Written By

Emilie Stooksbury

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Knoxville Coffee Shops Ranked on Everything but the Coffee

It’s award season, babes, and when award season coincides with Daylight Savings, we are much more interested in bestowing the nation’s highest awards to coffee rather than cinema. Coffee is working so hard for us these days ๐Ÿฅฒ That being said, we’re certainly not here to tell you what kind of coffee to like! SO without further ado, here is the official ceremony of Knoxville coffee shops ranked on everything but coffee. Think of it as local coffee superlatives. Okay let’s gooooo!!!! (That energy? Yeah, that’s the coffee talking.)


The award for BEST INSTAGRAM AESTHETICS goes tooooo: Remedy Coffee (North Knox)

We’ve taken photos of literally every corner of Remedy. That fan in the corner? Yep. That menu list? For sure. The bar seating facing the window? You betcha. She’s got great style, great lighting, and she overlooks a cemetery which is just the artsiest thing we could ever imagine. So snap away, pals, no judgement here.


Honeybee Coffee takes this one by a landslide because of their brewery side aaaand their legit food menu. They will not be boxed in by your baked goods! (PS. They have other locations scattered around town as well, including their OG spot in South Knoxville!)

The award for FEELING TRENDY WHILE SHOWING YOUR FRIENDS AROUND TOWN goes tooooo: Old City Java (Old City)

Why, you ask? Well, why is the grass green? Why do birds sing? Old City Java is just cool. Maybe it’s the painted ceiling, maybe it’s the historic building, maybe it’s the spots to sit in the alley. Either way, it’s great (and the Old City neighborhood is the cutest place to stroll on a weekday morning… though on a weekend at midnight, “cute” is maybe not the word we would choose… IYKYK ๐Ÿ˜‚)



The award for WHERE TO GO WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE TO GO goes toooooo: Likewise Coffee (East Knoxville)ย 

Likewise Coffee is in an old renovated house which means it has SOooo many cozy corners to choose from. If you’re not sure what vibe you’re lookin’ for in the moment, just go to Likewise – they’re dripping with different vibes. Let future-you make that decision. (Their proceeds also go straight to their non-profit, Raising a Voice, which fights to end human trafficking locally and globally soooo that’s another pretty decent reason to go to Likewise ๐Ÿ˜‚)

The award for BEST PLACE TO BRING YOUR MINI BFFS goes tooooo: The Empty Cup (West Knox)

The Empty Cup embraces your kiddos and all kiddos! First, their profits go to supporting adoption efforts. Second, they have kid-friendly areas all around the shop. (Really, the whole place is pretty kid friendly – so many comfy couches!) And third, they have a drive-thru if you’re just not ready to deal with your wild babes in public today, period. Other Nominees:ย Mahalo in Powell & Jack’s!


The award for MAKIN’ YOU FEEL ALL GOOD IN YOUR SOUUUUL goes tooooo: Treetop Coffee Shop (West Knox)

The last two coffee shops were in the running for this one, but Treetop took the top spot! (Say that last line five times fast.) Treetop Coffee Shop is woman-owned & purpose-driven as they set aside funds each month to go towards helping kids around the world in a variety of ways. They also have “Do Good, Drink Good” on their wall so you’re inspired to jump in and help too ๐Ÿ˜ (Also, unrelated, but it’s just dang CUTE and in the cutest lil corner of Sequoyah Hills.) Other Nominees: Empty Cup & Likewise Coffee


The award for MOST MYSTERIOUS NAME PRONUNCIATION goes toooo: Five & Hoek Coffee (Downtown)

Is it Five & HOKE? Is it Five & HECK? No, my friends, Five & Hoek is Five & HOOOOOK. They are very friendly in there (like literally SO sweet ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ™Œ) and will definitely tell you how to pronounce it if you ask… Or – hear us out – we can collectively decide to keep the mystery alive, thus allowing them to win this award for year’s to come.

The award for MAKIN’ ME NEED TO BUY NEW PANTS goes toooo: Wildlove Bakehouse (North Knox)

I’m sooooorry but those baked goods & pastries from Wildlove are just too good. We cannot and will not say no. Y’all, you can literally watch the magic being made through the window into the kitchen. And trust us when we say, every single doughy bite is magic. Enjoy everything they offer because you can always buy new pants, people! Other Nominees: KBrew for that cappuccino + bagel comboย 


The award for BEST STUDY BUDDIEEEES goes toooo: Awaken Coffee (Downtown/Old City)

Awaken Coffee is good for studying, period, but you can elevate the experience (literally ๐Ÿ˜‰) and pop up the stairs to their peaceful “treehouse” or head into the back for even more space & quiet! Other Nominees: Backroads Market cuz sometimes they have SNACKS

The award for PRETENDING TO GO FOR THE COFFEE BUT DEF STAYING FOR THE SHOPPING goes tooo: Backroads Market (West Knox)

Backroads is half coffee shop and half home goods store and fuuuuuull cozy goodness. It is theeee perfect spot to hang on a rainy day because once you’ve finished your coffee, you can simply stroll & shop as you inevitably make it back to the counter for another cup. Other Nominees: Jack’s but in reality we go for the shopping & appreciate the coffee


The award for CAFFEINATION RELAXATION goes tooooo: Mahalo Coffee Roasters (Powell & Downtown)

Have you had one too many cups but you’re still jonesin’ for another? We feel this deeply in our bones (no, seriously. We can feel the caffeine coursing through our veins). Thankfully, Mahalo exists! They roast and brew and serve all kinds of caffeination… but the Hawaiian Island vibes in which they do it is aaall relaxation, baby.

