Cafes & Diners Worth The Drive

There is no shortage of eateries throughout the hills and each one boasts its own specialty. Whether it’s the best homemade hamburger, or barbeque so good it draws people from five states, hungry locals and visitors can easily find a place to ‘sit a spell’ and enjoy good food.

Telford Diner

Vickie Browder serving meals with a smile.

The Telford Diner is in “downtown” Telford, along Hwy 34 in rural Washington County (109 Mill St, Telford, TN 37690). Owners Warren and Vickie Browder, and their daughter-in-law, Cristal, keep the place hopping. Warren mans the grill listening to his favorite tunes, while Vickie and Cris prep and cook, greet diners, take orders, and dish it out. Patrons have their choice of a table or booth along the wall or sharing the large family table in the middle of the room. Regulars are used to sitting together and catching up on life while they wait.

Ingrid and Alan are Telford Diner regulars.

Diners can choose the featured buffet, as pther menu offerings include, mouthwatering burgers made to order, hamburger steak dinner, extra-large salads and quite possibly the best chicken tenders in Northeast Tennessee.

Tuesday – Friday, 6:30am – 2:30pm
Thursday – 4:30pm – 8:00pm
Saturday – 7:00am – 11:00am

Aunt Bea’s Restaurant

A visit to Greeneville isn’t complete without a stop at Aunt Bea’s where home cooking is featured every day. It’s easy to find (908 Tusculum Blvd, Greeneville, TN 37745), located on Tusculum Boulevard, a major thoroughfare that runs from the 11E Bypass through downtown. True to the wonderful visions the name “Aunt Beas” conjures up, this cozy establishment doesn’t disappoint with its offerings. Breakfast afficionados can take heart – breakfast is a specialty! Diners can choose from omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and biscuits and gravy. Lunch offers salads and soups, sandwiches, lunch specials, and a daily vegetable listing. The friendly staff at Aunt Bea’s are even known to help celebrate patrons’ birthdays and other big occasions.

Tuesday – Sunday – 7am – 2pm

Randall’s Restaurant

Stacked-high burgers from Randall’s are a favorite.

Hawkins County has its own culinary jewel in Randall’s Restaurant. Tucked into a corner on Highway 11W (120 Old Union Rd, Church Hill, TN 37642), Randall’s is a stop hungry travelers will want to make when heading through Church Hill.

The downhome décor makes it seem like going to grandmas for Sunday dinner. Their food, cooked in the great Southern style, will leave you full, but not too full for a piece of homemade
cake or pie. Randall’s is a stop to include on any diner tour of Northeast Tennessee.

Tuesday – Saturday – 6am – 7:30pm
Sunday – 7am – 3pm

Main Street Café and Catering

Main Street Café has been a mainstay in downtown Jonesborough since Herman and Beverly Jenkins opened it in 1982. Since then, they’ve passed the reins to their son Zac and his wife Kati, and the yummy goodness folks had become accustomed to, like the chicken salad sandwich (pictured above), keeps on coming. Local diners know to come early. Arrive right at lunchtime and you may have to wait, but it’s worth it. Seating is offered inside and outside (weather permitting).

Monday – Friday – 11am – 3pm
Saturday – 11-4

For additional trip ideas with our favorite food and drink, click here.


Written for Northeast Tennessee tourism by Connie Clyburn.