10 Best Places for Appetizers in Tennessee

Appetizers are truly the best part of any meal. This favorite food group has certainly evolved into something extraordinary in Tennessee. Restaurants are getting more creative—and more generous—with their apps, offering anything from light fare to meal-sized apps that are creative and delicious. These 10 best places for appetizers in Tennessee might just have you skip the entree altogether. 

Alchemy, Memphis, TN

This hotspot offers elevated apps you won’t find on just any appetizer menu. Snacks like chipotle pimento cheese, truffle deviled eggs, and charcuterie are ideal for smaller appetites and smaller budgets. They can easily become a meal in themselves. 

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Southern Social, Germantown, TN

With apps this good, it’s hard for the entrees to take center stage. Their fine dining starters include elevated fare like beef wellington and honey-glazed brie, alongside traditional favorites like crab cakes and New Orleans-style shrimp. It’s hard to choose just one, so consider ordering several to share.

Cru Bistro and Wine Bar, Knoxville, TN

They’ve taken care to offer a variety of small plates that suit every appetite. Healthy options like the cheese and fruit plate or hummus meet fan favorites like baked brie and crab dip to offer a little something for everyone. Portions are generous, so if you’re ordering solo your app just might become your meal.  

Skybox Grill, Collierville, TN

This gastropub and sports bar is one of the most unique hangouts in town with a food menu to match. Their mega list of starters has the perfect balance of expected finds and one-of-a-kind offerings, and by all means you should try as many as your appetite will allow. Black-eyed pea hummus, spicy crawfish dip, and macaroni and cheese egg rolls are among some of the more unique gems you’ll want to savor.

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Bluewater Grill, Chattanooga, TN

This laid-back eatery is just a stone’s throw from some of the best sights of downtown. Their apps span the full spectrum of healthy and wholesome to fried and delicious. Their caprese & pesto risotto tots are jaw-droppingly good.

The Local Goat, Pigeon Forge, TN

The Local Goat lives up to its name, using local and sustainable foods wherever possible. Their apps are the true winners of every meal, with portions large enough to serve as your main course. If you can only choose one, go with the barbecue chicken nachos, a refreshing blend of southern barbecue and Tex-mex flavors that are too good to believe. 

BJ’s Restaurant, Murfreesboro, TN

They’ve fused all the best flavors of Asian, American, and Mexican fare into a single app menu that’s worth splurging on. Nachos, wings, sliders, potstickers, poke, ribs, lettuce wraps, and stuffed mushrooms are all equally mouthwatering. If you can’t decide, just grab their massive sampler that gives you a little bit o’ almost everything. 

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JJ’s Wine Bar, Franklin, TN

What their apps lack in variety, they more than make up for in taste and quality. Sophisticated munchies like stuffed dates, truffled cashews, and buffalo chicken date make the perfect start to a high-profile meal. Plus, since it’s a wine bar you can rest assured they have plenty of vino that pairs perfectly with every selection.

Taco Mamacita, Chattanooga and Nashville, TN

This place is well known for their ah-maze-ing tacos, but rest assured their apps are a close second. They’re serving up nachos half a dozen ways that turns this standard staple into a gourmet dish. Plus, their sampler gives you all the best salsas and dips in a single place. 

Calhoun’s, Multiple locations

This Tennessee favorite is known for their ribs, barbecue, and wings, and now you can add apps to their list of famous fare. Their pulled pork nachos are a full meal in one, with baked beans, beer cheese, and jalapeno peppers offering all the flavor and flair you could want. They’ve also embraced their southern roots by offering fried green tomatoes and fried pickles to give every country palate something worth savoring.

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