The award for BEING TRANSPORTED INTO MYTHICAL, MAGIC LANDS goes toooo: Fable Hollow (Fountain City)

This brand new bookshoppe/coffee shop is fantasy themed and was liiiiterally built to whisk you away to foreign lands. The vibes alone will do the trick, but you can also go the extra mile and read a book – the classic way to be whisked away to foreign lands. That’s two magical, mythical world transportations for the price of one coffee, babyyyyy!


The award for BEST SUMMER VIBES goes tooooo: K Brew (North Knox)

Is it because of the hammocks? MAYBE. But tell us what’s more summery than swingin’ on a hammock with a dog at your feet & an iced coffee in your hand. NOTHING. And it’s all possible at K Brew on N Broadway. (They have other locations but the oldest one in North Knox is our favorite ๐Ÿ˜Š) On the nicest days, they’ll also open all the garage doors for an easy-breezy-caffeinated-summer experience.


The award for LOVIN’ YOU NO MATTER WHAT, YES, EVEN BEFORE YOUR COFFEE goes toooo: South Press (South Knox)

South Press Coffee in South Knoxville has made a name for themselves for being one of the safest, most inclusive spots in Knoxville, period. No matter who you are or who you love, you can walk through those doors, grab a mug off the wall, and enjoy a cup of unlimited coffee in a space with unlimited quirky decor.

The award for FEELING FANCY LIKE A DOWNTOWN DWELLER goes toooo: Frothy Monkey (Downtown)

Popping into Frothy Monkey for a to-go coffee or sipping it on the dreamy front-patio just feels slightly elevated when doing it right on the hustle & bustle of Gay St. We suggest enjoying your coffee with sunglasses on your head and a chihuahua on your lap.

The award for CUTEST MASCOT goes tooooo: Capybara Coffee (Campus)

Have you seeeeen a capybara?? They are adorable (especially for a rodent *shudders*). You know who else is adorable? The owners of Capybara Coffee who will make sure seasonal drinks have appropriately themed garnishes. (We die over a themed garnish ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ™Œ) They’re truly the sweetest and will tell you all about their coffee, their journey to Knoxville, and their love for capybaras – just ask!


The award for BUILDIN’ COMMUNITY goes tooooo: Golden Roast Coffee Roasters (West Knox + Campus)

Y’all KNOW building community is our absolute favorite thing & apparently Golden Roast is pretty into it too! ๐Ÿ˜‚ They host book clubs and markets and concerts and craft nights and all kinds of community-centric goodness. In fact, even when they had to change locations, they made sure to stay in the same neighborhood so they could keep servin’ that community (*wipes forty-five tears*). Other Nominees: CommonPlace Coffee – it just feels like a warm hug in there! And South Press Coffee – it feels like a colorful, fun, inclusive hug in there!


The award for FRIENDLIEST NEIGHBORS goes tooooo: Coffee & Chocolate (Downtown)

Speeeaking of community! We may be biased (okay, we definitely are), but Coffee & Chocolate is our neighbor and we adore them. They’re so sweet (the people and the truffles) and they will even pick up our packages sometimes or let us borrow a trash bag now & then. (I wish I could say they let us borrow a cup of sugar but alas, we’ve never asked. Trash bags though? That we’ve needed ๐Ÿ˜‚) Thank you so much for attending this year’s Knoxville Coffee Shops Ranked on Everything But the Coffee awards! Now go home and enjoy the rush only taking off heels after a long night at an awards show can give you. OR, hear us out, rally and get some coffee ๐Ÿ˜‰

Want some baked goods with that coffee? DISCOVER OUR 6 FAVE BAKERIES IN KNOXVILLE HERE.

FREE Craft Coffee Tasting at Five & Hoek EVERY First Friday from 1-2 PM!

Taste coffees from around the world with Five & Hoek owner, Tyler, every first Friday of the month from 1-2 pm. Learn what you like about certain coffees, how coffees are selected & how quality is maintained from roast to roast & cup to cup.

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Have you heard? KUB Fiber has landed in Knoxville! Serving both businesses and residential so you can enjoy the fastest WiFi from your favorite coffee shop or the comfort of your home! Click below to see if it is available at your address yet!ย 

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