A Foodie's Guide to Martin, TNby Regan Green - Travel Writer

The charming university town of Martin, Tennessee is known for its upscale shopping, Skyhawks sporting events, and welcoming residents. Martin is also known for serving up food so good that families pack up their cars and drive from hours away to savor it. Whether or not you consider yourself a “foodie” or just want to try something new, here’s your guide to dining in Martin’s delectable eateries.

The Incredible Creations

Words can only do The Grind Mac & Cheese Burger Bar so much justice because their menu is filled with items that simply have to be seen to be believed. We can assure you that the Luther Burger, filled with freshly ground beef, cheddar cheese fondue and bacon sandwiched between two glazed donuts for buns is not only very real, but extremely delicious. The same can be said for The Gambler, a burger highlighted with a bold barbeque sauce, fresh-made onion rings and a cilantro aioli.

Not in the mood for a burger? Why not try the decadent Lobster Mac & Cheese? Or perhaps the Buffalo Chicken Mac, a somewhat spicy take on the pasta favorite that’s topped with hot-cheetos dust. Trust us- it’s a must try.

While these menu items may seem over-the-top to some, the real showstoppers are the milkshakes.

To quote their menu, “Everyone has had a milkshake. But not like this,” and they’re absolutely right. These shakes are a sight to behold. The S’More the Merrier features a huge marshmallow toasted right at your table, s’mores ice cream and a multitude of graham crackers. The Churo Champion is a cinnamon bun milkshake. The rim is coated with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and filled to the brim with churros, whipped cream, and caramel sauce.

Ask about their seasonal milkshakes not listed on the menu, those are always a surprise. The April milkshake features at giant “For Peeps Shake”  Easter inspired creation.

This limited-time milkshake is the  perfect way to usher in the warm, Spring weather. It’s a treat that will have you hopping with joy!
Come and try “For Peep’s Shake” at The Grind today!

We know one may be tempted to order everything but please try your best to save room for one of these must-try, Instagram-worthy shakes.

The Smoky Sensations


Memphis may be best known for establishing Tennessee’s barbeque culture, but Martin is paving their own delicious path thanks to Blake’s at Southern Milling. Blake’s features Aaron Franklin-inspired Texas-style BBQ, offering authentic Oak-smoked meats and an array of savory specials and desserts to enjoy. One of Blake’s most popular creations, the Bubba Cole, features a sandwich filled with brisket, sliced turkey, and house-made pimento cheese inside a buttered brioche bun, no sauce. What may sound simple at first is what makes Blake’s stand out, as the food does all the necessary talking. You can even take your BBQ to the Brian Brown Memorial Greenway for a family picnic, if you like. This spot is extremely popular and is now open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday. They also offer a special brunch menu on Saturdays only.

The Local Go-to


Located next door to The Grind is Sammies, a favorite among locals for lunch and dinner. This family-owned eatery prides itself on serving delicious food in a fast and friendly manner. Featuring an extensive menu of freshly made “sammies,” wraps, subs, and dags, you’ll quickly want to try everything on the menu. Sammies also finds seasonal inspiration with their signature “Sammies of the Month,” which in the past have featured the Turkey & Dressing, Oktoberfeast, the Elvis, and more. This eatery has claimed they’re “Soon to be World Famous” since they opened, and we believe them.
This secret wing spot is a local hit! Located conventietly next to the UT Martin Campus, Best Wings in Martin is serving up delicious deep fried fish, chichen, and more.  The owners pride themselves on making hot and fresh meals for hungry patrons. Sample from 15+ wings sauces and be sure to order your wings extra crispy, a local fave.

The Coffee Cafés

For delicious treats and hand-crafted drink creations, Higher Ground Coffee is also a great place to be. Come for the freshly brewed coffee like a Vanilla Iced Nirvana, stay for seasonal specialties like a maple-pecan danish, or the cinnamon roll bigger than any other cinnamon roll you’ve ever seen. You won’t leave disappointed (or hungry). Check them out for breakfast or lunch.

For the coffee-lover in your life, Martin has excellent options to fuel up on caffeine and freshly baked goodies. Located in the heart of downtown, Martin’s Coffee and Bakery is a shop that prides itself on serving exceptional coffee that also serves the greater good- a portion of everything sold goes to funding educational products locally and globally. It’s a wonderful spot to curl up on their cozy couch next to the huge variety of beautiful plants by Fiddle & Clay. Pick up one of their unique reads & enjoy a fine dark roast and an orange blossom muffin or apple cinnamon scone.

Tucked away in the Martin Courtyard is the newest coffee shop in town. Vantage Coffee Roasters is a perfect spot for a quiet lunch, coffee date, or a quick drop in for some quality caffine. The stand out for Vantage are their locally roasted coffee beans. Grab a cup of iced or hot coffee or tea and enjoy. Ask your barista for some latte art to help bring a smile to your day.

The Health Enthusiast


If your looking for a healthy yet delicious option.. look no further. Crave is a new restaurant located in the Martin Courtyard. This hip lunch spot offers local residents a guilt free treat with trendy menu options. Crave keeps it fresh by offering savory rice & veggie bowls, parmasian infused cauliflower pizza, and so much more. Crave stays busy and is a weekly staple for college students and locals alike. Food is always made fesh to order by their friendly staff or dedicated owner, Brandan Nassar. 

Crave now offers extedned hours on Monday and Tuesday nights and continues to offers excellent lunch service thorughout the week. If your in a hurry, they offer fast and easy meal prep bowls in the grab and go cooler. 

Try Crave today, easy order on Toast. 

The International Eatery


Looking for great mixed drinks and a huge array of authentic Mexican food? Look no further than La Cabana. Be sure to save room for a banana burrito (a banana wrapped in a fried tortilla and topped with cinnamon, honey, and whipped cream) or a chango (creamy cheesecake wrapped in a pastry tortilla and fried until flakey, dusted with cinnamon and sugar). They speak for themselves. La Cabana also features one of Martin’s best bar areas to enjoy a cocktail, watch the game and take in the sites of downtown’s Lindell Street.

The Steak & Seafood


Martin is no stranger to fine dining. The Blue Oak Oyster Bar & Grill, located in Martin’s historic downtown, is a must-visit for those craving a perfectly-cooked ribeye, or their ever-popular Bourbon-Glazed Bone-In Porkchop. The Blue Oak also features an extensive menu of fresh items from the sea, like raw oysters on the half-shell, blackened tuna or snapper and even bang bang shrimp. This family friendly dinner spot opens at 4 p.m. for dinner and is now offering breakfast service from 6am till 10am daily.
Come hungry!

Yamato Japanese Steakhouse is located outside of the downtown area, but offers large than life portions of sushi, habachi, and authentic japanese cuisine. The Weakley Roll and Filet Hibachi are some of the top sellers. Stop in for authentic sushi rolls, melt in your moths Udon noodles, and piled high chicken and steak.  Locals love Yamato for their enomorous portions and consistantantly high quality meals.