Local Flavor of Northeast Tennessee: Erwin

This southern town, located near the Nolichucky River, is the perfect hub for all of your traveling adventures. Erwin is a trail town with ample opportunities to raft, mountain bike, hike, and shop local. The growing downtown area features a brewery, local outdoor gear shop, and plenty of great places to grab a bite to eat.


Whether you are just getting off the river after paddling down Radio Tower Rapids or working up an appetite from antique shopping, here are a few local spots to sit down and enjoy a hearty meal.

Clarence’s Drive In

Take a walk through the 1960s, where sitting down for a good conversation and drinking a milkshake with friends and family is a priority. Clarence’s Drive In is homestyle country cookin’ meets a modern-retro diner. Walking through the doors feels like walking into a different decade, and this restaurant is truly an Erwin gem! Enjoy southern style meals like the BBQ dinner plate, pick two sides, and don’t forget about dessert! Clarence’s Drive In serves a wide variety menu for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Fried Apple Pie Bites, the classic Banana Split, and must-try milkshakes are only a handful of options off the dessert section.

Maple Grove Restaurant


Good food alert! Maple Grove Restaurant is about to become your new favorite place to get all-day-breakfast. At first glance of the menu, it’s hard to decide which mouth watering combo to order. The sides list alone features items like the cheesy tater tots, baked apples, grits, and so much more. The sausage and cheese omelet is delicious paired up with baked apples. Whatever you decide to get, make sure to add one of their famous blueberry biscuits to the mix and prepare to eat every last bite.


Aric Long, originally from Ohio, moved here to purchase the Maple Grove Restaurant last March before the pandemic struck. It had originally opened in 2001. Aric would come to the area with his wife on hunting trips and stop into the restaurant to order the hot and steamy hamburger steak dinner. After making the purchase in 2020, the restaurant has been dishing out to-go orders and practicing social distancing measures to remain open. He says the local support from the community has been amazing.

Noli Food Truck

Photo By:  @nolitruck

Tracking down the Noli Food Truck is always worth the scavenger hunt. From pork tacos to perfectly seasoned burgers and southern chicken breasts, you are always in for a treat no matter what the cooks are slinging off the grill. The Greek fries complete with balsamic dressing and feta cheese are next level. Noli Truck opened in 2014 sourcing locally grown ingredients and cooking hot and fresh meals to order. You can follow Noli Food Truck’s Facebook and Instagram to find out where and when they will be cooking up delicious foods.

Pro Tip – Find them often right outside of Union Street Taproom in downtown Erwin.

 Additional Erwin Eats We Recommend:

Hibachi House

Tacos & Grill Mexican Cuisine

China Kitchen

Written by Alicia M. Bynum
Travel Writer | Photographer