Cafes are important! They provide us with our daily needed dose of caffeine and act as little oases of peace. A fragrant caffe latte or a big pot of Americano and the world is a better place again.
Clever coffee lovers know about our deep hunger for such places and have thought further. They’ve created coffee houses that fulfill everything we desire for our short escapes: delicious hot beverages paired with aesthetic environments and relaxed atmospheres.
Fortunately, those clever people also live in the up-and-coming area of Knoxville and based a bunch of wonderful cafes in Scruffy City within the recent years. So, if you’re in town craving a good cup of coffee as well as a place to rest, I’ve got you covered. In the first GBC Knoxville Guide you’ll find four of my favorite cafes in town. Stop by and treat yourself on your very own mini-vacation in Knoxville.
HONEYBEE COFFEE CO
The main focus of Honeybee Coffee Co is clearly on their barista coffee, which they consciously and skillfully prepare. Their hip and modern location embedded in a great old brick building in South Knoxville is the perfect frame. The pretty red facade has been retained and expanded on the inside with new elements. Thanks to large windows, white walls and warm wood you feel right at home. The object of our desire is prepared at a counter located in one of the two rooms which offer various seating options. Sofas, bistro tables but also bar chairs situated in front of the windows give you the opportunity to work concentrated or to tune into the general, happy chitchat with your neighbor.
In addition to the coffee classics and specials, there are teas, cold drinks and beer, yes beer. Chapeau, that makes the German beer lover in me happy! If you cannot get enough of all the Honeybee goodies, you can either buy beans, cups and other neat little things with their cute Honeybee Coffee Co logo. In addition, you can also hire their coffee catering (a chic espresso bar or the stylish Honeybee Airstream) for weddings, garden parties or similar.
Due to the great success, they opened another location in West Knoxville, which I find delightful. Since I like the shop so much, I’ve chosen it as the meeting place for my German student and me. Once a week we sit there and explore the cases, articles and other hurdles of the German language.
My honeybee recommendation is the hot chocolate. It’s neither over-sweetened nor heavy and tastes great whether it’s really cold outside or the sun is shining or it’s raining or it’s warm or …
Honeybee Coffee Company West Knoxville Location
www.honeybeecoffeeco.com, 700 Sevier Avenue, Knoxville, 37920. (a free parking lot is behind the Honeybee Coffee Co building). Opening hours: Mo – Fr, 7 AM – 7 PM and Sa – So, 8 AM – 7 PM.
Honeybee Coffee Company South Knoxville Location
10716 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, 37934. (a free parking lot is in front of the Honeybee Coffee Co building). Opening hours: Mo – Do, 7 AM – 9 PM; Fr, 7 AM – 10 PM; Sa, 8 AM – 22 PM and So, 8 AM – 7 PM.
For those of you who crave even more barista coffee and happen to be in North Knoxville, you should definitely stop by K Brew. Not only are they skillfully preparing the delicious bean brew, they also have created a wonderful place to enjoy just like that. The cool, modern café with its own counter space, a seating area inside and one outside is in a converted gas station. The main design elements are a lot of wood and bricks: warm and inviting. Thanks to the generous windows and a rolling gate to the forecourt, plenty of natural light brightens up the interior. Modern furniture such as dark leather sofas and especially the super cool hammock chairs are fun yet still manage to not draw all the attention from the coffee.
The menu covers all classics, great specials, teas and cold drinks. In addition, K Brew offers a handy coffee catering and sells its own beans, cups and other neat little things with the simple and beautiful logo as well.
An exciting and free special are the classes in which K Brew Baristas explain the diverse taste spectrum of their coffee. I have not participated yet, but in the near future I will get hold of one of the highly sought-after spots.
www.knoxvillebrew.com, 1138 N Broadway, Knoxville, TN 37917 (a free parking lot is across the street). Opening hours: Mo – Sa, 7 AM – 8 PM and So, 8 AM – 8 PM.
If you ask for breakfast in Knoxville, I bet you will be referred directly to OliBea, and that with good reason. The lovely furnished, individual breakfast restaurant offers fantastic food. Enjoy the Mexican-inspired Southern cuisine-based dishes of chef DeAlejandro, in a historical brick building in the cute Old City district. The pretty townhouse with its traditional, turquoise shop facade reminds me a bit of the houses in Amsterdam. At the first sight I squeaked ecstatically. The interior convinces with a lot of playful décor creating a sympathetic impression and inviting you to go on a journey of discovery. Warm wood and pastel colors bring everything together and create a nice and comfortable living room feeling. The freshly prepared à la carte breakfast and lunch are influenced by local and seasonal ingredients.
To my delight, the OliBea also offers various catering options. My husband and I have already been able to enjoy the cooking and catering skills at the Fall Farm Dinner at Lacewing Farms.
I am absolutely addicted to the OliBea Breakfast Burrito, even though I have never been able to eat it at once. Actually, that’s another plus as I’m able to enjoy the combination of chicken, bacon, potatoes, egg and cheese twice.
www.olibeaoldcity.com, 109 S Central Street, Knoxville, TN 37902. (a free parking lot under the James White Bridge is in about 3 – 4 minutes walking distance). Opening hours: Mo – Fr, 7 AM – 1 PM and Sa – So, 8 AM – 2 PM.
WILD LOVE BAKEHOUSE
Well, I have already told you about the Wild Love Bakehouse and the way the wonderful European-inspired bakery has grown on me. The former car repair shop has been transformed into a hip, modern café by the two owners Meg and Shaun. The old brick building has been rebuilt and accented with white tiles, warm wood and plenty of glass. The spacious terrace is perfect for sitting around and enjoying the sunny days in East Tennessee. Visit the Wild Love Bakehouse hungry: the pastries are just amazing and the changing lunch is testament to skill, local ingredients and the season. The coffee beans, which they use for their barista coffee, are available for sale right next to the croissants.
If you cannot make it to North Knoxville, either drop by the Wild Love Bakehouse’s stand on the Farmers Market on Saturdays or stop by the other two locations Meg and Shaun run in Knoxville: Pearl on Union in Downtown and Old City Java in Old City.
My absolute favorite at Wild Love Bakehouse is their terrific chocolate croissant that you won’t find in Knoxville and the surrounding area. The filling is pleasantly sweet and has a wonderful texture. The puff pastry is multi-layered and tenderly buttery, exactly as it should be.
www.facebook.com/wildlovebakehouse/, 1625 N Central Street, Knoxville, TN 37917 (a free parking lot is next to and behind the Wild Love Bakehouse building). Opening hours: Mo – Fr, 7 AM – 6 PM and Sa – So, 8 AM – 6 PM.
Pearl on Union
www.facebook.com/pearlonunion/, 513 Union Avenue SW, Knoxville, TN 37902 (the Market Square Garage is around the corner). Opening hours: Mo – Fr, 7 AM – 7 PM and Sa – So, 8 AM – 7 PM.
Old City Java
http://www.oldcityjava.com/, 109 S Central Street, Knoxville, TN 37902 (a free parking lot under the James White Bridge is in about 3 – 4 minutes walking distance). Opening hours: Mo – Fr, 7 AM – 8 PM and Sa – So, 8 AM – 8 PM.