a pivotal role in Tennessee’s culinary scene, and Hixson is no exception. If you’re visiting Hixson TN BBQ establishments like Buddy’s bar-b-q are definitely worth a shot. It’s a place where barbecue is not just food, but a craft perfected over 49 years. Buddy’s takes pride in serving up traditional barbecue favorites like tender pulled pork and succulent ribs, along with homemade specialties such as the Hawg Back Potato and Smoky Wings. The secret to their success lies in the time-honored techniques and family recipes that have been passed down through generations. 


3. Booking in Advance

Popular restaurants in Tennessee can fill up quickly, particularly on weekends and holidays. To ensure you secure a spot at your chosen dining destination, it’s advisable to book a table in advance. Making reservations not only guarantees you a place but also demonstrates respect for the establishment’s time and preparations. Plus, it alleviates the stress of last-minute dining decisions, making your mealtime a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.


4. Checking Reviews and Ratings

In today’s digital age, online reviews and ratings are invaluable tools for gauging a restaurant’s quality and atmosphere. Platforms such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Reviews offer insights from both locals and travelers, providing a well-rounded view of the dining experience offered. Reading through these reviews can highlight not just the best dishes but also any potential issues with service or ambiance. However, it’s important to approach reviews with a discerning eye, as personal tastes can vary widely. Look for patterns in feedback rather than relying on single reviews to make your decision.


5. Considering the Occasion

The nature of your dinner plans can greatly influence your choice of restaurant. Tennessee’s dining landscape caters to a wide range of occasions, from casual family dinners to romantic evenings and special celebrations. For more formal occasions, cities like Nashville and Memphis offer upscale dining options with innovative menus and exquisite settings. Taking the occasion into account will help you choose a place that not only satisfies your taste buds but also sets the right tone for your evening.


6. Dietary Restrictions

Tennessee’s culinary scene is increasingly accommodating various dietary restrictions and preferences. From gluten-free and vegetarian options to keto and vegan-friendly menus, restaurants across the state are recognizing the importance of offering a diverse range of dishes to cater to all their patrons. Before visiting, a quick call or website check can provide insight into the menu offerings and any specific accommodations that can be made. 


7. Enjoying the Ambiance

The ambiance of a restaurant contributes significantly to the overall dining experience. Tennessee offers an array of dining settings, from rustic barns and cozy cabins to modern, upscale establishments with sweeping city views. Whether you’re enjoying a family dinner, a casual meal with friends, or a romantic evening, the setting can enhance the mood and make the meal even more memorable. When making dinner plans, consider the ambiance you’re in the mood for. 


8. Supporting Local Businesses

Choosing to dine at locally-owned restaurants is a way to contribute positively to Tennessee’s economy and communities. Local businesses often pour back into the community, supporting schools, charities, and events. By dining at local establishments, you’re not just enjoying a meal; you’re also supporting the livelihoods of local residents and helping preserve the unique culinary culture of the area. Plus, local eateries offer a level of personal service and a sense of community that larger chains often cannot match.


9. Experimenting with New Flavors

Finally, embracing the spirit of adventure can lead to the most memorable dining experiences. Tennessee’s culinary scene is rich and varied, offering countless opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Whether it’s sampling pulled smoked chicken for the first time, indulging in a slice of hot fudge cake, or experimenting with a regional delicacy like whole pork butt, each meal is an opportunity to expand your culinary horizons. Don’t shy away from dishes that are unfamiliar; you might just discover your new favorite meal.



Making dinner plans in Tennessee is an exciting journey through a state that takes immense pride in its culinary offerings. From the smoky flavors of Hixson’s BBQ to the warm, inviting ambiance of local eateries, every meal is a celebration of tradition, community, and innovation. By researching regional specialties, booking in advance, checking reviews, and being open to new experiences, you can ensure that your dining experiences in Tennessee are as enriching as they are delicious. So dive into the Volunteer State’s culinary landscape with an adventurous spirit and a hearty appetite, and let the flavors of Tennessee leave a lasting impression on your palate.