1807 Cumberland Ave
This place gets even more affordable on Burger Day (every Wednesday, with burgers starting at $5.50), but steel yourself for lines out the door. If you are not on a budget or are feeling more graceful, the eponymous downstairs cellar offers a more upscale dining experience: quiet, cool, dark, bartenders in crisp white shirts who perpetually cloth-cleaning the glassware. Down there it does end up feeling like a haven, even if you’re only getting a Smoky Mountain Brewery beer while you wait for your table upstairs.
815 Melrose Pl
Down the hill from John C. Hodges Library on the UT campus, this unassuming dive's interior looks like a shrine to UT athletics. Reportedly Peyton Manning’s preferred joint, Gus’s is as Knoxville as coaching changes and summer construction, and yet it does not discriminate. See the huge poster of legendary Brazilian footballer Bebeto, and the Clint Eastwood collage. Fan favorites from the vast menu include steam-pressed hoagies with a heaping side of fries, as well as the burger, which rivals others on this list but drips with the greasy elixir from the griddle, which, as with any good dive burger, makes all the difference.